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Andy Roddick on Serena Williams: 'I didn't get a quarter of the criticism that she ever got'

Roddick: 'The Only Person Who Can Actually Beat Serena Williams Is Herself'


By JOHN DORN

When Andy Roddick retired from professional tennis in 2012, he did so with 32 overall titles, a U.S. Open victory and a World No. 1 ranking in 2003. Regarded as one of the best American tennis players in history, Roddick has widely been praised for his illustrious career.

Roddick was also famously known for his constant bickering with on-court officials, often smug and sarcastic with them after hearing calls he wasn't fond of. In an exclusive interview with The New York Observer that ran online Wednesday, Roddick alluded to how it related to his friend Serena Williams, and her on-court antics with officials that are often harping points for tennis fans and media.

In the interview, speaking of Serena's quest for the U.S. Open title, Roddick said (emphasis bolded):

"For 4 years we practiced on the courts in south Florida. We played right next to each other. To see her come from the ten year old year with beads in her hair-I mean ... just to see her become just this complete icon and the best female athlete of all time. I love the respect she's getting this week in the lead up too. She has the support of an entire country. We threw lots of fits on the court. I was a [expletive] a lot of the time, and I didn't get a quarter of the criticism that she ever got. To see her at this moment, and on the precipice of doing something great, and that will be remembered forever, it's just so cool. I'm so happy for her, and I hope she does it."


In this bit, Roddick brings notice to the fact that his antics were often over the top. With Serena being a close friend, he feels that, considering the way Williams' explosions are covered from time to time, that perhaps he's more deserving of blame that the media depicted at the time.

Either way, Williams could be on her way to history, no matter how the public reacts to her outbursts against officials. A win at this year's U.S. Open would be her fourth straight in the annual tournament and officially clinch something that hasn't been done in women's tennis since 1988 -- winning all four Grand Slam major events of the season.

Check out photos of Serena from last year's U.S. Open:

31 PHOTOS
US Open 2014 - Serena Williams - Caroline Wozniacki
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Andy Roddick on Serena Williams: 'I didn't get a quarter of the criticism that she ever got'
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates with the trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark to win their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Williams defeated Wozniacki in two sets by a score of 6-3, 6-3. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States listens as Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark speaks afte their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Williams defeated Wozniacki in two sets by a score of 6-3, 6-3. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates with the trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark to win their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Williams defeated Wozniacki in two sets by a score of 6-3, 6-3. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Martina Navratilova, Serena Williams of the United States and Chris Evert pose after the women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Williams defeated Wozniacki in two sets by a score of 6-3, 6-3. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: (L-R) Serena Williams of the United States poses with Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark prior to their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates with the trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark to win their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Williams defeated Wozniacki in two sets by a score of 6-3, 6-3. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States reacts after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark to win their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Williams defeated Wozniacki in two sets by a score of 6-3, 6-3. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States hugs Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark after their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Williams defeated Wozniacki in two sets by a score of 6-3, 6-3. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark poses with her runners up trophy after being defeated by Serena Williams of the United States during their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates with the trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark to win their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Williams defeated Wozniacki in two sets by a score of 6-3, 6-3. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States reacts after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark to win their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Williams defeated Wozniacki in two sets by a score of 6-3, 6-3. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States reacts after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark to win their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Williams defeated Wozniacki in two sets by a score of 6-3, 6-3. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: (L-R) Serena Williams of the United States, tennis hall of famer Billie Jean King and Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark pose for a photo prior to women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States reacts after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark to win their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Williams defeated Wozniacki in two sets by a score of 6-3, 6-3. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe (C) attends the women's singles final match between Serena Williams of the United States and Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Fans watch as Serena Williams of the United States plays against Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States serves to Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Singer Gladys Knight attends the women's singles final match between Serena Williams of the United States and Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark looks on against Serena Williams of the United States during their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States looks on against Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark returns a shot against Serena Williams of the United States during their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States returns a shot against Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark looks on against Serena Williams of the United States during their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States walks on the court prior to playing Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in theirs women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States returns a shot against Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark serves to Serena Williams of the United States during their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates with the trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark to win their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Williams defeated Wozniacki in two sets by a score of 6-3, 6-3. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates with the trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark to win their women's singles final match on Day fourteen of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 7, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Williams defeated Wozniacki in two sets by a score of 6-3, 6-3. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Serena Williams. Dominant. #bbctennis http://t.co/816n9CLAKw
Serena Williams is the #USOpen champion. 18 Grand Slam titles. Joins the illustrious company of Evert & Navratilova. http://t.co/G1f7gvYD7D
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