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Why Andy Roddick Threw Away His Tennis Trophies

The US Open winner tossed them when his wife was out of town.

In the '00s, Andy Roddick was ranked as one of the top tennis players in the world. At age 20, he won the US Open. He was the runner-up at Wimbledon three times and at the US Open once. Naturally, Roddick collected a number of trophies and awards throughout his career, but he shared in a new interview that he threw almost all of them away. The ones that he did keep are not in a place of veneration in his home, but serving a more practical purpose than you might expect. Read on to find out why the 40-year-old athlete didn't want to keep reminders of his success around and to learn more about what he's up to today.

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Roddick decided that he didn't need the trophies.

Andy Roddick holding his trophy at the 2003 US Open
STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images

In an interview with GQ published on Aug. 24, Roddick shared that he didn't feel he needed all of his trophies, because anyone who would see them doesn't need to be reminded of his accomplishments.

"I thought, I don't really need these," he said. "Anyone who's in our house kind of knows what I did."

The article notes that one of the awards—a platter that Roddick received for coming in second at the 2006 US Open—is now used to hold drinks and thus covered with water stains from glasses. Another trophy, from his 2003 US Open win, is kept in a corner of his home office.

He has some regrets about his career.

Andy Roddick holding his runner-up trophy at the 2006 US Open
Anthony Correia / Shutterstock

Roddick retired from professional tennis in 2012 on his 30th birthday. The 2003 US Open remains his only win at a major tournament, and an American man hasn't won one since. This statistic has given Roddick's name a relevance that he doesn't think he would have otherwise.

"No one's benefitted more from one win," he told GQ. "Ever. Had an American man won the next year, you wouldn't be here." GQ noted that Roddick also pointed out that American women have been far more successful in tennis over the past 20 years.

Roddick also revealed that he had really hoped to win Wimbledon at least once during his career. He lost to Roger Federer in the final three times. Federer, who retired in 2022, ended up winning that major a record eight times.

"Had I won Wimbledon, I don't think I would have one single regret," Roddick said. "I'm not disappointed I didn't win 10 slams. I'm disappointed I didn't win Wimbledon. You can have seven of 'em. I just wanted one."

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He threw out the trophies while his wife was away.

Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker at the 2023 Met Gala
Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Back in 2017, Roddick's wife of 14 years, actor and model Brooklyn Decker, told People that he disposed of his trophies when she was away.

"We have his US Open trophy," she said. "But all his other trophies Andy threw away in the garbage." Decker told the outlet that she found his choice to do so "really upsetting." She continued, "He did it one day when I was out of town. [He] decided that these don't mean success to me, these don't define me and I don't really care to have these material things sitting around the house, so he threw them in the trash. I think he saved a few but they are not on display."

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Roddick is focused on other passions.

Andy Roddick at the International Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2022
Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Roddick opened up to GQ about why he retired from pro tennis. "I'm like, '[Expletive], I won 32 times.' I won two out of my last four or five tournaments. What would be a defining moment in someone's career, it doesn't matter if I win 10 more of 'em. If it's not a major, it would affect people's perception zero," he said he realized.

GQ asked whether the death of Ken Meyerson, Roddick's agent since he was 17 years old, played a role in his decision. "I don't know," the player replied. "He probably took some of my love of the game with him."

Today, Roddick spends his time raising his two children with Decker, seven-year-old Hank and five-year-old Stevie, and working with his charity the Andy Roddick Foundation, which provides summer camps, after-school activities, and other support for children in Austin, Texas. He's also a commentator for the Tennis Channel and involved in other business ventures. Roddick was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2017.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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