Both my parents and my older brother played tennis. That’s how I got hooked. I used to go to the courts with them and they’d throw me a few balls to play with at the end of the game. I loved it right away and wanted to be just like my parents and my big brother. So it was a real family affair. We also grew up near the Arthur Ashe stadium. So every year I went with my Dad or my friends to watch the US Open. So that helped feed my passion and years later the US Open became my favourite tournament as a player.
I loved the challenge of trying to reach my potential and always trying to find ways to improve. I loved the feeling of being totally prepared for tournaments as well. When I knew the hard work was done and I was ready to compete were my favourite times.
The pinnacle of that was winning the Davis cup. It was such a special experience to share that with Andy Roddick and the Bryan twins. We’d been through so much as a team. We loved the journey and I care about those guys because we shared so much.
When it was no longer possible to stay at that level, to keep improving, I knew it was time to call it a day. I still play once a month or so. But I have different priorities now.
Right Handed, One Handed Backhand
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