Andy Roddick might have thought that it would be the end of grueling travel schedules when he retired from professional tennis last September.
That hasn't entirely been true for Roddick, the former world No. 1 and 2003 U.S. Open champion. This week has been jam-packed for him as he plays Mylan World Team Tennis, with six matches in six nights.
The last match on Roddick's schedule is Saturday night at 7, when he and the Springfield Lasers visit the Orange County Breakers at UC Irvine's Bren Events Center.
Roddick, 30, has played in the arena before. In 2006, he participated in a WTT Smash Hits event at the Bren, competing against Pete Sampras. In fact, he has always been involved with WTT, as this is his seventh season competing. He also recently became a minority owner of the league.
"First and foremost, it has to do with my relationship with Billie Jean [King] and [WTT CEO/Commissioner] Ilana Kloss," Roddick said in a media conference call last week. "They've been great supporters of mine fro a long time. WTT is a great opportunity for me to stay involved in tennis with something fun.
"WTT was a big thing for me when I was starting out as far as a springboard into professional tennis. They gave me a chance when I was an unknown 17-year¿old and I played for a team in Boise, and I really thought it was a great tool for me to learn, grow, get experience against professional players. Tennis has given so much to me and I'm happy to pay it forward and I'm happy to be involved."
Roddick, who remains the last U.S. man to win a Grand Slam singles title, has won 16 of 33 men's singles games in his four matches so far with the Lasers. He's fared a bit better in men's doubles, winning 23 of 43 games.
The Breakers lost to Roddick and the Lasers, 21-19, on the road on Friday night. Orange County (2-3) had an 18-16 lead after Coco Vandeweghe defeated Vania King in women's singles. But Springfield (4-1) rallied in women's doubles, as King and Alisa Kleybanova defeated Vandeweghe and Maria Elena Camerin, 5-1, in the final set of the night.
Roddick split his sets Friday. The Breakers' Steve Johnson and Treat Huey defeated Roddick and Jean-Julien Rojer, 5-3, in men's doubles. But Roddick earned a 5-4 men's singles win over Johnson.
Roddick was asked in the conference call about the lack of recent sustained success in American men's tennis. Johnson, ranked No. 97 in the world, is an emerging player on that scene.
"I think Wimbledon was disappointing," Roddick said, referring to the fact that no American man advanced to the third round for the first time since 1912. "But Sam [Querrey], John [Isner], Ryan [Harrison], I think they would tell you the same. I don't think they're shying away from the responsibility at all."
Roddick should get another chance to play another up-and-comer Saturday night, in the rematch with Johnson.
Tickets are still available for Saturday's match, starting at $27.50, at http://www.breakerstennis.com.