Why Andy Roddick is the best thing about the BBC's Wimbledon coverage
The American US Open champion and three-time finalist at SW19 has joined Sue Barker and co on TV and the airwaves for the final week - and he's a smash hit, says Susanna Lazarus
A new Andy is shaking things up at Wimbledon. Or rather, an old friend back on familiar turf as our own Andy marches into the next stage of tennis' biggest tournament. The 'newcomer's' name is Roddick and he's a fan favourite at the All England Club, having reached three finals here, the last an epic encounter with Roger Federer.
He may have lost that match but on his return Roddick's on winning form – although this time it's from the commentary box. It was back in June that the BBC first announced they'd recruited the former American number one to join their coverage but it's taken their new pundit ten days to make his debut. And what a debut it's been.
Whether he's in the studio with Sue Barker or musing on David Beckham's "fantastic hair" in the Radio 5 commentary box, Roddick has spent the day making an impact. His knowledge aided by his easy delivery (he's honed his craft with a regular slot on Fox Sports in the States) compliments the likes of John McEnroe, Tim Henman and John Lloyd – a timely win for the BBC in the wake of their much-maligned highlights revamp Wimbledon 2Day.
It wouldn't be the first time a straight-talking American has won over UK audiences – John McEnroe is a firm favourite on the Beeb during Wimbledon fortnight – but Roddick already has the audience in the palm of his hand. A hit on Twitter this afternoon, he trended as he joined Aussie champions Rod Laver and Pat Cash on the airwaves...
If the press room isn't listening to Laver and Roddick together on @bbc5live it's tuned to the wrong channel. #Hint
— Jonathan Overend (@jsoverend) July 8, 2015
And did his bit to entertain us during Murray's two rain delays:
#Wimbledon2015 - take as many rain breaks as you want, if it means more Andy Roddick. He's great.
— Flumpmistress (@flumpmistress) July 8, 2015
YOU GUYS. Andy Roddick just won #Wimbledon. #pundit
— Courtney Nguyen (@FortyDeuceTwits) July 8, 2015
Welcome back, Andy Roddick. After three times of asking, it looks like you've finally won Wimbledon.