Move over "Breakfast at Wimbledon." Enter "Breakfast at Andy Roddick's House."
On the two Sundays of Wimbledon, Roddick analyzed the tournament on Periscope. He reeled in more than 100,000 viewers with his streams on Twitter. His final broadcast during the third set of the men's final garnered more than 60,000 views by itself.
Roddick, who retired from tennis in 2012, has dabbled in broadcast. He previously co-hosted a Fox Sports Radio show with Bobby Bones, served as an analyst on Fox Sports Live and joined the BBC as a Wimbledon commentator in 2015.
But Periscope fulfills a specific need for Roddick: Staying home.
"I don't know that I enjoy getting on a plane and spending two weeks at a time away from home," he says. "But I love talking tennis, I like following tennis, I like watching tennis. So for me, it was exciting, and I reached out to the people at Periscope to see if there were any synergies about the idea of trying it. I went in, I had never done anything like it before.
"The numbers were great as far as live viewers. Chat rooms were full. If you look at people who watch the videos back afterwards, those numbers were strong as well. I'm just excited about the ability to maybe offer something different as far as tennis coverage goes."
Thousands of miles from London, the same Andy Roddick that made three finals at the All-England Club (the most memorable coming in 2009, when Roger Federer defeated Roddick 16-14 in the longest fifth set in Grand Slam final history) analyzed the same tournament and all he needed was some phone service or Wi-Fi. Roddick laid back on his couch and talked about the sport he would be watching with or without a live-streaming app.
— andyroddick (@andyroddick) July 10, 2016
So, Andy, is live-steaming the future of broadcasting?
"I don't know. I think those are great questions and I'd be lying if I said I knew," Roddick says. "I do like the interactive nature of periscope. You can analyze a match. You can commentate. You're talking with people and answering questions also, which isn’t possible during a normal broadcast. I think there's something a little more casual about it. I can carry it with me and keep broadcasting while I'm making myself a cup of coffee, and then cruise on back. It's a new thing, and I think it's a significant change and I'm excited to see where it leads."
Roddick was ahead of many athletes on Twitter, joining in February 2008. He has kept up the pace for more than eight years. Using the past few months as a test case, Roddick has engaged with fans on such topics as PED use in tennis, the NBA Finals and The Bachelorette, tweeting at wife model/actress Brooklyn Decker.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) July 10, 2016
Former players who want to give networks instant job auditions, do this. Roddick breaking it down during match https://t.co/yd2c8Y1FEL
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 10, 2016
Roddick is by no means a guarded person. Throughout his career, he was open with the media, the ATP tour and of course, chair umpires. Roddick feels he caught a break with the timing of the social media boom.
"It's a weird thing, social media, there's no middle ground," he says. "It's the best thing ever, or the worst thing ever for someone in the public eye. It's rarely just neutral. I think I'm kind of happy with when it happened and where I was in my career. Would I have wanted it around when I was 19 or 20 years old? No. But did I benefit from getting to know it a little bit at the end of my career and building up a little bit of a following? Yes. And as far as post-career, it's nothing but advantageous. So I'm pretty happy with the way timing worked out with social media advances as it pertains to me."
Really good stuff...andy's honesty is so refreshing https://t.co/8JfnGXUDbu
— Sage Steele (@sagesteele) July 10, 2016
1. What @AndyRoddick is doing today with Wimbledon final - doing it via Periscope - is future of sports commentary. It seems crazy that...
— Jason Gay (@jasongay) July 10, 2016
Roddick's timing in professional tennis was tough. He entered the sport at the end of the Pete Sampras-Andre Agassi Era, grabbed his lone Grand Slam title at the 2003 U.S. Open and then battled in the Federer-Rafael Nadal-Novak Djokovic-Andy Murray Era.
With his 12 Grand Slam titles and six in the past nine such events, Djokovic has tennis critics tossing his name around with Federer as the best all time. Roddick still leans toward Federer, who defeated him in four Grand Slam finals.
"That’s like comparing movies without having seen the last 20 percent of a great movie, Roddick says of Djokovic who is still 29 and in his prime. "I think right now, based on just numbers, Roger is obviously there. Five slams clear is obviously significant (Federer has 17 Grand Slam titles). Novak is obviously trending. He's the greatest right now. Roger will be the first to tell you he's not currently the best player in the world. We're trying to predict the end. It's really exciting with Novak, that it's a realistic conversation to have. It's a realistic question to ask, where you think he'll fall in that line. It’s a testament to him that he's forced his way into the conversation."
Roddick will be in New York City this August, although, not for the U.S. Open. Roddick is part of the New York Empire, a World TeamTennis team making its debut this season. He will play for the team, coached by Patrick McEnroe, at home on Aug. 9 at Forest Hills Stadium at the West Side Tennis Club, site of the U.S. Open from 1915 to 1920 and 1924 to 1977. The following day, Roddick will participate in a road match in Philadelphia.
"I feel like I've grown up in front of New York," Roddick says. "I played doubles there for the first time in a pro tournament when I was 16 years old. I've had the highest of highs winning and the lowest of lows. I just love New York. The fans are so fair all the time. If you give them everything you have, they'll give you everything they've got too. Conversely, if you play like a schmuck, they're going to let you know about it. I've always appreciated the honesty of a New York sports fan."
Roddick can dish it out and he can take it. He could on the court and maybe that is why he also can when live-streaming.
Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.