“Like a Mosquito”: Former Coach Rick Macci Describes Training Years with Andy Roddick

Published 12/14/2021, 10:30 AM EST
INDIAN WELLS, CA – MARCH 20: Andy Roddick pumps his fist after winning a point against Robin Soderling of Sweden during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 20, 2010 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)


Andy Roddick is perhaps one of the most popular American tennis players ever. The former World No. 1 won the 2003 US Open, and remains, to this day, one of the most beloved American tennis stars.

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Many great American tennis players like Venus and Serena Williams and John Roddick began training under coach Rick Macci. Moreover, the legendary coach also trained names like Maria Sharapova and Jennifer Capriati.

Similarly, Andy Roddick, too, trained under Macci. Now, Macci reveals how training a young Andy Roddick felt.

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ATLANTA, GA – JULY 31: Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish react in their match against Artem Sitak of New Zealand and Eric Butorac during the BB&T Atlanta Open at Atlantic Station on July 31, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Macci called Andy Roddick a little mosquito

In his interview with Eric Han, Macci reveals how Andy Roddick and his family came from Texas to his academy. Macci earlier trained his brother John Roddick, who he calls “one of the best juniors in the world.”

When asked how it was to coach a young Andy Roddick, Macci smiles and shared, “I saw this little mosquito (in him)- that’s what I called him… Like a mosquito, he was just always bothering everybody but in a good way. He was just always there, pesty, feisty.” Macci appreciated the energy and competitiveness that Andy Roddick had from the very young age of nine.

He then talked about his technical skills, mainly his forehand. According to Macci, Andy’s forehand surprised him. “When I worked with Andy (Roddick), he had this forehand where he led with the elbow back. He kinda had the ‘ATP forehand’.”

Praising a young Roddick’s professional-caliber forehand, Macci continues, “He actually taught me a little bit! I’m thinking this looks very different but it worked, so I didn’t change it. His forehand was nuclear!” 

Andy has certainly been making waves from a very young age, and continued to do so on the professional tour with his ATP forehand.

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Macci thoroughly enjoyed coaching Andy

02 April 2010: Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal before the semi-finals of the Sony Ericsson Open at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park, Key Biscayne, Florida. Roddick won the match 4-6 6-3 6-3. (Photo by Richard C. Lewis/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)

However, Macci revealed how they had to work quite a bit on Andy Roddick’s serve. “His serve was kinda all over the place,” the coach shares. “I did a lot of work on the serve,” the 67-year-old shared.

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“Of all the boys (I coached),” Macci recalled, “I really enjoyed coaching Andy. He was a competitor. We were cut from the same cloth.” Certainly, these are words of high praise from one of the greatest tennis coaches of all time.

Furthermore, Macci describes how Andy Roddick ‘loved the battle’ and remained incessant on replaying matches whenever he lost. Along with his impressive technical skills, Andy’s mentality definitely played a big part in him becoming the legend he did.

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Samarveer Singh

247 articles

Samarveer Singh is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fitness Sciences and Training, Samarveer is obsessed with tennis and basketball. A collegiate athlete himself, he admires all sportspersons who put in the work in order to achieve excellence.

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