The Babolat Propulse 4 was developed in close collaboration with Andy Roddick, from the standpoint of design and game characteristics.

The new and improved Propulse 4 is an all-court tennis shoe that features a Michelin OCS2 high-abrasion outsole for optimal grip on any surface and the Side 2 Side technology, which gives the shoe better balance and lateral movement.

In stores in February 2013, the men’s version will be available in two colorways: yellow/black and white/blue. The women’s model will come in pink.

The new tennis season is fast approaching, and the best players in the world are busy training hard in preparation for another demanding and gruelling year on tour. But before we launch into 2013, we should take a moment to reflect on the careers and legacies of those who hung up their racquets for the last time in 2012…

Biggest ATP Retirement: Andy Roddick

Andy Roddick

On his 30th birthday, Andy Roddick called a press conference and revealed that the 2012 US Open would be his final competitive tournament. The decision caught everyone by surprise, but it seemed fitting for a man who, used to giving his all, knew that his body was no longer able to withstand a brutal training and playing regime.

Roddick had been his country’s number one player for most of the last decade. Blessed with one of the biggest serves in the history of the game, he regularly sent down unreturnable deliveries of over 220km/h, accompanied by his trademark compact swing and shotgun-like pop. He resembled an exuberant puppy on the court, pouncing on short balls and unleashing his formidable off-forehand with relish. Not the most naturally fluid of players, Roddick constantly strove to expand his arsenal of shots, and developed a very effective all-court game. Occasionally, his temper got the better of him, and umpires were often in his firing line, but he earned a reputation for being extremely gracious in defeat, and was a fan favourite wherever he played.

At the time, his 2003 US Open win seemed to herald the arrival of a new hero in American tennis, but Roddick’s main misfortune was to have shared an era with Roger Federer. He fell to the Swiss in four Grand Slam finals, including three at Wimbledon. The most heartbreaking was a 16-14 loss in the deciding set of the 2009 Wimbledon final, a match in which Roddick’s serve was broken only once. In all, he had a 3-21 record against Federer, and one wonders how much more decorated the Nebraskan’s career would have been without that perennial obstacle.

Biggest WTA Retirement: Kim Clijsters

Kim Clijsters

Kim Clijsters has the distinction of retiring for a second time in 2012. The Belgian originally called it a day in 2007, citing mounting injuries and her desire to start a family. The lure of competition proved too strong, however, and she returned to the WTA tour in 2009.
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Stadium Court at Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, FL. hosted its largest crowd on Sunday afternoon, as fans witnessed Andy Roddick’s Farewell to South Florida in the final of the Miami Tennis Cup.

Roddick and Nicolas Almagro, had only met twice before on the ATP circuit and Roddick won both meetings, the last being in the 2010 Sony Open quarterfinals. Roddick took his final match against Almagro a little more seriously than his semi final match against Andy Murray on Saturday, although he wasn’t able to dominate Almagro at any point in the match. Almagro’s pinpoint accuracy from the baseline seemed to overwhelm Roddick’s defense, as he found himself having to move around the court with far more effort than his opponent.

Almagro looked comfortable with Roddick’s serve throughout the match, after Roddick dropped the ninth game of the first set at 30-40 with an unforced backhand error into the net, losing the set 6-4. Roddick saved a break point in the second set but couldn’t hold on to any type of lead during the twelve games played, despite Almagro allowing one of the ball girls to play a point for him. A close fought second set ended in Almagro’s favor 7-5.

“I enjoyed myself and it’s nice for me to come back in a competitive atmosphere,” said Roddick.

I’ve been happy with how I played and I’m glad they had me here. I think the crowd have enjoyed the tennis they’ve seen.

Almagro discussed his travels to Brazil over the next week to continue with his training, before playing another exhibition tournament in two weeks.

I’m really happy with my game, although I think I can do better, but it’s the end of the season, and I’m a little bit tired. I’m happy to be the first champion of the Miami Tennis Cup and I think it’s a fun and enjoyable tournament. I hope to be back next year

Both players were awarded their runners-up and winners trophies in front of a slew of photographers, after hitting signed balls in to the crowd. Nicolás Almagro took the liberty of lying down on the court among the spicy group of eighteen ball girls who gathered around him for one last crowd pleasing shot.

Photo credit: Getty Images for Miami Tennis Cup

Stadium Court at Crandon Park Tennis Center in Key Biscayne, FL. was buzzing on Saturday afternoon, as fans piled-in to witness the highly anticipated headline match on day two of the Miami Tennis Cup.

Andy Murray and Andy Roddick took part in an afternoon 12 and under coaching clinic before returning to the locker room to prepare for the day’s spectacle. Roddick, known for his on-court antics, taunted the crowd before serving the first point, which set the tone for what was to come. “Are you tired yet?” he asked Murray after the first game.

Roddick dominated Murray from the start of the first set, as Murray seemed sluggish around the court, compared to a grunting and aggressive Roddick. Roddick won the majority of his first service points, which gave him a home-court advantage and Murray couldn’t seem to gain any type of lead with breaking Roddick’s serve. Roddick broke two of Murray’s service games in the first set to take a 6-2 lead. Despite Murray’s attempts to out-rally Roddick, the retired American gave fans a taste of his old baseline perseverance as he dug even deeper in to the second set to take it 6-3.

Shortly after the tournament’s headline match, the top-ranked American, John Isner, took to the court against the world’s number 11 Nicolas Almagro in the other semi final. The Spaniard edged past Isner 6-3 6-4 in roughly 90 minutes.

The final of the Miami Tennis Cup will feature Andy Roddick against Nicolas Almagro on Stadium Court starting at 5:00pm.

Photo credit: Getty Images

Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Juan Carlos Ferrero, John Isner, Nicolas Almagro and Alejandro Falla are taking part this weekend to the first annual Miami Tennis Cup exhibition.

Here are a few pics (credit: Getty Images) and day 1 results:

Nicolas Almagro def Alejandro Falla 6-4 6-1:

Almagro:

I’m quite happy with how I’m playing at the moment and I’m glad to be in the warmth of Miami for the first year of the Miami Tennis Cup. Hopefully the crowds were treated to an enjoyable game

 

John Isner def Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-6 6-3:

Isner:

I’m happy to be competing in the Miami Tennis Cup. It’s a good crowd with some top players competing. I’m looking forward to seeing Andy Roddick play Andy Murray and hope to meet one of them in Sunday’s final.

 

 

Day two of the Miami Tennis Cup features the tournament’s headline match between the retired Andy Roddick and the reigning U.S Open and Olympic Champion, Andy Murray, currently ranked number three in the world.