Boyd Tinsley, violinist for the Dave Matthews Band and close friend of Andy Roddick's, said he was a little surprised that Roddick is calling it quits.
"I was always hoping he'd go on," said Tinsley, who met Roddick 10 years ago. "Athletically, he is well enough, the way he's been playing lately. He's still a great player."
Tinsley has been there in the stands watching the U.S. Open for years, starting with Boris Becker in the mid-1980s. He caught the tennis bug himself and started his own tennis academy in Charlottesville, Va.
And Tinsley was there in New York this week to support Roddick, who headed into retirement with a 6-7 (1), 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4 loss to Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows on Wednesday.
Roddick surprised everyone last Thursday, his 30th birthday, by announcing that he would retire after the U.S. Open. He finishes with 32 tournament titles, including the 2003 U.S. Open crown.
"I'm sad to see him go," said Tinsley, who received tennis rackets from Roddick for his youth academy. "It's easy for me to say, but maybe I don't know all the pain he's going through with his injuries: shoulders, knees and wrists. I'm certainly proud of him."
Tinsley hasn't played much tennis lately, as he's been working with the Dave Matthews Band to finish up "Away from the World," the group's eight studio album, which will be released Tuesday.
And Tinsley has been finishing his pet project movie, "Faces in the Mirror."
"I've only played tennis twice! And I normally play four or five times a week. But it's been good," Tinsley said. "I honestly think this is the best album we've ever done. And the movie also turned out amazing. I've been blessed."