JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — Sitting courtside is very familiar to Blanche Roddick.
After all, it has been her second home ever since her youngest son, Andy, became a tennis player as a boy. Roddick went on to win the 2003 U.S. Open.
But during the weekend, she was at Marble Falls High School to watch her 10-year-old grandson, J.C. Roddick, play in the boys 14-and-under division of the Andy Roddick Foundation Tennis Series, which made a stop here.
Blanche Roddick smiled when asked if she has the same feeling watching her grandson as she did her son.
“It’s the same emotions but different settings,” she said. “I’m not quite as nervous because I know it doesn’t do any good. You learn with age.”
The Roddicks are a big part of the Hill Country. Andy attended Austin Westlake before turning pro, and his charity, the Andy Roddick Foundation, is raising money to build tennis courts in Granite Shoals.
Two of the fundraisers for the courts include the Andy Roddick Foundation Tennis Series, which also were played at the Horseshoe Bay Resort tennis courts June 14-16, and Vegas on the River, a fall event that includes food, beverages and a silent auction. It made its debut in November 2012.
Blanche Roddick and oldest son, Dr. Lawrence Roddick, father of J.C., were guest speakers for the event. Lawrence Roddick was springboard diver, while his other brother, John, is the head tennis coach at the University of Oklahoma.
Roddick tennis tournament director Dave Holder said both Blanche and Lawrence Roddick will be guest speakers in this year’s Vegas on the River event, which is scheduled for this winter.
Blanche Roddick sees plenty of similarities between Andy and J.C. as tennis players at that age. Their serves are very comparable, she said, “though J.C. is probably faster at his age. J.C. has a lot of fight, too. Tennis is so much heart.”
J.C.’s grandmother saw he was a natural athlete, so she started the process of helping him find a sport in which he could excel.
She read former pro Brad Gilbert’s book. In it, Gilbert wrote no child can succeed in tennis unless he’s being coached by someone who believes in him, she said.
That was the key for Andy Roddick’s success, she said.
She is a big believer in what participating in individual sports such as tennis, golf, swimming and diving can do for an athlete.
“It helps them in school, it helps them in self-confidence. No one can put him on the bench,” she said. “They respond from the minute they step into the gate to do what they’re trained to do. The focus is unbelievable.”
• Oscar Guillen of Meadowlakes won the men’s 4.5 singles
• Anne Claire McCannon of Meaowlakes won the back draw of girls 16-and-under
• Kaylin Zavala of Meadowlakes won the back draw of the girls 14-and-under
• Avery Carlton of Meadowlakes reached the quarterfinals of the girls 12-and-under