Roddick Warrior Statue Finds Permanent Home at the Texas Tennis Museum
August 3, 2017
Visitors to the Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame will now be greeted by Andy Roddick - or at least a life-sized version of him.
The terracotta warrior statue was one of eight commissioned by the ATP in 2007 for the Tennis Masters Cup, the prestigious circuit ending championship held in Shanghai, China. The statues, created by French sculptor Laury Dizengremel in China, included Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Nikolay Davydenko, Richard Gasquet, Fernando Gonzalez and David Ferrer.
The terracotta warriors are symbolic of China’s history and internationally recognized around the world. The terracotta army was originally created to be buried with the Emperor of Qin in 210-209 BC. It is believed to have taken some 700,000 workers and craftsmen 38 years to complete. Since being rediscovered in 1974, over 8,000 figures have been unearthed around the Emperor’s tomb. The site in China has become a major tourist attraction with nearly two million people visiting annually.
Dizengremel and her team, consisting of Shen Xiaonan and Zhang Yaxi, worked closely with the tennis players, measuring their faces and taking photographs in order to recreate their busts in clay, which were then added to the bodies. When the players were given pictures of their statues before the tournament, Roddick was the only one to request an alteration - the addition of his baseball cap. Sculptor Shen Xiaonan had left it off, concerned it would obscure the statue's face.
After the tournament, the complete set of Chinese tennis warriors were displayed at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum and eventually given to each player. Roddick was gracious enough to donate his to the Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame.
Photo credit: David McBride