If Andy Roddick didn't walk away from tennis as the biggest asshole in the professional game, he was definitely in top two or three. His wasn't the lovable brashness of, say, a John McEnroe either, but a whiny, self-indulgence reminiscent of a spoiled toddler.
Justly or not, a lawsuit filed in Dallas County Court this week is not likely to improve that image.
The suit, first reported by Courthouse News, pits Roddick (and Andy R. Inc., his corporate alter ego) against pretty much the last sort of entity you want to go around suing: a cancer charity. Specifically he's taking on the Miracle Match Foundation, a charity that puts on celebrity tennis matches to raise money for cancer patients and research.
Roddick agreed to play in a September 14, 2012 event in Connecticut for a modest $100,000 appearance fee that included not only the tennis showdown but a meet-and-greet with fans afterwards. Miracle Match sent Roddick two $50,000 checks in advance. Three days after the event, both checks bounced.
Roddick, who lives in Austin, contends that this was no accident and amounts to fraud, theft, and breach of contract. (It's unclear why the lawsuit was filed in Dallas County.)
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To be fair to Roddick, Miracle Match does seem to be something of a scam. It does indeed put on high-profile charity matches, but, as a Michigan TV station reported last March, very little of the money raised actually goes to charity. That was the case in 2004, at least, when it donated a whopping $3,616 to "sick kids/family support." That was the last time it had filed a required annual return with the IRS, which is why the agency revoked Miracle Match's nonprofit status in 2010.
When asked about this and a shady personal bankruptcy filing, Bill Przybysz, the Michigan tennis pro who founded Miracle Match after battling leukemia in the 1990s, blamed the problems on health issues.
"I have leukemia," he says. "I did my best."
Przybysz' best isn't good enough for Roddick, who wants his money and is suing to get it.