Carreer Stats: World Ranking: 6, Overall record: U.S. Open champ in 2003, finalist in '06
An act of sportsmanship can be small, as small as a mark in a patch of red clay. At the Rome Masters tournament in 2005 Andy Roddick and Fernando Verdasco of Spain were vying for a spot in the quarterfinals. Roddick led 5–3 in the second set and had triple match point when Verdasco appeared to hit a double fault. The line judge called the ball out. But there was a problem: The ball was in.
"I looked at it, and I couldn't really tell," Roddick said. "But then I looked again, and it was in. I didn't think it was anything extraordinary. The chair umpire would have done the same thing if he came down and looked [at the mark in the clay] and said it was in, so I just saved him the trip."
Roddick conceded the point, and the two played on. Verdasco saved two more match points, held serve and broke Roddick in the second set. The Spaniard eventually won 6–7, 7–6, 6–4. "I got praised unbelievably for that, and I didn't really do anything out of the ordinary," Roddick said at the '06 U.S. Open. "The mark was there. It's not like I was feeling generous. It's just the way it was."