By Tom Degun

Andy Roddick 080113January 7 - Retired American tennis star Andy Roddick, the former world number one and US Open champion, has backed the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games bid during a visit to the Argentinean capital.

The 30-year-old from Nebraska, who retired from elite tennis at the end of last year, visited Roca Park during his stay, which is one of the proposed sports venues for Buenos Aires 2018.

Roddick (pictured top) played an exhibition match with Mayor of Buenos Aires Mauricio Macri as well as former Argentine players José Luis Clerc and Gastón Gaudio in an event that marked six months to go until the International Olympic Committee (IOC) selects the 2018 Youth Olympic Games host city on July 4.

A total of 100 local children were involved in the event as they participated in a tennis skills clinic alongside Roddick, who publicly declared his support for the Buenos Aires 2018 bid following the session.

"I have always been a great supporter of the Olympic Movement and the spirit of Olympism," said Roddick.

"I have been lucky enough to represent my country at two Olympic Games and each time it has been a great honour.

"In many parts of the world the values of Olympism can help young people believe in themselves and inspire them to achieve and prosper in the future – not just in sport, but in all aspects of their lives.

"Olympians of the past owe it to the stars of tomorrow to give young people this opportunity.

"During my visit to Buenos Aires, I am impressed by this city's passion for sport, their enthusiasm for Olympism and their commitment to become a Host City for the Youth Olympic Games.

"Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole have a great sporting heritage.

"The city has excellent sports facilities that will enable athletes to perform at their very best.

"It would be a great choice for 2018."

Andy Roddick backs BA YOG 2018Andy Roddick declared his support for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games bid during a visit to the Argentinian city

The Buenos Aires 2018 bid chief executive Francisco Irarrázaval said the city is now looking to step up its attempt to host the competition and said the support of Roddick was a major boost.

"We are delighted that a global sports star like Andy Roddick has endorsed our YOG bid," said Irarrázaval, who is also the Buenos Aires Under-Secretary of Sport.

"It is a privilege to welcome him to Buenos Aires for this celebration event with so many eager young sports fans - it showcases our passion for sport, our hosting capabilities and our unwavering commitment to help all Olympic sports grow in new regions of the world.

"We know that there is still a lot of hard work to be done, but with less than six months to go until the IOC decision in Lausanne and this is an important step in the journey of our 2018 YOG bid and our goal to inspire young people in Argentina, South America and across the world to participate in sport and become the next generation of Olympic champions."

Buenos Aires is currently in a competitive race with Glasgow, Guadalajara, Medellín and Rotterdam for the right to stage the third Summer Youth Olympic Games in 2018.

Before the July 4 host city announcement, the IOC Executive Board will announce the shortlisted Candidate Cities at its next meeting in Lausanne on February 12 and 13.

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