Former U.S. Open Champion Andy Roddick has been ousted in the first round of the French Open. Nicolas Mahut, ranked No. 88, took care of the 2003 U.S. Open Champion in four sets, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6 and 6-2. Roddick didn't look in the right mindset throughout the match, and Mahut took advantage with some punishing forehands and backhands.
Mahut, known for his epic encounter with John Isner in the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, was able to take advantage of Roddick's errors and trouble with movement on the red dirt. It's no surprise that Americans have struggled on clay and at the French Open lately, but Mahut had his way throughout the match.
Roddick had never lost to Mahut in their previous four meetings. However, none of these meetings were on clay. The hard-serving American had a potential third round showdown with Roger Federer. At 29 years of age, time isn't slowing down. Tennis experts and fans are questioning whether Roddick has one more deep run in him.
This is Roddick's fifth first round exit at Roland Garros. He has only made it past the third round once. Now, with Roddick's ranking going down further, he will see some difficult early matches in grand slams. Obviously, this will not help his case to make a deeper run.
If he is to make a deep run, it will most likely be at Wimbledon or the U.S. Open. Wimbledon suits his type of game with the big serve and forehand. Roddick is always fired up to play in New York in the last grand slam of the year. He loves the night matches and the atmosphere.
With this loss, Roddick falls under .500 at the French Open. He is 7-10 on the season, and 0-4 on clay. The 30-year-old Mahut had the home-court advantage with the event being played in Paris. He looked in top form, while Roddick looked like he couldn't wait to exit the court. To say he doesn't like the red clay is probably an understatement.
If this is the beginning of the end, Roddick has had a remarkable career despite his lone grand slam. He made numerous grand slam finals, but always fell to Federer during his dominant days. Roddick could be considered two dimensional with the serve and forehand game. Some experts have questioned his lack of variety. Roddick has been evident with his net court game these past few years, however, but has tweaked much else in his game.
The match saw Roddick get broken seven times. He was also out-aced by Mahut, 13-8. On this type of surface, aces don't come easy for the American. It's not like Mahut has been stellar at the French, either. He's had his troubles getting out of the first round. Roddick just didn't show any sort of will in wanting to win this match.
It will be interesting to see what happens with Roddick in the next month. Wimbledon will approach within a few weeks, and events such as Queen's Club will tell a lot for the 2003 U.S. Open champion.