Nobody expects Andy Roddick to win any Grand Slam tournaments at this stage in his career. But he shouldn't be dropping out in the first round either.
But that was the case at the French Open on Sunday, when Roddick fell to France's Nicolas Mahut in four sets.
the 1st big upset ...Frenchman Nicolas Mahut takes down Andy Roddick 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. #RG12— TennisChannel (@TennisChannel) May 27, 2012
It is the first time Roddick has been eliminated from the first round of a Grand Slam since 2007.
Thus continues a difficult 2012 campaign for Roddick, who has only advanced as far as the quarterfinals this season (ATP SAP Open, ATP Delray Beach International) and only lasted until the second round at the Australian Open.
Roddick has never been very good on clay, and the furthest he's ever advanced at Roland Garros in his career has been the fourth round. Most recently, his declining play has been attributed to his age.
But as ESPN's Chris Fowler points out, neither excuse flies against Mahut:
sad to see Roddick dismissed in 4 by a guy who was 1-9 career at RG.And Mahut is older than Andy, who lost 9/10 sets on clay in '12— Chris Fowler (@cbfowler) May 27, 2012
In all, Roddick is 0-4 in matches on clay surfaces this season.
Once known for his powerful serve, Roddick now has a rather pedestrian one, evidenced by the fact that Mahut had the advantage in aces in this match, 13-8.
But It appeared that Roddick had stolen the match's momentum after winning the third set and starting strong in the fourth, but he simply couldn't maintain the advantage. Or perhaps he didn't care to—at times, it simply looked as though Roddick just wanted to get off the court.
Curse of the clay, perhaps.
But let's not just focus on the negative. For Mahut, it's a nice start to the tournament held in his home country and a feel-good story for the fans in attendance.
That's where the positives end in this match, however—for Roddick, it's just another indication that his best playing days are far, far behind him.
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