The 2012 U.S. Open has produced two surprises. One was already known, being Kim Clijsters' retirement after the event. The surprise in that was in her falling to Laura Robson in only the second round.
The other surprise was the much more stunning revelation of Andy Roddick that he would end his 12-year-something tennis career after this fortnight. It threatened to follow the way of Clijsters. In the second round he faced Bernard Tomic, the young Australian who has a similarly disorienting game to that of Robson's.
Thankfully for New York and tennis at large, Roddick's spectacular career was extended by at least one more match, as he defeated Tomic in his latest, and possibly last ever, career match win, 6-3, 6-4, 6-0.
Some years back pundits would have discussed this match in terms of Roddick's Grand Slam hopes. If one were to read the match by such standards then Roddick seems to stand the chance of at least a deep run.
Tomic has been on the rise for some time now, having made his first notable statement at Wimbledon last year, when as the youngest man since Becker to reach the quarterfinals he pushed Novak Djokovic in four tough sets.
Perhaps there was some pity in the Aussie's mind, as he played with a certain nonchalance that allowed the veteran Roddick to express his true tennis self—rocket serves and deep forehand drives proved too strong in the end.
He will probably find feistier opposition in the talented Fabio Fognini, whom he plays next, but who also happens to be rather beatable for a Roddick in this mood. Mind you it won't just be Roddick, but the vast majority of Arthur Ashe Stadium, and fans of his long and storied career, who will be willing him on.
Its rare for a tennis player to enter an event not being sure that it is going to be his last, and then deciding halfway that it will be. There will no doubt be a certain life-or-death quality to the remainder of Roddick's run, in the way that any journey finds itself at its closing stages.
One just hopes that his final swan songs find themselves on Arthur Ashe, in night matches, and with dreamy finishes.
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