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The tennis world will miss Andy Roddick
The fact that Andy Roddick lost to the seventh seed, Juan Martin Del Potro, was not surprising.
Del Potro is the better player. Del Potro is a fringe great player. It would have been astonishing if he lost. Rather, it was how Roddick lost, and, even more specifically, how quickly he lost, that left me stunned.
Roddick built a career on his ability to start matches in midseason form, so to speak.
Growing up playing tennis, this was always something that I found to be particularly difficult. It takes time—or should I say, most people time—before a rhythm is established and shots can be made without any thought or overconcentration. The problem is, naturally, that winning the first game is no more important than the fifth or sixth.
After rain interrupted their match, Roddick entered the day with a significant advantage because the opening points would decide the first set. As expected, Roddick took it.
He continued to cruise through the second. Up until the second set tiebreaker, Roddick lost only seven points on serve in Wednesday’s action. And it wasn’t just the serve. His forehand was working, he was making Del Potro work for his points and he seemed to have a legitimate I-might-be-able-to-actually-pull-this-off attitude.
But it all ended in the second tiebreaker. Roddick lost his serves and, just as quickly as the notion of one more Roddick game entered the country’s collective minds, it was eliminated.
At first, it looked like Del Potro didn’t want to be the one to end Roddick’s career. The idea was wishful thinking. By the time Del Potro won the sixth game of the third set in one minute and six seconds, Roddick faced an insurmountable final mission. And I’m still left wondering how things went sour so quickly.
Here are two sub-astonishing moments from the match.
1. After nearly four full matches and over 529 minutes of intensive viewing, analysis and commentary, John McEnroe finally noticed Andy Roddick’s flashy, patriotic shoes. The realization came after the second point of the seventh game of the fourth set of Wednesday’s match, at which point a suddenly intrigued McEnroe asked, “Has he been wearing those the entire tournament?”
2. ESPN elected to cut away from the Andy Murray second set turning point to show some of Andy Roddick’s press conference following his defeat. While it is astonishing that it took them minutes to realize they could simply reduce the conference to a smaller box and provide the audio, thereby allowing their audience to continue to watch one of the biggest points of any match in the tournament thus far, the real shocker came following one of the reporter's inquiries.
Apparently, a woman had asked Roddick to sign her chest some years back. Looking back on the incident, Roddick responded on Wednesday saying, “I had just never seen a boob before, to be honest. You know ... that was just overwhelming."