Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Kooyong Kisses on Day One

Watch Roddick's "Pong" American Express TV advertisement here. After the page loads click on "Watch TVC". Great ad!

***
Roddick def. Monfils 6-2 6-2

This scoreline just flows with authority and symmetry, doesn't it? Although Kooyong is just an exhibition, this is a promising and excellent head start for 2006. Especially considering that Roddick has not played in two months and that Gael Monfils had challenged Roger Federer in the Doha final a week ago.

Andy's next opponent will be his personal favorite court bitch Nicolas Kiefer who defeated the troublesome David Nalbandian by virtue of Nalbandian's retirement. Roger Federer and Ivan Ljubicic were also defeated in their Day One matches and move into the loser's bracket of the field while Roddick, Guillermo Coria, Kiefer, and Tommy Haas move up into the winner's bracket. What this means is that Federer is no longer in contention to defend his Kooyong title and Roddick will not have to deal with, look at, or play in any more matches with Federer, Nalbandian, or Ljubicic for the rest of the exhibition. Woot!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comYEAH, YOU LIKE IT LIKE THAT. Is this the face of a more aggressive Roddick for 2006?

Lots of photos came in from the match and news items as well so I will be updating this page throughout the day.

The Age reports:
Roddick Steps Up As Main Foil

Suddenly, the Australian Open needs Andy Roddick, who will enter the tournament as the second seed behind Roger Federer, a position akin to carrying saddle cloth No.2 alongside Phar Lap. [. . .]

Roddick has not troubled Federer greatly of late, though this could also be said of Lleyton Hewitt and, indeed, the whole men's tour. But he is highly seeded — and greatly needed — nonetheless, because there are few other recognisable and still potent brands among the men.

Roddick knows where he stands, which is immediately after the daylight that follows Federer. He, quite rightly, and with some modesty, sees himself as one of the rest, a mortal scrapping it out for the right to challenge the supernatural.

"Well, he's made it like that," Roddick said of the Federer hegemony. "It might be Roger versus the field but for the rest of us, it's us versus our first-round opponent. He's obviously made it like that by playing so well over the last couple of years but … I can't stress enough that that really doesn't have a whole lot to do with any of us until we're put in the situation where we're facing him."

Roddick might have talked up Federer's loss yesterday as an encouraging sign for he and his fellow scrappers but he is too astute for that. "This is a tune-up week, this is an exhibition week, and everybody is trying to find their form and make sure that we are ready to go next week. I wouldn't read too much into it," he said of Federer's defeat. [. . .]

Roddick did allow that he was well-prepared for this Australian Open. The back that had troubled him late in the year was "fine", and this had enabled him to work to a Melbourne-specific "game-plan".

Roddick also is playing his customary role as torchbearer for American men's tennis, a job he has to himself this year following the non-appearance of the great Andre Agassi. Less familiar is the sense that Roddick, at 23 and with the likes of Nadal, Monfils and the other French wunderkind, Richard Gasquet, on the scene (and in Nadal's case winning French Opens), has become an elder statesman.

"This is kind of becoming commonplace," Roddick said of questions about the teenage Euro-guns. "I started getting asked about the younger generation and I guess someone forgot to send me the notice that said that I was old."

Little more than two years ago, the A-Rod was voted America's "sexiest athlete alive" by People magazine, garnering him space in the glossy pages occupied by the likes of of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Roddick now takes a slightly lower profile since his celebrity peaked two or so years ago, when he graced magazine covers and hosted TV shows.

But next week, in the absence of a hip young Spanish tyro and a brooding Russian, not to mention Agassi, he's the required rock 'n' roll foil to the Federer concerto.

1 comment:

tangerine said...

*sob* no comments? :^(

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