Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Roddick Express Rolls On...and On

Clean Up in Aisle Three

"I don't really think I have the luxury of worrying about next week [meeting Federer]. I have to get there first."

-- ANDY RODDICK, refusing to discuss his chances against Roger Federer when he still has three more matches to get through first. Good job, Andy. Tell those media idiots to go read a book in the dark.

Third Round, Roddick def. Benneteau 6-1 6-2 6-2

Roddick should be arrested for such a brutal mugging against a helpless victim. I don't take any glee in Benneteau's destruction but Roddick making good in his promise to be more aggressive this year has made me positively giddy. So complete was Roddick's dominance that ESPN2 didn't even bother showing the match last night.

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HOOK 'EM HORNS. The universal sign for Roddick Is The Devil.

Stat of the day: Roddick has so far won all three of his AO matches in straight sets and under two hours.

Shut Up, Media

Roddick also continues to bristle at reporters who question whether he got a soft draw of if his opponents are just unworthy.

"You know what, I don't really care how you guys take it. I'm not really concerned," Roddick said when asked whether the ease of his victories was due to his good form or poor opponents.

Thank you, Andy, for putting these people in their place. How come nobody asks these stupid questions of Roger Federer, who has been skipping through his early-round matches completely trouble-free and hasn't met up with any challenging, seeded players yet, either? What's with the double standard? Dear media folk: shut the eff up. Thanks.

Next Victim: Marcos Baghdatis

If you've been snoozing through Andy's past three matches, you won't want to blink and miss his next opponent, Marcos Baghdatis. A gifted and charismatic player, Baghdatis' rowdy cheering section is guaranteed to start some trash-talking not only with Roddick (which they had already started doing at the Benneteau match) but with Roddick's now famous Bikini Brigade.

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CHEERING SECTION. Roddick said: "I have half-naked women and [Baghdatis] has a bunch of men. I'd rather have a dinner with my cheering section." Somebody forgot to warn Roddick that his bikini brigade also includes half-naked sweaty fanboys. Yeeha!

Roddick Laughs Off Sharapova Rumors

Andy was interviewed on ESPN2 yesterday after his match with Benneteau and host Chris Fowler was brave enough to mention the Maria thing. You can watch the video here at Andy's official site. Very funny stuff. Chris Fowler: "Andy Roddick, ladies and gentlemen--swatting away Frenchmen, swatting away rumors." LOL.


"For me there is no such thing as an open draw. If there's one thing we've learned by seeds getting knocked out, it proves everybody can play."

-- ANDY RODDICK, on recent comments from some that his draw is too easy. Glad to see that the media has already forgotten the US Open nightmare when Mr. Nobody Gilles Muller dumped Roddick out in the first round. So much for having an easy draw.

Second Round, Roddick def. Moodie 7-5 6-3 6-2

Stat of the day: 17 — the number of points Andy Roddick yielded in 15 service games against Wesley Moodie in their second-round match.

Aahhh, a nice, boring, one-sided, yawner of a match. Reminds me of old days, and that's the way we like it. Well done, Andy.

Second-seeded Andy Roddick advanced to the third round of the Australian Open, beating South Africa's Wesley Moodie 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 in a no-nonsense, 1-hour, 48-minute match.

Roddick had 30 winners and only nine unforced errors against Moodie, the Wimbledon doubles champion. The American got 62 percent of his first serves into play and won 85 percent of those points, allowing Moodie only one chance at a break point in the match.

"I'll take that most days," Roddick said. "I definitely felt Wes was going to come out and play big like he did, I needed to play well today."

Roddick had his own cheering squad that included a group of young women who wore spangled red, blue and silver hats, had letters of Roddick's name painted on their bare stomachs and chanted cheers for him.

With a sprinkling of U.S. flags around Rod Laver Arena, it almost seemed Roddick was playing in the U.S. Open.

When Moddie netted a backhand on match point, Roddick turned to his vocal admirers, pumped his fist and got a ball from the ball boy that he whacked up to them as they chanted, "USA! USA!"

"Would you believe me if I said every one of those is my cousin?" Roddick said jokingly afterward. "It's nice when you have 30-some-odd girls in bikinis cheering for you."

Moodie tried to pressure Roddick, rushing the net behind a serve that was nearly as fast as Roddick's. Despite his deft volleying, Moodie won only 57 percent of his 58 net approaches as Roddick's passing shots left him lunging from side to side.

Roddick broke serve for the first time to take the first set. After Moodie fended off a break point and held for 3-3 in the second set, he didn't have another game point until he already was down 2-0 in the third set.

"I wanted to return well," Roddick said. "I feel like after the first four games of the match, I really started doing that. If I can do that, it will make my serve look that much better to the other guys."

Roddick said he slightly injured his right ankle early in the match, but hoped that the trainers would give it "a little TLC" and make it better.

Roddick, a shock first-round loser in the last U.S. Open, will meet France's Julien Benneteau in the third round.

ESPN also has a video highlight here. Click on the "related video" on the right-hand side.

Andy's post-match interview can be found here.

*** Watermark-free photos from yesterday's match are now available in my photo gallery, including several great photos from Wire Image. Enjoy.***

Andy's third-round opponent will be Julien Benneteau. Check the official Australian Open website for exact time of Roddick's third-round match.

Helpful Australian Open Links
Official 2006 Australian Open website
Live Scores
World Clock

Australian Open TV Schedules
TSN Canada
The Tennis Channel
BBC Sport
Sky Sports
Seven Sport

Andy Roddick vs. PONG Ad Watch

Andy's newest American Express TV advertisement for PONG still has not made it's appearance on any American or European broadcast yet. My guess is that Amex is playing it safe this time and waiting until Roddick makes it to the second week before unveiling the new ad. If you're impatient, you can view the ad online here. Just wait until the page loads, then click on "Watch TVC."

The Rumor That Refuses to Die

Who started this dumb rumor and will it ever end? Even Peter Bodo is talking about tennis' potential newest Power Couple! Egads.

More gossip about Andy and Maria:
Tennis Aces Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick in Love, with Poker?

Both Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova are well-known for their on-court tennis exploits. Each, at some point, has reached the pinnacle of his or her sport, with Roddick having won a Grand Slam tennis title at the U.S. Open and Sharapova winning one at Wimbledon. Recently, the two have been reported as romantically linked. Oddly, however, their romance seems to have flourished away from the tennis courts, in a poker room.

As the Australian Open is currently taking place in Melbourne at the same time as the Aussie Millions poker tournament, Roddick and Sharapova have been seen keeping an eye on each other as well as on each other's cards at the local Crown Casino. With the couple frequenting the casino's poker room to play a few hands of their own, one wonders if they can maintain the mental focus needed to play in the Grand Slam event.

With the Australian Open still in its initial rounds, only time will tell whether Roddick and Sharapova can mentally tear themselves from pontificating about poker, and each other, to emerge victorious on the the courts. One thing's for sure though, a mixed-doubles teaming of this king and queen of tennis makes for an exceptionally good-looking pair.


Noelle De Guzman said...

That was definitely a complete and utter owning of Benneteau. We were laughing all through the match, poor guy.

tangerine said...

Noelle! *hug* It almost makes you feel bad for Julien, doesn't it? Heh. Almost.

I don't think Marcos will be such a pushover though. I'm excited about tonight's match.

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