Tuesday, May 29, 2007

French Clay=9 Americans=0

Updated June 4, 2007

VCR ALERT! UK fans, take note: Andy Roddick will appear on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on June 8.
With a cheeky gag never too far away and a wit sharper than his own suits, don't expect the guests to get an easy ride on the way to plugging their latest film, book, session in rehab or range of underpants.

Funny, likeable and unlike any other chat show host, if you get to sit with Jonathan you're doing something right. Either that or you're just Ricky Gervais.

Next episode: Myleene Klass, Nick Frost, Andy Roddick, My Chemical Romance.

It's time to pretend we like tennis again, Andy Roddick's appearance can only mean the evil that is Wimbledon is upon us. Fat women of Britain rejoice and pay £98.39p for two strawberries. Myleene Klass who is heavily pregnant and Nick Frost who's just fat also appear.

Airs: Friday June 8, 2007

BREAKING NEWS! Andy Roddick did not hop a plane back home to Austin after losing in the first-round at Roland Garros. Instead, presumably under dire threat from bully coach Jimmy Connors, he opted instead to get in some match play by playing doubles with friend Robby Ginepri at the Surbiton Challenger in Surrey, UK. Fans die of happy shock. Love letters to Connors flood his office. I am currently knitting him a brand new cardigan.

Roddick and Ginepri sign in at Surbiton
World number three, Andy Roddick and doubles partner Robbie Ginepri have confirmed their entry in the €42,500  Surbiton Trophy tournament currently taking place at Surbiton Racket and Fitness Club in Surrey.

Roddick will play doubles only as he starts his serious preparations for Wimbledon under the watchful eye of coach Jimmy Connors. 

A finalist at Wimbledon in 2004 and 2005, the 24 year old American won the US Open in 2003, was a finalist there last year and began 2007 by reaching the semi final of Australian Open. He also claims a hat-trick of titles at Queens Club in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

“Players  who favour playing on grass courts traditionally come to London as soon as they lose in the French Open and the Surbiton tournament is ideally placed to accommodate them” explains tournament director Peter Greatorex.

“We are obviously delighted to welcome Andy and Robbie as they prepare for the challenges of the next few weeks.”

To our dear friends in the UK media: please note for future reference that Robby Ginepri's name is spelled with a "y" and not an "ie." Robbie is a girl's name. Our Robby is a boy. Thank you for your attention.

Roland Garros News Archive

• Roddick's post-match interview (l. to Andreev) [Roland Garros.com]
• Some positive signs in Roddick's loss [Bud Collins]
• US men take the big fall in Paris [Charles Bricker (Sun-Sentinel) blog]
• American men go down in Paris [Charles Bricker (Sun-Sentinel) blog]
• Terrible Tuesday for American men [Matthew Cronin (Fox Sports)]
• Roddick pining for more clay success [Matthew Cronin (Fox Sports)]
• Clay continues to confound Roddick [ESPN]
• Americans idle after first round [ESPN] (You can also view Andy's post-match interview at the ESPN link)
• Why does American tennis produce clay pigeons? [USA Today]
• One round, eight men out for USA in Paris [USA Today]
• Roddick first-round failure [Fox Sports]
• Roddick sent crashing out [Sportinglife]
• For American tennis, clay is kryptonite [Washington Post]
• Roddick, Blake crash out in Paris [New York Times]
• Au Revoir, Les Americains [NY Sun]
• McEnroe Says U.S. Men Hit New Low After French Woe [Bloomberg]
• Americans get a French undressing [Boston Globe]
• America's men disappear in Parisian clay pit [The Independent (UK)]
• Crumbling on clay [Times Online (UK)]
• Ginepri defeat complete American nightmare in Paris [Guardian (UK)]
• Using the rankings to schedule slams doesn't work [Jon Wertheim, SI.com]
• Tennis: Making Hockey Seem Popular Since I Really Don't Care [The Cornell Daily Sun]

Roland Garros Web Clippings

I like to take snapshots of Andy's web news headlines, be they good or bad. I guess it's like collecting newspaper clippings. There are eleven snapshots here. Even though these are thumbnails, some may take a while to show up (click for larger images).

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Originally posted May 29, 2007

French Clay=9 Americans=0

Roland Garros 2007
R128: Andreev def Roddick 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-4


We all know that clay is the American men's Achilles' heel but do they have to keep proving it so emphatically every year? It's getting harder and harder for me to defend my stance that the Americans are perfectly capable of playing on clay, they just need to adjust their attitude about it. But when we go 0-9 on the first Tuesday, I have no defense. It the USA's worst showing at a major in 40 years. Granted, they all faced some stiff competition this year but still, couldn't at least one of our guys sneak through? Props to everyone who played their hearts out (young Sam Querrey in particular was impressive with the fight). See the damage listed below:

Terrible Tuesday

R. Federer def M. Russell 6-4 6-2 6-4
I. Andreev def A. Roddick 3-6 6-4 6-3 6-4
I. Karlovic def J. Blake 4-6 6-4 7-5 7-5
JC Ferrero def A. Delic 6-7(2) 6-3 6-3 6-4
N. Almagro def J. Gimelstob 6-4 6-4 6-4
JP Brzezicki def R. Kendrick 6-1 3-6 6-2 6-1
L. Recouderc def S. Querrey 7-6(4) 2-6 6-0 6-7(5) 6-3
G. Simon def V. Spadea 2-6 6-4 6-4 6-3
D. Hartfield def R. Ginepri 6-2 6-4 1-6 5-7 6-4

First Round Roundup by Country (win/loss)
Spain 11-3
France 11-10
Argentina 10-5
Russia 5-2
Italia 4-5
Czech Republic 3-4
Switzerland 2-0
Belgium 2-1
Croatia 2-1
Austria 2-2
Serbia 2-2
Cyprus 1-0
Denmark 1-0
Ecuador 1-0
Greece 1-0
Finland 1-0
Latvia 1-0
Sweden 1-2
Australia 1-2
Chile 1-2
Germany 1-2
Korea 0-1
Thailand 0-1
Netherlands 0-1
Romania 0-1
Taipei 0-1
Belarus 0-1
Slovak Republic 0-1
Great Britain 0-1
Brazil 0-1
Colombia 0-2
USA 0-9

Dead. Ugly. Last.

More Soul-Searching on the Agenda [Times UK]:
It was a tough day for the United States, too, with all eight American men who completed their matches being beaten. Andy Roddick, the No 3 seed, was beaten by Igor Andreev, the Russian better known as Maria Kirilenko’s boyfriend and the last but one person to have beaten Rafael Nadal on clay.

Andreev won with a display of ferocious hitting, especially on the forehand, and with his exaggerated grip, which puts devastating spin and dip on the ball, it required all of Roddick’s willpower – of which there is a barrel-load – to stay with him for as long as he did. At least Roddick will never give up, even if others are too quick to give up on him.

Clay season over-and-out for the Americans. Time to move on to more pressing issues in Roddickland, such as.........

Men's Fitness is in deep doo-doo

Rafa called, he wants his arms back.

Okay, we've all seen THE cover by now. We've all snickered and commented on it. Even Roddick himself laughed about it:
I spent the last few weeks in Austin really focused on my training and getting back into shape...but pretty sure I'm not as fit as the Men's Fitness cover suggests...little did I know I have 22 inch guns and a disappearing birth mark on my right arm. I saw the cover for the first time when I landed after Rome...it was pretty funny...I walked by the newsstand in the airport and did a total double take ...I can barely figure out how to work the red-eye tool on my digital camera...whoever did this has mad skills.

Come now, Mr Men's Fitness Art Director, did you really think nobody would notice? That nobody would point and laugh? Did you forget to have Roddick sign that confidentiality agreement? Oops.

But not all fans were harumphing over the obvious touch-up job. Some were positively ecstatic with the "new" Andy Roddick. Said one on a tennis messageboard that I frequent: "Real, fake, I don't care: that face on that body is going to make me a happy boy tonight. My housemate gets the magazine and when I saw it in his bathroom yesterday, I declared it a national holiday. In my pants."

So it would appear that Men's Fitness has also made some readers quite happy with their creativity.

The photoshopped Roddick cover and the real Andy Roddick

So who else noticed, you ask? Well, who didn't?

The celebrity gossip websites TMZ and Jossip noticed. . . . . . . .Popular bloggers like Kenneth in the 212 noticed, A Socialite's Life noticed, Celeb Gossip Junkie noticed, Oh No They Didn't! noticed, and Pink is the New Blog noticed. . . . . . . .AOL Sports' The Fanhouse noticed. . . . . . . .The ESPN blowhards noticed. . . . . . . .Towleroad (for modern gay men) noticed. (But they always notice Andy. *wink*). . . . . . . .ABC News noticed. Ut-oh, now it's hit the mainstream news. . . . . . . .The New York Post noticed. . . . . . . .The New York Times noticed. . . . . . . .People magazine noticed.

We all know that magazines touch-up their cover subjects, but Men's Fitness went beyond that, really, completely misrepresenting Roddick's image and basically exposing their false marketing practices. What were they thinking? Was this an F-you from the outgoing editor to the publisher? If you think this isn't a big deal, read about the fall-out in the New York Post and the New York Times.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Clay Kryptonite Season Begins for the Americans

The Americans' annual skip-Monte Carlo-for-a-little-R'nR vacation is now over and most of them are ready to roll in Rome. What did Andy do on his vacation?
  • Attended the opening of a new Lacoste store in Austin, Texas, and then visited The Domain where he talks about all kinds of metrosexual guy stuff such as shopping, style, and what it's like to live in metrosexual heaven, Austin, Texas. Photo with a metrosexual fan included.

  • Just added
  • Did a TV interview with local TV/radio personality, Bobby Bones, which you can watch here. He was also interviewed by a local TV station, Austin 8 News, which you can view here.

  • Signed a new endorsement deal with AriZona Beverage Company. He's not winning anything these days but he keeps on getting those endorsements. Does this mean that we can look forward to seeing ads of Andy gulping down iced tea and then falling backwards into a refreshing pool of water, a la the Nestea plunge?

  • Went to NYC to pick up a prestigious award, The Arthur Ashe Leadership Award, the first time a male tennis player has won it. Strangely enough, the ATP tennis website didn't deem this newsworthy enough to mention on their front page. Send your complaints here.

    You can watch a clip of Andy's speech here.

    To give you an idea of how much his charity has grown over the years, check this out (taken from SI.com):

  • Partied with Leonardo DiCaprio and attended the premiere of "Unstrung" at the TriBeCa Film Festival.

  • Partied in Las Vegas at a friend's bachelor party and was spotted by a girl out celebrating her own bachelorette party. Photo included.

  • Was named one of the "55 most fascinating Palm Beachers" by Palm Beach Illustrated. They apparently never received Andy's change-of-address card.

  • Made SI.com mailbag readers giggle with another one of his off-the-cuff smart-alecky remarks:
    Jon, you're right about it being in bounds to question an athlete's physical fitness. However, you've got to admit one thing: That crack about the reporter not being able to bench his laptop is a good one. Give the man his props. -- Craig Berry, Park Forest, Ill. (in response to last week's mailbag comment by Wertheim: "Long as you've got me on a rant, I recently heard a prominent American player complain that it was pretty ironic that he was being questioned about his fitness by a 50-something reporter who couldn't bench press his laptop...")

    Jon Wertheim: Andy Roddick, take a bow.

  • Caused a minor uproar on various tennis messageboards when he and James Blake recently "took issue" (the media's choice of words) with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal's stance against ATP reforms. Oooh, the two little Americans taking on the Fed-Nadal Goliath, it'll be mutiny! Well, not exactly, but that's how the media played it out and that's how many fans read into it. Personally, I don't think either Roddick or Blake were trying to take sides on any issue, or "one-up" Roger and Rafa. I think they were just answering the press' questions during their Rome press conference and tried to sidestep any potential landmine questions while offering a different perspective on the whole thing. Their comments made perfect sense to me. However, nobody has been able to find their entire Q-and-A interview yet so I guess we won't really know what was said and done until we are able to read the interview in its original context.

  • Besides healing his strained hamstring, he apparently picked up a virus a short while ago and looks to still be recovering.

In other news:
  • The Houston Men's Clay Court Championships is staying in Houston! Leaving Mac and Linda's Westside Tennis Club after seven years, it will now move across town to River Oaks.

  • Great interview with Bob and Mike Bryan over here. They talk about Andy a lot, obviously. Here's a choice quote:
    Q: Okay, a little word association. Andy Roddick?

    MIKE: Type A. A lot of energy. Strong personality. Great sense of humor. One of the most competitive people you’ll ever meet, but also very loyal.

  • Did you know? Peter Bodo wanted to give Andy Roddick a lap dance.

  • Was mocked by Novak Djokovic at the Monte Carlo Player's Revue where players put on a show by mimicking other players. Djokovic's dead-on impersonation of Roddick won high acclaim. (see photo above; love the dozens of colorful wrist bands). Yves Allegro brought down the house dressed as his doubles partner, Roger Federer, and Thomas Johansson did a great impression of Rafael Nadal. You can read about the party here and view the other photos here.

  • Andy Roddick's Quarterly Report Card comes from the NYSun where they give him a passing grade of B and I would agree with that. He is no longer losing to players he shouldn't be losing to, and he's making some SF's and Finals. Unfortunately he's now getting tarred and feathered in these SF/Finals. He's back up to No. 3 in the world but the chasm between him and Federer/Nadal seems to grow wider every month. I can't figure out whether he's moving forwards or backwards, or if he's just been running in place this whole time:
    Forgive fans of Andy Roddick if they are unsure what to think of their man in 2007. He played well at the Australian Open until Federer embarrassed him in the semifinals. He's reached three semifinals and a final but hasn't won a title. His overall record, 22–5, is among the best in the world, but he has a losing record, 4–5, against opponents ranked no. 15 or better. Those numbers probably won't improve on clay, so it could be several months before Roddick gives us some signs about the rest of the year. Helping the U.S. win its first Davis Cup since 1995 could be his ultimate achievement.

  • Funny article by Joel Drucker in Smash magazine about the time he tried to return Roddick's serve:

  • New Babolat print ad that is lame-o.

Now About Rome. The Draw Sucks.

Some of us were having a short messageboard discussion about Roddick's Jekyll-Hyde personality, wherein he can be utterly charming one minute and then bite your head off the next, when news came in about his recent practice in Rome:
Andy Roddick slapped five with Gael Monfils and did some impromptu ball-boying for Monfils and Arnaud Clement. Roddick started his own practice session with Max Mirnyi hitting smoothly. I left thinking that he may be ready for this one. I came back an hour later to find him smashing his racquet, dropping f-bombs, and scaring the girls in the stands. Guess he’s not ready just yet.

Andy, James Blake, and Mardy Fish were drawn into the same quarter as Roger Federer. Lucky them! Whether it's the Federer or Nadal side, it really doesn't matter, it's like choosing between the noose or the knife. And even though our boys perform best on the Rome clay nobody's really giving the Americans much of a chance of seeing the quarterfinals alive, including myself.

Robby Ginepri was drawn on Nadal's side but he is already out the Rome door, getting dumped out by Daniele Bracciali in the first round. James got past a slumping Gael Monfils today but Mardy wasn't so lucky, going down in straight sets to former Roland Garros champion Gaston Gaudio. Gaudio plays Roddick next. If by chance Andy manages to perform a small miracle and beat Gaudio tomorrow, he would then face Igor Andreev. After that, it could be either Dima Tursunov or Fernando Gonzalez.

What are Andy's chances of beating Gaudio on clay? Rock, paper, scissors....

Edited May 29, 2007
Video: Roddick vs Gaudio Rome highlights

Random Funny Photo

I had my way with Photoshop a few years ago and made this:

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