Monday, June 29, 2009

Andy Roddick's Beast of Burden

I hate to say it but I'm having a hard time getting into Wimbledon this year, partly due to Rafael Nadal having to withdraw. Whether you're a fan of his or not for a slam to not have its defending champion play at all is a big loss. I've been watching some of the matches with one eye open but I've mostly been distracted by the Iranian election protests, and then on Thursday two 80s icons, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, died. Talk about a punch to the stomach. When the news of Jackson's death hit the internet I was feeling rather discombobulated about it all. I was surprised how much his death had affected me.

I'm not surprised that Jackson's death affected the tennis players, many of whom were born around the time Jackson ruled the airwaves (and MTV back when they used to play music videos):

Andy Roddick via Twitter:
oh my lord..... michael jackson died........ RIP sad and surreal

regardless of what u think of him he was completely revolutionary and will be missed

@mrbobbybones yeah absolutely this is a worldwide thing ... goes without saying. its continuin coverage on all major newsfeeds here
2:16 AM Jun 26th from web

Roger Federer said this:
Q. Where were you and what were your immediate thoughts when you heard the news that Michael Jackson had died?

ROGER FEDERER: I was at the house late last night. Obviously, you know, I love his music. It wasn't clear, you know, what had happened, you know. So I waited for sort of to see what's gonna happen and the confirmation.

Sure, a very sad moment I think in the music world. You know, he touched many people. Same for me. But I'll obviously still listen to his music for many more years to come.

Q. What do you consider the aspect that you appreciate the most of his performances?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I remember, I don't know, back maybe in '88 or '89, he came to Basel. I was outside of the stadium, because there was such excitement that he would come. I was still very young. I think I went there with my sister, and we just listened from the outside, you know.

Yeah, always listened to his music. And, yeah, it's sad. You know, it really is.

And Serena Williams paid her respects to the King of Pop:
Q. What did Michael Jackson mean to you personally? Would you think about dedicating today's victory perhaps?

SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I mean, he was a great guy, a complete icon. Words can't express my shock and horror, you know, just thoughts and prayers that go out to him and his family and just everything. It's just terrible, terrible, terrible thing.

I'm surprised nobody has elicited a response from Novak Djokovic about Jackson's death because Novak did a great dance routine of "Thriller" at the Monte Carlo party this year:



As for Farrah, my sister and I used to watch "Charlie's Angels" all the time. We had the dolls, the hideaway house, the Farrah bust where you could style her famous hair and put on her makeup. We could never get the hair to look like the real-life Farrah's. Many people hated that show but to little girls like us, Charlie's Angles' were the original Girl Power supergroup. RIP to both Ms. Fawcett and Mr. Jackson.

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Getting back to the tennis, with regards to this blog post's title, ESPN aired a nice profile of Andy's trials and tribulations of living in the Federer-Nadal era. Watch it here. And good luck to Andy today, I hope he can beat Tomas Berdych in straight sets.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Andy visits with Jonathan Ross, hilarity ensues

Andy Roddick did a radio interview with Jonathan Ross today. It'll be available for six days. The intro for Andy begins around 2:09:55. Andy himself finally shows up somewhere around 2:40:30.

You can also download the .mp3 file here, thanks to Freedom Fly for the file!

Jonathan Ross LOL: "I don't have time to watch tennis it's on for bloody hours."

Monday, June 01, 2009

American Clay Monster

Updated June 2, 2009

R16: Monfils def Roddick 6-4, 6-2, 6-3

"The Parisian crowd is quite stupid." — Toni Nadal, Rafa's uncle and coach.

Yeah, that's about right.

Congrats to Gael Monfils for jumping around like a goon and inciting the partisan crowd after breaking Andy in the third set when you were up two sets to love and in no danger of losing, that was real classy; congrats to the French Tennis Federation for their court judgement and biased scheduling, you got what you wanted, one of your home boys into the quarterfinals; and congrats to the tournament director who wouldn't call the match as it got dark even though they did it for Fabrice Santoro in the first round when he played Christophe Rochus when Rochus had only one game left to serve out.

Congrats to Andy on his best showing yet at the French Open and for behaving quite well considering the odds you were up against that day. Onwards now to playing real tennis on grass.

"Clay is for Mars." — Janko Tipsarevic



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R128: Roddick def Jouan 6-2, 6-4, 6-2
R64: Roddick def Minar 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(2)
R32: Roddick def Gicquel 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
"It's amazing, because you never hear the story of a clay court specialist, why don't you prepare and play better on grass? I've never once read that story in my life." —Andy Roddick

Once again Andy Roddick is the last American male standing at a grand slam, and frankly it's about time he lived up to his seeding and to his potential at Roland Garros. I've always felt that he's a better player on clay than people say he is. He has underperformed at the French, be it bad luck with injuries or (mostly) the lack of belief that permeates most of the American men's thinking. Finally, Andy has risen above all that and he fights today for a place in the quarterfinals, which would be his best showing at Roland Garros ever in his career. He has not dropped serve or a set yet.

You can watch Andy's completed matches and highlights here (U.S. residents only, I think). I found a livestream of Andy's match with Monfils here.

Here's Andy's interview with the Tennis Channel after his third round match.



Related news items:
• "Roddick keeps going and going and …?" [ESPN]
• "Roddick Sculptures Another Win in Paris" [New York Times]
• "Roddick Breaks Through to Fourth Round" [New York Times French Open blog]
• "Roddick's rebuilding finally makes him a threat on clay" [Yahoo! sports blog]
• "Improved Roddick putting on show at French Open" [Matt Cronin, Fox Sports]

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