Well this isn’t the start that either Andy Roddick or the Western and Southern Open wanted.
What could have turned into a nice kickoff for Roddick’s summer hardcourt season in front of an eager crowd of fans down at the combined Cincinnati event soon turned into an ugly and kind of sad incident when after splitting sets with his opponent Philipp Kohlschreiber, Roddick, serving at 30-all in the second game of the third set, offered a double fault giving the German a break point chance at 30-40. But either out of frustration, a lack of judgment or just plan stupidity, Roddick got angry and smashed a ball almost out of the stadium. And since Roddick had earned a warning earlier in the match for racquet abuse, umpire Carlos Bernardes had no choice but to give Roddick a point penalty for what Roddick tried to explain as a “lob” but that was clearly an action that violated ATP rules.
Kohlschreiber got the break and the game for a 2-0 lead and after that the match and the night went all downhill as Roddick proceeded to berate the umpire for the rest of the evening about the call. Kohlschreiber went on to win 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-1 in a result that will see Roddick drop out of the top 20 by next Monday. Later in his press conference, Roddick appeared contrite about how the whole mess and admitted he had put Bernardes in a “bad situation” but then in the same breath wondered aloud why an umpire should be allowed to interject himself into a match at that point.
Roddick, who was just returning to action after dealing with an abdominal injury, may end up not facing any huge fallout since this latest outburst from him happened in a first round match instead of at say the U.S. Open where even more eyes and media would be trained on him. Still, this latest appearance of what I call Roddick’s “grumpy old man” routine may end up being the last straw for American tennis fans and even diehard Roddick supporters who continue to complain that that this side of Roddick’s personality is something that they just don’t want to see anymore. It’s no surprise that Roddick is reaching the end of his career and so far it’s not turning out the way he probably wished it would. Even if Roddick says a few mea culpas tonight and tomorrow, it wouldn’t surprise me if we see a few more of these angry outbursts before it’s all said and done for the former No. 1.
Roddick will now try and get some matches in next week at the Winston-Salem Open. Below is brief clip of his press conference.