Andy Roddick exits Aust. Open in quarters
Andy Roddick ended a tumultuous run at the Australian Open after a week that included a tumble, some verbal scuffles with on-court officials and finally playing with a shoulder injury on Tuesday before losing in five sets.sports Updated: Jan 26, 2010 22:29 IST
Andy Roddick ended a tumultuous run at the Australian Open after a week that included a tumble, some verbal scuffles with on-court officials and finally playing with a shoulder injury Tuesday before losing in five sets. The only good news for Roddick is that_ so far _ he hasn't been fined for berating a chair umpire during what he has since referred to as an "episode" in the second round.
The No. 7-seeded Roddick endured pain that began in the first set of his quarterfinal and lost 7-6 (4), 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3 to Marin Cilic of Croatia.
His loss extended a six-year drought for American men at the majors. Roddick was the last American man to win a Grand Slam singles trophy at the 2003 U.S. Open.
"By the end of the first set, I was pretty numb in the bottom two fingers," Roddick said. "I could still hit pretty hard, I was just having trouble controlling it."
Roddick sought medical treatment on his right shoulder after the first-set tiebreaker and needed more attention while losing the second set, but played on after the trainer told him there wasn't a high risk of permanent damage. He rallied to win the next two sets and force a fifth set before fading when Cilic's serving improved in the decider.
He said he wasn't concerned about serious injury. "I'm sure we'll take the proper precautions and check it out," he said. "But at this point I'm not real, real scared about it." Roddick was gracious about praising the 21-year-old Cilic, who ousted U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in the fourth round and became the first Croatian man to reach an Australian Open semifinal.
"He's definitely composed," Roddick said. "He was the same after he lost two sets, as when he won two sets." "He just goes about his business, does it the right way, and seems like a very hard worker," Roddick added. "Unlike a lot of the young guys who are very emotionally up and down, he doesn't beat on his chest. He stays the course, he's very deliberate, he hits the ball very well."
Now 27, Roddick speaks at times with the tones of an elder statesman about the game and other players. Other times, he has John McEnroe-style meltdowns over line calls.
In his first-round match against Thiemo de Bakker, Roddick tripped over the foot of a line judge and took a tumble. He then stood up and reproached the judge: "Move out of the way when you see a player coming!"
In his post-match news conference he said he was unhurt _ but was still steamed about it: "I ran into one of those immovable objects called a referee," he said. "Normally they see a player running full speed, they decide to at least move _ or catch the player." Then came the second round. Take two. Roddick hurled a pair of profanities at the chair umpire but later acknowledged that he wasn't "100 percent right."
The call in question denied Roddick the win on his first match point. It was ruled out but challenged and determined to be in _ the point went to his opponent, Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, and Roddick got angry that he was deprived a crack at it.
He went on to win, but confronted the chair umpire on his way out.
"I'm standing there with my racket back _ don't you think I'm going to ... hit it?" Roddick shouted, adding a second profanity at the end. "It's not your job to predict if I'm going to hit it. It's your job to decide if I could hit it."
He walked off the court without shaking the umpire's hand, then reviewed the incident on video and decided, "I was more wrong than I thought."
After Roddick's third-round win over Feliciano Lopez, he was asked about how he strikes a balance between playing with passion and anger management.
"Overall, I'd say I've definitely learned the balance," Roddick said. "Obviously, some things change in the heat of the moment."