Andy Roddick’s straight sets win over 84th-ranked Bjorn Phau of Germany ended at 12:45 am on Tuesday morning, and the 2003 US Open champion loved every minute of it.
Roddick would still prefer the US Tennis Association to occasionally put the men’s match on court before the women’s match during the Grand Slam tournament’s evening sessions.
“It’s all part of it. Kind of the crazies that stay till 1 in the morning there’s something fun about that,” Roddick said after winning his first-round match.
Because of an opening-night ceremony featuring Andre Agassi, followed by a victory by Venus Williams that lasted more than 2 1/2 hours, Roddick was forced to wait until after 11 pm on Monday night to get on court in Arthur Ashe Stadium for the last match on the schedule. He then made quick work of Phau, beating him 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.
Pounding serves at up to 145 mph (233 kph), Roddick finished with 13 aces. He put 81 percent of his first serves in.
The stands were less than half-full by the end. Those fans that stayed were loud, though, supporting the highest-seeded American.
“It’s just unique. You play in all sorts of atmospheres. There’s not as many people, but the ones that are there sure are vocal-slash-drunk,” Roddick said.
“I guarantee half the people out there were probably here all day, too. They have to be pretty passionate and really enjoy what they’re seeing and the whole experience of it,” he added. “It’s 1 in the morning. I guarantee you, they all have to work tomorrow. They certainly have to get up earlier than I do.”
The USTA has said it is planning to have a men’s match precede the women’s for one or two night sessions during this US Open.