The only thing surprising about Andy Roddick’s loss yesterday to Fabrice Santoro in Lyon was that Roddick even showed up to play in the match.
Roddick has said that one of his goals in his career was to win the Davis cup. With the final against Russia just six weeks or so away it’s a wonder why Roddick even bothered going to France in the first place. I’m not saying his loss to Santoro yesterday was a tank job, but the defeat is not going to keep him up late at night. (Credit to Santoro. How old is that guy!!)
Let’s face it, Roddick has little to gain by playing this time of year in Europe. Unlike his countryman James Blake, Roddick doesn’t need any additional points right now that are available by playing in Madrid, Lyon, or Paris – Roddick has already qualified for Shanghai, and he usually does most of his damage at the Slams, where the most points are. Plus. isn’t he battling some sort of heel ailment? And Andy hasn’t enjoyed the greatest success in France recently. In fact, by my count Roddick’s last three first round losses have all come in France.
So in a backward kind of way credit to him for even playing in Lyon (I’m guessing he had some sort of contractual obligation to play. That is, big bucks at stake!).
In my mind Roddick is best served by simply staying at home, sitting on the couch or on the boat and watching NFL, college football and the World Series while resting for Shanghai and the D-Cup final. That said, I would be surprised if he remained in Europe another week to play in the Paris event.
Regarding Paris, it will be interesting to see just how many top players do attend after last year’s debacle when five of the top 6 players withdrew. So, will there be another exodus?
If Roger Federer reaches the final in Basel I wonder if he’ll play in Paris after two full weeks of competition. Not to dampen Fed fans in Paris, but when was the last time Federer played three straight weeks on the Tour?
Novak Djokovic and Nikolay Davydenko I think will play, as will guys like James Blake, Tommy Haas and Thomas Berdych, who are all in the Shanghai chase, but Rafael Nadal is always a question mark with his injuries.
And I have to mention Olivier Rochus who was really up against it today vs. Mardy Fish in Lyon. Rochus brushed aside 43 aces and six match points from Fish to beat the American 17-15 in a third set tiebreak. Wow! Great job by the little guy!
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