Roddick Chokes as Americans Head for Exit at Wimbledon
by Staff | June 26th, 2008, 9:16 pm
  • 42 Comments

Roddick Can’t Pry Hands from Throat in Wimbledon Loss to Tipsarevic

No. 6 seed Andy Roddick and No. 9 James Blake were both upset in second-round play on Thursday at Wimbledon, making for the worst appearance by American men at the All England Club in the Open Era of pro tennis (since 1968).


Blake failed to convert a two sets to one lead over unseeded Rainer Schuettler of Germany, falling 6-4 in the fifth. Roddick admittedly choked away three set point opportunities with tentative play in the fourth set against unseeded Serb Janko Tipsarevic, losing 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6(4).

“Any chance I got I pretty much just choked it,” Roddick said. “That’s tough to deal with, and that’s not something that you really want to do. So that’s probably, that’s disappointing. It’s not an easy thing to say, but it’s pretty much what happened. I could sit here and try to dance around it all night, but you guys watched it. It was what it was. It’s like you want something so bad you almost squeeze too tight.”

Bobby Reynolds, the only American man remaining in the singles, will face No. 31 seed Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez in the third round.

Other upsets were orchestrated by Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez, who topped Spanish countryman and No. 19 seed Nicolas Almagro in five sets; former world No. 2 Tommy Haas, who gave a straight-set grass master course to No. 23 seed Tommy Robredo, and Croat Marin Cilic, who outlasted No. 24 seed Jarkko Nieminen in five sets.

Top 10-seeded winners Thursday were (2) Rafael Nadal (d. Ernests Gulbis in four) and (8) Richard Gasquet (d. French countryman Sebastien Grosjean, who retired with injury in the third). Other seeded winners on the day were (12) Andy Murray, (14) Paul-Henri Mathieu, (16) Radek Stepanek, (17) Mikhail Youzhny, (25) Dmitry Tursunov, (27) Nicolas Kiefer, and (28) Gilles Simon.

Matches to look for Friday at Wimbledon include (1) Roger Federer vs. Marc Gicquel, Mario “Baby Goran” Ancic vs. (5) David Ferrer, the Djokovic-killer Marat Safin vs. (29) Andreas Seppi, (11) Tomas Berdych vs. (22) Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, and in doubles the world No. 1 Bryan brothers vs. Russians Igor Kunitsyn/Dmitry Tursunov.

Sharapova X-ed Off the Tennis Fashion Runway by Unknown Russian at Wimbledon

The “tuxedo shirt” and shorts went on the shelf and a slew of sponsors hit the pubs Thursday at Wimbledon when money machine and self-described “global brand” Maria Sharapova was stomped in straight sets by unknown Russian Alla Kudryavtseva 6-2, 6-4.

“I guess it wasn’t my day,” Sharapova said. “She just did everything better than I did. You know, she played much better. She hit the ball harder. She served and returned better. On grass, you know those are two important elements. Once you don’t have a lot on the ball then your opponent can take advantage of that. Obviously she had nothing to lose. She went for her shots. I was just pretty tentative.”

While Sharapova played tentative and waited for her opponent to bow down before her, Kudryavtseva would have none of it, and came out swinging.

“Maybe it will sound a little too much for me, but I did expect to win,” Kudryavtseva said. “I did think about winning, not just going and playing. And the way I warmed up, I was trying my best shots. Actually, everything worked. So I was like, ‘Well, I’m in a good shape, and she doesn’t play her best tennis at the moment.’ So, yeah, I was thinking about winning.”

Also fueling Kudryavtseva’s fire was the fact she wasn’t a big fan of the tuxedo outfit, or the stand-offishness of Sharapova in regard to other Russian players.

“I don’t like her outfit. Can I put it this way? I liked her outfit at the French Open, so probably that’s why. But, yeah, it’s a little too much of everything, of the same thing…she experiments, and I give her credit for that. She’s brave enough to experiment. Sometimes she has good ones, sometimes not…I think I’m quite sure no one on the tour knows her well, because she’s not a very talkative girl and not very outgoing…we were in the same team for Fed Cup, and I was there for the finals. I wasn’t playing, but I was there for the finals. She was pretty nice when she was on the team, but after that she started saying hello. That’s nice.”

Top-10 seeded winners were (2) Jelena Jankovic (d. Carla Suarez Navarro), (5) Elena Dementieva (d. Timea Bacsinszky in three), (7) Venus Williams (d. Anne Keothavong), and (9) Dinara Safina (d. Su-Wei Hsieh).

The slew of second-round upset victims Thursday also included (10) Daniela Hantuchova, beaten 6-1 in the third by Alisa Kleybanova; (13) Vera Zvonareva, outlasted in three by spicy-handed Thai Tamarine Tanasugarn; claycourter (22) Flavia Pennetta, beaten in three by Japanese veteran Ai Sugiyama; (26) Sybille Bammer, topped in three by China’s Shuai Peng; and (32) Sania Mirza, beaten 9-7 in the third by Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

No. 25 seed Lindsay Davenport withdrew from Wimbledon on Thursday hours before her match, the 32-year-old downed by a knee injury sustained while practicing a week earlier.

Matches ready for prime time Friday include (29) Amelie Mauresmo (who pulled out of the doubles Thursday citing a hip strain, uh oh, bet the house) vs. (6) Serena Williams in a meeting of former No. 1s, (1) Ana Ivanovic vs. China’s Jie Zheng, an always-tantilizing all-Russian meeting in Evgeniya Rodina vs. the off-form (8) Anna Chakvetadze, (11) Marion Bartoli vs. the fashionable American Bethanie Mattek, and Aussie Casey Dellacqua vs. head case (18) Nicole Vaidisova.

TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
At No. 154, Alla Kudryavtseva is the lowest-ranked player Maria Sharapova has ever lost to. It’s also the earliest loss for Maria Sharapova since getting bounced in the second round at the 2003 US Open by Emilie Loit…

For the first time in the Open Era, just one American man has reached the third round at Wimbledon (Bobby Reynolds)…

Rafael Nadal has won 19 straight matches. Nadal is also 14-2 at Wimbledon the last three years with both losses to you know who…

Andy Roddick suffered his earliest loss at Wimbledon…

Venus Williams hasn’t reached a tour final this year…

Roger Federer has won 61 straight on grass, 36 straight at Wimbledon…

Janko Tipsarevic is the last Serb remaining, Bobby Reynolds is the last American. Go figure…

James Blake has never won a five-setter over a non-Frenchman…

Be forewarned, NBC begins coverage on Saturday — can they do a worse job than the French?…

Weather: Good chance of rain on Friday at Wimbledon…

From ESPN: “Anna Kournikova chose not to dignify crude comments made about her by commentator and recently retired pro Justin Gimelstob with a direct response. “I’m going to take the high road,” she told reporters on a conference call Thursday when asked about Gimelstob’s lack of impulse control in a stunningly vulgar Washington, D.C. radio interview last week, in which he used several profanities to describe her…World Team Tennis suspended Gimelstob for one match without pay, and his apology is posted on the league’s Web site. “I hope my heartfelt remorse can begin to heal any wounds I have caused,” wrote Gimelstob, who also made a donation to the Women’s Sports Foundation. WTT founder Billie Jean King said she had spoken to Gimelstob and hoped all concerned could “move beyond” the incident. Tennis Channel also posted a statement that said the network had “reprimanded” Gimelstob.”…

Check out Tennis.com’s Tom Perrotta’s post on ESPN.com about how the grasscourts at Wimbledon aren’t slower, the racquets aren’t more powerful, the strings aren’t more powerful, etc…and everyone ripping him on the story’s message board. Who do you trust, guys like Marat Safin who have been playing on grass for almot 10 years and say everything has changed, or journalists who have never played high-level tennis?…

Russian boyfriend and girlfriend Igor Andreev and Maria Kirilenko are playing mixed troubles together at Wimbledon…


Also Check Out:
Safina Chokes Again as Williams Sisters Advance to Wimbledon Final
Ivanovic Out; Sharapova Test Friday at US Open
Roddick Surprises Murray, Meets Federer in Sunday Wimbledon Final
Roddick, Federer Cruise, “B”-Squad Americans Struggle at Australian Open
American Tennis Hits A New 103 Year Low At Wimbledon

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42 Comments for Roddick Chokes as Americans Head for Exit at Wimbledon

Chris Says:

Awesome wrap on the day’s action. Gimelstob got off easy. Some of the tastier quotations in here:

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2008/06/new_dc_athlete_has_a_kournikov.html

Scroll down to the comments for enlightening information on a homicidal DUI in the family from the same brother Gimelstob wants to see ‘nail’ Anna K.


TD (Tam) Says:

Andy choked so badly today I cannot remember the last time he did that, if ever. He is usually very strong mentally. It’s very sad to see because he so badly wants to win Wimbledon but I fear he wants it too much and so now he’s choking against players he should have beaten in straight sets. Such terrible luck for him. I hope he can recover from this devastating loss in time for the summer hard courts. Von, are you okay? Commisserate with me!


JCF Says:

He choked against J.Johansson at USO. I think he’s choked against Hewitt many times (definately once at the AO). Possibly Federer also. He choked against Verdasco on clay in one match. He was given Game, Set, Match but checked the line and awarded the point to Verdasco on match point (great sportsmanship)… except he ended up losing the match and looking stupid. He also choked against Acasuso at RG when he led two sets to love.

Maybe the early loss to Muller at the USO too could be argued as a choke.


fed is afraid Says:

so, look how many times roger chokes against nadal. if the “great one” can choke, why can’t andy?


Shital Green Says:

Jane, Von, Sean, Dan, Sardine, Ra, and, all others who have been nice to me here,

I did not want to disappear like Zola. I will be gone for sometime. I will be on my vacation from tomorrow morning. I will not be posting anything while I am in San Diego. I cannot promise but will try to drop a line or two during semis and finals. I will be missing you, guys.
Take care,


jane Says:

Bon Voyage Shital – look forward to your return.


Vulcan Says:

Seems like the word choke is being overused here.
The scoreline does not indicate a classic choke. Roddick may have gotten tight on some key points but the classic choke is when your’e way ahead in a match and you have a mental meltdown and can’t put your opponent away. That is not what happened. Tipsarevic was in control the entire match and DID put Roddick away.


jane Says:

Vulcan,

I agree that it wasn’t a “choke” in the way that word is typically used – squandering a lead. As you say, Roddick tightened up in key moments and made costly errors. He was never ahead and then totally blew it. Although I am not sure Tipsy was “in control” the enitre match, after that break in the second set he definitely had momentum.


Skorocel Says:

To JCF:

Why should A-Rod look “stupid” for overruling a winning matchpoint in opponent’s favor? Don’t know about you, but in my opinion, what he did was nothing but commendable… Better to lose fair and square than to win following a wrong baseline call (or something like that), isn’t it? There’s just no shame in losing like that…


Jack Says:

Roddick says he choked and we still have people saying he did not? Maybe you guys can even convince him he has a career slam already and he is the best all-courter ever? That was a choke job if ever there was one.

Federer chokes against nadal on clay. nadal choked in last year’s wimbledon final, and 05 miami final and Djokovic choked in last year’s us open final. EVERY person chokes when placed under the microscope for as long as a duration as pro-athletes are under. No shame in accepting Roddick choked.

Infact I would say even Djokovic choked the day before. He was a legit threat to both nadal and federer and just raised the stakes higher for himself by trash-talking federer and safin brought his big-game, djokovic stank up the joint. When last did a Grandslam champion and potential great like djokovic serve 10 double faults in 3 sets?


Jack Says:

Skorocel:

Maybe you can read properly before your comment? JCF said “Roddick lost the match “and ended up looking stupid”. not that his overturning the call was stupid.


Vulcan Says:

Sorry, but just because Roddick says he choked that doesnt mean that that is what really happened according to the conventional definition of the word. As Jane said that definition involves squandering a lead. And more importantly it is squandering a lead due to a sudden mental block which usually occurs because someone is overwhelmed by the realization of what it is they are about to accomplish. This is also why the word is usually applied to the situation where a lower ranked player is about to upset a much higher ranked player but cannot pull of the upsed due to a sudden mental block which causes their game to head south. I think the proper description of what happened is that he got tight on a few key points which is much more common.


Kroll Says:

Vulcan
Spot on. Its inappropriate for us to be literal here (as Roddick was being), the connotations are what matter. There is a difference between squandering a point and squandering a lead. Matches are often won on a few key points, which does not imply a choke from the opponent. I personally thought it was a well fought match, it didnt really seem that Tipsy was in control or that Roddick choked. He played rubbish in key points which settled the match. Besides the third round match of a tourney he has the final of hardly sets the stage for a choke does it?


Alex Says:

Roddick chocked or not, I think Tipsy deserve some credit for playing well and his fighting spirit.


I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

headline we will never see on tennis-x

“Federer wins again, boredom restored”


jane Says:

Alex,

I agree that Tipsy deserves credit; that rolling stab dive he made was pretty cool. He played well. So did Andy, except for some bad errors when it mattered. It was a good match.


Von Says:

Roddick played a good match except for his inability to convert at the appropriate times, especially in the first set, thus taking it to a tiebreak. In the second set he became agitated by something Tipsy was doing, lost his concentration, made two wild forehand shots and got broken. After that it was all downhill in the third set even though he held serve for most of that set. In the 4th set he held serve, but again could not convert on his chances to break Tipsy, and again made some wild forehand errors. The tie-break was as usual, sudden death, which he lost. This set could have gone either way, but Tipsy won.

Tipsy should be commended for holding his own and playing a good match. He showed mental toughness on the crucial points, thus capitalizing on his window of opportuity.

I’d call a choke similarly to what Soderling did in the 3rd set in his match with Federer. He was up 5-2, got broken and just choked the set away. Another occasion of a choke was manifested in the match with Fed v. Hidalgo Ramirez, who choked away his 5-1 lead.

Maybe Roddick choked, but I don’t see it that way. He got nervous on some crucial points which began with his agitation at Tipsy and Tipsy’s camp. Maybe too, his lack of match play could have been another reason he was rusty and did not play as well as he should have. He alone knows the answer. I’m just sorry that he didn’t or couldn’t go deeper into the tournament.

____________
Jack:

You need to stop reprimanding people for their statments. You’re having a field day on the other threads and are doing exactly that which you accuse others of doing. Your abusive statements are uncalled for.


Alex Says:

Jane,

Yes it is. It’s a enjoyable match to watch(maybe except the fact that the losing player’s fans would like their player to win it). Now just hope Tipsy and Safin goes further in this tournament.


I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

so, look how many times roger chokes against nadal. if the “great one” can choke, why can’t andy?
———-

shush now. “the great one” only loses because of mono. He’s had it since 2005.


Alex Says:

Von:
“In the second set he became agitated by something Tipsy was doing, lost his concentration”

Was it that the wind was too strong at the moment and tipsy waited a while b4 resumed his serving? That’s what I thought though I am not sure but it’s clear that Roddick was agitated a little at that moment.


Von Says:

Alex:

“Was it that the wind was too strong at the moment and tipsy waited a while b4 resumed his serving?”

I’m not sure as to what the problem was, to be precise, but it concerned something which Roddick felt Tipsy was doing, which aggravated Roddick. Andy also complained to the umpire, who probably did not feel any type of action was necessary. Roddick is not one to calm down after such problems — he implodes to his detriment, thus causing his mental lapses and his inability to get back on course. He’s almost Safin-like in his self-destructive behavior which causes the implosion. A very bad trait, albeit it’s his disposition, but one which needs some serious soul searching and remedial action.


sardino Says:

Shital: Have a WONDERFUL vacation. You deserve it.

Dear All
Poor Andy. I felt really sorry for him. He was at set point and couldn’t convert. He will be beating himself up about this for a long time. As for Roddick’s complaints, another forum mentioned he was complaining about Tipsy’s grunting. I didn’t think it was that bad.

The Brit press is calling Tipsy a“bizarre-looking intellectual” who was a “strange sight in his dark-rimmed glasses, black beard, and nose strip.”

He sort of reminds me of the Peter Sellers character in Lolita called Clare Quilty.


Von Says:

I was comedic in a post on a prior thread in which I stated that Tipsy was pretty scary when he opened his eyes ever so widely. Additionally, when he did that, especially when he converted and broke Roddick. His wide-eyed pleasure and countenance, coupled with his dark-framed glasses made him appear menacing — it was a very weird facial expression.


jane Says:

Rising old stars!? Hewitt, Ancic, Safin. It’s kinda cool.


jane Says:

Well Ancic and Safin aren’t though yet so maybe counting my eggs too soon…but even so.


Rafa Rocks Says:

An all time classic choke job by Roddick. That 2nd serve return on set-point was so sissy-like. He made Jankovic or any other choke-stars from the WTA look like mental giants.

Good for him he ducked out before the semi-finals. Otherwise, Rafa would have humiliated him like he did to Federer at Paris. Federer and Roddick should get mental strength classes from Rafa.

Vamos Rafa!


jane Says:

Safin and Ancic are through – very very awesome! Keep going guys!


Alex Says:

The Safin Seppi match was awesome! Go Safin go!


Rafa Rocks Says:

Roddick says he choked and there are a couple of morons trying to explain he did not? That would have been so funny if it were not downright foolish. Stupidity has no limits.


Von Says:

Wow, what a great tennis day. Good job by Safin and Ancic; Ancic being one of my secret dark horse picks. Today both guys proved that it’s not about grinding out the match but by using talent and finesse they can ovewrride the beat-the-point to-the-death strategy of the grinders.

Safin has demonstrated more patience in this tournament, which has proven to be very rewarding. I’m very happy for him. Watching him play made me realize how much I’ve missed his past dominating presence on court. He’s such an imposing figure whose game is so beatiful to watch. One other strategy that he has incorporated into his game successfully but which he dislikes, is that of getting up to the net, and one which is paying great dividends. I would love to see him make a good run here and to prove his critics wrong. As one poster so aptly put it: “A guy can dream can’t he?”, well I’ll say, a gal can dream can’t she?

Ancic’s net play was awesome. He made an unsuccessful dive at net, but it was just great to see him make the effort. I would also like to see him go through to the SFs. He has suffered so much from his mono bout plus injuries, that in some way I think he deserves to attain some good results and to take back control of his tennis career..


JCF Says:

“To JCF:

Why should A-Rod look “stupid” for overruling a winning matchpoint in opponent’s favor? Don’t know about you, but in my opinion, what he did was nothing but commendable… Better to lose fair and square than to win following a wrong baseline call (or something like that), isn’t it? There’s just no shame in losing like that…”

I agree Skorecel. He had a straight sets win in the bag. He let the guy have the point (he didn’t have to) probably because he was confident that he still would have won anyway. But to let that kind of lead slip… and then lose in the third set, imo is a bit embarassing. I think he had 0-40 on Verdasco’s serve, and already had a break. Verdasco was given the point, then managed to hold, break, hold, break, and then win the third set where Andy just seemed to have gone away.


I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

tipsarevic’s grunting was very loud and he would do it on certain points so as to upset his opponents rhythm..those serbs are known for gamesmanship including the new IT girl ana – squeaky shoes- ivanovic


Von Says:

I’m amazed at the name calling by some of these posters who can only express themselves by so doing. I hope it is rewarding to all of you.

This type of behavior is a classic exapmle of why I make comparisons about other players. When I see the statements that emanate from fans of other players, making crude remarks about another player, it awakens a desire to speak out about the gross injustice that I see exhibited, and this causes problems. Isn’t there a happy medium instead of the tunnel vision? There should be objectivity not subjectivity.


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

I should have responded to you earlier but got caught up with other comments.

You state you saw Roddick and Blake play like garbage which caused them to stink like garbage. Sean, there are many times that I have seen your persistent bias exhibited towards selective players with a certain amount of ferocity in your statements, while you let others off the hook with a much milder form of chastisement. I don’t know how you look at it but in my mind it’s selective injustice and unfair bias. However, you’re entitled to your opinions.

This year, we’ve seen so many upsets and garbage style playing from those selctive players you like, and whose match play can only be described as garbage. However, I’ve not seem you employ the use of the same cruel headlines as those you attach to the players against whom you’re biased. Perhaps a reality check would be in order.


matt Says:

Only Federer and Nadal still alive among the top-8 players in the world, and we are only in the 2º/3º round.

Definitely grass is different. It is different from clay and different from hardcourt.

You can still play great on it playing serve-and-volley, as Haas, Ancic and Stepanek are doing this year.

Btw, Verdasco played great today, I’m impressed. This guy is very talented, I don’t know why he has never made anything big.

The tournament is getting quite interesting. Federer will be in the final, but we still don’t know who will get there from the botton-half of the draw.

I say again that Nadal will probably not be there.


matt Says:

I ask everyone: what two players will be in the Final?


Sean Randall Says:

Von, selective bias? Who have I not criticized? Federer? Nadal? I’ve taken plenty of shots at them.

As for Roddick, Blake AND Maria, they deserve it. They played like garbage. They underachieved in their matches. And they know it. Roddick is capable of playing much better. Blake was absolutely in control against a guy he should never lose to, but he did. And Maria, as a former champion and major title contender you can’t go out that way to the 22nd ranked Russian. That the real reality and I’d bet those three players would agree.


Von Says:

Sean Randall:

“Von, selective bias? Who have I not criticized? Federer? Nadal? I’ve taken plenty of shots at them.”

Yes, you have criticized them but not with the same severity and harshness as you’ve done with Roddick and Blake. I mentioned the following in my post to you, which expresses my concern, viz:

“Sean, there are many times that I have seen your persistent bias exhibited towards selective players with a certain amount of ferocity in your statements, while you let others off the hook with a much milder form of chastisement.”

I’m just concerned with the harsh manner the headlines and comments are worded. However, you have the tight to your opinions and to write as you see fit.


Von Says:

Sorry typo, last para. 2nd line, ‘tight” s/b “right”.


Chris Says:

“Yes, you have criticized them but not with the same severity and harshness as you’ve done with Roddick and Blake.”

He hasn’t? They’re better, that’s why. Not just better — they achieve more. In fact, there’s actually less to criticize. Most specifically, when it comes to this moment, right now, Sean’s right. They all played like garbage.


TD (Tam) Says:

Von, well said. It’s no secret that Sean/tennis-x play favorites and the American players are their LEAST favorite while letting their boy Federer off the hook so often. Their bias is so infuriating. Look at their front page polls. When was the last time it wasn’t about Federer?

matt: “I ask everyone: what two players will be in the Final?”

matt, it looks like another Roger/Raffa final (yawn) is in the works. As for the women I’d like to see Safina or Jankovic.


jane Says:

TD – Peer knocked out Safina today unfortunately – I prefer the latter. Don’t know what kind of harbinger this is for Safin, hopefully not any kind at all.

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