With so much to see and do, it’s not hard to have fun in Washington. Just ask Andy Roddick, who went to The White House yesterday and got a tour of the East Wing.
For the uninitiated, this is essentially a small step up from the public tour. It’s arranged by The White House Visitor’s Office, and he and his companions are walked around privately, rather than with the tourista masses.
For what it’s worth, I’m seriously surprised that Roddick hadn’t been to The White House before given that he’s been to D.C. quite a few times, and his former management company (who also runs the Legg Mason Tennis Classic) is based here. In fact, he should have received an invitation from former President George W. Bush in ’03 after he won the U.S. Open. Not to mention the fact that he’s on the President’s Physical Fitness Council…. Hey, what the what?!
But Andy had a dandy time anyway, and Twittered, “this is beyond cool!!!” and, “Just met the president’s dog! So cute.”
Um, well, yeah. He’s a dog (?!). Did you toss tennis balls to him?? No? Oh, maybe that’s because they turned The White House tennis court into a basketball court. Besides which, it’s over in the West Wing (i.e., where Roddick didn’t go).
Maybe the lesson for Roddick is that you shouldn’t visit on the President’s birthday. Then again, if Roddick had won Wimbledon he would have seen the Oval Office, met Barack Obama and many tennis-loving top politicos, and even enjoyed a birthday cupcake with the President and Helen Thomas. Maybe even some birthday cake or even a piece o’ pecan pie.
Heck. Birthday or not, it’s a safe bet that Roger Federer would have gotten the old grip ‘n grin. Probably some pie too.
Well, Mr. Roddick had better things to do with his day. Later on he appeared on ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption, where he answered yet more questions about his tragic loss to Federer in London last month. (Jeez, can we let the guy move on already?)
Meanwhile, back on the grounds of the tournament, Germany’s big-serving yet totally unpredictable Benjamin Becker was busy taking out American Robby Ginepri, to create a match-up with Roddick tonight in the stadium. Becker was joined by two of his (also struggling) countrymen, Tommy Haas and Rainer Schuettler, to advance. If you follow my Tweets (shameless, simply shameless), you’d also know that the big dubs match-up in the Grand Stand, featuring Fernando Gonzalez and Tommy Robredo over Americans John Isner and Sam Querrey was packed to capacity and beyond. Gonzo and Tommy managed to pull a come-from-behind win, proving that old dudes do still rule over young toughs. But, no matter. Folks in the stadium were quite content to watch Somdev Devvarman axe sixth seeded Marin Cilic in straights (5 and 4), and a suspenseful match-up between Haas and Frank Dancevic.
More great matches on tap for today, including Spaniard y Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero vs. Robredo; plus Gonzales, Hewitt, Karlovic, all in their opening play singles action. Plus, for those who can stay late, Jo-Wilifred Tsonga vs. Isner and Robin Soderling vs. Mikhail Youzhny should be well worth the red-eyes tomorrow (OOP in pdf). Tickets are still available.
Speaking of tickets. For grins, I stopped by the Lacoste store on M St. to check out how the Roddick ticket give-away was going. There was a healthy and well organized line, with a few people also walking out with shopping bags to boot. Well done all around.
I leave you with a player spotting tip o’ the day: The Metro Connection bus runs from Rosslyn to Georgetown and Dupont. Quite a few of the guys don’t mind a good steak. Like, say, at, um, Morton’s. The more adventurous have heard that the J&G Steakhouse in the W Hotel Downtown is pretty decent.
Insider tip from YT: If you go up to the bar on the top floor, you get one of the best views in town.
Also Check Out:
Legg Mason: Roddick’s Giving Away Tickets
The Whack Mile
Querrey, Bryans Meet President Obama at the White House [Video]
ATP Tennis Rolls Into D.C. For the Legg Mason
Quickie Blog: Live From Legg Mason