During an interview yesterday on PTI, Andy Roddick virtually confirmed that should his ranking ever slip to No. 15 or lower he would retire. Well, after losing last night in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 to Gilles Simon in Washington, Roddick has moved within striking distance of that ranking and of retirement.
The loss by the three-time D.C. champ will push Roddick outside the Top 10 in the rankings on Monday for the first time in four years. And it puts some serious doubt in his US Open hopes and adds concerns about his health.
“It was just a bad night. I really don’t have much of a defence for it,” Roddick told the media afterward. “I really don’t feel you can defend it.
“I didn’t feel right physically, I didn’t feel right mentally. It was just a pretty bad effort.
“I’m a little concerned about that. Feeling lethargic and not all there energy-wise, that’s not fun for me. I don’t enjoy nights like tonight.
“It could be something simple, maybe a vitamin deficiency. I promise you I’m going to figure this out before I do that again. That’s not what I built my reputation around.
“There is a reason that I haven’t been playing a lot. It’s because I’ve been playing like crap. I felt I didn’t do one thing right tonight. I honestly don’t think it would have mattered who I played.”
No energy? A vitamin deficiency? You would have lost to anyone tonight? Those aren’t confident statements just a few weeks before the US Open, and on the eve of consecutive Masters tennis events in Toronto and Cincinnati.
Let’s hope it is just a purple patch for Andy and not some internal, physical ailment (yes, the “M” word came to mind). Whatever the issue is with Roddick – health, strategy, married to an SI swimsuit model, etc. – he needs to address it promptly.
Since his Miami title Roddick is just 9-5 with those losses all coming to players outside the Top 45.
For Simon, who had never won a set in two previous meetings with Roddick, it sounded like an easy night.
“I managed to return his serve today,” said Simon who out-aced Roddick seven to three. “When he decided to wait (and play from the baseline), I was more consistent than him.
“And when he decided to attack and be more aggressive, he made some mistakes.”
Roddick wasn’t the only American casualty on a tumultuous Thursday. John Isner lost his second straight third set tiebreaker to Xavier Malisse. Mardy Fish was trumped by Marin Cilic 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 and Fernando Verdasco ended the Cinderella run of Ryan Sweeting, 6-4, 7-5.
The American exodus leaves no Yanks in today’s Washington quarterfinals for the first time in tournament histry, and with Roddick’s impeding ranking slide there will likely be zero US men in the ATP Top 10 come Monday in the first time in forever.
And the international players are eating it up.
David Nalbandian is looking like a world beater after a 6-1, 6-0 win over Marco Chiudinelli. The Argentine has lost just nine games in three matches this week. Scary.
Top seed Tomas Berdych fought through Andre Golubev 7-5 in the third set and Janko Tipsarevic and Marcos Baghdatis were also winners.
That leaves today’s American-less quarterfinals as Berdych v. Malisse, Verdasco v. Baghdatis, Nalbandian v. Simon and Tipsarevic v. Cilic.
Matches are scheduled to be televised live on ESPN2 at noon and 7pm. I believe the Tennis Channel will air the other two quarterfinals plus matches from WTA San Diego.
FRIDAY WASHINGTON SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 12:00 noon
 T Berdych (CZE) vs X Malisse (BEL)
Not Before 2:15 PM
 [WC] F Verdasco (ESP) vs  M Baghdatis (CYP)
R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) vs  B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA)
Not Before 7:00 PM
[WC] D Nalbandian (ARG) vs  G Simon (FRA)
Not Before 9:15 PM
J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs  M Cilic (CRO)
GRANDSTAND not before 4:30 PM
 J Knowle (AUT) / A Ram (ISR) vs M Baghdatis (CYP) / S Wawrinka (SUI) – After Suitable Rest
M Fish (USA) / M Knowles (BAH) vs S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS)
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