Blame it on the mono. Blame it on the line judges. Blame it on the strong play of Janko Tipsarevic. No matter where you lay the blame it doesn’t change the fact that Andy Roddick is already out of America’s biggest tennis event, the US Open.
After a five-day vacation I got home last night just in time to witness Roddick suffer one of his earliest exits ever at his home event where he won way back in 2003.
I thought Roddick hit through the ball with a little more might than we’ve seen from him this summer, but it still was no where near enough. The feisty, fearless Tipsarevic was just too strong and aggressive in the end posting a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6(4) stunner.
“He played very high-risk and executed for four sets,” Roddick said “I kept telling myself, ‘You know, this has to have an expiration date on it.’ Unfortunately, I needed another set for that.”
Tipsarevic blasted 66 winners including 16 aces, one short of Roddick’ 17.
“People say that he was much more dangerous when he was young because he was really going for the forehand every chance that he had,” said Tipsarevic.
“Now I just don’t see that. He’s a kind of player that you need to beat. Let’s just say, in my opinion, he’s going to wait for the mistake of the opponent rather than go for a big shot.”
Waiting for the mistake? Is that Roddick’s new gameplan?
Troubling for Roddick is his last six losses have come to players outside the Top 30.
And the defeat comes on the heels of a disappointing third round loss last year to John Isner.
In perhaps a telling sign of things to come, Roddick threw four of his Babolat racquets into the crowd. I wonder when we’ll next see Roddick on the court.
Tipsarevic now advances to a Saturday matchup against my man Gael Monfils who celebrated his 24th birthday with a 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Igor Andreev.
Another Wimbledon finalist, Tomas Berdych, bit the dust Wednesday meekly going out to Michael Llodra in straight sets. Also in heat today, Sam Querrey beat up on NCAA champ Bradley “The Wrath of” Klahn 6-3, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.
No. 4 seed Andy Murray looked good in a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 breezer over Lukas Lacko.
Said Murray, the 2008 US Open finalist, “It wasn’t necessarily the best tennis, but tricky conditions out there. It was very windy on the court. It was a guy I’ve never played against on the tour. I haven’t really seen much of him play, so took a little time to get used to his game. But I did enough to win in straight sets, and that was the most important thing.”
Some say Ryan Harrison is next American star and today the 18-year-old lived up to the hype (for now) after he pocketed his biggest career win with a four-set victory over Ivan Ljubicic. And what’s encouraging is Harrison sounds like he’s ready to take that lead.
“Absolutely I want to be that guy,” Harrison said. “I have a ways to go. I’ve qualified and still have a ways to go to get there, but I’m definitely working has hard as I can. I’m really putting all the work in. I’m trying to stay open minded with everyone who is giving me their opinion and really trying to listen as much as possible and take in as much as advice as I can. Then just trying to work on the game and work on transitioning up to trying to hopefully being a full time tour player.”
Another American bright spot was John Isner who made a successful return from a right ankle sprain.
For today, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Robin Soderling and Mardy Fish are all in action and all heavy favorites. Federer shouldn’t have much trouble with Andreas Beck, and same for Fish.
Djokovic, who I give credit to for pulling out that tough five-set win in the heat over his buddy Viktor Troicki, gets dangerous Phil Petzschner while the shaky-looking Soderling has to deal with Taylor Dent.
I’ve been away on vacation so I apologize for not updating. But I’m back for the duration and it still looks like a Federer-Murray final with the Swiss winning for the men, and Kim Clijsters for the women. Otherwise, I still think the Top 4 seeds are going to get through to the men’s semifinals. I think guys like Nalbandian, Fish loom as legitimate threats though each went the very distance in the first round.
THURSDAY US OPEN SCHEDULE
Arthur Ashe Stadium (11am)
Sabine Lisicki(GER) vs. Vera Zvonareva(RUS)
Caroline Wozniacki(DEN) vs. Kai-Chen Chang(TPE)
Andreas Beck(GER) vs. Roger Federer(SUI)
Iveta Benesova(CZE) vs. Maria Sharapova(RUS)
Philipp Petzschner(GER) vs. Novak Djokovic(SRB)
Louis Armstrong Stadium (11am)
Pablo Cuevas(URU) vs. Mardy Fish(USA)
Svetlana Kuznetsova(RUS) vs. Anastasija Sevastova(LAT)
Jelena Jankovic(SRB) vs. Mirjana Lucic(CRO)
Peter Polansky(CAN) vs. James Blake(USA)
Aravane Rezai(FRA) vs. Beatrice Capra(USA)
Nikolay Davydenko(RUS) vs. Richard Gasquet(FRA)
Robin Soderling(SWE) vs. Taylor Dent(USA)
Bethanie Mattek-Sands(USA) vs. Andrea Petkovic(GER)
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