Roddick Crashes Out of Top 20, Cincinnati; Federer v. Del Potro Today
by Sean Randall | August 16th, 2011, 10:07 am

The Andy Roddick slide continued last night in Cincinnati. Roddick, who was playing his first summer hardcourt match after missing time with an ab injury, crashed out in the first round in glorious fashion losing to Phil Kohlschreiber 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-1.

Roddick played steady early edging his German counterpart in the first set. But after blowing a break lead, things began to unravel for the American late in the second culminating with Roddick double faulting in the break game that gave Kohlscreiber the set.

In the third set Roddick went into full free fall. The tempestuous former No. 1 had been warned earlier for his behavior by chair umpire Carlos Bernardes and after given Kohlschreiber a break point Roddick smashed a ball into the stands. Except the umpire didn’t take kindly levying a point penalty on Roddick giving Phil the break and a 2-0 lead. And that was that. Roddick went volcano and you know the rest.

“Obviously a split-second thing,” Roddick said of the ball hit sent into the stands. “Soon as I did it I want it back. Um, you know, it was a judgment call for him. Pretty sure I saw an eight-year-old girl catch it on the way down. He was telling my I hit it as hard as I could.

“It just sucks. I can’t blame him, but I’m sitting here turning a six-week injury into a three-week injury, rehabbing eight hours a day, and a split second decision he interjects himself and it’s done,” he added. “It’s so frustrating. I certainly accept what I did. I put him in a bad situation out there. But I do think it’s stupid in tennis that — I mean, in football if someone throws a helmet on the sideline, it’s there helmet. We wonder where we lose our ratings battles to the WWF, Monday Night Raw.”

In the bigger picture, this just isn’t a good sign for Roddick who desperately needed few good wins this week in Cincinnati, a place where he’s had success before.

“For two sets tonight I actually hit the ball well considering. I hit the ball a lot better than I thought I would, if I’m being totally candid,” said Roddick. “I probably will wake up tomorrow morning feeling a little bit better about where I’m at than I did when I woke up this morning. I’m not that concerned about New York right now.

“I got to get to Winston Salem and try to get a couple matches. That’s it. For me it’s silly to think about New York yet. Obviously if I go and win Winston Salem then it’s a different ballgame, or final of Winston Salem it’s a different ballgame. So a lot can change in a matter of two weeks.”

Not concerned, Andy? He should be. The loss will send Roddick, who was a semifinalist a year ago in Cincinnati, out of the Top 20 in the next ATP rankings. Roddick still has that big serve, super model wife but his game is on the decline and he’ll turn 29 at the end of the month.

And Roddick hasn’t beaten a Top 20 player all year as he heads into Winston Salem next week on a 3-match losing streak.

As for Roddick’s replacement, Ryan Harrison, the teen took care of business yesterday impressively eliminating Juan Ignacio Chela. Harrison now meets World No. 1 Novak Djokovic tomorrow and the 19-year-old is fearless.

“I think if you look at the matches I’ve played against guys in the Top 10, I’ve had a history of just getting blown out in the first set and then settling down and playing really competitive from then on out,” Harrison said. “Whatever happens, I’ve started slow against these guys just because I’ve gone in with like a feel it out mentality. Wednesday it’s going to be about going in there knowing that my game is good enough, and try to take it to him.”

Two other notable results from Monday were David Nalbandian’s win over Kei Nishikori and Fernando Verdasco had a good victory beating Tomasz Bellucci.

Tuesday, the focus will be on the big showdown tonight between Roger Federer and Juan Martin Del Potro. Federer has won six of eight career meetings with the Argentine, but Delpo has won their last two in 2009 at the US Open and in London. Two losses that still haunt the Swiss.

“I thought both matches were really good, right?” Federer said. “They were both very close. There was a lot on the line in both matches, qualifying for the semis, was it, in the World Tour Finals? It came down to games, that whole crazy scenario, with Murray involved. And then US Open obviously having all the chances, you know, it was a tough one to lose, definitely one of the bigger losses in my career, I think, because I really think it shouldn’t have gone away.”

But coming into this match I don’t think either player is at the level they were at when they played in 2009.

Now 30, Federer just isn’t the same guy and I don’t think Del Potro is back to 100% full strength, yet. Still, it should be an interesting match and for Federer it’s bordering on a must-win.

After recent losses to JW Tsonga, Federer, who has won Cincinnati four times including last year, needs a big statement win like this would give him. And he needs to show that he can still handle the power. But Delpo can bring even more heat to the table than the Frenchman and if he gets his game going I think he wins. If Federer has to play defense all night he’ll lose.

Then again if Federer can get Del Potro on the run and cut out those shanks, then I think the odds swing in the Swiss’s favor. Plus, Del Potro hasn’t done much this summer. After really postive first half to the season, Delpo’s had two poor losses this summer to Gulbis in LA and Cilic last week in Montreal.

That said, I picked Delpo at the start here and on a whim I’m actually going to pick him again for tonight.

Also today, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova are in action along with John Isner, Tsonga and Tomas Berdych.

Tennis Channel will have live coverage all day and all night.


CENTER COURT start 11:00 am
[5] N Li (CHN) vs L Safarova (CZE) – WTA
[15] J Tsonga (FRA) vs M Cilic (CRO) – ATP
Not Before 3:00 PM
L Hradecka (CZE) vs S Williams (USA) – WTA
Not Before 7:00 PM
[Q] A Rodionova (AUS) vs [4] [WC] M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA
Not Before 8:30 PM
[3] R Federer (SUI) vs J del Potro (ARG) – ATP

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs [Q] E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) – ATP
[Q] R Stepanek (CZE) vs J Isner (USA) – ATP
Not Before 2:30 PM
J Monaco (ARG) vs [8] T Berdych (CZE) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
[WC] J Blake (USA) vs F Fognini (ITA) – ATP
K Jans-Ignacik (POL) / A Rosolska (POL) vs N Llagostera Vives (ESP) / A Parra Santonja (ESP) – WTA

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68 Comments for Roddick Crashes Out of Top 20, Cincinnati; Federer v. Del Potro Today

Brando Says:

As a nadal fan I want federer to win this 1. For the USO he is the more likely title contender and if he loses here he shall be going in with little confidence. Hope rafa, Murray and federer all make the semi finals here in order to at least make the prospect of the USO seem exciting.

Humble Rafa Says:

Thanks Brando. Appreciate the love. While you are it, can you also hope that the guy whose last name begins with a “D” does not make it to the semis. I helps reduce migraine, backache, knee problems etc for me.

Brando Says:

@humble rafa: LMAO, he’ll definately make the semi’s-at least! It’s the rest who need the good sentiment and support. I agree with Barry cowan when he said that If djokovic goes out in the 1st round he shall still be the favourite at USO since he is miles ahead of the rest atm. And we can bring up the past to boost our respective favourites chances but at the present djokovic being the best by a countrymile is the reality

madmax Says:

“I thought both matches were really good, right?” Federer said. “They were both very close. There was a lot on the line in both matches, qualifying for the semis, was it, in the World Tour Finals? It came down to games, that whole crazy scenario, with Murray involved. And then US Open obviously having all the chances, you know, it was a tough one to lose, definitely one of the bigger losses in my career, I think, because I really think it shouldn’t have gone away.”

We know this Roger, and exactly what is it that you will be doing to put this right?

This is important. Not crucial, (the USO is crucial), but nevertheless important to go deep into the tournament. There is no alternative.

I hadn’t realised the match was on later. I thought it started at 12 for some reason.

Just hope that the fire is still burning.

Wheeler Says:

Losers like Roddick always find a way to channelise their frustration in the most disgusting manner possible.

Humble Rafa Says:

I want to register my protest with the Tennis-X staff. Why is Roger not in the trunk?

No favoritism please. Rog in the trunk.

Andy Caggs Says:

@Wheeler — clearly you are not a Roddick fan. Why don’t you just say that, instead of calling him a “loser”? I’m pretty sure losers don’t have a grand slam trophy in their house. He’s one of the few on tour who does. Maybe you didn’t like his on-court behavior last night. That’s fine. Some of us like it. Some of us think it makes this sport of tennis a little more interesting. Roddick has not been playing to his former potential, but he’s far from a loser.

If you’ve ever picked up a racquet before, you wouldn’t judge someone for “channeling their frustration” by throwing it or hitting balls into the stands. Competitive drive sometimes leads to bad split-second decisions, but the same power also leads to grand slam trophies.

Your disgust at Roddick’s competitive drive is why he has a grand slam trophy and why you are pounding keys on the internet.

Polo Says:

Roddick lost the match last night. He also lost his temper. What do you call that?

Kimberly Says:

It was not good behavior, but has anyone here who plays matches not launched a ball or smashed a racket or something of that nature? I personally am a ball launcher but only on rare occasions. Racket breaking is not financially wise. Certainly not as bad as David Ferrer launching a ball in the direction of a crying baby.

Colin Says:

When wheeler called roddick a loser, he meant as a person, and I agree with him. It doesn’t matter how many tournaments the man has won, or how famous he is or how much money he’s got. He’s still a loser. Just like Serena Williams. These people get angry with line judges when they err over a split second decision, presumably expecting them to think in depth in about a hundredth of a second. Well then, why can’t THEY, in the same split second, control their temper?

Ben Pronin Says:

Athletes shouldn’t be expected to keep their temper. Roddick’s problem is that when he gets mad he loses focus on the match.

Ivan Says:

I wouldn’t call Roddick a loser – just a player with limited skills who got hyped up after his 2003 USO win and the American media. He never could get his baseline game in order, or his net game, or his movement. Just relied on serve.

Mardy fish has also reached about as high as he can get.

None of these players have anywhere near the talent of top champions like Federer, Djokovic, or to some extent Nadal. Or Delpo, Tsonga, etc. Safin was talented. Hewitt was just too hardworking. Both won two slams each.

US tennis is pretty much done.

Ivan Says:

I wouldn’t compare Roddick to Serena. Roddick seems like a nice guy – and funny too!

Serena just behaves like a spoilt kid all the time. To her, in her own words, tennis is “entertainment”, not “sports”. And God, stop wearing those hideous dresses! She made hay because of extreme lack of depth in women’s tennis. Players can go away, have a kid, and come back and straighaway win a major, wow!

On the men’s side, look at Muster – he can’t even win a set at a challenger event, ON CLAY, just 15 years after winning the French open! The top men’s players have to be careful even while playing players ranked 50, 60, or 80.

Theresa Says:

Is this really an issue over not being invited to fly private jet from Montreal to Cincy with Fish and Justin( the mouth) G.! I wonder? Sorry, Andy. Guess you’ll just have to fly commercial with the rest of us poor Gentile slobs!

tennisfan Says:

I think it will be quite interesting to see fed and del potro today but we need to give fed some respect! Delpo hasnt achieved anything this season and still we want him to be in top 3! I m surprised but fed will win today!! Anyways I got this wonderful article on Djokovic/Serena and why they have won this year! Prob federer can also take cue from it!
Where There Is Djokovic/Serena, There Is A Way

Eric Says:

I wish Roddick would retire and stop embarrassing America.

Kimmi Says:

stepanek is playing well, was a tough first round for isner. too bad. he is probably playing next week but if not good luck at the USO.

Kimmi Says:

OK, sharapova finished. federer vs delpo coming up!

Kimmi Says:

Alleeez Rog. lets goooooo!

Kimmi Says:

federer should mix it up please. topspin backhand will be whacked by delpo. very few topspin backhand me thinks.

go fed!!

Gannu Says:

Got up early to see Feddy bear and he is gonna lose as expected… have no longer any hopes of him winning anything!

Kimmi Says:

hey gannu..fed bear will win.

Kimmi Says:

now, that FH is good…gooo fed

Kimmi Says:

mmm, delpo cross court FH..fed did you see that

Kimmi Says:

even if he loses, still enjoy his tennis. did u see that backhand smash

Gannu Says:

yeps kimmi saw that… thats why i got up so early… but enuff is enuff… its nearly 8 months and federer hsnt won a tourney!

Kimmi Says:

BREAK..go fed!

Kimmi Says:

Now can fed keep his lead

Kimmi Says:

you have to enjoy fed..what a volley. c;mon fed, one more game.

Kimmi Says:

federer is serving at almost 90%. this is what i am worried about. Can he keep this serving up

Kimmi Says:

oh nooo!

Colin Says:

Apart from the current match, note the win for Tsonga. His arm recovered quickly, didn’t it?

Ike Says:

Fed’s high first serve % reminds me of the 09 final he played against Nole. That was brutal, Fed was barely missing any first serves especially in the first set, and he won that match 6-1, 7-5

Ike Says:

I wouldn’t doubt Tsonga’s injury last Saturday, I know it feels bit strange that he recovered so soon, but I am happy for him.

Kimmi Says:

colin – i agree with you re:tsonga. i picked cilic against him. so much for the injury..

go fed!

Kimmi Says:

i think delpo is playing better now..

Kimmi Says:

ooops! break point

Kimmi Says:

great hold!!

Kimmi Says:

wow, what a second serve from delpo…big point it was!

Richirt Says:

2nd set is a nail biter, go Rog

Kimmi Says:

BREEEAK! C’mon serve it out!

tennisfansince76 Says:

i feel bad for delpo. shouldn’t have to be playing fed first match.

Kimmi Says:

grrrrr..c’mon fed..bad errors!

Humble Rafa Says:

Fed is not losing. What is going on here.

steve-o Says:

This could be the final. Both guys are serving amazingly well in the second set. Federer’s work at the net has been fantastic.

Del Potro doesn’t go down easy. Hope he can serve it out.

steve-o Says:

And he does!

Humble Rafa Says:

Gosh Darnit..the old man has won. Elf needs to find a real job.

Ben Pronin Says:

Wow what a shocker… not.

Kimmi Says:

Sorry delpo! love you but i love fed more.

unfortunately delpo is having a very bad american hardcourt season. hopefully he can play better at the USO.

skeezerweezer Says:


Agree with you it was a bummer these 2 met in the 1rst Rd. How can you not cheer for Delpo? Great qualities for a tennis player and is the nicest gentlemen :). He wears the game of tennis well.

That said, Fed can still bring the goods, and was a high quality match. Fantastic serving. go Fed!

AtlasHugged Says:

Tough loss for Delpo. Terrible luck to draw Federer in the second round. Hopefully he gets a kinder draw at the US Open and can go deep into the tournament.

He is a truly a clutch player and has the skills to hang with the best when he is on. Keep climbing the rankings Delpo!

Of course, always a pleasure to see Federer win =).

AtlasHugged Says:

Also, anyone hear Federer at the net? Something like “Nice to see you back on the tour.”

Nice guys.

steve-o Says:

@Kimmi/skeezer: yes, it’s hard when two of my favorites meet but I’m constitutionally incapable of rooting against Federer.

Despite the loss, Del Potro did play very well. Hopefully he can continue his good form into USO.

It was sad that two players of this caliber had to meet in a first-round match. As I said, this could have been the final.

Kimmi Says:

atlasHugged – fed is playing delpo for the first time since his return, so yap, its good to welcome him back.

I agree with you. he needs a kinder draw. he hasnt been sharp this american hard courts though. Lost to Gulbis, Cilic and now fed. I think gulbis and cilic are beatable..needs to bring his killer instinct back.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Fed played near perfect tennis tonight. Very aggressive old-style tennis, flat shots at the lines and brilliant net play. His volleying looks quite good right now, he’s getting depth and sharpness he didn’t have last year.
I thought he played quite well against Tsonga too, simply ran into a player out of this world on the day. So Fed’s form is looking good to me.
DelPotro played well too, but a few too many unforced errors to give Federer. Despite his problems so far this summer, he’ll have seeding protection for a couple rounds at the USO, so he’ll have time to get his reps in before he gets a serious challenge. I still believe he will be a danger.

Nole-Harrison could be a good one tomorrow, but the best one coming will be Tsonga-Murray on Thursday. Assuming Murray gets by El Chub.

Kimmi Says:

hope roger can play well after passing the first round test. I dont like berdych in his qtr. hopefully he continue to play well.

Kimmi Says:

El chub vagabond..ha-ha

Brando Says:

Well played roger! Needs to put in a tournament now, keep going with play, focus and serving! If he gets to the semi and puts in a good performance against nole then he would be ready for USO and be a major contender- not just by name but form!!!

NachoF Says:

We just need Sean to keep predicting Federer will lose to be just fine :)

Michael Says:

The Steve Jinx caught up with Del Potro. I had the opportunity to watch this scintillating match with Federer close to his best and Del Potro also playing at a very high level. Federer game ticks when he serves well and today was his day. His Forehand too was devastating on both the flanks. Actually, it was a pain for me to watch this match as I like both the players although I love Federer a bit more. It was unlucky for both the players to meet so early in a competition and there is much more that Federer needed to prove after his losses consecutively. If Federer plays at this level, then definitely he has chances to win this tournament again and make it 5. That would be really great.

M Says:

“Certainly not as bad as David Ferrer launching a ball in the direction of a crying baby.”

Kimberly please. You really need to either not overblow that, or stop believing every excessively sensational thing the US press tells you.


And I love A-Rod for what he’s done for American tennis – but did you see a slow-mo of that hit? If nothing else, *because* he knows he can hit harder than just about anyone on tour, he shouldn’t have done that. Another racquet smash I wouldn’t have minded, actually — maybe you couldn’t afford it financially, but he certainly could have — but a ball hit at that speed had the chance to hurt someone else, even if we’re all lucky and it didn’t happen.


M Says:

Congratulations, Roger! This is what you can do when you concentrate! Delpo hung in there with you game for game in the 2nd set till that break; you made it count.

Serve looked beautiful.

andrea Says:

this is really a ‘who cares’ comment, but it seemed to me watching the roddick match last night that he had shaved legs? or maybe it was just the short socks. or trying to become more aerodynamic?

the nice thing is that for once roger isn’t in the funk or trunk sections this week….that’s got to be a miracle.

thark Says:

eric said it best – roddick should retire – he is not the ambassador america wants. he has never had a good attitude it’s just that now he has a bad attitude AND he is losing so more people notice what a poor sport he is…

Kimberly Says:

“Certainly not as bad as David Ferrer launching a ball in the direction of a crying baby.”

Kimberly please. You really need to either not overblow that, or stop believing every excessively sensational thing the US press tells you.

Uh, actually I was at the match when it happened. It was pretty bad.

margot Says:

kimberly, u have trumped M’s ace, very nicely too ;)

soije Says:

Harrison is annoying. He talks far too much for someone who has yet to accomplish anything. I guess we’re being spoiled with the humility of all the top foreign players (save for Djokovic until recently) over the past 10 years that now an emerging American player reminds us what hubris is.

skeezerweezer Says:

^ how many 19 yr olds have made it on the mens tour? Not very many so he has already accomplished more than most. Give the yougster a break, he is barely an adult. There is alot of worse behavior issues other older playes have that are worse than him talking too much.

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