The R4 match between DelPo and Roddick has been suspended because of rain. They were on serve at 0*-1 in the first set TB when play was called.
Due to time differences and work, I’m afraid I was unable to watch the first set and I only managed to open up a stream when DelPo broke back to go 4*-5 in the first set, after trailing 2*-5 at one point.
From what I gather, Roddick was enjoying himself and playing freely while DelPo was playing with more errors than usual. I saw DelPo play two dropshots late in the first set, and while he won both points, that did make me wonder if his wrist was bothering him. Not that it will change anything, but it’s something I will tune into once play resumes.
At one point, DelPo had to bend down and wipe off Andy Roddick’s sweat from the back of the court. I remember I once spilled coffee over myself during a work evaluation, and I thought that was pretty embarrassing. Having to mop up your opponent’s sweat off center court (while the crowd boos you) probably tops that. Thankfully, the minor incident seemed to wake DelPo up, as he managed to break and hold to force a TB.
I know this is the wrong time to vent my frustration at the mythologizing of Roddick, but here I go anyway: So many are tipping him as the favorite to win this match. It’s like they have this patriotic need for him to win. I’m a fan of Disney fairytales as much as the next person, but I have to like the main character first. And I just never warmed to Roddick.
As I watched Roddick laughing and gabbing it up before the rain delay, it struck me that something crazy could happen and that fantasy could actually realize itself. I am now somewhat anxious. I understand that he’s been the face of American tennis for a decade, but this is too much. Also, let’s be real, being the face of American tennis doesn’t carry the same weight as it used to (not for the last decade). Yes, he was a former world no. 1 and he did tick off many boxes during his illustrious career. Make no mistake, I am not trying to invalidate his career accomplishments. But let’s not get too carried away. I’m not sure Spanish media would pull out all the stops like this, if/when Juan Carlos Ferrero decides to retire — I absolutely dread the day Ferrero decides to call it quits, but even I’d find it odd if Spain went into hysterics like this (and credit to Ferrero’s brand of cool — he’d probably tell the crowd to calm themselves with a smirk and a raised eyebrow, if they got too worked up over his retirement).
As has been pointed out, DelPo’s return to Arthur Ashe is filled with emotion as well. He hasn’t played there since his big win in 2009. It’s not like Roddick is playing some chump who just happened to make his way to R4 (not that I’d know that, judging from some of the U.S. coverage).
Apologies for this rant — I just needed to get it out of my system. I will play nice now.
I hope DelPo gets off to a better start when play resumes tomorrow. DelPo definitely prefers to play in front of a friendly crowd, but I also think one of his underrated qualities is that he isn’t too troubled playing in front of a hostile crowd. I’ll be sure to watch, once play resumes.