USO: Two Former USO Champs Battle it Out

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.

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About mariposaxprs

I play favorites with Juan Martin Del Potro, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez, Gilles Simon and the long line of mercurial talent that drives me to despair in front of the screen at odd hours during the week.
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2 Responses to USO: Two Former USO Champs Battle it Out

  1. Candy says:

    Some said playing at night might favor Roddick, so I think playing in the afternoon might favour Delpo?!

    Ugh, a former champ having to wipe off his opponent’s sweat is already something, but it even deserved boo?! I agree with you. Delpo has his temper & can be emotional, but he’s good at ignoring the hostile crowd. 🙂

    haha. your rant. (I wrote a few sentences trolling American media & tennis, but I have deleted as I’m trying to be nice. lol & I’m always like that, like Delpo, trying to ignore the hostile people & not to give tit for tat. 😛 Delpo should be proud 😛 But I apologize for my previous trolls if there’s any. haha)

    Hope you will be able to watch the match. 🙂

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Maybe the fact that DelPo was playing his first nighttime match factored into yesterday’s play? Daytime conditions might favor him. Also, I think it’s good news for him that he got an “appetizer” of what it’s like to play Roddick in front of a crowd at A. Ashe. Now he can mentally prep himself better for the TB (that is the hope!)

      The images of DelPo wiping off his opponent’s sweat — it just symbolizes everything I dislike about this match-up with Roddick this year. It’s all about Roddick. Roddick Roddick Roddick. Times like this I’m glad that DelPo seems to have an “ignore mode” where he can tune out a hostile/noisy crowd — he needs to keep those “virtual ear plugs” in to combat the noisy USO crowd.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s angry at American media & tennis right now 🙂 Roddick is one of the few players that I actively dislike, and the media boom surrounding him right now is overboard. It’s like too much salt in a meal — no thank you! 🙂 But you are right — we will have to channel DelPo’s Zen mode and rise above it. Vamos DelPo, may he start out strong in the TB (I’m kind of nervous b/c he’ll serve first, but he knows that — I hope Franco gives him a good “pep talk” before the match)

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