Thursday, August 28, 2008

Roddick Serves Too Hard for Professional Tennis

Alright, it is time to vent. I think everyone has had more than their fair share of the coverage on Jericho Scott. A quick refresher: Jericho was the nine year old from Connecticut who was told that his 40 mph fast ball was just too fast for little league. As much as I had to say on the matter I refrained from ranting due to the fact that the coverage was so overwhelming it made me lose complete interest in the story. Today, however, I found a related story that happened at the pro level and this time I could not let it go. In the U.S. Open Andy Roddick was taking on Fabrice Santoro and was just two points away from sealing the win. Roddick hit a 140 mph serve that Santoro barely got out of the way of. The next serve Santoro stood there with his racket on his hip while Roddick waited for him to get in position, but he never did. Instead Santoro motioned to him seemingly saying “just serve it” and watched the ball go by him for the ace and the victory.

Here is what Santoro said after the match (From the Boston Herald)
The match was over, I was a little disappointed in the way he served the point before. He served straight at me for sure. That’s a good strategy during the match, but it was almost over. He realized it was kind of a mistake. (Santoro was told that Roddick was aiming for the T and he responded by saying the following) Then it was the biggest mistake of his life. When he serves for the T, he gets the T.

When asked what the exchange was like when they met at center court after the match, Roddick said

I just said I wasn’t going for him I’m not going to go for someone up 6-2, 6-2, 5-2. It was a bad miss, but it was a miss I hit very hard. I was excited about the way I was playing, but to end like that it was a little disappointing. I can understand where he was coming from and I probably would be a little (ticked) off, too.

Come on Santoro, you really have to be kidding me. You are a professional tennis player, or say you claim. You are faced up ready for a serve to be sent your way, and it happened to be hit extremely hard. You know who you are playing, you know that Roddick is known for his explosive serves. If you can’t handle it, then don’t bother showing up. If I were to step in there and reacted the same way then it might be warranted because I have no business on a tennis court, not at a country club and definitely not at the professional level. I share the same sentiments as Around the Horn’s Woody Page who so aptly put it “Go back to France, drink some wine and smell the flowers”. It is one thing to be a little upset by thinking it was intentional, but when you react by not even attempting to put a racket on the final point it is completely disrespectful. You have no class, Roddick was overly apologetic to the media and to you. He didn’t have to do that, but he did. He is Roddick and you are Santoro so get over it or don’t bother showing up again.