This is going to be a purely tennis post, I think. A few days ago, the unthinkable happened, I wholeheartedly cheered on Andy Roddick at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. Not only did I scream for him to win, I wanted him to win against, Fernando Verdasco!!!! All of this fervor comes out of nowhere, and I’m still trying to get at its source. No joke! I stared down hostile fans who gave me the evil eye for cheering for Roddick as they cheered on Verdasco.
When I started my tennis adventures, two players emerged from the fray as favored players to watch live and on telly: Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland and Fernando Verdasco of Spain. Stan had me at Davis Cup in Birmingham and Verdasco in Australian Open ’09 and Indian Wells! Luckily for me they were just in the top ten, so I am usually able to see them on side courts at the major and minor tourneys and cheer to my heart’s content. I even think poor Verdasco’s coach is wondering who the heck I am as he spotted a lone dark speck in Halle, Germany and saw me again at Wimbledon! As I wrote previously, Roddick won my respect for his fight in his Wimbledon final and sure I follow his tweets, but that’s only ‘cause he’s the funniest tennis player on Twitter at the moment. I mean, just last week at the Legg Mason tournament, I completely wanted Del Potro to retain the final title against Roddick. So, imagine my surprise when I sat down to watch Verdasco and the first cheer out of my mouth was, “Come on Roddick!”
Wouldn’t you know that the first time I cheered for Roddick, he’d make me work hard for his win? For some strange reason, Roddick decided that he was going to live at the baseline and hit ground strokes against Verdasco. Didn’t he and his coach discuss the fact that Verdasco has some of the best ground strokes in the game? Was he not aware that, like most players bred on clay, Verdasco would be happy to hit rallies all day long?? How about shorting some of those points behind your monster serve Roddick? Haven’t you seen that once the rallies go beyond 6 or 7 strokes, you are losing them??!!? Look I’m no tennis expert, but even I could not perceive his and Stefanki’s airtight strategy against Verdasco. Roddick finally persevered by winning the first set in a tiebreak and the third by the skin of his teeth. I happily cheered on his victory but I must admit it I was clapping with a degree of puzzlement as I watched poor Verdasco leave the stadium.
I tried to make up for my betrayal by catching Verdasco and Lopez in their doubles match later but both our hearts weren’t in it as Verdasco and Lopez lost in straight sets to Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman. I’m sure I’ll work out this weird kink for Roddick and get back on the Verdasco train, right? Oh and I won’t even go into my cheering on Del Potro against Nadal, it is unseemly!