Andy Roddick was eliminated in the first round of the Western & Southern Open. During the match, Roddick was given a warning by the chair umpire after throwing his racket. At 30-40 in the second game of the third set, Roddick smacked a ball into the stands out of frustration. The umpire took a point away from him causing him to lose the game. He ended up losing the final set 6-1. Here’s what Roddick had to say about those events after the match:
“It’s so frustrating. I certainly accept what I did,” Roddick said. “I put him [the umpire] 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 their helmet. We wonder where we lose our ratings battles to the WWF, Monday Night Raw.”
Roddick brings up an interesting point. This argument has been going on about the game of tennis for the longest time. Should breaking rackets, shouting and personalities be encouraged in exchange for the “class and prestige” of the game? The McEnroe and Connors behaviour certainly seems to draw interest to the game. I definitely do think tennis could use some more personalities. Then again, the most popular player, probably of all time, is class personified (Federer).
I think there’s arguments for and against it, with no true right answer. But I can’t help but think Roddick was not the right man to deliver this message. The guy has not been relevant competitively in a few years (except for one Wimbledon final). His whiney outbursts have increased exponentially over the last 5 years. He just sounds annoying here.