Wrong place, wrong time

I’ve been wanting to write this for a few days now, but I’m just now able to do so.

Andy Roddick’s loss to Roger Federer on Sunday at Wimbledon was tough for me to take.

Not because I hate Roger Federer. On the contrary, I think he’s a wonderful man and one of the finest tennis players ever to walk the earth.

It’s not even because I admire Andy Roddick, though I do.

He’s my second favorite tennis player of all time, right behind Pete Sampras. Before Sunday, many had questioned his heart.

Me? I prefer to remember his win at the U.S. Open in 2003 or his epic win over Younes El Aynaoui 4-6, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-4, 21-19, at the Aussie Open a few years back in the longest fifth set  in Grand Slam tennis history.

Or the fact that, until this weekend, he had played in 17 straight Davis Cup matches for his country.

No, I snapped off the radio coverage on Sunday on the BBC World Service (God bless XM Radio) seconds after the match ended for one simple reason.

Andy Roddick played the match of his life. He’s never been more fearless. More ambitious. More calculating, even, which isn’t exactly one of his strengths.

He raised his game to levels that no one that’s watched him play with regularity dreamed possible.

And he still lost.

Federer is a great champion and, 50 years from now, he’ll be remembered as one of the sport’s true greats.

Roddick will be a footnote, a guy that lost a handful of Wimbledon finals and a boat load of other matches to the Swiss mister.

My wife and I had a discussion recently, where I shared with her a few things I call life’s myths.

One of them is the concept of fairness.

I sumbit that the only time that the word fair is properly used is when the ferris wheel comes to town in October.

There is no fair. Because, if life were fair, the man who already had 14 major titles would not have withstood blast after blast from a man with one without flinching.

It would be 14 and two today, instead of 15 and one.

It was hard to digest.

But, in the end, I tip my cap to Federer.

And I take it off for Roddick.


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One Response to “Wrong place, wrong time”

  1. Mike Bollinger Says:

    I sat here and watched the whole thing, pulling for Roddick the entire time.
    I have never questioned his heart or desire, but have questioned his fitness, backhand, volley, tactics and the desire to improve in these areas. Since hiring his new coach, something has clicked, he has put in the work, and it has shown.
    He really started to grow on me earlier this year, when, as defending champion, he stood up and withdrew from the tournament in Dubai after the country refused to grant a visa to Israeli women’s player Shahar Peer.
    He could not have played any better, but in the end someone had to blink.
    Roddick will never be my favorite player, but I won’t refer to him as a punk any longer, either.

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