Vienna Report 12 October 2006
Richard loses to Roddick 7-6 1-6 3-6
Richard started the first set and there was no hiding, (but still some nose blowing during changeovers), no camping behind the baseline, even too close to it on Roddicks serve, I felt. A brilliant first set. Both did not allow any breakpoints, played aggressively and hit great winners, wonderful.
Then something strange happened. When Richard served at 0-1, second set, I must have missed the situation leading to breakpoint. I was totally flubbergasted when the umpire announced 2-0 Roddick. I have been watching tennis for a long time, I know how to score, I can't explain it. From there it went downhill for Richard, mainly on his serve and BH, while Roddick maintained his level. Richard did not really give in, but he did not fully believe in it either and so the unavoidable happened.
The crowd had been rather silent and was mainly in Roddick's camp, but when Richad made his exit, they gave him a deserved big applause, finally, interrupting the oncourt-interview with Roddick.
I was alone by that time. My friend (not the one from the two days before) had left and I carried my sad face around. After a while, I decided to install myself at the exit, where the cars for the players were waiting. There was a strange and very small group of semi-professional fotographers and tennis-afficionados there, waiting for whoever came out. As the waiting took so long and it was quite interesting to speak to those people, I wrote a small consolation message for Richard. But when he finally arrived he looked so sad and dejected, all the fire was gone from his eyes, that I just kept my position and watched him signing for the others. The message would have read:
Don't be sad, the first set was a dream, the future is yours.