Roddick finds way to avoid first-round upset
GUYANCOURT, FRANCE — It appears that tennis star Andy Roddick has finally found a way to avoid underachieving in Grand Slam events.
Roddick, who has consistently lost to inferior opponents in the early rounds of tennis’ major tournaments, has withdrawn from this month’s French Open with an injury to his right shoulder. The withdrawal leaves Roddick free of the constant nagging questions he usually receives about what went wrong this time around.
While Roddick has won a Grand Slam tournament – the 2003 U.S. Open – his career has been marked by upset losses in many majors. This has been especially true of the French Open, where he has lost in the first round four times and has never been past the third round.
Roddick defended the move during a meeting with reporters yesterday. "The French Open totally sucks. I hate clay. It's nasty, it gets stuck to everything… Not very glamorous, and I'm a glamor kind of guy. Why go out and embarrass myself on a pile of dirt?"
Former tennis great Jimmy Connors, who coached Roddick until earlier this year, called the withdrawal "bush league," adding, "I know he’s really withdrawing so he can spend more time with his supermodel fiancé. Why anyone would want to do that rather than play in the French Open is beyond me – his priorities are all out of whack."
Connors was, of course, referring to Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker, to whom Roddick got engaged in late March.
"Of course, Jimmy never had that problem," Roddick countered. "Have you seen his mug?"
Even after bailing on the French Open, though, the top-ranked American fully expects to be back in time for Wimbledon. "Wimbledon's pretty cool, with the grass and white clothes and all. I'll definitely be there for that. Just because I’m about to marry a model, and I never win the big tournaments, and I have the habit of losing to guys who suck – all that doesn't mean I’m not fully focused on tennis."