TOTALLY and FINALLY Twittered to Andy Roddick. BWAHAHAHA. I've been wanting to tell him "good luck in Madrid" since the day I saw on his page that he's playing (he was like, "to the two of you" or something. I'm sure the 9,000 people that follow him are all his fans) but I'd been too scared because I'm a stupid dumb-ass. But really, when you have the chance to say something to a famous person you really like, wouldn't you kind of shrivel at the thought of actually doing it?
Okay, so I suppose it's just me. And I know he's not like, Obama or anything, but he's still Andy Roddick. I adore him. If Roger Federer didn't exist, he'd be my favourite tennis player. (Then again, it's hard to imagine I'd even get into tennis if Roger didn't exist, but nevermind about that.) And since the only athletes I like are tennis players, he'd be my favourite athlete. Which is like, omg, such a big deal.
Okay, fine. I'm just lame. But anyway, Andy's updates are so funny. He was complaining about the guy next to him on the plane, he always talks about food, he posted a super cute picture of his coach (Larry Stefanki)...he's soooo precious. Can't wait to finally watch him in action again, after missing him in the previous two 1000 series tournaments which were boring for me anyway after Roger lost early and badly.
Well, not that Andy's gonna do any better than Roger, especially seeing as clay is not exactly his favourite surface, to put it mildly. At least now, though, I'd have someone else to root for. Of course, the #1 in my heart and in my mind and in my forever and ever is still The Federer, but it's always nicer to have another horse in the competition, right? I suppose it'd help if that other horse were named Rafael Nadal but I cannot make myself like someone I don't like, even if he's probably going to win the damn tournament again. Besides, I like these players not because they win all the time; Andy sure as hell doesn't, no disrespect to him, and Roger hasn't won anything since Basel last year. Clearly their win-loss records don't figure too heavily into whether I support them or not. I have talked ad nauseum about why I like Roger so I won't start all over again, but haven't talked much about why I like Andy.
Basically, I like him because of the fact that he's still playing tennis. More specifically, he's still playing at such a high level, consistently, undoggedly, stubbornly, when he could've called it quits at any one time within the past...I don't know, ever since he won the US Open, way back in like, 2003 (if he was the last man to win the US Open not named Federer, then yeah, it has to be 2003 'cause Rog first won it in 2004). But he worked his ass off, hired new coaches, trained hard, tried to change his style of play and adapt to new styles, sometimes in a bid to beat Roger. It hasn't always worked, but if there's one thing you can't fault him for, it'd be the want of trying.
I find that spirit extremely admirable. He's not the most polite, most humble of personalities, but I really don't care what he does in his private life, if he thinks he's god's gift to tennis, because the fact that he's STILL on the ATP tour, and still ranked in the top 10, shows a lot about him as a player and as a person. He has his fair share of detractors, especially in the US, and they can say what they want about him, derisively call him a one-Slam wonder (uh, better than others who's never won a Slam, like coughMurraycough, and I don't believe he'd ever win a Slam as long as Federer and Nadal are still playing), but he gets out there every time believing he can do it, even if the odds are stacked 2-17 against him. And he always cares. A guy who smashed all the racquets in his bag after losing a tight match to the "best player ever" (as he Twittered about Roger) cannot be accused of not caring.
So yeah, I love Andy. It's not even true for me anymore that his tennis isn't the most exciting to watch, because I enjoy watching him play. Tremendously. I especially get a kick out of watching him serve his crazy 200 km/h bombs. Sometimes they even shock and awe me more than Roger's aces...but then, Roger's serving has been quite crap lately anyway.
On another, but related, note, speaking of Roger, I must say LOL to death to the fans on his forum freaking out over the draw. I don't know why but I don't care much about the draw that he gets anymore. It doesn't help at all for him to get a cake draw, and neither does it NOT help for him to get a tough draw. The way I see it, if he can do it, he can beat anyone that stands in his way. If he's ready, if he's back to his TMF ways, no draw will be deemed too difficult; but if he's not yet ready, an easy draw isn't going to help him in the long run. I'd love to see him win this but it's about the French Open at this stage. He'd benefit from tricky opponents and matchplay in preparation for Roland Garros.
So he has Murray in his half this time (I picked JMDP to beat him in the QF and he better deliver, dammit, Del Potro) and a non-qualifier in the first round, and two solid players in the first round. Okay, it's technically the second round 'cause he gets a first-round bye but whatever. Whatever it is, I'm so not worried. I don't care who he gets, as long as he gets on that court determined to win, playing to win, not playing not to lose. I'm tired of seeing Roger destroy his own match, and right now, it really isn't a matter of the opponent; it's about him, how much he believes he can win, how readily he can switch to kill-'em-all mode and finish a match he has on his racquet.
Once again, I'm back hoping for the best, but I'm probably prepared for the worst, as his record so far this year hasn't been particularly inspiring. Not so much because he's lost so many matches, but because of the manner in which he lost them. Nowadays when he's up a set and a break I'm still bracing myself for him to lose because it seems like it's just what he does these days. It's sad, but it's true, and until he figures it out somehow, I'm only gonna celebrate when the match is truly over, and he's the clear winner.
I love him to bits and pieces though. He's REALLY the best. Even when he's losing, he's still the best. Call it fangirl rose-tinted glasses if you must, but I don't see how anyone else can be better than the man who got me obsessed with tennis.
I can't wait to watch him - and Andy - in action again!
In more tennis news, I came home last night in time to catch the deciding set of the Rome match between Dinara Safina and Venus Williams. I must admit that when I first saw that Safina was playing the older Williams, I was convinced that she was toast. After being beaten so decisively by the younger Williams in the AO final, and after some early exits in the subsequent tournaments, I wasn't sure if she had it in her to oust V Williams.
I mean, she IS #1 in the world. But still. The previous match she played she made 8 double faults in one set which was kind of like two free breaks of serve to the opponent. She eventually won after dropping the first set, but I wasn't super confident that she'd be able to pull out a win.
But guess what? SHE DID. After five straight breaks of serve that ended with Dinara leading 5-4, she saved about four, five break points, squandered two match points, got herself a third match point, and FINALLY converted. And oh my god, she was playing brilliantly, and reminded me of why I liked her so much at the AO. She REALLY goes for her shots, and when she's on, her shots are out-of-this-world. I don't watch a lot of women's tennis, but out of whatever little I've watched, Dinara is probably one of the most fearless players I've seen. She's aggressive, but not stupidly so; she actually uses her brain. And I really like how hard she is on herself because it's something I can relate to.
She's great. I hope she wins it all tonight. She better beat the ass off Kuznetsova, especially losing the Stuttgart final to her last week!
Too bad stupid Eurosport isn't showing this one live. They're such epic failures, I don't even know what to say. Ugh.