Reporting from the U.S. Open for FoxSports.com
FLUSHING, NY — Whatever Andy Roddick is, he’s energy. Either he’s an overachiever reaching No. 1 without much talent or an underachiever winning young and then letting the game pass him by. But he’s emotion.
Either he’s a feisty competitor or a creep, but he’s passion. And that spills over into the crowd, which wants to cheer him on or curse him out. Sometimes both.
Either way is fine with Roddick. With him, everything is an argument.
It sat there quietly while Roddick was crushed by Rafael Nadal.
And it was so strange that it threw Roddick off, made him suspicious about what was going on and why.
“I think you’d rather be booed than have silence,’’ he said after losing 6-2, 6-1, 6-3.
“You know, it’s an empty feeling.’’
The match, as well as the crowd, was the sound of one hand clapping.
And you can’t be certain what thousands of fans are thinking. They might be thinking thousands of things. But they all acted as one, and I’m pretty sure I know why:
American tennis fans felt sorry for Roddick. Not just for the moment, but also for the realization of where his career is. This was Roddick’s last stand. Jimmy Connors’ famous run? Andre Agassi’s? Pete Sampras’?
This was Roddick’s. The last stand for the longtime face of American men’s tennis.
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