Tennis: Roddick’s run ends in difficult fashion
By Howard Fendrich
PARIS ó Andy Roddick’s best showing at the French Open ended with a lopsided loss in fading light.
Which bothered him more Monday ó that he played poorly in a 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 fourth-round exit against 11th-seeded Gael Monfils of France or that the match continued as dusk descended?
“Obviously they’re both frustrating, and both contributed to my frustration,” said Roddick, the last U.S. man in the tournament. “He handled the conditions better than I did.”
The match was the last of the day on Court Suzanne Lenglen, and play didn’t begin until 7:47 p.m. Roddick began complaining to chair umpire Enric Molina in the second set that it was too dark.
After losing that set, Roddick told Molina: “I’m having trouble seeing the ball. I can’t see the ball.”
Roddick, never before past the third round at Roland Garros, missed several volleys and at least one overhead shot. After one miscue, the partisan crowd roared, and Monfils egged the spectators on, waving his hands as if to say, “Get louder!”
“The crowd did a good job supporting me,” Monfils said. “At times, I asked them to wake up and try to bury Andy. They responded, and I think he was a bit annoyed. As for Andy, I apologize for that.”
Roddick didn’t complain.
“It’s certainly his right,” he said. “It’s his advantage to use.”
While bemoaning his own play ó “I felt like I made the right decisions and just messed up the execution,” Roddick said ó he also heaped praise on Monfils, calling him one of the best athletes to ever play tennis.
“He covers so much ground,” Roddick said.
The Frenchman finished with a 45-18 edge in winners and a 17-4 advantage in aces. Monfils also saved nine of the 10 break points he faced.
“He served really big,” Roddick acknowledged, “and he served really big at the right times.”