Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day 4: All About Bobby Reynolds

What? You ask.

Who the hell is Bobby Reynolds and why the hell aren't you leading with today's big upsets?

I am.

With Andy Roddick's painfully predictable upset at the hands of Janko Tipsarevic and James Blake's perfectly predictable upset at the hands of Rainer Schuettler and Jesse Levine's reasonably predictable loss to Jurgen Melzer today, Bobby Reynolds, who advanced yesterday, remains the last American standing in the men's draw.

Bobby Reynolds. The challenger circuit journeyman with the cute face and high tenor voice.

Here's some of the shit I shouted (or wrote) during the Andy debacle:
Go, Andy!!!! Give away your serve with two beautiful forehands after taking out your frustrations on the chair ump for your inability to break serve!!!

Woohoooo!!!!

It amazes me that he took pace off his shots after he won his first Slam because he was criticized as a one-dimensional ball basher who couldn't beat Federer.

And now he's merely a counterpuncher with a big serve.

And a lot of doubt.

Connors restored confidence in Andy's backhand down the line. It became a weapon shortly after they hooked up. It was the single most improved shot that won him Cincy and got him to the US Open final that year.

Now, he doesn't hit it much at all and therefore, he can't break serve.

Andy's tennis problems are about as simple as he is.

Flail, flail away, Andy.

Breakpoint conversions: Andy, 0-7. Tipsy 2-2.

Clearly, Andy is far better at breaking his own serve than his opponent's.

I find it entirely silly that Andy is now waging a grunting battle with Tipsy because he got thrown off earlier in the match when Tipsy grunted loudly after striking a return and Andy claimed to be distracted so he hit a double fault and ended up dropping serve later in that game. Even the fans are laughing at this grunting battle, though it sounds so... well... sexual. Maybe that's why they were laughing.

It would serve Andy right to lose this match for blowing all those break points in the first set. I know Tipsy saved a few, but Andy played like a coward. Losing so few points on serve, he needs to chip and charge or something. But no, he dinks and waits for errors. It's so annoying.

But there was nothing more shocking than those two club-level returns on 75-mph (!) second serves on his two consecutive set points at 5-4 in the fourth set.

What the fuck was that?!?!?!?!?

He has turned into Amelie Mauresmo right before my eyes. But then again, she actually won this thing.

I've been window shopping for a new favorite since Melbourne.

Andy's always gracious in defeat but if he claims, like he is wont to do, that he didn't do anything wrong on his breakpoints, then he's delusional and he should pick another career.

I like Tipsy. And he took everything Andy gave him and played some great tennis on his own. But if he doesn't play tennis in his next match, win or lose, I'll hate him forever.

I don't have much to add now. Maybe I'll find some excuses for Andy in the coming days, but I doubt it. Choke, choke, choke. Choke, the chicken. And since I'm reminded right now of all those illicit grunts during the match, I think this picture sums up the position of Andy's caREER right about now.



Overheard

Vlad (over at TAT): You know, I always thought grass can play tricks with your mind. Therefore, all these results...

The Siberian Banshee Taken To Woodshed



Folks are calling this the upset of the tournament. After all, Maria Sharapova has won this thing while Novak Djokovic and Andy have not. All three of them had easy draws. On paper. But you gotta play the matches and when the paper came to live, they all failed. Andy flatout choked (chicken); Djoke was simply outplayed. Maria was arguably more favored in her match and few suspected she'd have any trouble getting through.

But the Alla Kudravtsava, the Russian young woman ranked No. 150 who almost beat Venus Williams in the first round last year decided she was up for the challenge against another Wimby champ and this time she would win.

Oh. Well.

The butch-femme Siberian Banshee is out of the tournament. Maybe she and Andy can take solace in each other.

Oh. Wait.

Andy's engaged and Maria is, well....

Moving right along.

At least Venus Williams won. Patrick McEnroe has his work cut out for him as the new general manager of elite player development for the USTA.

Maybe he should start by inviting Bobby Reynolds....

Nevermind. Reynolds is a journeyman. Donald Young is the Tin Man. Jesse Levine is the Tin Man. Sam Querrey wants another Porsche. John Isner is a serve. Wayne Odesnik likes clay but not much else.

But who would have thought that Bobby Reynolds would be the last American male standing at Wimbledon? In the third round?


Venus


British fan


Tipsy and Andy


Alla Kudryavtseva


Her father, Alexander Kudryavtseva, cheers


James Blake


Brooklyn Decker, Andy's fiancee, broods


The long goodbye


Tipsy


Rafa dives and slides to victory

11 comments:

Karen said...

Craig, please do not leave Andy. It happens. Can you imagine how I felt after Fed lost a few weeks ago. Absolutely devastated,but did I find a new fave, hell no, I went to every message board and I defended my guy. I defended him to the high heavens and I was willing to kill anyone who dare to say a bad word against him. Do not give up on Andy. He may just surprise you. Sometimes when you want something so bad you can almost taste it, that is when it is harder to get it. He wants to win Wimbledon so bad he can almost taste it. He just did not want to make any errors today. He got scared. It happens. Have a glass of rum and remember he has been the saviour of Davis Cup for almost 5 years. He has brought glory to the USA. He is a champion. Do not give up on him.

Craig Hickman said...

Karen, I am duly chastened. I'll take it under advisement.

oddman said...

I'm feeling it too, Craig. But my anger is fading. One glimmer of hope - in his interview, he talked about wanting another slam. He didn't want to be just a journeyman player, he wouldn't be happy just doing that. Perhaps, in time, some answers will come to Andy.

Karen said...

Craig you should see some of the thoughts that come to my mind when Roger plays Rafa. Not fit for the web waves - LOL

cate said...

Brooklyn looks like she's wearing one of Andy's shirts after a night of ... yeah. XD

oddman said...

And, I know you didn't post anything about Rafa's win, but I just want to add, that was a nice win for the Spaniard. He was also looking a bit tentative at times, but managed to tough it out. That young Gulbis got game! Good on Rafa for making adjustments in the match, getting a better chance on EG's second serve, and hanging in there, chipping away at the Latvian's belief. Give this kid a year, he may be one of the top ones. I really didn't think he played super, did Rafa, but got the win. Loved his postmatch interview, and how he snuck into the ESPN booth, hoping to get that done and out of there to watch his soccer.
I wonder, with the tentativeness going on yesterday, if Djoker's loss on Wed was on a lot of minds - anyone can lose to anyone, no? Rafa can't play like that again, or he'll be 'banned to the island' of Mallorca sooner than he hoped.

Vamos, Rafa!

tangerine said...

On MTF some of us Roddick fans were talking about bandwagoning on other players but after we tried to fangirl for other players we always ended up back with Andy. We just can't quit him! It's difficult to be his fan when he loses like this but it can also be very rewarding when he wins big. The highs and lows are like a drug.

I felt better after reading Andy's press interview where he admitted he choked badly. It's funny that even though he's an underdog and no longer in the mix, he can still be crushed under the weight of his own expectations. He expects more of himself, and as fans so do we.

The good news is that Andy's choking can be cured. If I were his coach (he needs to get a real one, btw) I would tell him to visualize his performance in the Davis Cup final. I think DC is a great example of Andy playing under pressure and wanting to win the title badly, but instead of thinking too much or choking he played within himself, and he played with controlled aggression, flatting out the forehand and all that good stuff. He used to be able to thrive under pressure. He can do it again by disconnecting himself from the end result of his efforts, if you know what I mean.

He's blown some golden opportunities this year but there is still time for him to take advantage of the next opportunity that presents itself.

oddman said...

Hi tangerine. Yes, things do look better today - karen is right - it happens. I felt alot better after reading his presser. If you know what the problem is, and can admit it, that's half the battle, no? (saw that on Dr. Phil, lol)
I've been agreeing with Craig's shouting at Andy for a psychologist for years - take a crack at it, guy. You do have some weapons, you should use them more often. Davis Cup, to me, isn't the same - not enough of the top players do it, atmosphere is a team, not individual - that's where Andy needs help, with dealing with his head in a match. Or not dealing with it, really.

Karen said...

And now the new IT girl is gone. Boy, I tell you this Wimbledon might just deliver new winners on both sides of the divide. Like how Aggie Radwanska is just chipping away and doing her thing. Talk about a dark horse just floating along

Craig Hickman said...

Sugiyama Ai is the darkest of darkhorses. She who has played 57 consecutive Slam events. A record on both tours.

Karen said...

It is like everyone is trying to get to the final. Everyone playing their heart out. Everyone not just happy to be there. Everyone thinking that if not me, then who. Everyone. There are some who are just floating along doing their thing (JJ, Kuzzy, Aggie). Look at Bethanie Mattek. Who knew? Man, week 2 should be good. Roger seems to be doing his thing. I read that he hit a forehand so fast that he had Marc Giquel doing splits and almost giving him whiplash it was so fast. Methinks Roger is trying to tell world something. Andy Murray doing his thing. Anci, Baghdatis, Safin. Man, what to do what to do. Listening to Radio Wimbledon, Matt Cronin saying that Ana does not have what it takes to win slams back to back. You have to have physical as well as mental strength - boy I tell you everytime I think about what Serena has done, it makes my heart just beat a little faster. That girl was damn good.