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Andy Roddick crushes serve, Fabrice Santoro's competitive spirit

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roddick.jpgAndy Roddick, noted tennis expert and Lacoste enthusiast, has an absolute killer first serve. And while I'm no tennis expert, it seems like that would be something he would want to use to his advantage.

Last night, Roddick's match with Frenchman Fabrice Santoro came to an unorthodox conclusion when Santoro became upset that Mr. Brooklyn Decker almost hit him with a blistering serve.



After the match, Santoro explained why he was so riled up.

" "The match was over," Santoro said. "I was a little bit disappointed with the way he served the point before."

Roddick apologized to Santoro when they met at center court. He said he was aiming for the T and hoped Santoro didn't think it intentional. But he did.

"He served straight at me for sure," Santoro said. "That's a good strategy during the match, but it was almost over. He realized it was kind of a mistake." When told Roddick said he was aiming for the T, Santoro said, "Then it was the biggest mistake of his life. When he serves for the T, he gets the T."

Anyone with an intricate knowledge of the "unwritten rules of tennis" is free to explain to me if Roddick did anything wrong here. Regardless of Roddick's intentions, the refusal to play the final point just looks bad on Santoro's part.

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22 Comments

good for Andy!!! if i had a serve like that, i'd break it out whenever i could too. it's especially nice to see since he hasn't been able to serve like that for a few months.
Kyle responds: Yeah, I still don't get this. What's so wrong with playing hard to the end?

The match was (essentially) over, and for Roddick to hit a 140mph serve straight at his opponent was both unnecessary and, in tennis, considered quite unsportsmanlike.

So, to answer your question: Santoro was well beaten before the last (and 2nd to last point), so for him to refuse the final point was the 'real point', aimed squarely at Andy Roddick and his overly aggressive act.

Wow!!!!!

Why are people surprised? Fabrice is French who are great with food but not known for character or an ability to defend their country.

From someone who is usually such a gentleman on court, for Santoro to have a reaction like that is bizarre to say the least. Roddick too is known for showing great sportsmanship on court, and the two of them are in fact friends, so Santoro's reaction was rather irrational. Roddick did nothing outside the rules, nor did he bend the rules, and it's a disappointing way for Santoro to end his career in grand slams.

Roddick handled the situation well in the interview which shows his maturity over the years, however, he probably wanted to say something else. What he was probably thinking and what many where thinking is that Santoro needs to grow up and realize this is the men's us open, not 3.0 mixed doubles! There's no crying in tennis. You don't say, "Andy, you hit it too hard, whah :("

There is no rule against utilizing a body serve - even at 140 mph - in a tennis match, but to employ such a tactic at 6-2 6-2 5-2 30-love shows a complete lack of proportion and sensibility. Why not let Fabrice display some of his prodigious magic on his last appearance on center court? To his credit Roger let him play in '06 once the match was won, and provided not only some great entertainment for the crowd, but also got a few grins himself. It's hard to fathom what Roddick was thinking unleashing his caveman serve at that stage of the match. Impressed? NO. I hope Ernests will trim his ego down to a more appropriate size in the next round.

Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal are the best players of tennis !!!!I like tennis is the best sport

You people amaze me. You are the probably the same people that cry during football games when the game is won and they continue to score touchdowns. You play until it is over. Roddick was playing a tennis match and serving he did what he was suppose to do. Roddick apologized and said it wasn't his intention, Roddick is known for his sportsmanlike behavior towards his opponents and is also known for his honesty, if he was trying to do it he would of admitted it. I guess in nowhere in the history of tennis has someone not hit their mark while serving.

Also whats to say if he took it easy and Fabrice broke him and was right back in the match, it is not over until you have actually won and at that point is was only 15-0, that serve made it 30-0. Which means Roddick hadn't won anything yet. People need to stop crying over ridiculous things. I bet half of you didn't even watch the match just read the articles.

What the...you've NEVER seen anyone come back in a tennis match from 6-2, 6-2 down and win?!?!? Have you ever even watched tennis?

People pay money to get into the US open and expect to see competitors battle it out until the end. Santoro quitting, probably before the point in questions here, shows a complete lack of respect for the people who pay his salary, for his opponent, for his own ability, and for the sport as a whole.

Roland,

You sound like the kid who usually got smoked by oppontants as a kid, and then your Mom or Dad would protest to the tournament director that their little baby was treated unfairly. Stand up for yourself. If YOU know anything about Tennis, if you can't get way from a serve, get off the court. Did you get picked on in juniors or something?

Lets tell a pitcher he can't go inside with 94 to close out a 6 run game.

Wahhhh....he hit the serve too hard.

What a baby, and he will now forever be remembered for being such a tool!

I can see it in the future, the tennis announcers calling an exceptionally good ace:

"Wow Bob, he sure Fabriced him there"

mmmmm - Kevin - this topic was not about me, or was it? I get the feeling you forgot your A.D.D. pills this morning, and began rambling off topic. Anyway - on your way home from work today why don't you drive as fast as your car can go and see how the other drivers react. Fair metaphor, no? It can drive over 100mph, so just keep swerving and cutting people off, maybe drive on the shoulder...

(fyi - I did not play as a kid, and I respect fair sportsmanship on the winning and losing side. I take you for the guy that cheats at games and tries to win at all costs.. just my sense of you - good luck with that attitude)

I was at this match and the crowd loved seeing Andy Roddick's 147mph serve earlier in the game. He was giving the audience what they paid for. And he was great.

The rather frumpy Santoro however lost all steam by the 2nd set and went downhill from there. Shows you the difference between #8 and # 60 is huge.

ummm....wasn't it just a few years ago at the us open that roddick was down 2 sets and faced matched point?? he ended up winning that point, then game, then set, then match. just goes to show it is not over until it is over....roddick should never go easy on his opponents and his opponents should never expect him to.

this is tennis and you're allowed to hit the ball anywhere you want. santoro has a right to be pissed at the way roddick tried to end it but roddick is not a fault.

all said, however, roddick is a disappointment as an american tennis player and hardly deserves any of the mention that he's gotten.

Santoro is 35 years old and can do whatever he wants. Roddick sucks. That curled lip is gross.

OK, Santoro was embarrassed at being knocked down, but please, since when is a serve at the body something unusual? Roddick was trying to close out a match, not make friends.

Would Santoro have won the point if he could? Of course. He hadn't resigned, after all. If he had managed to turn around the match, would he have then handed it back to Roddick, because at one time it was "almost over"? Of course not. He'd have done anything he could to win, and if he'd have won, he'd have rightly gloated at his turnaround.

Roddick closed it out the way it should be done, and Santoro acted like a little girl.

Roddick was actually complimenting Santoro.
Roddick did not take his lead for granted which shows his respect for Santoro as a player.
Santoro did NOT show the same respect for Roddick by playing the match to the very end - however the presumed outcome.

poor santoro

people at the highest levels of tennis know how to control their serves on a dime, what roddick did on that serve was COMPLETELY INTENTIONAL. he's 28 years old and has been playing probably 24 years of his life, if anyone thinks that it wasn't intentional, you have to be a complete dumbass. not only was it intentional, but he was a complete jackass about it, doing it when he was up 5-2, 30-0 in the third set. he's just another reason why american people get such a bad reputation internationally.

Seems that if Roddick had faulted the serve--hit it too long, so that Sartoro couldn't avoid it, that would be one thing. I don't follow how hitting a serve in bounds can be considered mean spirited.

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