Lleyton Hewitt was just beaten in the first round 6-4, 7-6 by Blaz Kavcic in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the last tournament ahead of the US Open. The problem is that Lleyton’s foot injury is struggling to cope with any competitive play.
Hewitt pushed his return after surgery for the French Open before hurting his ankle and then injuring his foot leading up to Wimbledon. It’s become difficult to keep track of Lleyton’s injuries, particularly with this recurring foot problem but it seems that, as usual, Lleyton refuses to admit that his body is no longer up to the task and retire. Read more
Novak Djokovic extended his unbeaten 2011 streak to 26 matches by beating Blaz Kavcic 6-3, 6-2 in his tournament in Begrade for a place in Saturday’s semi final against good friend Janko Tipsarevic.
Novak, who doesn’t have many points to defend and has a real chance at becoming world number one in the coming weeks, also received the highest honour bestowed by the Serbian Orthodox church. He received the Order of Saint Sava of the first degree Thursday. Read more
>After being written off before the start of the tournament Andy Roddick has almost equalled his best ever showing at Roland Garros. Almost. He may have got to the third round but it wasn’t pretty. It his first round he needed 5 sets to dispose of Jarrko Nieminen. His second round required 4 sets, and what felt like 100 service breaks to defeat Kavcic who is ranked at 112, considerably lower than the American world number 8.
Roddick. who is widely known to dislike both the Suzanne Lenglen Court and clay courts in general, was knocked out in the third set by world number 114 Teimuraz Gabashvili, in straight sets. The 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 victory took less than two hours and Roddick was livid afterwards.
The issue stemed from the wet tarps, normally used to cover the court, being stored at the back of the court causing balls to get heavy and wet when they went up the back of the court. “They dry the whole court, but then they leave the tarps soaking wet. If a ball rolls through a puddle enough times, can you tell me what happens to it? Then, when clay attaches to it, it doesn’t get lighter. It’s something that I’ve been pretty adamant complaining about behind closed doors for a long time. The umpire said to me, ‘Well, it happens every year’. I’m going, ‘Is that supposed to make me feel better?’ I didn’t understand that logic.”
Roddick is looking forward to Wimbledon where he feels grass lends itself to his game more than clay.
>Andy Roddick had successfully past a second round test against Blaz Kavcic, winning 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. Roddick not only had to beat his opponent but also the horrendous weather in Paris and his own mental demons. In the third set Roddick was up two breaks and serving for a 4-0 lead when he became irritated by a line call that went against him. He lost the next two games as he continued to complain about the call, and remained edgey about other calls as the set progressed.
All the rain in Paris had made conditions heavier and slower, even with the courts covered, which made life harder for Roddick who doesn’t move naturally on clay and prefers a faster surface. “It was brutal for me out there. I couldn’t get my serve to go anywhere and the ball was just sitting up. I woke up this morning, looked out my window, and knew that it was gonna be a long one. It kind of takes away a lot of shots and it makes it just about hitting the ball and running.”
The match was interrupted by one long rain delay and two shorter ones. Roddick, a three time runner up at Wimbledon, was the more experienced player in dealing with such disturbances to play. Despite his experience Roddick still struggled on serve with both players frequently breaking each other, with a total of 17 breaks of serve happening during the match that was dragged out between 3.45pm and 8.20pm.
Roddick will next face Teimuraz Gabashvili on Saturday. If he wins, he equals his best showing at Roland Garros (4th round).