Nate Chura is senior tennis pro at the Heights Casino in Brooklyn and covers the U.S. Open for WNYC.
Andy Roddick, America's top male tennis player, was upset by Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia in the second round of the US Open Wednesday night.
Roddick took the first set routinely, but then the Serb simply began to play better and better. While Roddick managed to keep the match close, Tipsarevic unleashed a constant stream of unflinching winners and passing shots from mind-boggling court positions.
Serving down 2-5 in the third set, Roddick got called for a foot-fault. He unraveled. Though he was able to recover and hold serve, from that point on, Roddick was not the same. He continued to badger and glower at the lineswoman who made the call and at the chair umpire.
Roddick lost the third set 6-3 and, while he battled to extend the fourth set to a tiebreaker, Tipsarevic closed out the match 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6.
"From my point of view," said Tipsarevic after the match, "it was a high quality match, especially in the fourth set. I was nowhere near his serve in the fourth set because I think that he had played much better."
"Let's be fair," Roddick set the record straight afterwards. "I wasn't upset with the call. I got called for two others which I wasn't that upset about. I just expect my umpires to know the left foot from the right foot. If I ask, you know, what I'm doing, and she says, Right foot, and I point to my right foot and she says, Yes, that one."
He went on to say, "Find me any tape where my right foot has ever landed in front of my left foot on the serve. In the moment, I was just stupefied."
American tennis darling Melanie Oudin also exited the Open early, failing to repeat her 2009 Cinderella story. The Georgia princess was bounced by Alona Bondarenko of the Ukraine in straight sets.
After Oudin’s spirited run to the quarterfinals last year, many feel the 19-year-old has failed to live up to her expectations. The devastated American was in tears on her way to the press room and struggled to hold back her emotions in the post match interview.
"The first set definitely, uhm," said Oudin, trying to keep it together. "I kind of…like the crowd was like really, really loud. It was just like a lot. The second I got out there, I guess, it kind of overwhelmed me a little bit."