Roddick flips, and flops

Foot faults anger No. 9 seed, who exits in 2nd round

September 02, 2010|By Diane Pucin, Tribune newspapers

NEW YORK — A foot-fault call made Andy Roddick become a twitching, motor-mouthed angry tennis player, and while Roddick's temper tantrum didn't include obscenities or threats directed toward the offending lineswoman, it also didn't provide him with a spark.

In a rowdy atmosphere made noisier and more emotional after getting the first of four foot-fault calls in the third set, the ninth-seeded Roddick was upset by 44th-ranked Janko Tipsarevic 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (4) in a second-round U.S. Open match Wednesday night.

In the eighth game of the third set, when Roddick was already down a service break to the 26-year-old Tipsarevic, Roddick was called for a foot fault by a lineswoman.

But the lineswoman made a mistake too. She said it was Roddick's right foot that touched the line. But the mechanics of Roddick's serve made that impossible. It was the left foot.

"I foot faulted?" Roddick shouted. "With my right foot? I doubt it. That is unbelievable."

As Roddick ranted, the crowd murmured almost as if in fear.

A year ago, in a women's semifinal, Serena Williams was called for a foot fault, a call that so angered Williams that after she took a breath and turned her back, she pivoted, faced the lineswoman and threatened to shove her racket down the throat of the umpire. Roddick, even as he kept yelling, "Right foot?" and staring at the woman, didn't receive even a warning from chair umpire Enric Molina.

On the women's side, No. 3 seed Venus Williams was befuddled by the wind that is becoming more troublesome as Hurricane Earl creeps up the East Coast.

"Not as easy to get a rhythm today … it was really windy," Williams said after her 7-6 (3), 6-3 victory over Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino..

Even the unflappable Clijsters, the defending champion, sprayed 15 unforced errors during the first set of her 6-2, 6-1 win over Australian qualifier Sally Peers.

Clijsters, who won her 16th straight Open match said, "I had to rediscover my footing," in the wind.

Early in the day it seemed as if heat might have brought danger.

Tenth-seeded Victoria Azarenka collapsed after hitting a shot against Gisela Dulko. She was quickly covered in wet towels and ice bags and wheeled off the court and taken to a hospital.

It wasn't the heat, though, that forced her exit. Azarenka said later she had fallen while doing a warmup run, landed on her shoulder and head and had a slight concussion.

Melanie Oudin, a surprise quarterfinalist last year, lost 6-2, 7-5 to 29th-seeded Alona Bondarenko.

dpucin@tribune.com

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