Greg throws a little fit, Ivo cleans up, and so does Paradorn

by Suw on June 25, 2003

Watching Greg Rusedski go out against Andy Roddick this afternoon was a pretty disappointing experience, but pretty familiar to any fan of British sport. He put up a good fight, but just when he needed to pull something special out of the bag, there was just nothing there. I had thought, along with probably everyone else watching, that he had a chance in the third set, having lost the first two by the skin of his teeth. He pulled out a little lead, broke Roddick’s serve but then went all to pieces.

It was a strange little incident that effectively ended Greg’s come-back – some idiot in the crowd called the ball out when it wasn’t but because Greg thought that the call was real he didn’t play the point and therefore lost it. In more ways than one.

Whether the hissy fit he threw at the umpire caused him to then lose the third set, or symptomatic of his disappointment with himself for his perfomance thus far, I’m not sure. But I can kind of see Greg’s point ? with crowd interference like that, surely it’s better to play the point again and ensure fairness?

Unfortunately for Greg, his lead in that set went the way of his temper, vanishing rapidly in a flurry of errors. It’s hard to say whether that contre-temps had any effect on the overall outcome ? he was already two sets down and is not well known for being able to pull back from that kind of disadvantage. But it did mar an otherwise good match which was pretty tightly fought at times – well, you don’t get much tighter than two tie-breakers! – ending up at 7-6 7-6 7-5.

On the other hand, watching Ivo Karlovic play was frankly freaky. I turned over to that match when it Karlovic was one set up and playing at this end of the court (the camera end), and his height just made the court and everyone on it, especially Paul Baccanello, look like dinky toys.

Karlovic looks a bit like a longer, thinner version of Guy Pearce, whereas Baccanello is a shorter, stumpier, stupider Sampras. MonkeyBoy II. You can tell who I wanted to win.

Karlovic’s height and reach are quite an advantage – there were times when he managed to return shots that would have zipped past the end of other players? out-stretched racquets. More than once Baccanello looked stunned as Karlovic successfully got to balls that he’d assumed were going to just go flying past. Ivo also has a smash that you really would not want to be on the wrong end of. He didn’t get to use it much – not often that the ball’s over his head, after all – but when he did, Baccanello’s best bet was to simply duck and hope for the best.

Ivo tidied up 6-4 7-6 5-7 6-2 in the end, dominating the last set as if he owned it.

I hope his confidence is growing with this second win and that he can keep the momentum going. I’m looking forward to cheering him on in the third round when he’ll be up against Max Mirnyi from Belarus, whom I’ve never heard of (although frankly that means nothing!). Go Ivo!!!

Finally, I was glad to see Paradorn Srichaphan go through too. Didn’t see much of that match, but Srichaphan’s cool. I’ll be well behind him too. 😀

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