On September 2, Andy Roddick proved that he still had the winning spirit, as he beat good friend Fabio Fognini in four close sets. Not only did he play great, but he worked the crowd into giving him the advantage as well. Roddick was like a conductor, getting the crowd to react in the ways he needed to give him the energy and win. This may not be the usual method for successful tennis professionals to ride the road to victory, but, for Roddick, this is that little bit of advantage that he will happily take.
On September 4, Roddick's next opponent is Juan Martin del Porto, the 2009 U.S. Open champion. Del Potro has breezed by his opponents and on a normal day, matching up with Roddick would not slow his success. Yet, this time around, Roddick has a secret ingredient: adrenaline.
This is not the first time that del Potro has been in this sort of situation. In 2009, at the Paris Masters, del Porto faced his idol, Marat Safin. He was the last player to beat Safin before he retired. It would be quite a feat if del Potro could do the same against Roddick. Unlike Safin though, the match is in Roddick's home country, with a supportive crowd. "I know this is special, this day, for him, but I am doing my job," was del Potro's response to this match. There is no doubt that he is preparing his mind for the emotional advantage that Roddick will present, as well as the physical noise that could distract him. These sort of issues could really wreck havoc on the emotional part of the gme.
Both of these players are highly emotional, so this match promises to be roller coaster. Roddick will be playing in front of family and friends knowing that each point is closer to his last. "Im trying to keep my emotions together, all the while trying to appreciate this tournament." I would not be surprised if he gets an edge just because of the huge crowd support. While fans support del Potro, they know he will be back for many more years. This is the last time that they can give Roddick the love and thank him for many years of memories.
I just know I will be keeping the box of tissues close by.
Georgia Makitalo is a lifelong tennis fan whose biggest thrill was attending to the U.S. Open in 2001.
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