Andy, Andy, Andy…what are we going to do with you? While you may have reached the round of 16 at the French Open for the first time in your career, I can’t help but be disappointed in your recent play. Andy, this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. There are many more things that need to be brought to your attention. Just follow me after the jump, hon.
I know it’s unfair that the state of American men’s tennis has fallen squarely on your shoulders. I can’t help you in this department. But to be fair to your fellow Americans, you did lead us on a little bit. After being heralded as the next saviour of U.S. tennis, you came through in 2003 with your first Grand Slam title. You were on top of the world, literally. After the big win at the U.S. Open at the ripe old age of 21, you were the No. 1 player in the world. You were the next “big thing” in American tennis. Andre Agassi’s career was winding down, and yours was just getting started, or so we thought.
Of course, no one expected Roger Federer to storm onto the scene and steal all of your glory. The media tried to make a rivalry out of your matches, but even you said that it can only be considered a rivalry if you actually beat Feds in some of the matches. There weren’t many up-and-coming American men at this point, so you were pretty much our only hope. I’m not trying to take anything away from James Blake, Mardy Fish, Robby Ginepri, etc. I’m always rooting for my fellow Americans, but you were my favorite of all the other men. After my first tennis love, Pete Sampras, started to fade, I switched allegiances to you, Mr. Roddick. I cannot tell you how many times I set my alarm for 3 a.m. to watch you play in the Australian Open, hoping that this year just might be the year. I swear almost every time I regretted losing sleep to watch you play, but like a fool, I came back every year.
Well this year, Andy, I didn’t set an alarm to watch your early morning matches. This year I can honestly say, I never watched an entire match you played. I don’t like to think that I have become less of a tennis fan, it’s just that I feel like I don’t have anything to root for anymore. Maybe it’s because you’re now off the market or because I treasure my sleep, but whatever the reason, I’m sad about it. Yesterday, I decided to not quit you entirely. I had been following your progress in the French Open, but tried not to get too excited. I knew you had advanced to the second week for the first time in your career. While you might be good on clay, you seem to have troubles at the French, so I was excited at the prospect of you advancing further in the tourney. With Nadal ousted, I thought you may just have a chance. So I decided to watch your match against Gael Monfils. Bad idea.
I only became more disenchanted with you after watching you fall in straight sets. I didn’t expect a big convincing win, but I thought that you definitely wouldn’t leave without a fight. I was wrong. I miss the days where it was almost guaranteed that you would be in the semis or championship match at a Grand Slam. I can’t believe I’m about to type this sentence, but here goes nothing. I miss the Mandy Moore days! I may not have been a fan of the Andy/Mandy relationship, but if having her in the stands makes you win championships, then I’ll pay for her ticket! Andy please try to find your mojo!
So Andy, let’s just focus on Wimbledon. You love the grass. The grass loves you! With Nadal losing in the French Open (finally!), we have learned that everyone on the tour is beatable. Now is your chance, Andy. Please, for us tortured American tennis fans, win one for your country! Davis Cup titles are nice and all, but we would like some Grand Slam wins. I love that the women have been holding up their end of the bargain (Go Venus & Serena! Woo!), but the men need to step up. You seem to be our only real chance of bringing home a big win, so toss us all a bone, and just win dammit!
Love your biggest fan in the whole wide world,