• ATP Tour

Silly rules are why wrestling is more popular - Roddick

ESPN staff
August 16, 2011
Andy Roddick was defeated by Philipp Kohlschreiber © Getty Images

Andy Roddick launched an interesting tirade about why tennis is not as popular as wrestling after being dumped out of the Western & Southern Open on Monday.

Roddick succumbed to a three-set defeat to Philipp Kohlschreiber in Cincinnati, having won the first set in a tiebreak. The American was then penalised twice during the contest for his conduct - receiving a warning for slamming his racket against the court and then suffering a point penalty after firing a ball into the crowd in frustration following a double-fault - a punishment that cost him a crucial break in the deciding set.

Still angry after the contest had finished, Roddick - who has struggled with niggling injuries in recent times - suggested the heavy-handed discipline enforced by the umpires was part of the reason why tennis fails to attract more television viewers than wrestling staple 'Monday Night Raw'.

"Obviously it's a split second thing," Roddick said of hitting the ball into the crowd. "As soon as I did it I wanted it back. It was a judgment call for him [the umpire]. I am pretty sure I saw an eight-year-old girl catch it on the way down. He was telling me I hit it as hard as I could. It just sucks.

"I can't blame him, but I'm sitting here turning a six-week injury into a three-week injury, rehabbing eight hours a day, and a split-second decision he interjects himself and it's done.

"It's so frustrating. I certainly accept what I did. I put him in a bad situation out there. But I do think it's stupid in tennis that I mean, in [American] football if someone throws a helmet on the sideline, it's their helmet. We wonder where we lose our ratings battles to the WWE, Monday Night Raw.

"John McEnroe, the guy is still getting endorsements because he was allowed to throw s***. I understand where [the umpire] is coming from but at a certain point, you know, you hit a tennis ball into a stadium, someone goes home with a souvenir, and it pretty much ruins the match from there. Seems counter-productive."

The American later conceded that he is still recovering from his recent injury troubles, and is not quite 100 per cent just yet. He will play in next week's ATP Tour event to try and improve his fitness ahead of the US Open.

"Tonight, I was feeling it. I don't know that I quite had my legs back yet," he said. "I think it would have taken a lot tonight. I was just disappointed. Equal parts mad and also disappointed in myself. You know, it's essentially a long uphill battle from there. So I was pretty mad at myself.

"I just want to play good tennis. For two sets tonight I actually hit the ball well considering. I hit the ball a lot better than I thought I would, if I'm being totally candid."

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