Thursday, June 26, 2003

Rusedski curses, Roddick cruises

Tennis match turns on disputed point

The Associated Press

[IMAGE] Andy Roddick kept his cool most of the day Wednesday to beat Greg Rusedski at Wimbledon.
(Associated Press photo)
| ZOOM |
WIMBLEDON, England - Greg Rusedski's profanity-filled tirade at the chair umpire over a disputed point was the beginning of the end of his big-serving showdown with Andy Roddick at Wimbledon Wednesday.

Roddick stayed focused and won the final five games to advance to the third round with a 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1), 7-5 victory.

"I knew he might be a little mad," Roddick said, "so if I was going to get back into it or try to take over, then that was probably going to be my time."

Roddick and Rusedski share the fastest-serve record: 149 mph. Neither allowed so much as a break point through the first two sets Wednesday.

But, said Roddick: "A lot of it's between the ears, keeping calm."

That helped the No. 5-seeded American against Rusedski, who eliminated the 20-year-old Roddick in Wimbledon's third round last year.

Rusedski led 5-2 in the third set when Roddick, serving at 30-15, hit a shot that caught the line and a fan yelled "Out!" Rusedski hit the ball over the net, then stopped playing - he thought a linesman made the call.

Roddick, a bit confused as well, tapped a volley over to win the point.

Rusedski pleaded with chair umpire Lars Graff for the point to be replayed. At the next changeover, he hit a ball back to the wall behind the baseline, threw his racket beside his chair, tossed a ball and his racket again, and screamed obscenities at Graff.

The BBC, which picked up Rusedski's comments on a courtside microphone, apologized to viewers. Tournament referee Alan Mills said he will fine Rusedski.

"I'm sorry for the language I used," Rusedski said. "We all lose it. Unfortunately, if you lose it at work, it doesn't get shown on TV. If I do, it does."

He didn't win another game, losing 18 of the final 23 points.

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