- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 15, 2001

It was just another doubles match on one of the grandstand courts, one of 27 to be played this week at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic. The match featured a wild-card entry versus an unseeded pairing seemingly unspectacular.
Until you consider that wild-card tandem was Andy Roddick and his older brother John.
The Roddicks, in their first ATP tour doubles appearance, delighted a packed grandstand court audience with energetic tennis, outlasting Argentineans Guillermo Canas and Daniel Orsanic 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. Apparently, it doesn't matter how or with whom Andy Roddick is playing, fans will watch.
"It was a blast a lot of fun," said the 18-year-old Andy Roddick. "He's probably the reason why I'm playing tennis."
Charlie Brotman, longtime partner in the Brotman, Winter and Fried public relations firm that has coordinated the Legg Mason for the last 31 years, said he has never seen the grandstand court so full for a doubles match. The crowd actually outnumbered the one that at the stadium court where the Greg Rusedski-Markus Hipfl match was going on at the same time.
Roddick's singles match ended at 11 p.m. Monday night, but he still had plenty of energy for a three-setter yesterday. On several occasions, he and his brother yelled, pumped their fists and emphatically slapped each other's hands. As usual, Roddick played to the crowd, often exhorting them to cheer louder.
"It was definitely a great atmosphere to play in," Andy Roddick said. "The crowd was pretty electric."
John Roddick, who is an assistant tennis coach at the University of Georgia, last played singles three years ago and doubles two years back. However, he didn't look rusty. The brothers said the prospect of playing doubles started as a joke, but since SFX operates the Legg Mason and Andy has SFX representation, it made sense to play in the District after they were offered a wild-card entry.
Monday night, District tennis fans got a jolt of reality when Roddick almost didn't get out of the first round. Wayne Arthurs, who tends to dominate service games, pushed Roddick to a third-set tiebreak before he fell.
Roddick knew he would have his hands full with Arthurs, an Australian.
"When I saw the draw, I said 'It's going to be [decided by a tiebreaker] in the third,' " he said. "Wayne's the type of guy who's going to give anybody in the world a tough match, any surface, any day because he has such a great weapon."
Roddick will play Paradorn Srichaphan today at 4 p.m. on the stadium court.

Goldstein ousted early

Because of a two-plus hour rain delay earlier in the day, several singles matches had to be pushed back. Two matches finished well past 1 a.m. yesterday morning.
Rockville native Paul Goldstein, who received a wild-card entry into the tournament, lost to No. 11 seed Guillermo Canas 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1 in a match that finished early yesterday morning. Even at that hour, Goldstein still had a small group of what he called "die hards" loudly supporting him.
He said the novelty of playing in his hometown tournament "has worn off a touch. But it's still special coming back… . It's a lot more fun when you're winning matches. The fans do their job every time, but sometimes I don't do my job."
Goldstein won two matches and reached the round of 16 before losing to Andre Agassi at last year's Legg Mason. In 1999 he upset Alex Corretja en route to reaching his first-ever ATP tour quarterfinal. However, a torn tendon in his groin kept him out for three months this summer, and he had played in only one ATP tournament since his injury a second-round loss in Los Angeles three weeks ago before Monday's match.
Goldstein's match ended around 1:15 a.m., but his was far from the latest to finish. Julien Boutter and Lars Burgsmuller played a three-setter that lasted until 2:10 a.m.. Boutter finally won 6-3, 6-7 (7), 6-3. An ATP tour representative said he believes it was the latest a singles match had been played this year in any of the previous 11 U.S. tournaments.

Getting started

For tour players appearing in their first few tournaments, it's a matter of playing well and getting their name out there. Just ask Zack Fleishman.
Fleishman played No. 2 singles at UCLA last year but decided to turn pro after his freshman year. He received a wild card into the draw at the Legg Mason his first ATP tour event where he lost in the first round to Wayne Black, 7-6 (2), 6-1.
Monday, unbeknownst to Fleishman, his agent handed out what amounted to resumes to media and tournament staff. "It's to try to help me get publicity," Fleishman said. "Hopefully this is the start of something, playing at this level… . I'm looking for my breakthrough."

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide