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Roddick Bags his 2nd Title in 2 months (at Isner's expense)

Anything Bigger Left for Andy?


July 22, 2012 | 09:07 PM

The Isner that Andy knocked off Saturday wasn't the lost soul of the Wimbledon lawns or a lost lumberman in the woods of Boulogne in Paris. In the previous two days he'd come through many hours of tennis in the Atlanta heat and humidity (after winning the finals of Newport in the heat and humidity last Sunday). But after 2 more long sets and 2+ hours with Andy on Saturday night, early in the 3rd set his first serve couldn't find 115 mph while Andy was on cruise control taking over play. Maybe it took John remembering Mahut to find the mojo to press Andy on his serve, but he started dancing around slow returns to smash his huge forehand winners and firing up #1 all the way to 140. When Andy held tough and was able to break to take the match 6-4 in the 3rd, he had won a second big victory this year (the first was Federer in Miami). Today he went on to win his second small title of the year (1-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2 over Muller) - one more than he won last year or in 2009.

Is Andy ready to contend for anything bigger?

At his age (29) and with his offensive weapon no longer what it was (he was out-aced 26 to 7 today by Isner) game, it will take a lot more than a Nadal getting upset in the 2nd round for him to win a major.

But a gold medal? Nadal's withdrawl there does eliminate one man who has previously taken Andy out on grass ('08, Queens). I won't go on with the scenario, but if Andy were to win, he'd be the Ernie Els of this British Open, winning it from so far back on the leader board that no one was looking. Andy's not capable of playing much birdie golf anymore, to stretch the metaphor, but if the field backs up in the Olympics the way the top golfers (including Tiger) did today at Royal Lytham (shooting from 3 to 7 shots worse than Ernie, all over par), our Andy might just sneak a big one away from their Andy.

He could retire a national hero, realizing the last 10 years in the wings getting close but without a cigar had been worth it. Andy could light this one up on the radio waves forever.

Rick

ATP 7.22.12


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