Forgive me for going on about this – I’m a sucker for drama.
It turns out that Andy Murray was more than a little ill during his five set loss to Fernando Verdasco the other day. According to Darren Cahill’s commentary during the Tsonga vs. Verdasco match today, the Scot is on antibiotics and under doctor’s orders not to fly home for a few days.
At the time of the loss, Murray played down his illness saying things like: “I gave myself the best chance to win. I don’t think it came down to a physical thing why I lost.” and “I didn’t play my best but sometimes you’ve just got to say too good, and he played better than me.”
Of course, his comments and behavior lie in stark contrast to those of his (former?) buddy Novak Djokovic, who must be peeved at the beating he’s taken in the press after retiring to Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals yesterday. His own post- match comments were suspect enough to raise the ire of everyone from Mary Jo Fernandez to Rich at Down the Line, especially when he claimed that he already felt better and wished he could get back on the court. Uh, Novak – get a clue. You have to at least pretend to be considering a trip to the emergency room when you talk to the press after a match like that.
Novak’s biggest argument was that he hadn’t had proper recovery time, considering that his fourth rounder against Marcos Baghdatis ended at 2:30am the day before. He claimed that tournament organizers brushed off his request to push back his match: “I did request to play night match, but it didn’t come up good for me. I don’t blame them putting an Australian (Dokic) on at 7.30. You’ve got to think about people, about the public, about everybody. But sometimes you’ve got to hear what the players have to say.”
Roger Federer, never reluctant to criticize the Serb, had this deliciously bitchy reaction:
“At the beginning of the tournament you have a hundred players requesting something. You can’t always give the players everything they want. I would have been ready to play in the heat. I like playing in the heat. Novak had a day off. It’s not like he had to play the next day at 11 in the morning. He still had a day and a half off. I don’t think it’s the end of the world.”
Come on Roger, tell us how you really feel:
“I’m almost in favor of saying, you know what, if you’re not fit enough, just get out of here. If Novak were up two sets to love I don’t think he would have retired 4-0 down in the fourth. Thanks to Andy (Roddick) that he retired in the end. Andy pushed him to the limits. Hats off to Andy.”
AWWW. . . .SNAP!
If this was junior high, Andy Roddick and Roger would be shoving Djokovic inside a locker right now. No matter how hard Novak tries, it seems like he’ll never be the cool kid at school. But beware of the young guy with a chip on his shoulder – Federer’s comments could be just the fuel Novak needs to stoke his competitive fire.