Roddick's modest proposal: Quiet, please
U.S. star doesn't blame Hewitt's noisy fans for loss, thoughAUSTRALIAN OPEN NOTEBOOK
The Associated Press
Updated: 4:34 p.m. ET Jan. 28, 2005MELBOURNE, Australia - Andy Roddick had just lost a tough four-setter punctuated by one noisy fan and a tournament referee trying to rush him. Not that he blamed either for his semifinal exit Friday from the Australian Open.
Roddick, who lost 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), 6-1 to Lleyton Hewitt, complained to chair umpire Andreas Egli in the third set that someone in the Rod Laver Arena crowd was singing during his service games.
“Just when you toss the ball up, this guy was feeling a little ambitious with his talking,” Roddick said. “It’s unfortunate.”
Hewitt has a core of followers who cheer, sing and clap during his matches. The fans began appearing at his Davis Cup matches and have become regulars as Hewitt attempts to become the first man from his country since 1976 to win the Australian Open. For the most part, though, he has no problem with the fans.
“They’re totally respectful, they’re great,” Roddick said. “They do all their chants, but when you step up to the line, they always stop. They’re really well-behaved considering how much they’re pulling for one person.”
Roddick wasn’t so complimentary about tournament referee Peter Bellenger, who hurried him while he left the court after the third set. Roddick, who told Egli he was leaving, was off for eight minutes.
“I was changing my clothes, then the referee came in and started getting on me, so that was fun,” Roddick said. “I asked him if he wanted to tie one shoe for me, and I could tie the other one, we could just save time. I guess that wasn’t a good idea.” No thanks
When he was dating Kim Clijsters, Lleyton Hewitt was a fixture in the players’ box for her matches.
Since they called off their engagement in October and broke up, Hewitt’s interest in women’s tennis vanished. Hewitt has a new girlfriend, Australian actress Rebecca Cartwright, a regular at his matches.
After beating Andy Roddick in Friday’s semifinal, Hewitt was asked what he planned to do Saturday, his off day before facing Marat Safin for the title.
“Probably a 10K run, gym session,” Hewitt said. “I won’t be watching the women’s final, that’s for sure.” Serena on Roger
Serena Williams is a big fan of Roger Federer and was a jangle of nerves watching him on TV.
Federer lost to Marat Safin on Thursday night in a four-hour semifinal featuring eight match points.
“I was dying,” Williams said. “I couldn’t watch at one more point. I turned (the channel) when Federer was down 5-2 in the fifth, and then I turned back, and I was like, ‘Oh, I hate to see him lose.’ I turned back, and it was 6-all. I’m like, Oh, my God. But then I turned again because I couldn’t bear to watch.”
Williams sounded like a charter member of the Swiss star’s fan club.
“I think he’s an amazing athlete, just his ability is second to none,” she said. “I learn so much from his game. He’s just so smooth and so solid, effortless.”
Still, Williams wasn’t surprised Safin won.
“I’ve always wondered why he didn’t win more Slams,” she said. “It doesn’t necessarily surprise me because Safin is very tall and very strong and he has the ability I think to be the best.” Honoring the children
Maria Sharapova has given more than $56,000 to those recovering from the Beslan school siege in her Russian homeland in September.
The Wimbledon champion on Friday donated the value of a Porsche — her prize for winning the WTA Tour Championships in November — to those affected by the hostage crisis. More than 330 people died, half of them children.
Sharapova presented the proceeds to the Russian ambassador to Australia, Leonid Moiseev, at a ceremony Friday.
“Making this donation was the least that I could do to help the innocent victims in my country who were tragically affected by this senseless act,” Sharapova said.