Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Campaign Trail: Elect Andy in '08

Andy Roddick began his campaign for 2008 US Open champion with quite the advertising campaign. There's the Canadian commercial where Roddick is plastered on a billboard, his I'm-as-confident-as-ever interview for the hardcourt season and a press corps that's eating it all up.

Sound familiar?

Roddick is doing his best to campaign for a slot that he lost at this tournament last year: The Office of Third Best (TOOTB). You all remember that it was Novak Djokovic who stole that title from Andy, beating him in the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup and then proceeded to beat Nadal and Federer for the title.

(Jimmy Connors couldn't cut it as Andy's campaign manager. Photo by Arch Noble via Flickr.)

But Andy wants you, and all of tennis, to believe that he is indeed still holds TOOTB. That he, Andy Roddick, can not only campaign to be TOOTB, but also have a chance to win the election everyone is gunning for this summer: US Open champion.

Roddick has made one smart decision: he's not going to Beijing. That's right, Andy is staying in the Good Ol' US of A to do his campaigning, to make sure that everyone puts him in the running for the title, and that maybe, just maybe, he can win his first slam in five long years.

A few days ago, Matt and I attempted to talk about this very topic: is it fair to put players like James Blake and Andy Roddick on the same level as Federer, Nadal and Djokovic?

Andy has become somewhat of an outsider over the last few years, and his campaign to reassert himself is just more evidence of such a downward progression. When it all comes down to it, it depends on how Roddick can play on the court, and he didn't play so well today ... maybe doing too many interviews, Andy?

If he wants to win over votes, perhaps he should try it on the court a little more, right? That's where the election is won and lost. And can he ever get past being TOOTB? Now that would be a miracle.

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