Get into it
TODD Martin wants his compatriots to get interested in tennis, even when it doesn't involve Americans.
Martin pointed to abysmal TV ratings during the French Open men's final between Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain and Martin Verkerk of Holland.
“It's disappointing to know that a great tournament by two players doesn't get the acclaim that it deserves,'' Martin said after his second-round victory on Wednesday over Gustavo Kuerten.
He also said American clubs and parks needed to do more to promote the game.
Fellow American Andy Roddick had another view after his second-round victory on Wednesday over Greg Rusedski.
“I do think there has to be an American on top,'' Roddick said. “You have to have someone to cheer for. It's always fun when you have one of your own to cheer for.''
A FEMALE reporter in the back of the press room surprised Andy Roddick with a question on Wednesday.
“You are seen as the new sex symbol of the tennis circuit,'' she said. “Do you enjoy this status?''
Roddick stayed silent for several seconds, then offered a slow reply: “Do you want to go to dinner later?''
The woman seemed to want a more concrete answer.
“Sorry,'' said Roddick, “I didn't hear the question. I was just looking at you.''
She repeated the question. “You're being seen as a sex symbol.''
“To be honest, it's humorous to me,'' he replied. “I don't see myself as that. I don't try to do it. You know, maybe some people go for it a little bit. It's not really my thing. I don't really care. I'd rather win tennis matches.''
AMERICAN Mardy Fish reached the third round for the first time by beating compatriot Jan-Michael Gambill.
Next he faces No. 4 seed Roger Federer of Switzerland.
Fish hit 16 aces and 21 winners and faced only one break point. The 21-year-old Minnesota native had lost his three previous meetings against Gambill, including the final at Delray Beach, Fla. in March.
The unseeded Fish, ranked a career-best 45th, earned his first win at Wimbledon by beating No. 29-seeded Gaston Gaudio in the opening round. Fish also reached the final at Nottingham last week, where he lost to Greg Rusedski.
British bookies have installed Federer as the No. 3 favourite behind Americans Roddick and Andre Agassi. – AP