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Hickok SportsThoughts

Sports historian and author Ralph Hickok of www.hickoksports.com sometimes meanders on about current happenings in sports and sometimes looks back in languor.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

When Is a Backfire Not a Backfire?

Here's a headline that turned up repeatedly today: "Roddick's sporting gesture backfires"
Here's the story that appeared beneath that headline: Playing Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters tournament, Andy Roddick had a 5-3 lead and triple match point in the second set. The line judge called Verdasco's second serve out, apparently giving Roddick the match. But Roddick said the serve was in, so the point went to Verdasco, who ended up winning the set and the match.
Roddick is to be applauded, though he downplayed the whole thing. "The umpire would have done the same thing if he came down and looked," he said. "I just saved him the trip. He's working hard up there."
But how did his "sporting gesture backfire?"
That would mean that the result was the opposite of what Roddick expected. He could hardly have expected that his sportsmanship would win the point, or the set, or the match.