Please Stop Messing Around With Roddick’s Balls

Of the different sports out there, the one with the largest variation in playing conditions might be tennis. There’s grass, clay, that weird concrete stuff down at the local courts… okay, that’s all I could think of, and maybe my initial premise is way off. But whatever, we’re plunging ahead with this one.

Andy Roddick
(”I’m so mad my shirt fell off! And now they’re taking pictures of me! Of all the rotten luck!”)

Less well-known, though, is the variation in tennis balls from court to court. As Andy Roddick noted at his latest victory, the different hosts of the hardcourt series (yes, that’s it! Hardcourt! Replace “weird concrete stuff” with “hardcourt” above, please.) have been using different brands of tennis balls for their tournaments, and he has just about had enough of it, mister.


After Andy Roddick won his second-round match at the Rogers Cup on Wednesday, he broached a favorite complaint among the players at this time of year.

“I still think that we shouldn’t be changing tennis balls midsummer,” Roddick said. “That’s just, you know, at the height of not using common sense.”

Before Roddick traveled here, he played at the Legg Mason Classic in Washington. There, the players used Wilson brand tennis balls. Here, they use Penn.

Yes, the “height of not using common sense.” That’s the height of not having your vocabulary help you in the middle of saying something in front of people.

As you might imagine, plenty of people think Roddick’s complaints are the height of not focusing on the right things (sorry, I’ll stop). After all, it’s not as if there’s a home team who’s used to the different balls or that anyone’s at an inherent disadvantage. It may be a little disorienting to have the same swing do two different things depending on where you’re playing, but that’s something players can adjust to with practice, right?

And look. Perhaps it does act as a detriment to a player’s concentration if his forehand’s acting different from week to week. Maybe. But there’s lots of aspects to every single sport that also act as detriments to concentration. Fans, weather, playing conditions, you name it. Singling out the lack of continuity in equipment seems an awful lot like complaining for the sake of complaining.

Brooklyn Decker

And does anyone who gets to be married to Brooklyn Decker have a right to complain about anything, ever?