Juan Martin del Potro + Andy Roddick both played their first matches since the US Open and both lost, though one of the losses is more worrisome than the other.
The current US Open champ, who was suffering from some jet lag and an upset stomach, was shocked by 189th-ranked Frenchie qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4, 6-4 in Tokyo. A-Rod, who won at Flushing Meadows back in 2003, suffered his second consecutive loss since being upset in the third round of the year's final Slam falling to the 143rd-ranked Lukasz Kubot of Poland 6-2, 6-4. He also missed out on a chance to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
It's not surprising to see Delpo struggle after winning his maiden major. There's an emotional element to overcome here (not to mention the endless celebrating no doubt) more than physical so it'll probably take some time for his game to reemerge. But it will.
A-Rod's loss, however, provided more proof that the Wimbledon loss to Roger Federer over the summer is lingering. He had plenty of time to prepare for the Asian swing but it seems only time will heal the wounds from that missed opportunity. How long is anybody's guess.
So I guess some of the early-losing top lady ballers can gain some comfort now, no?
(Photo: Getty, Reuters)