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Juan Martin Del Potro US Open 2009

Juan Martin Del Potro US Open 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Andy Roddick and Juan Martin Del Potro battled each other in the US Open Round of 16 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Andy Roddick at the Legg Mason tennis tourname...

Andy Roddick at the Legg Mason tennis tournament Washington, DC August 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Roddick announced last Thursday that he would retire following the US Open.  The stands were, of course, packed with fans eager to see 2 of the world’s best players and especially to give Roddick a great send-off.

The match was terrific to watch.  On Tuesday night, after starting an hour late because of rain, the players had played only one point in the first set tie break before the match was called for the night, same reason.

So this afternoon they went at it again!  Although I had a rehearsal, the timing worked out well.  I was able to see quite a bit of the end.

Both Roddick and Del Potro have won the US Open in the past; Roddick in 2003 and Del Potro in 2009.  The matches always become more competitive during the 2nd week of an Open.  These two players were just about even.

While I was watching, the players chased each other, keeping the score even.  And then, nearer the end, Del Potro pulled ahead as Roddick began making more errors.  As the match came closer and closer to the end, Roddick was crying, along with many of his fans.

What happened next is overwhelmingly my inspiration for writing this post.  Del Potro won.  There was heartfelt, meaningful conversation between the two players at the net.  And then Del Potro, who could have taken the court to celebrate his win, merely walked a step or two from his chair, turned, and extended his arm, gesturing to Roddick.  The crowd went wild.

What a wonderful expression of grace.  Del Potro didn’t cede his celebration because he had to.  It was Andy’s night.  I will remember it for a very long time.

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