Mark Philippoussis handed Andy Roddick an unintentionally rude introduction to PowerShares Series tennis in Birmingham, Ala. last Thursday. "Scud" fired a handcuffing serve that the American misjudged a bit, and it thumped him in the front of his body. See the exchange from a few angles here:
Though alluded to by some, it doesn't appear that the serve actually struck Roddick in the groin area. Were that the case, it seems he would have been rather incapacitated by the incident. Instead, he went on to beat Philippoussis, and then topped the ageless John McEnroe in the final, eeking it out by a 7-5 score for a victory in his first foray on this champions tour.
When I interviewed Jim Courier, whose InsideOut Sports Entertainment company runs the PowerShares Series, one night later in Indianapolis, he said, "Philippoussis hit a slice serve in the deuce court to Roddick, and it hit him right in the family jewels. It was a knockdown. Andy was down and out, and a couple octaves higher."
To be sure, Roddick's voice did sound strained in a post-match interview with Brett Haber. Perhaps Philippoussis' serve had a karmic quality to it. After all, Roddick rifled a hard serve at teenager Taylor Townsend in the Mylan WTT Smash Hits exhibition in November, the annual showing that pits the stars on Team Elton John against their counterparts on Team Billie Jean King. Here's that shot, and subsequent staredown from the 17-year-old Townsend.
I noted to Courier that Townsend gave Roddick a look after that hard body serve, which thankfully missed her, and he said, "I don't think [Roddick] had the energy to give [Mark] a look last night. He was wounded. So that was kind of a highlight, I think. We sent that immediately to Fox Sports 1, so that when he's back on the show, they can play that a million times and give him a hard time."
In closing, maybe a picture is truly worth a thousand words:
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