Discussion

Not so dandy Andy

Updated: May 30, 2006, 2:39 PM ET
To put it bluntly, Andy Roddick is hardly a clay-court specialist and Roland Garros hasn't been particularly kind to him. With the 23-year-old retiring on Tuesday from his first-round match with Alberto Martin because of an ankle injury, Roddick continues an awful string of Paris performances. In 2002 and 2003, he lost in the first round of the French Open. In 2004 and 2005, he lost in the second round.

Despite the relatively low expectations for Roddick, who came into the tournament ranked No. 5 in the world, turning it around in Paris still could have been important to him.

Why? Because two of Roddick's biggest sponsors -- Lacoste and Babolat -- are based in France. Lacoste is a very high-powered fashion brand that can do fine without Roddick, though his potential as a top player could resurrect the company's relevance in tennis. Babolat is a different story. They're counting on Roddick to get them into footwear in the United States and his ankle injuries -- of all the injuries he could possibly have -- don't do much for the credibility of the shoes, even if the shoes themselves aren't the origin of the problem.


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