The top men tennis players are supposed to be in Dubai right now, playing in the $2.23 million Dubai Tennis Championship. I say supposed to be – Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer pulled out before the tournament even began with injuries. Andy Murray dropped out hours before his first match with a viral infection.
But the defending champion, Andy Roddick, is not playing for an entirely different reason. He declined to play because he disagreed with the decision to bar Israeli Shahar Peer a visa to play in the tournament. Amazingly, I haven't seen much about this in the news and it seems incredibly newsworthy to me (there is a piece on the San Francisco Chronicle's website praising Andy's decision). Andy Roddick is the defending champion. Andy Roddick is the No. 1 United States men's player. And it appears that Andy Roddick is the only top-level player with the guts to stand up for something that not only he, but many in the tennis world, claim to believe in. The difference is it's probably costing Andy Roddick a lot more money than it's costing me or anyone else in the tennis world.
Photo by Mark Humphrey/AP
© Kim Selzman 2009
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