Rain delayed Thursday's matches, but no one complained. Spectators happily wiped wet stadium seats with towels. Wednesday, they sat on their towels to protect their legs from the hot metal.
The cooler temperatures may have also drawn a larger crowd to the RCA Tennis Building for the evening matches. Or it may have been the competition. Either way, the fans got their money's worth during the Andy Roddick and Jeff Morrison match. Though Roddick won the first two sets, Morrison followed the No. 11 ranked player closely throughout the evening. It took Roddick eight break points to secure a win. The match ended 7-6(4), 7-5.
Morrison displayed a respectable attitude, even when tension filled the stadium. Former coach, Larry Cochren, expects nothing else. Cochren coached him for three years "off and on" when he was thirteen and has remained a close friend since.
"His attitude is as good as it gets," Cochren said, "but a lot of that has to do with his parents. They are the best set of tennis parents."
Cochren also explained that most tennis players respect one another because they are the same type of athlete. Morrison and Roddick forced one another to work for their points. And during one game Roddick nearly hit the court to save a point that he lost on the return. Morrison gently tapped it back over the net. Roddick just smiled to seemingly acknowledge that Morrison deserved the point.
Roddick will meet Gilles Muller on the court today after 4:30 p.m. While Roddick and Morrison fought to the death, Muller smashed Kenneth Carlsen 6-1, 6-2.
The very colorful defending champion, Robby Ginepri, appeared more confident today in his orange and blue attire. Ginepri advances to the quarterfinals today after serving up 11 aces. He defeated Russian IgorKunitsyn 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-1.
Top seed, James Blake also defeated Wesley Whitehouse who upset Marat Safin Wednesday. Blake will take on Nicolas Mahut today in the evening match at 7:00 p.m.
For a full schedule of play, check out www.rcatennis.com.