American tennis star Andy Roddick feels tennis does not attract more television viewers than wrestling because of its harsh rules.
Roddick, who succumbed to a three-set defeat to Philipp Kohlschreiber in Western and Southern Open Monday, was penalised twice during the match. He received a warning for slamming his racket against the court followed by a point penalty for hitting a ball into the crowd in frustration after a double-fault - a punishment that cost him a crucial break in the deciding set.
"Obviously it's a split second thing," Roddick said of hitting the ball into the crowd. "As soon as I did it I wanted it back. It was a judgment call for him (the umpire). I am pretty sure I saw an eight-year-old girl catch it on the way down. He was telling me I hit it as hard as I could. It just sucks.
"I can't blame him, but I'm sitting here turning a six-week injury into a three-week injury, rehabbing eight hours a day, and a split-second decision he interjects himself and it's done.
"It's so frustrating. I certainly accept what I did. I put him in a bad situation out there. But I do think it's stupid in tennis that I mean, in (American) football if someone throws a helmet on the sideline, it's their helmet. We wonder where we lose our ratings battles to the WWE, Monday Night Raw.
"John McEnroe, the guy is still getting endorsement because he was allowed to throw s***. I understand where (the umpire) is coming from but at a certain point, you know, you hit a tennis ball into a stadium, someone goes home with a souvenir, and it pretty much ruins the match from there. Seems counter-productive," he was quoted as saying to a sports channel.
The former World No.1 said he is still grappling with a few injury niggles and will be play in next week's ATP Tour to gauge his fitness ahead of the US Open.
"Tonight, I was feeling it. I don't know that I quite had my legs back yet," he said. "I think it would have taken a lot tonight. I was just disappointed. Equal parts mad and also disappointed in myself. You know, it's essentially a long uphill battle from there. So I was pretty mad at myself.
"I just want to play good tennis. For two sets tonight I actually hit the ball well considering. I hit the ball a lot better than I thought I would, if I'm being totally candid."