I'm just annoyed at how Roddick can win the USO, reach Wimbledon final twice and do well on hard courts yet when French arrives it's hell for him, same with Blake.
I was gonna make a snarky post to this thread, but maybe you are being serious, so I will give you a serious answer at least where Roddick is concerned. Well first, for all of them, part of the problem is the practice and dedication. In the US in general today, there are not enough clay courts, these guys are not learning to move on it from a young age, and that is huge. The second aspect is mental. They are almost conditioned to not do well on it. Thirdly, they have Wimbledon coming up immediately after, and then because they play such full summer hardcourt seasons, they get a feeling of "wait, should I really exert myself that hard to do well on a surface where I might get exhausted and threaten my chances to do well on the surfaces I'm really good on?" Maybe it's poor and flawed logic, but I believe it's true (and Roddick said as much in a press conference at Indian Wells last month).
So anyway here is my opinion about Roddick. OK, he will never do great
at the French because of his game - this is plainly obvious. But for me, with him it is more an issue that he doesn't care as much; it's all in his head. If you have seen him play any of the numerous Davis Cup matches he's played on clay over the past few years, he fights like hell. Granted, except for Rafa and Moya in 2004, he hasn't played really good claycourters, but the point is that he's shown that he's capable of playing good matches on the surface - even against Rafa and Moya, he played several tight sets and was at least able to hold his own for a while, and for me this is because he cares so much about DC, he's willing to leave it all out there and do everything he can. For me, if he played RG with the same amount of passion and focus and overall "pumped-up-ness" he would do better there and maybe he would've won some of the close ones he's lost over the years. It's not to say he doesn't care at all (this is the guy who was crying when he had to retire a couple years ago after trying to play on a pretty serious ankle sprain, and he's said more than once that he really wants to make the 2nd week before his career is over), but it's just not the same. You can see it in things like his energy level and all around demeanor that are different at the 3 other slams and DC.
Of course the more important question is why, and unfortunately he's the only one who can answer that. Maybe it's a subconscious feeling of having one eye on Wimbledon and the knowledge that it's a tournament he really knows he cannot win and so he finds it hard to really pump himself up mentally for. Maybe he's just the cowardly lazy schmuck people on here think he is and he just doesn't give a shit. Maybe he's lacking the confidence because he hasn't dedicated himself enough to improving on it so in the tight moments he can't close the deal. And the possibilities go on and on and on and regardless of the reason, it doesn't affect how unfortunate it is. Because I think even most of the people who believe he's a no-talent serving machine think he should be able to win a few matches there at least a couple times in his career (depending on his draw).
I don't think all this stuff is applicable to just him, but I only say it in reference to him because I follow him the most.