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post #1 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/ten...ory?id=2234727

A bad year? Roddick says that's 'a stretch'


It's not easy being Andy Roddick.

No, really, it's not.

One would figure that a player blessed with abundant talent and charisma, who went 59-14 in 2005 and won multiple titles while maintaining a No. 3 world ranking would be toasted as a success from Shanghai to Savannah.

But when you're 23 and carrying the flag of the men's tennis circuit, which is starving for its once-dominant tennis power to win his first Grand Slam victory since his precocious U.S. Open win in 2003, the expectations for success are different.


"It's weird, you know?" Roddick told ESPN.com at the recent BNP Paribas Masters. "Because when I'm 10, 11, 12 years old, I'm basically hoping I'm going to get a college scholarship one day. If someone would have told me then, 'You're [third] in the world, you've won five titles on every surface on the planet and it's a down year,' I would have been like, 'Well, geez, I'll sign up for that right now.'"


Roddick, who retreats to his lakefront home in Austin, Texas, in the rare moments he's not on the road, said it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what's behind the talk that 2005 has been a subpar year for him.


"To classify it as a bad year, I mean, I think that's a bit of a stretch. I would have loved to have done better in certain matches, and at times, I was maybe a little inconsistent, but, you know, if being No. 3 in the world and winning five titles is a bad year, I really look forward to a good one.


"I think the thing that made it a bad year was losing in first round at the U.S. Open [in three straight tiebreakers to Luxembourg lefty Gilles Muller]. That's it pretty much. But I don't base my year on one unfortunate night where I don't feel like I played well."


He followed up that disappointment with a clutch five-set win in a Davis Cup relegation-round match in late September against Belgium's pesky Olivier Rochus that ensured the Americans a spot in the 16-country World Group for 2006.

"That was huge for him because of the disappointing results at the Open," said coach Dean Goldfine, who Roddick hired after his split with former coach Brad Gilbert last December. "To win it the way he won it, a four-and-a-half-hour match, on clay, showed a lot about him and his character. It was a big confidence-booster for him."


Roddick then took a few weeks off before falling to big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic in the second round in Madrid. But he rebounded again, winning five straight matches to take the title in Lyon and then advancing to the Paris semifinals before a low-back strain and Ivan Ljubicic proved too much to overcome.


Straight off that loss, he flew home to honor a commitment to a charity event in Hershey, Pa., where he retweaked the back injury, leading to his decision to pull out of the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai.


He agrees with those who believe there is a need to reconfigure the ATP Tour and Grand Slams schedules to mitigate the wear and tear on players. Exhibit A for that argument would be the spate of withdrawals in Shanghai.


Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal joined Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and Marat Safin on the sidelines because of injury or personal considerations. After the mass dropouts, the Masters Cup is in danger of becoming known as The Incredible Shrinking Tournament.


"We as players know that the season is too long. If it continues to be this long, you can't expect the top players to be healthy for a year-end championship," Roddick wrote to ESPN.com in a recent e-mail. "The Masters Cup is a great idea, but there are just too many tournaments leading up to it."


Roddick boosted his overall title count to 20 with victories in San Jose, Houston, Queen's Club (London), Washington D.C. and Lyon. But he cites the win over Rochus in Belgium, along with advancing to his second Wimbledon final in two years (losing to Roger Federer in straight sets), as his 2005 highlights.


Despite seeing his season come to a premature end, he's enthused about bouncing back in 2006.


"I am pleased with how my game has progressed this year," Roddick said. "With Dean's help, I've added some new dimensions, for example, my transition game has improved tremendously, as has my fitness level. I look forward to going into 2006 feeling comfortable with these tools rather than just starting to develop them, as was the case this year."


Off the court, it was a busy year, as well. He signed a long-term endorsement deal with French clothier Lacoste and continued raising funds for children's charities through his Andy Roddick Foundation. An upcoming weekend extravaganza in Florida in early December hopes to add $1 million to the already $2.2 million raised since the foundation's inception in 2000.


When asked how long he may continue to play a game notorious for its demanding physical nature and unrelenting travel, Roddick responded, "It's too early for me to put a date on my retirement. I love the game and having the opportunity to play it for a living."


Roddick will now hope to rehab his back injury and grab some much-needed rest before heading to Hawaii to start intensive training for the Australian Open, which kicks off Jan. 16 in Melbourne.


Goldfine, for one, expects great things in the coming year, and beyond.


"My goal with Andy is to get him to be the best player he can possibly be," Goldfine said. "With the type of athlete that he is, the sky's the limit for him if he really continues to work on all phases of his game.

"He's volleying much better and understanding the net game more, but sometimes he drifts a little too far beyond the baseline, and he needs to make an effort to hit the ball early and take time way from guys, especially the top players. That's what Federer does so well."


A veteran of the men's tour and linchpin of the American Davis Cup effort despite his relative youth, Roddick said he'll use the knowledge from a challenging 2005 season to his advantage as he moves forward.


"You know, this year's made me hungrier," Roddick said. "I think more than anything, I've had to learn how to play for myself. It's a little tough at times. But it's just taught me a lot more about myself, and it's given me a bigger sense of perspective."


Whit Sheppard is a Paris-based sportswriter and frequent contributor to ESPN.com. You can e-mail him at lobsandvolleys@yahoo.com.



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post #2 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 12:13 AM
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Re: Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season

whatever makes him sleep at night
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post #3 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 12:17 AM
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Re: Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season

Same old story, rest, confidence boosters, more minor tournaments, more rest.....

yup, helps him to sleep well at night.
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post #4 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season

Has Andy's game improved under Goldfine?



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post #5 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 12:26 AM
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Re: Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season

He may not have won any grand slams or master series trophies, but he was consistent most of the year reaching another Wimbledon final and the Australian Open semi-final to close the year ranked 3 - many would swap for that sort of year. The year seemed like it may close on a high winning in Lyon and then a run to the semi-final in Paris, amazingly winning his quarter final with a bad back which seemed to appear overnight - I hope she was worth it.

His major problem - 2 players ranked higher are much better at tennis.

His year would be a lot worse if he knew that he was called a duck on this website.
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post #6 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 12:28 AM
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Re: Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJules
His major problem - 2 players ranked higher are much better at tennis.
That basically sums it up. Really was it a good year for anyone not named Federer or Nadal?
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post #7 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 12:35 AM
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Re: Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season

Quote:
Originally Posted by mangoes
Has Andy's game improved under Goldfine?
NO. Brad Gilbert was better. The thought of Any Roddick as number one Surely you need to be a more complete player to be number 1.

Last edited by DrJules; 11-24-2005 at 12:38 AM.
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post #8 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 12:44 AM
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Re: Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season

I thought that the article in Tennis magazine this month was a more honest assessment.
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post #9 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrJules
NO. Brad Gilbert was better. The thought of Any Roddick as number one Surely you need to be a more complete player to be number 1.

Oh ok...............For some reason, I don't see Brad Gilbert patting Andy on the back and saying, "the sky is the limit"



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post #10 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 01:27 AM
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Re: Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season

Quote:
Originally Posted by mangoes
"He's volleying much better and understanding the net game more, but sometimes he drifts a little too far beyond the baseline, and he needs to make an effort to hit the ball early and take time way from guys, especially the top players. That's what Federer does so well."[/I]
Very good idea. Nothing more frustrating than watching him try to rally a mile behind the baseline.

Can't wait for 2006. He has to be one of the main contenders to win the Aus Open. Also, I'm sure he can win Wimbledon and some AMS titles.
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post #11 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 01:34 AM
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Re: Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season

I liked this interview. It's realistic. He didn't have the best year but it wasn't BAD as some make it look like either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mangoes
Has Andy's game improved under Goldfine?
Yes, a lot. Right, Brad Gilbert made him win a Slam and become #1, but it wasn't going to last long. Brad can make someone who's down there go to the top in no time, but can he keep them there? Not really. He couldn't make Andy's game improve which was what he really needed. Was he making him improve in his volleys? No. In his BH? No. His fitness? Definitely not.
Dean has made a tremendous work when it came to improving his game, even if it doesn't show, you can compare his volleys, his movement, his BH of 2003 and the one of 2005.
Then whats the problem?
Well, you could say there are two:

1. Federer.
2. His mentality.

I'm going to repeat this for as long as he does it, but he needs to see a sports psychologist. He can't go on like this, because his mentality is not up there. He's not as confident as he used to be, which leads to question himself wether he IS good or not, which obviously leads to playing bad matches since we all know tennis consists 50% of game and 50% of mentality.

So yeah, I pretty much agree with what Andy said. Good year, but could've been better. Improved a lot of aspects in his game but needs to really put them in practise during matches.

Hopefully 2006 will be even better for him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Jones
whatever makes him sleep at night
Wonder how Ljubicic manages to sleep at night having lost those two TMS finals against and injured guy and some other guy that had never been in a TMS final.
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post #12 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 01:54 AM
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Re: Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season

He's also number three because a couple of guys had more serious injuries than him and couldn't play. Remember Agassi and Hewitt are a combined 12-3 against him.
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post #13 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 01:55 AM
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Re: Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season

Yes, he got lucky there. I'm sure if Marat had kept on playing, even Hewitt, he'd be #5.
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post #14 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 02:16 AM
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Re: Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carito_90
I liked this interview. It's realistic. He didn't have the best year but it wasn't BAD as some make it look like either.
Is it?

I stopped reading after this:

Quote:
But when you're 23 and carrying the flag of the men's tennis circuit, which is starving for its once-dominant tennis power to win his first Grand Slam victory since his precocious U.S. Open win in 2003, the expectations for success are different.


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post #15 of 63 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 02:24 AM
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Re: Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season

Thanks for the article; even more proof that Roddick is an utter moron.
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