I think we can all agree that for the most part, Andy is a better, more complete player this year than he was last year. And yet I can't help but feel that this year is something of a letdown for him (it was bound to be, after the 2003 high). He has four titles, but no slams, no Olympic medal.
What exactly is holding him back?
For the heck of it, I checked the ATP site to get a list of Roddick murderers. Here are the Most Wanted:
In 2004 he lost to:
Jonas Bjorkman (Qatar)
Marat Safin (Aussie Open)
Thomas Enqvist (Memphis)
Vince Spadea (Scottsdale)
Tim Henman (Indian Wells)
Tommy Haas (Houston)
Guillermo Canas (Rome)
Olivier Mutis (Roland Garros)
Roger Federer (Wimbledon & Toronto)
Andre Agassi (Cincy)
Fernando Gonzales (Olympics)
Joachim Johansson (US Open)
I looked at the list of players he lost to last year and two names kept coming up: Federer and Henman. These are the two who pose the biggest obstacle for Andy. Looking at this list, I see a few whom he had no business losing to in the first place: freakin' Vince Spadea at Scottsdale? C'mon, that would've been an easy title win for him but he had to go and have a five-minute hissy fit
that accomplished absolutely nothing except for him to be docked a point and then go on to lose the tournament. Ass.
Memphis. Something happened at Memphis and I forgot what (besides him losing). Was this when he broke up with Mandy? I remember Andy being very sour. I recall us having conversations about the state of Andy's well-being and even Brad Gilbert caused some panic when he mentioned that not all was well in Roddick's camp these days.
Gonzales and Johansson. Two classic examples of why Andy sucks ass when he plays defensively and not offensively. He almost always, always
loses when he sits back and waits for something to happen. When will someone kick him in the head and tell him this is not the way he should be playing? He must know this already, so why does he keep doing it? How do we get him to stop this nasty habit?
Clay. Pfft. Self-explanatory.
His temper/ADD. Just when we think he's got his temper under control, along comes a Scottsdale. Just when we think he's finally grown up, he starts kicking over microphones in Cincy and giggles over it. He's still caught between being a boy and being a man. He's intelligent, but not completely self-aware. He's confident but immature. He's still far too impatient to construct points or work the clay. He's not smashing as many rackets these days but unfortunately, he's now taking his frustrations out on others.
Please go back to smashing rackets, Andy, and quit harassing the linespeople and/or trash-talking with fans.
There's a lot of other things on my mind but I just wanted to put this out and see what you all thought.