How about we kick off looking ahead to 2006 with a little thing from Charlie Bricker
(Suggestions for a cooler thread title are welcome. This past year's was booooooring
Roddick will face difficult road in '06
By Charles Bricker
November 10, 2005
There were a number of happy memories for Andy Roddick during his fifth year on the ATP tour.
Scaling down his number of tournaments in order to stay fresh
, he still won five tournaments, reached the semifinals of the Australian Open and was runner-up at Wimbledon. At 10-3, he won a high percentage of his clay-court matches.
But there is no escaping the disappointments and failures. He was knocked out in the first round of the U.S. Open by Gilles Muller of Luxembourg and failed to hold a two-set lead over Jose Acasuso in the second round at the French.
He also fell one notch in the rankings to No. 3, behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and it's unclear if he'll ever rise above those two great talents. None of the five tournaments he won were Masters Series events, though he finished the regular season with an 8-1 run and is at a significantly higher fitness level than he was at the end of 2004.
He's a better player than he was in 2004, but he'll have to redouble his training efforts -- and get over the back injury that kept him out of next week's Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai -- to stay in the top five during 2006 because of the dose of young talent making an impact.