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post #1 of 98 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Doha articles

Too much going on, it's late and I'm getting confused, so I'm starting a new thread. This is a long and good one so I thought it was worth it. This paper from Doha is excellent!
----

Roddick upbeat about new season
Web posted at: 1/6/2004 2:46:52
Source ::: The Peninsula/ by D RAVI KUMAR

DOHA: The timing was perfect, it could not have come at a better time. Just as the new tennis season kicked-off yesterday, came a stern warning from the man who topped the heap last year that he was in no mood to rest on his laurels and that his confidence level was on a new high.

World number one American Andy Roddick, who is the top seed at the ATP Tour’s $1m Qatar Open which began here yesterday, said he wanted to improve upon his 2003 performance and also to set higher standards for himself as he promised to improve various aspects of his game with special emphasis on fitness.

Speaking at pre-tournament press conference yesterday, the 21-year-old American who takes to the court today in a first round clash against Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko, said the only way he hoped to go was forward.

The rising American star said he was mentally a much stronger player now and added that his goal for the new season was to improve his game – a clear warning to his rivals who faced his fury last year when he had a terrific 72-19 win-loss record in singles.

“I have gained a lot of confidence following my good show last year. It was a dream year for me. It was my best season,” Roddick said.

The 21-year-old won six titles on three different surfaces out of eight finals, including the US Open crown.

“My self esteem isn’t affected by something like hitting tennis balls, but my mentality is a lot different from what it was last year,” he added.

“A lot of the fear in being a professional tennis player is the fear about the unknown. But now I am confident of tackling it,” he said.

Roddick’s career-graph rose like a meteor in 2003 – from No. 10 at the beginning to No. 1 at the end. After a shocking first round exit at the French Open, Roddick made a coaching change as he teamed up with Brad Gilbert, former mentor of Andre Agassi and from then on there was no looking back.

However Roddick refused to admit that he was trying to shape his game on Agassi’s lines.

“I see no similarities. Andre (Agassi) is a great player. Perhaps, 12 years ago Andre might have been where I am today. That’s all, there ends the similarities.I have a long time to go before I reach that level,” a modest Roddick said.

The Florida resident, who lost to German Rainer Schuettler in the semi-finals of the 2003 Australian Open, said that this year he was going to Australia fully confident, but agreed that there were a lot of guys who could beat even the most talented on a given day.

“I am going to Australia fully confident. I thought playing in Doha would help me prepare well for Australia. The Doha tournament has a good field. The other option could have been playing in Kooyong, but it is an exhibition event and I thought Qatar was a better option where I could experience some competitive atmosphere,” he said.

Roddick refused to single out any particular player as his principal opponent in the new season.

“There are a lot of good players on the circuit. Roger (Federer), probably could be the most talented. But I tell you there are quite a few players who could take on the best and beat them on a given day,” he added.

Asked to comment on a possible semi-final clash in Doha with Morocco’s Younes El Aynoui, Roddick said he respected the Moroccan and observed that even at 33 El Aynoui is a dangerous player.

“Younes is a good player and we became closer after our marathon quarter-final at the Australian Open last year. I am sure Younes is capable of producing yet another memorable performance,” Roddick said.

To a pointed reference, Roddick said Qatar’s support to America during the Iraq conflict was no reason for his opting to play in Doha.

“That (Qatar’s support to US) is not a factor at all for my coming here. I am not a politician, nor a soldier. I am here to play tennis and I enjoy every moment of my stay here,” he said.

Roddick also sounded confident of American tennis’ future when he said that there were an array of youngsters ready to take over from the seniors.

“(Michael) Chang has gone, Pete (Sampras) has also called it a day. Andre (Agassi) is still there, but not going to be there for long. But there are many youngsters and I am sure we (America) can regain the lost Davis Cup glory,” he concluded.

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post #2 of 98 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Doha articles

To this:
Quote:
I am going to Australia fully confident. I thought playing in Doha would help me prepare well for Australia. The Doha tournament has a good field. The other option could have been playing in Kooyong, but it is an exhibition event and I thought Qatar was a better option where I could experience some competitive atmosphere
um..... what??????? the Kooyong people seem to think he'll be there next week!!

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post #3 of 98 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 04:26 AM
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Re: Doha articles

Good diplomacy from Roddick when dealing with the political questions. And respectful when discussing Andre, as always. Good work Andy!
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post #4 of 98 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Doha articles

yea I really liked his answers about the political stuff. Though, someone should tell him that you can visit/support the troops without it being a political statement lol. but anyway he should be focusing on tennis all the way lol

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post #5 of 98 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 06:15 AM
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Re: Doha articles

I agree that he answered those questions well. Him saying he'd visit the troops may have sounded a lil nicer. He's not obliged to of course.

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post #6 of 98 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 03:30 PM
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Here's one I found on ESPN:

Monday, January 5, 2004
Roddick ready for new year

Reuters

DOHA, Qatar -- World No. 1 Andy Roddick says he is going into the new season full of confidence after "a dream year" in 2003.

The 21-year-old American moved to the top of the world rankings after starting the year ranked at 10, winning six titles along the way including his first Grand Slam at the U.S. Open.

He also reached the semifinals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

"I have gained a lot of confidence following my good show last year. It was a dream year for me," Roddick told reporters at the start of the Qatar Open on Monday.

Roddick launches his season Tuesday against Russia's Nikolay Davydenko in the first round in Qatar, where he is preparing for the Australian Open beginning on Jan. 19.

Last year, Roddick lost in the semifinals of the year's opening Grand Slam to Germany's Rainer Schuettler, following a grueling quarterfinal victory over Morocco's Younes El Aynaoui that lasted just under five hours.

"I am going to Australia fully confident," Roddick said.

"I thought playing in Doha would help me prepare well for Australia. The Doha tournament has a good field."

Schuettler, Australia's Mark Philippoussis, El Aynaoui and defending champion Stefan Koubek are among those also taking part in the $1 million event, where Roddick is the top seed.

Roddick appointed Brad Gilbert, Andre Agassi's former mentor, as his coach in June after being knocked out in the first round of the French Open and the change had an immediate impact.

But the U.S. Open champion denied he was trying to emulate Agassi after Gilbert helped turn the 33-year-old from a wild child into one of the world's greatest players.

"I see no similarities in our careers. Andre (Agassi) is a great player," Roddick said.

"Perhaps 12 years ago Andre might have been where I am today. That's all, there end the similarities. I have a long time to go before I reach his level."

Roddick said he did not feel threatened by any particular player this year but felt Switzerland's Roger Federer, the Wimbledon champion who finished the year No. 2 in the rankings, was the most talented.

"There are a lot of good players in the circuit, but Roger (Federer) probably could be the most talented," he said.

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post #7 of 98 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 05:48 PM
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Roddick easily wins first match of season

World No. 1 cruises in opening round of Qatar Open

Updated: 1:29 p.m.*ET Jan. 06, 2004

DOHA, Jan 6 - World number one Andy Roddick comfortably won his first match of the season on Tuesday, beating Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko 6-3 6-4 in 67 minutes at the Qatar Open.

advertisement“It was a good workout. It is always difficult to start after a break. But I would say it was a comfortable win for me,” the 21-year-old U.S. Open champion said.

“The match might not have been spectacular but I did what I was supposed to do and I am happy,” Roddick added.

The American will play the winner of the match between Sweden’s Jonas Bjorkman and Czech Radek Stepanek in the second round.

Earlier, Moroccan sixth seed Younes El Aynaoui, champion here in 2002, lost to French wildcard Nicolas Escude 6-3 6-0.

El Aynaoui, who conceded his doubles match with a foot injury on Monday night, was struggling throughout the match.

“I tried my best but I just couldn’t get it right today,” said El Aynaoui.

Escude, returning to competition after injury last season, said he was very happy to have won the first match of the year.

“My goal for this year is just to be able to get on the court and play regularly,” said Escude. “And to win if I can. Of course you can never tell in the first match of the year, but it went well.”

It was a good day for Frenchmen as fourth-seeded Sebastien Grosjean also moved into the second round with a fluent 6-1 7-5 victory over German qualifier Markus Hantschk.

“I am quite happy with the way I played, considering that it is the first match of the season,” Grosjean said.

“It was rather easy in the first set. But in the second Hantschk played better. He had nothing to lose and he was getting better and better.”

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post #8 of 98 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Doha articles

Pics in the 2004 pictures thread!!!

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post #9 of 98 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 06:32 PM
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Re: Doha articles

For those of you who are watching the arms of Andy:

Pumped-Up Roddick Downs Davydenko In 2004 Debut

Photo By Susan Mullane By Brad Falkner
01/07/2004
Andy Roddick is bringing more to the table in 2004. The man who once referred to his arms as "bread sticks", has added beef to the menu and used the ingredient to dish out a dose of controlled power.*Roddick, whose pipes now resemble Popeye more than Olive Oyl, hit the gym hard over the off season, and hit the ball harder in his season debut today.



The top-ranked Roddick opened the new season by closing out a convincing 6-3, 6-4 victory over the ever dangerous Nikolay Davydenko in the opening-round of the $1 million Exxon Mobil Open in Doha, Qatar.



The reigning U.S. Open champion confided he spent some of his offseason lifting barbells rather than hitting backhands.
*
"I basically didn't play much tennis (during the off season)," Roddick said "I worked really hard on my fitness. About a week before I got here, Brad (Gilbert) came over for a crash course in tennis."
*
Though he may have lacked his "A" game, Roddick aced his opening test. Striking his serve with the skill of a grad-school student wielding a number two pencil to master the SAT's, Roddick paralyzed Davydenko in his service games, saving the only break point he faced in the match to make the only grade that matters in the pass-fail world of the ATP Tour.

"I would give myself a B — I was not spectacular tonight," said Roddick. "It's always a little difficult (to play the first match of the year), but it's always good to get that first W."

In addition to earning his first win, Roddick collected a crowd of new fans, winning over the visitors and Qataris with his enthusiasm and exuberance in his first trip to the Middle East.
*
"I think the crowd could tell that I was excited," Roddick said. "That may have help to get them into it."

The 2003 Australian Open semifinalist*made the most of his break-point chances, converting both of*his service breaks in the match. Roddick broke serve in the sixth game of the first set and again in the*seventh game of the second set.*

"I did what I had to do and I controlled the match with my serve, and took care of business on my break points," Roddick said.

In addition to his improved fitness regimen, Roddick is working on his return game*to*help maximize*break point opportunities. The man who led the ATP Tour in aces (989), service games won (91 percent), first-serve points (81 percent), break points saved (69 percent) and tied Roger Federer for second place in second-serve points won (59 percent) in 2003 is committed to improving his return game in an effort to apply even more pressure to opponents.

It's an intelligent approach: Roddick's serve is such a dominant weapon if he can improve his return game, beating him will be about as easy as winning an arm-wrestling match with King Kong.

"I'm working on my return game so I won't have to rely so much on my serve to win matches," said Roddick, who plans to play doubles here with Stefan Koubek, his possible opponent in next month's opening-round Davis Cup tie at the Mohegan Sun.

Roddick got off to a solid start in 2003, winning 10 of his first 13 matches. But the Boca Raton resident really fully found his form after hiring Brad Gilbert as his coach following his first-round flame-out to Sargis Sargsian in the opening round of Roland Garros. Under Gilbert's guidance, Roddick sharpened his shot selection, simplified his approach to the sport by playing to his strengths and played with a powerfully commanding presence in claiming five of his six tournament titles and winning 46 of his final 53 matches over the final six months of the season.

At 21 years, four months, Roddick remains the youngest man in the top 10 and as he adds more weapons to his arsenal that forms its foundation on perhaps the most formidable serve-forehand combination in the game, he should become even more dangerous in his march to more majors.
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post #10 of 98 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Doha articles

I believe the arms were given to me LOL!!!

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post #11 of 98 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 06:48 PM
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yes i donated Andy's arms to bunk!
i took the hair/headgear, so it's all good

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post #12 of 98 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 07:00 PM
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Re: Doha articles

Yaaaaaayyy! Bigger arms now, too! I can't wait to see! Bunk, you lucky girl, it's your job to go hunt down those elusive pics of Andy's new muscle-arms!

BTW, is it possible to put on so much muscle mass in only a month?? What'd he do; work out 6 hours a day???

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post #13 of 98 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 07:26 PM
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Re: Doha articles

lol @ the article saying that Andy hits the ball harder now. I doubt it really made that much of a difference. It was still controlled power after all.

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post #14 of 98 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 08:32 PM
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Re: Doha articles

When the writers get brainwashed into believing
that he mostly bludgeons his way to wins, then
we can't possibly take it too seriously. Mary Carillo agrees with the bludgeoning part, but not everyone
thinks so.
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post #15 of 98 (permalink) Old 01-06-2004, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Doha articles

well I think Andy DID hit the ball too hard just for the sake of hitting it hard for a while.... but I think he's gotten a lot better. he still plays high-percentage, going for lines and stuff, but he can show nice touch when he wants to

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