Mal: It will be a Fed/Roddick final

Tennis Fool
07-02-2004, 12:55 AM Wimbledon 2004

Thursday, July 1, 2004
Federer, Roddick still best on grass

By MaliVai Washington
Special to

WIMBLEDON, England -- When you have a serve as big as Andy Roddick's, it just provides so many possibilities on any surface. On grass, it has made him arguably the second-best player behind Roger Federer. He's won the title at Queen's Club for two consecutive years; he's in the semifinals for a second straight year and got here without losing a set.

Roddick is holding serve so regularly it allows him to take more chances in his return games. Barring any major arm injuries, he'll have the best serve for the next decade. That alone will keep him as one of the best grass-court players in the world.

In the semifinal, he'll play Mario Ancic, who probably returns serve better than anyone Roddick's faced here so far. It was interesting to see how in Wednesday's quarterfinal, Ancic was able to break down Tim Henman's serve. Ancic cannot break down Roddick's serve, but he'll have to put a lot of pressure on Roddick's serve in hopes of getting him to second-guess himself.

So far, when Roddick has faced an attacking opponent he's become more aggressive coming to the net. Against less aggressive opponents he stays back more. Ancic is unlikely to attack Roddick's second serve. For Ancic to have a chance, he'll need to serve big and accurately and volley better than he did against Henman.

It wouldn't be surprising to see several tiebreaks in this match. If that happens, Roddick has the advantage because the stronger server, who gets free points off his serve, generally does better in a tiebreak.

Roddick should win this match in four sets, but it will be a lot closer than people think.

So far in The Championships, the only thing to have bothered Roger Federer are the rain delays. He was in such control against Lleyton Hewitt that only the two rain delays allowed Hewitt to get back into the match. When Federer is playing his game and is as confident as he is now, there's no one who can beat him. Certainly not Sebastien Grosjean, whom he plays in the semifinals. Federer has more power, a bigger serve, and he's infinitely a better volleyer.

Grosjean has to hope that there will be a few rain delays in this match to break up Federer's rhythm. If that happens, he's got to be ready to capitalize as Hewitt did. But under nice conditions, Grosjean cannot win this match. Grosjean and Roddick are the only two who haven't lost a set in this Championship. But Grosjean has not faced anyone in this championship who you wouldn't expect him to beat, including his quarterfinal against realitively unknown Florian Mayer.

Grosjean is known for not closing out tournaments. Once he reaches the semis or finals of an event, he doesn't produce his best tennis. There's no reason why a guy with his talent and ability shouldn't have more than three career titles and seven final losses. That stat shows he's not playing to the best of his ability. He cannot afford to do that against Federer.

Federer should serve and volley in this match more than against Hewitt because Grosjean doesn't have the return of serve of Hewitt. Consequently, the points will be a lot shorter than against Hewitt, which will give Grosjean less time to run around the baseline and play the longer points.

Federer will make it through to the final for the second straight year with straight sets victory and we'll get the matchup we all hoped for from the beginning of the tournament: Roddick vs. Federer.

MaliVai Washington, a tennis analyst for ESPN, reached the 1996 Wimbledon final.

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07-02-2004, 01:04 AM
Wow! So it will be Grosjean vs Ancic???

07-02-2004, 01:14 AM
god Mal..... shut up!

07-02-2004, 01:20 AM
Same old Mal. :lol:

07-02-2004, 01:38 AM
*shakes head*
i hope theres a huge upset

Tennis Fool
07-02-2004, 02:08 AM
An upset in that Mal's predictions turn out correctly or that the favs actually lose :confused:

07-02-2004, 02:11 AM
I hope it ends up being Roddick vs. Federer. That would be a very fun and interesting match to watch.

07-02-2004, 02:14 AM
An upset in that Mal's predictions turn out correctly or that the favs actually lose :confused:
the faves acutally lose

07-02-2004, 08:07 AM
go Roger go~~~

07-02-2004, 09:28 AM
go Mario!!

07-02-2004, 09:45 AM
Roger Vs Roddick is what I hope for.

But what I can't say is that it will be an interesting match or it will go down right to the wire or it will be a nail biting finsih.

07-02-2004, 02:16 PM
Everyone and his mother know that the most probable final is Roger vs. Andy.

Now a tennis "analyst" being so confident about it... :/

07-02-2004, 03:59 PM
Maybe it will prove a classic.