Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Roddick's Perspective on his 2005 season

mangoes
11-23-2005, 11:05 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/columns/story?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 . 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."


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

El Legenda
11-23-2005, 11:13 PM
whatever makes him sleep at night :)

euroka1
11-23-2005, 11:17 PM
Same old story, rest, confidence boosters, more minor tournaments, more rest.....

yup, helps him to sleep well at night.

mangoes
11-23-2005, 11:18 PM
Has Andy's game improved under Goldfine?

DrJules
11-23-2005, 11:26 PM
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. :lol: :lol: :lol:

JeNn
11-23-2005, 11:28 PM
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?

DrJules
11-23-2005, 11:35 PM
Has Andy's game improved under Goldfine?

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

euroka1
11-23-2005, 11:44 PM
I thought that the article in Tennis magazine this month was a more honest assessment.

mangoes
11-24-2005, 12:10 AM
NO. Brad Gilbert was better. The thought of Any Roddick as number one :banghead: 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"

Jimnik
11-24-2005, 12:27 AM
"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]
:yeah: 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.

Carito_90
11-24-2005, 12:34 AM
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.

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.

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. :shrug:

rexman
11-24-2005, 12:54 AM
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.

Carito_90
11-24-2005, 12:55 AM
Yes, he got lucky there. I'm sure if Marat had kept on playing, even Hewitt, he'd be #5.

Scotso
11-24-2005, 01:16 AM
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:

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.

:confused:

Federerthebest
11-24-2005, 01:24 AM
Thanks for the article; even more proof that Roddick is an utter moron.

euroka1
11-24-2005, 01:54 AM
Most of all, Andy has to learn to think on the court during a match and that is a very tall order. I don't see it happening.

Carito_90
11-24-2005, 02:37 AM
Is it?

Yeah, it is honestly. At least from Andy's perspective.

megadeth
11-24-2005, 02:57 AM
well, considering he hasn't beaten a top 10 player this year, it's not really a good year for a top fiver's standards...

it would be like an 18-yr old joining a 12 and under tournament...

rexman
11-24-2005, 03:49 AM
He beat Moya who was #7 at the time in Indian Wells.

And he beat Lleyton Hewitt (who was quite rusty) in Cincy.

Winston's Human
11-24-2005, 03:54 AM
well, considering he hasn't beaten a top 10 player this year, it's not really a good year for a top fiver's standards....

Roddick beat #3 Hewitt in Cincinnati.

Roddick also beat Coria and Davydenko this year, both of whom ended the year in the top 10 although not ranked in the top 10 when Roddick defeated them.

megadeth
11-24-2005, 04:01 AM
oops i guess that hewitt thing slipped out of my mind....

megadeth
11-24-2005, 04:02 AM
is he still sponsored by amex?

Tennis Fool
11-24-2005, 09:45 AM
I thought that the article in Tennis magazine this month was a more honest assessment.
Can someone post it?

almouchie
11-24-2005, 10:18 AM
imagine this
a GS tennis player reaching 2 GS semi of which is a wimbledon final
winning 5 titles on all surfaces
finishing the seaon ranked 3

had Roddick not been an american he wouldnt have got so much stick
sure he is athletic but his talent is limited & there are better tennis playes around. NO doubt
he needs to accept that & work accordingly, play to his strength & come prepared with a game plan & execution
will he win another GS, he may not because he is a talented player but more so because the quality in the depth of the field isnt so large. unless federer has the same say everytime they meet.
for coach, why not get back with Benhabiles_ his first coach_ he need confidence & add variety & steel to his game

almouchie
11-24-2005, 10:24 AM
i used to buy the tennis magainze
but it seldom provided various & quanitifiable articles.
half the mag is ads & only a small portion is about tennis with article & stories.every once in a while it posted a good articel they are usually few
there is a lot more to explore in tennis

I dont know much about Duece mag as we dont have it (lebanon) & not sure i can buy it of the net.
any1 thinks its good?

euroka1
11-24-2005, 10:28 AM
Can someone post it?

YOU'RE ANDY RODDICK. AT 21, YOU NABBED A U.S. OPEN TITLE AND SCRAMBLED TO THE TOP OF THE TENNIS HEAP. BUT IN THE TWO YEARS SINCE, YOU'VE BEEN TAKEN DOWN ONE NOTCH, THEN TWO, THEN THREE. WHEN THE OTHER GUYS ARE IMPROVING AND YOU'RE NOT. . .

by BRUCE SCHOENFELD | Nov 01 '05


YOU'RE ANDY RODDICK ON A STEAMY AUGUST AFTERNOON, AND YOU HAVEN'T WON A GRAND SLAM TOURNAMENT IN ALMOST TWO YEARS. You stand shirtless at the baseline of a practice court in Washington D.C.—offering a glimpse of the topography that a strenuous workout regimen has etched into your abdomen—and rifle ground strokes at the head of your coach, Dean Goldfine, who lingers in the general vicinity of the net.
You hit three, four, five in a row with increasing urgency, but Goldfine manages to deflect each back over the net. With your face screwed into a grimace, you hit the next shot as if you're channeling all the frustration of the past two years into one swing. Goldfine gets a racquet on it like a hockey goalie, but that's all he can do. The ball ricochets into the next court.
An awkward silence settles over the two dozen fans who have gathered to watch you hit. It's as if they've unwittingly stumbled into a domestic dispute, except that only you seem irked. Finally someone breaks the tension by saying, “Is that why Brad Gilbert quit?”
“He wouldn't have stayed in there to take it,” you snap. “He would have been at the side fence, talking to someone.”
It's just a quip, one of those blink-of-an-eye one-liners that you seem to toss off so easily in press conferences and live interviews. You may have the quickest mind in tennis. But as usual, your wit provides access to thoughts that a more considered answer wouldn't.
With Gilbert, you won the 2003 U.S. Open and finished that season ranked No. 1 in the world. In the months that followed, Gilbert enjoyed the attention, talking up his role in your success and promoting his book, but you stopped winning the big tournaments. Worse, perhaps, you lost your status as the crossover star who just might save men's tennis. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are the hot names now.
In came Goldfine, whose résumé includes stints with Todd Martin, Aaron Krickstein, and Jared Palmer. He's never had a pupil win a major or spend a day at No. 1, but his loyalty is unquestioned. He's a coach, friend, psychologist, Yahtzee partner, even a human target, if that's what you want.
Life with Goldfine is smoother, but you remain edgy. In your first tournament after Wimbledon, you lose to Robby Ginepri in Indianapolis, then criticize the ATP schedule as “ridiculous.” You break a commitment to play in Los Angeles and go home to Austin, where you sprint up hills and lift weights. In Washington, you crack a Mercedes-Benz logo with your racquet during one practice session, then ask to have a spectator removed during another. You can't believe you showed up to play San Jose in February after reaching the Australian Open semifinals and were greeted by the media not with plaudits but with a post-mortem: Why didn't you win? You're playing better under Goldfine than you ever did with Gilbert, yet everyone wonders what's wrong with your game.
Truth is, there are days when you wonder, too. Most of them happen when you're across the net from Roger Federer. “He'll have to wait for Federer to slip a little bit,” says Carlos Moya about you— and after the way Federer played at Wimbledon, you can't help but think the same. “It gets frustrating,” Goldfine says. “Andy's out there on the court, he feels like he played the perfect point, and he loses the point. He says, 'What do I have to do to win?'”
At its most discouraging, such as after losing to No. 62 Jose Acasuso at Roland Garros or No. 68 Gilles Muller at the U.S. Open, you begin to doubt your future. Before Wimbledon, you tell British journalist Paul Weaver that your goal is “to win at least another Slam.” To Weaver, that seems like setting your sights astonishingly low. Federer, he writes, “could well win three or four more titles at Wimbledon alone.”
“Roddick beats lower-ranked players very consistently,” Federer says, but that seems like damning with faint praise because you sure can't beat him . You've won only once in 11 tries, taken just four of 28 sets lifetime. You're magnanimous, handling the press conferences with grace, yet it feels like you're wearing someone else's suit. You're no Pat Rafter, equally comfortable at No. 1 or No. 5, or Yevgeny Kafelnikov, with inscrutable goals and mysterious motivations. You grew up playing and following team sports, a prototypical American who embraces the Lombardi ethos of winning no matter what the cost. “Being No. 1 is the American mind-set, and you see that in Andy,” says Tarik Benhabiles, your coach from 1999 to 2003. “He has to be No. 1 in everything.”
To see you play horse or poker, it becomes clear why even losing to a man who played three perfect sets at Wimbledon keeps you up at night. You once went an entire season as a 12-and-under playing the Florida circuit and beyond and never lost a match. “Andy's tasted it,” Taylor Dent says. “I'm sure if you had him on the couch, he'd say he honestly believes he has the talent to be No. 1.”
But how to get from here to there? Maybe you're thinking about that as you turn back to the practice court and slap a forehand into the net. “Oh, wow, that was special,” you sneer, your contempt turned toward nobody but yourself.
YOU'RE ANDY RODDICK, AND PEOPLE KNOW THE NAME. You became famous before you could consider the ramifications. Your dalliance with Mandy Moore was far more publicized than the weakness in your backhand. A larger American audience saw you host Saturday Night Live than win the U.S. Open.
Your career has had a peculiar trajectory, more hang glider than bell curve. You'd barely begun being the hunter, a talented young American on the rise, when you became the hunted. One minute you were helping Pete Sampras prepare for a Davis Cup tie, and the next minute, it seemed, you were beating him, on your way to fulfilling veteran tennis journalist Curry Kirkpatrick's 2002 prediction that you would “rescue, regenerate, and own American tennis.”
You're barely 23, yet the expectations weighing on you are those of a seasoned champion. “At 17, if I won a match, that was a great result,” you say. “Now, if I don't win the tournament, [journalists] will be writing stuff about me.”
Your game is a career now, with all that entails. It funds a foundation, a retinue, a way of life: sushi dinners at Matsuhisa and steaks at the Ivy. Gone are the trucker caps and unsightly visors, replaced by Lacoste Wimbledon whites. They make you look as uncomfortable as an 8-year-old at a wedding, but they fill your bank account.
You've grown up. You no longer punish yourself with a sprint through a golf course as you did after a loss in Cincinnati last year, or through the tunnels below Ashe Stadium after losing there, as if trying to inflict self-pain. Now you sit after a loss and discuss it with Goldfine, figuring out what you can learn: an adult dealing with failure as adroitly as he deals with success. “When Andy first burst on the scene, he had no responsibilities,” says your trainer, Doug Spreen, who joined you in 2004 and has become one of your closest friends. “We can all look back at when we were 20 and 21 years old and see the years when we stepped up and became men.”
You're a businessman now, not just a tennis player. You've taken control of your career, not hesitating to give orders to SFX, which represents you, or sister-in-law Ginger Roddick, who handles your marketing. “Andy hired Brad and Andy fired Brad,” your mother, Blanche, says of your decision to leave Gilbert. “We had very little to do with it.” You sign off on magazine articles, photo shoots, ad campaigns. The American Express TV spots about your missing mojo that blanketed U.S. Open coverage rang with painful truth after your first-round collapse, but they also helped package you as a hip, 21st-century personality, steeped in selfparody, as shameless as any reality show star.
Still, you are who you are, and much of that is who you've always been. On the court, you still tug at your shirt like there's a bedbug inside, still nervously spin your racquet before you serve. That serve remains “the best weapon in men's tennis,” according to Mardy Fish (through September you ranked first in aces and in the Top 10 in first-serve percentage, an unprecedented achievement), yet you don't seem to trust it. You lack the patience to wait out an opponent like Sampras used to, matching him hold for hold, confident you won't be broken, certain your own break will come. Perhaps because you grew up watching your Nebraska Cornhuskers obliterate opponents 77-0, you seem to equate margin of victory with effort. You take winning a 7-5 set as an affront, forgetting that Sampras 7-5'd his way to tennis immortality.
You're still far less comfortable coming to net than whacking winners from the baseline. Trouble is, Federer is quick enough to run down those winners. And now Rafael Nadal has enough power to slug with you from the baseline, and Lleyton Hewitt can counter-punch your pace, and Marat Safin has the talent to compete with anyone. So you wake up one morning at No. 5 and wonder where yesterday's promise went. “In the past, he's won, and he probably wasn't doing all the things he should have been doing,” Goldfine says. “Now, he says, 'Geez, I'm doing all the right stuff, so what's going on? How come I'm not winning matches?'”
“He's struggling a little bit . . . and now [everyone is] comparing him to Federer,” says Tim Henman, who knows something about the weight of expectations. But the fact is, you didn't win a single tournament during the second half of 2004, your Davis Cup losses last fall hurt as much as the Wimbledon final, and this year's first-round departure from Flushing Meadows was your earliest from a major since your teens. “People have to understand that any player will lose more tournaments than he'll win,” your mom says. But Federer—him again!—finished 2004 74-6 and won 11 tournaments, including every final he reached.
You're impatient and stubborn, which makes it difficult to adapt to circumstance. “It gets tougher when you always play the same game,” Federer said about you in Key Biscayne.
Goldfine has been preaching the importance of shortening the points against Federer, who typically runs down the three perfect forehands you send him and makes you hit a perfect fourth—and if you don't, grabs an angle and takes control of the point. Come to net and make him hit the winner on your terms, Goldfine advises. “Let's see what happens when it's 5-6 and 30- 30, and you're right across the net from him.”
The Legg-Mason tournament in D.C., where Federer, Nadal, Hewitt, and Safin aren't appearing, where Andre Agassi pulled out and Henman lost early, seems like an ideal opportunity to try out this mind-set. You step in against Giovanni Lapentti, an Ecuadorian who has never cracked the Top 100, but choose to use the match to exorcise demons. You win in straight sets in less than an hour, but Goldfine suggests that you could have followed some forehands up to net. You shake your head and tell him you had winners in your sights.
Goldfine won't contradict you then, not right after a match. “But it's getting [Andy] to look at the big picture,” he'll say later. “Getting him to understand that the ball will be sitting there against Giovanni Lapentti, but it won't be against Roger. And you won't feel comfortable coming in against Roger unless you've come in against Giovanni Lapentti.”
You get it. You always do. But getting it and doing it are two different things. “It's difficult to change when you've been successful,” Blanche says. “To change the tire before it's flat. [Andy's] unforced errors are way down. His serve percentage is up. Those are the things he's looking at.”
It spelled doom for Giovanni Lapentti. And that's as far ahead as you care to look.
THE NEXT NIGHT, YOU PLAY JUAN IGNACIO CHELA OF ARGENTINA. You haven't forgotten that he beat you once; you mention it, your coach mentions it. He serves well and hits some artful shots, but his holds are perilous and yours are uncomplicated. You wait him out and win the first set 6-4, then lose a tiebreaker in the second.
You get angry with yourself, frustrated, testy with the crowd. “Why are people still coming in?” you yell, eager to serve following an odd-game break. After a call goes against you, you gesture toward where the next ball lands to make certain the linesman saw it. “He's a lot more visible when he has discomfort than Pete ever was,” Jim Courier says. “He doesn't hide anything.”
In the deciding set, you get an early break. Chela, who never seemed to believe he could win the match, can't get it back. No surprise there, but you're spent by the victory. It just seems like it's never easy these days. Later, Courier psychoanalyzes. “Andy wants to deserve our attention,” he says. “He knows he's the guy in America holding the cards, and he wants to be worthy of that mantle. He's not where he'd like to be, and he's realistic enough to know that he's got some work to do to get back to the top. But he's in the conversation, which is all any athlete ever really asks.” In your quietest moments, you'd agree. But it's hard to settle for that when the conversation used to be all about you.
With the Chela match over, a bizarre spectacle unfolds. The tournament has offered three random fans the opportunity to try to return your vaunted serve, the fastest in history. There's the first, a guy in what appear to be 1970s gym shorts, holding his racquet like he's about to carve a turkey.
“Think he'll hit the ball back?” asks Wayne Bryan (father of doubles stars Bob and Mike Bryan), who's serving as master of ceremonies. “No,” you respond. You take a deep breath. Is that a fretful fan waiting to receive the serve? Or is it Federer?
No matter. Your competitive urge is kicking like a bronco. You release the ball and twist your body into the familiar coil, then unleash a 145-m.p.h. heater that passes the poor sap before he has a chance to start his swing. You ace the guy. You can't help it. You're Andy Roddick.

Bruce Schoenfeld has profiled Venus Williams, Marat Safin, and Jennifer Capriati for TENNIS.

DrJules
11-24-2005, 10:30 AM
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.




In the UK, the waiting for a new grand slam champion has run since 1936 and Fred Perry. In a global sport it is unrealistic for any nation to achieve the previous levels of domination; in the 50's and 60's most of the top players were either Australian or from the US. We now live in a more global age.

peteslamz
11-24-2005, 03:50 PM
Finally someone breaks the tension by saying, “Is that why Brad Gilbert quit?”
“He wouldn't have stayed in there to take it,” you snap. “He would have been at the side fence, talking to someone.”


Hmmm.. What does this imply?

amierin
11-24-2005, 04:14 PM
Thanks for the article. Very insightful.

Tennis Fool
11-24-2005, 04:15 PM
In the UK, the waiting for a new grand slam champion has run since 1936 and Fred Perry. In a global sport it is unrealistic for any nation to achieve the previous levels of domination; in the 50's and 60's most of the top players were either Australian or from the US. We now live in a more global age.
However, it's part of America's identity to be No.1 (not just in tennis). The 2nd article mentions this. If we couldn't compete to be the best, we'd have a national nervous breakdown.

▄︻┻┳═
11-24-2005, 04:19 PM
I don't think he had a bad year, because he's just as suck as he used to be

DrJules
11-24-2005, 04:29 PM
However, it's part of America's identity to be No.1 (not just in tennis). The 2nd article mentions this. If we couldn't compete to be the best, we'd have a national nervous breakdown.

The size of the population of the country probably helps as well.

Jimnik
11-24-2005, 04:30 PM
I don't think he had a bad year, because he's just as suck as he used to be

:retard:
i guess every tennis player in the world sucks except Federer and Nadal. :rolleyes:

kundalini
11-24-2005, 05:35 PM
Both articles are very interesting. But I keep recalling that Tim Henman talks a great game, explains what he needs to do on court and how if the other guy plays great then fair enough. And then goes out and plays like a nervous wreck.

Watching Roddick is much the same. The analysis is great, they seem to be working on improving his weaknesses. And so long as the match is straightforward he is ok.

But a couple of bad points, a lost tiebreak, a break of serve, and his confidence collapses. Without this inner confidence it is going to one hell of a struggle to win major tournaments.

euroka1
11-24-2005, 08:45 PM
One curious thing is that the Tennis article says that" (Roddick) may have the quickest mind in tennis". But that is apparently only for "blink-of- the- eye one-liners" as the same mind seems incapable of working out a winning strategy in an extended point. Improving the volley doesn't help much if you don't know what to do with it.

star
11-24-2005, 10:03 PM
Both articles are very interesting. But I keep recalling that Tim Henman talks a great game, explains what he needs to do on court and how if the other guy plays great then fair enough. And then goes out and plays like a nervous wreck.

Watching Roddick is much the same. The analysis is great, they seem to be working on improving his weaknesses. And so long as the match is straightforward he is ok.

But a couple of bad points, a lost tiebreak, a break of serve, and his confidence collapses. Without this inner confidence it is going to one hell of a struggle to win major tournaments.

Yes, I agree that Andy has an inner confidence problem. It is evident when he becomes so nervous and emotional on the court. I'm not sure what his team is doing to work on the problem. Obviously, he isn't going to talk about it to the press.

Carito_90
11-24-2005, 10:14 PM
I don't think he had a bad year, because he's just as suck as he used to be

I don't know how but I'm joining the ATP tour. I mean, if a guy that has sucked all his life is #3 and won a GS and was #1 before, it has to get there right? :scratch:

mangoes
11-24-2005, 10:24 PM
One curious thing is that the Tennis article says that" (Roddick) may have the quickest mind in tennis". But that is apparently only for "blink-of- the- eye one-liners" as the same mind seems incapable of working out a winning strategy in an extended point. Improving the volley doesn't help much if you don't know what to do with it.


Quickest mind? I think that's one of his biggest problems. He doesn't think and instead of focusing, he becomes a ball of emotions.

Nevertheless, he has a lovely personality and I think if he sees a shrink, it will do wonders for state of mind when playing a match.

euroka1
11-24-2005, 10:58 PM
Quickest mind? I think that's one of his biggest problems. He doesn't think and instead of focusing, he becomes a ball of emotions.

Nevertheless, he has a lovely personality and I think if he sees a shrink, it will do wonders for state of mind when playing a match.

You're right on the first, but only partly agree about the second. It's a matter of focus alright but I wonder whether much can be done about it, even with the shrink. Andy, on and off the court, has always reminded me of one of those hyperactive kids who can't stay still and pay attention for more than a couple of seconds. Presumably this condition can extend into adulthood. Can be fun in small doses but a trial to have around for extended periods!

DrJules
11-24-2005, 11:01 PM
Nevertheless, he has a lovely personality and I think if he sees a shrink, it will do wonders for state of mind when playing a match.

Sounds like you know him. Tell us more. :couple:

star
11-24-2005, 11:11 PM
You're right on the first, but only partly agree about the second. It's a matter of focus alright but I wonder whether much can be done about it, even with the shrink. Andy, on and off the court, has always reminded me of one of those hyperactive kids who can't stay still and pay attention for more than a couple of seconds. Presumably this condition can extend into adulthood. Can be fun in small doses but a trial to have around for extended periods!

That's quite a stretch to diagnose someone with hyperactivity when you really know very little about him, his ability to pay attention, or his ability to concentrate.

I think it would have been difficult for Andy to get to be a consistent top five player if he didn't have a good ability to concentrate.

euroka1
11-24-2005, 11:19 PM
That's quite a stretch to diagnose someone with hyperactivity when you really know very little about him, his ability to pay attention, or his ability to concentrate.

I think it would have been difficult for Andy to get to be a consistent top five player if he didn't have a good ability to concentrate.

No, he's a consistent top 5 player largely because of his overwhelming serve and blistering forehand returns. Neither require thought and concentration and without them, he'd lose many more matches and wouldn't be even in the top 10.

mangoes
11-24-2005, 11:52 PM
Sounds like you know him. Tell us more. :couple:

lololol............he just doesn't do it for me ;)

Loremaster
11-25-2005, 07:22 AM
No, he's a consistent top 5 player largely because of his overwhelming serve and blistering forehand returns. Neither require thought and concentration and without them, he'd lose many more matches and wouldn't be even in the top 10.

yeah od course...
and Federer without forehand or with Coria's serve also would be out of Top10, or Nadal/Hewitt without so fast legs(they are all consistent as no.1 or no.4 largely because of this things), and so on, such setences for my are very childish. Take any Top20 player and take away to things which he is doing best. It is not an argument.

However Andy's biggest weakness is his mind. I have senn to much Andy matches when he have break ponit he lost it and than in next service game got broken, I think it was Brad Gilbert failure(against Safin in AO 04, in FO4 against Mutis, USOpen04 against Johansson) also in 2004 he has such teriible record of 5 setters. It was improved in 2005 he was winnig many 5-set matches(eg Wimbledon) but still his mental side sucks in too much important matches but still sometimes its very good(many matches when he was in bad loosing postion and somehow win it - agianst Youzhny, Bracialli, Grosjean, Beck, Stepanek, Ferrer) so he can do it and play very well in difficult situations and what is his problem is doing this against certain players(Federer , Agassi, Hewitt - but still he win over in-form Hewitt in stright set in Cincinatti was impresive and helped him a lot so In my opinion he will be more confident playing him in future), He was always chokeing this matches( AO05 he had the match but lost in two stupid TB, or in Indian Wells). I think that single victory over Federer is the key if he won such match(for example when federer will not be in form) he would be much more confident , I don't see Nadal as a threat for Roddick on all surfaces (of course not on clay) Roddick has great mental edge over him, and still nadal on fast surfaces is worst player than hewitt or federer even if he will improve.
And his TBs record this year shows how low his mentality is :(

euroka1
11-25-2005, 08:31 AM
yeah od course...
and Federer without forehand or with Coria's serve also would be out of Top10, or Nadal/Hewitt without so fast legs(they are all consistent as no.1 or no.4 largely because of this things), and so on, such setences for my are very childish. Take any Top20 player and take away to things which he is doing best. It is not an argument.

However Andy's biggest weakness is his mind.......

I think we basically agree. My argument was that his place in the top 5 was NOT due to any talent for concentration, focus, and working out how to play points while they are being played. Still, you can take away a couple of things from Federer and HE will still win!

Loremaster
11-25-2005, 09:44 AM
I think we basically agree. My argument was that his place in the top 5 was NOT due to any talent for concentration, focus, and working out how to play points while they are being played. Still, you can take away a couple of things from Federer and HE will still win!

Yeah he will but he won't be No.1 nor Top5 player :)

DrJules
11-25-2005, 10:12 AM
Yeah he will but he won't be No.1 nor Top5 player :)

Andy Roddick is more dependent on one shot than any of the other players in the top 5. Yes, Roger Federer would be a significantly lesser player without his forehand. However, his movement and serve are also among the 10 best in the current game. None of Andy Roddick's shots apart from the serve are among the 10 best in the current game.

avocadoe
11-25-2005, 12:34 PM
I may be wrong but I think one of his brothers, John, older by a few years was supposed to be the real deal tennis player until he had a back injury that brought dreams of greatness to a halt, Andy supseded him. I suspect guilt about this and other childhood wishes for dominance have a part in his lack of inner confidance. Basically guilt is so unpleasant to experience, you convert it into something manageable, like self doubt. This would explain why Andy often in a winning position early in a Federer match like Wimby 04, then falls apart. And more worrisomely, why he doesn't even try to overwhelm him in Wimby 05. Andy improves this and that but its his serve and forehand, bread and butter, that are his winning style. It is also what he fears when playing his betters, using it, as it reminds him of his brther John. Some of Andy's niceness and acknowldgement of "better" players is also part of this largely unconscious defensive maneuvers. That is all to say, he could be helped with an appropriate psychiatrist.

avocadoe
11-25-2005, 01:36 PM
aha, I've done it again, a conversation stopper, lol, I'll talk to myself. Haven't you forgotten that character traits and deficits are from much earlier than the traumatic event you mention. Like have you noticed how close he is to his Mom and how she is the "stronger" even more masculine of the parents. Don't you think that maybe Andy has difficulty totally identifying with his own strength, using it, because of the original triangle where he feels he superceded his Dad? Winning brings him too close to that. Some of the Dad feelings got tranfered onto his older brother. He wanted to beat him, get him out of the way, and when it happened, anxiety, guilt and the sequellae...

Actually, deep down I think Andy is doing as well as can be expected with his particular type of game. But I have an open mind. I want to see him play Nadal on hard courts. Roger's feet may give him trouble and Andy may sneak a win here and there. He can beat Hewitt. And Safin on a bad day, which Safin has many of. Djokovic, Monfils are a year, at least from bothering him. Gasquet maybe.

euroka1
11-25-2005, 02:06 PM
Interesting ideas. I started musing about how often successful tennis players have pushy, dominating parents of the sort that I, for one, am glad I do not have. Despite their claims, they do control life pretty tightly and it can be hard to break loose. But the talent for success and the drive to achieve have to be there and Roddick certainly has both. I still believe his problems are more basic than family background, though, and are tied up with personality and just the way his brain circuitry works.

avocadoe
11-25-2005, 03:25 PM
thanks for the response. Parents with dreams for their kids are part of what makes it work or not. I don't disagree with you, but do think that personality and circuitry are forged in the family cauldron, genes plus nurture, situations, sibling position etc playing a part in development.

avocadoe
11-25-2005, 03:30 PM
another thought, lol. Maybe his serve is his mother, and his forehand his father. Maybe he is as you said, having trouble separating from his parents. Hence the on and off full use of his best strokes, and slowness to develop other aspects of his game. I like that one. You inspired me. Steffi Graf's forehand was her father identification. The year he was publicly humilited for his affairs, she actually couldn't use her weapon. Hit the stroke like she had a broken arm. Only after she achieved more independance did it become her. Martina Hingis also had trouble/lost her aggressiveness, as she battled for adult status and a reasonable separation from her mother. Aggression was more her mother, than her, as far as tennis went, although it was always part of her wit.

Loremaster
11-25-2005, 04:29 PM
I think you are a little bit wrong :), Andy's brother was always very suportive towards him , as I remember well he pushed Andy into tennis and was like his first coach and I'am sure they get on well(maybe Iam wrong) I think Andy's mental problems start when he was with Gilbert maybe Iam alone but i think that having such great 2003 year was his previous coach work not gilbert(tarik was first person Andy phoned after winnig UsOpen and he thanked him for all this years) with tarik he was in semifinal of AO(if not exhausting match in 1/4 final maybe he would be able to win this slam) Gilbert hadn't had enough time to prepare Andy he could change one or two things but they worked, and Gilbert had 2004 season to prove his "greatness" and he failed - Andy was loosing all close matches, giving away matches he won, loosing every 5 setter and being mentaly so bad...

I still that singl victory over Federer would change his game very much ...but what isn't working against Federer is his serve he can play well but he doesn't serve well against Roger I don't know why, it something like mental block, its not about quality of Roger return(Hewitt has even better return ) for example : Cincinatti 2005 - against Hewitt in semi-final - 25 aces(2 sets) , against Roger 9 aces(2) sets the difference is :eek: . But winning over Roger may make him more confident player - imagine very confident andy - serving about 13 aces per set in every match and blistering forehand as he did before 2004 (in 2003 his forehand was considered one of the best if not the best) than he could be threat even to no.1 (especially now when Federer legs are getting more damaged every year :()
His main rival is Federer
Nadal?? I don't think so having watched their 2004UsOpen match and Davis Cup even when Nadal was not today Nadal but also Andy wasn't at his peak
Safin?? In form he could be dangerous but he is not as good in returning Andy's Serve as Hewitt, Federer or Agassi and Roddick leds him 4:3(winning all 4 leatest matches)
Hewitt?? NO !! HE at least beat him and with his game he can do it again and what more Lleyton has wife and child now so he wouldn't be as good prepared as he used to (not enough time)
maybe Gasquet and Agassi(but his age is his enemy in such encounter)

star
11-25-2005, 05:06 PM
No, he's a consistent top 5 player largely because of his overwhelming serve and blistering forehand returns. Neither require thought and concentration and without them, he'd lose many more matches and wouldn't be even in the top 10.

That's where you are wrong. Playing tennis takes concentration, period, full stop.

If you took any player's top two weapons away, that player would quickly fall down the rankings. All you are saying is that if Roddick weren't as good as he is, he wouldn't be ranked as highly. That's true for anyone.

star
11-25-2005, 05:10 PM
I think we basically agree. My argument was that his place in the top 5 was NOT due to any talent for concentration, focus, and working out how to play points while they are being played. Still, you can take away a couple of things from Federer and HE will still win!

I think Federer would have trouble winning if you took away his top two weapons. What would Federer be without his forehand and his movement? He'd be good, but he wouldn't be the number one player.

euroka1
11-25-2005, 05:22 PM
That's where you are wrong. Playing tennis takes concentration, period, full stop.

If you took any player's top two weapons away, that player would quickly fall down the rankings. All you are saying is that if Roddick weren't as good as he is, he wouldn't be ranked as highly. That's true for anyone.

I guess we don't agree! I stand by what I have been saying. That's true for anyone, yes, but Roddick would plummet much faster than the others because there's not much else.

radics
11-25-2005, 05:23 PM
I think Federer would have trouble winning if you took away his top two weapons. What would Federer be without his forehand and his movement? He'd be good, but he wouldn't be the number one player.lol... tell me one player who would be as good as he is now if you take away hes best 2 "weapons" ...?!

Edit: Sorry, didn't read your first post.

Fumus
11-25-2005, 06:05 PM
Roddick didn't have a bad year this year. His year was the 3rd best in the world or the 654,987,458,456,201,495,644 worst.

its.like.that
11-25-2005, 08:58 PM
However, it's part of America's identity to be No.1 (not just in tennis). The 2nd article mentions this. If we couldn't compete to be the best, we'd have a national nervous breakdown.

we, we, we...

shut the f*ck up you clown.

rexman
11-26-2005, 02:30 AM
I think you are a little bit wrong :), Andy's brother was always very suportive towards him , as I remember well he pushed Andy into tennis and was like his first coach and I'am sure they get on well(maybe Iam wrong) I think Andy's mental problems start when he was with Gilbert maybe Iam alone but i think that having such great 2003 year was his previous coach work not gilbert(tarik was first person Andy phoned after winnig UsOpen and he thanked him for all this years) with tarik he was in semifinal of AO(if not exhausting match in 1/4 final maybe he would be able to win this slam) Gilbert hadn't had enough time to prepare Andy he could change one or two things but they worked, and Gilbert had 2004 season to prove his "greatness" and he failed - Andy was loosing all close matches, giving away matches he won, loosing every 5 setter and being mentaly so bad...

I still that singl victory over Federer would change his game very much ...but what isn't working against Federer is his serve he can play well but he doesn't serve well against Roger I don't know why, it something like mental block, its not about quality of Roger return(Hewitt has even better return ) for example : Cincinatti 2005 - against Hewitt in semi-final - 25 aces(2 sets) , against Roger 9 aces(2) sets the difference is :eek: . But winning over Roger may make him more confident player - imagine very confident andy - serving about 13 aces per set in every match and blistering forehand as he did before 2004 (in 2003 his forehand was considered one of the best if not the best) than he could be threat even to no.1 (especially now when Federer legs are getting more damaged every year :()
His main rival is Federer
Nadal?? I don't think so having watched their 2004UsOpen match and Davis Cup even when Nadal was not today Nadal but also Andy wasn't at his peak
Safin?? In form he could be dangerous but he is not as good in returning Andy's Serve as Hewitt, Federer or Agassi and Roddick leds him 4:3(winning all 4 leatest matches)
Hewitt?? NO !! HE at least beat him and with his game he can do it again and what more Lleyton has wife and child now so he wouldn't be as good prepared as he used to (not enough time)
maybe Gasquet and Agassi(but his age is his enemy in such encounter)

Hewitt stills own Roddick on the big stage and is 6-2 against him overall. Agassi is 6-1 against Roddick also.

And you forgot Ivan Ljubicic, who beat Roddick on an ideal surface for Roddick.

Plus Nalbandian could give him trouble. The head to head is for Roddick, but Nalbandian did win their last meeting.

avocadoe
11-26-2005, 12:24 PM
i'm sure I'm a little bit wrong, lol, maybe even a little bit more than a little bit, but John liking Andy, and pushing him towards tennis doesn't impress me, may even increase Andy's guilt, and compensatory behavior.

Federerthebest
11-26-2005, 01:44 PM
What Roddick needs to do to improve his game is to play more intelligently. Unfortunately (for both him and his :retard: fans), because he is naturally stupid, this is unlikely to occur.

mojo37_12
11-27-2005, 04:55 AM
In my opinion, his future sucess will depend mainly on his ability (or inability for that matter) to improve his backhand. It definitely needs major improvement.

He also needs to rethink the structure of his game... Playing baseline tennis is not working for him anymore. Also, his intimidation level has been constantly depreciating because currently, he always lose to players that he should be winning against. If you let someone with a lower ranking beat you pretty soon everyone will start to. The same should be said about Maria S