Yesterday's Hope Is Today's Has-Been. Andy R? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Yesterday's Hope Is Today's Has-Been. Andy R?

Louche
08-26-2007, 10:40 PM
Ouch. If this is a repeat - please delete.

Courier is kind, Carillo honest.

Yesterday's Hope Is Today's Has-Been

American Roddick Hasn't Progressed as Planned

By Liz Clarke
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 26, 2007; D03

It has been four years since Andy Roddick buried his disbelieving face in his hands after winning the 2003 U.S. Open -- what promised to be the first of several Grand Slam titles to come -- at age 21. And until this year, the fact that he has failed to claim a second major hasn't diminished the buzz surrounding him each time he returns to New York to take another whack at his country's most coveted tennis title.

In 2005, the buzz revolved around the ill-conceived American Express advertising campaign in which Roddick had "lost his mojo." He proceeded to get bounced in the first round.

Last year, the buzz was about Roddick's partnership with former champion Jimmy Connors, whom he coaxed out of virtual seclusion to coach him back to prominence.

Tomorrow, the 2007 U.S. Open gets underway at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. And there is buzz aplenty:

* About third-seeded Novak Djokovic, 20, the dazzling Serb who beat world No. 2 Rafael Nadal and world No. 1 Roger Federer in succession earlier this month.

* About sixth-seed James Blake, who'd like nothing more than to shake his reputation for freezing up in five-set matches under the bright lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium court.

* About American hopefuls Sam Querrey and John Isner, the surprising finalist at Washington's Legg Mason Tennis Classic, who stand 6 feet 6 and 6-9, respectively, and may portend a resurgence of men's tennis stateside.

* And about Venus and Serena Williams, who share four U.S. Open titles between them and open play in back-to-back first-round matches tomorrow night following a tribute to former champion Althea Gibson. The sisters' fitness remains a question, given their scant participation since Wimbledon. But only fools would discount their prospects.

But what's striking is that there's hardly any buzz about Roddick -- not the status of his vaunted forehand; not the merits of his latest coaching relationship; not even the tabloid intrigue of his latest romance.

Says CBS analyst Mary Carillo, "I think a lot of the players have caught up and caught on to Andy Roddick and his game."

By almost any measure, it has been a disappointing year.

Roddick has won just two ATP titles -- a Wimbledon tuneup on grass at London's Queen's Club and, three weeks ago, the Legg Mason. In each case, his opponent in the final was ranked outside the top 100.

While Roddick admittedly is in rarefied company as the world's fifth-ranked player, he hasn't beaten anyone ranked higher than he in 2007. Each of those losses -- to Federer, Nadal and Djokovic -- have come in straight sets.

Jim Courier, 37, who held the No. 1 ranking four times, notes that Roddick has had the bittersweet fortune of reaching his prime at the same time as Federer, perhaps the greatest ever. Butting up against the peerless Swiss, who snatched the No. 1 ranking from Roddick in February 2004 and has never relinquished it, is bound to put a dent in anyone's career statistics.

"He's playing in an era where it's very challenging," said Courier, who competes in and promotes the sport's Champions Tour. "You have dominance from Federer and secondary dominance from Nadal and others. Roddick is holding his own. He's been in the semis of a major this year (Australia, where he lost to Federer, 6-4, 6-0, 6-2). He's running up against this road block named Federer, and there's no shame in that."

If Courier is grading on a curve, Carillo isn't.

As she sees it, Roddick's plateau is less about Federer's brilliance than the American's failure to reinvent himself. If she were his coach, she'd have him on court drilling buckets of balls, working on specific skills: hugging the baseline, shortening the back swing on his service return, improving his return game.

Whether Connors is stressing any of that is anyone's guess. Both are close-lipped about their agenda during practice.

"I can only assume that's what Jimmy has been working on," Carillo says. "But Andy has got a comfort zone that he really hesitates deeply to venture out of. And that's hard. If you want to make real changes in someone's game, and they don't want to make them, that's not the fault of the coach. That's just an obstinate student."

Nadal and Djokovic, by contrast, have thrown themselves into diversifying their skills and, as a result, have vaulted over Roddick to give Federer the type of challenge he hasn't had in years.

Nadal, 21, has shaken the toughest rap of all -- being pegged a clay-court specialist -- and retooled his serve and volleys to advance to Wimbledon's final the last two years.

Djokovic already boasts so many impressive shots that he defies classification. And he is obsessive about improving any weaknesses, seeking out masters of specific skills for advice. He recently asked John McEnroe, for example, to work with him on his volleys.

Roddick, by contrast, can be maddeningly predictable.

Courier insists Connors is having an effect, calling him "a big catalyst." Roddick is stepping up to the baseline more and using a slice backhand to neutralize opponents, he says.

"Andy is looking long-term here," Courier says. "He didn't hire Jimmy Connors for a quick fix. This is part of his continuing progression. If he becomes a better player, results will follow. That doesn't mean the other players aren't getting better."

Jaap
08-26-2007, 10:43 PM
Roddick has fulfilled all his talents. For someone of such limited ability to win a grand slam and to reach two further grand slam finals is a good achievement.

Burrow
08-26-2007, 10:46 PM
Roddick has fulfilled all his talents. For someone of such limited ability to win a grand slam and to reach two further grand slam finals is a good achievement.

He has reached 3 other you retard. Go on edit your post, like usual.

Jaap
08-26-2007, 10:48 PM
He has reached 3 other you retard. Go on edit your post, like usual.

Quit stalking me. :retard:

Allure
08-26-2007, 11:18 PM
Don't know if Roddick is a has been (yet) but the other guys have been catching up to him (even pasting him). If he doesn't improve like Carillo said then he might not be considered a contender in slams anymore.

Tennis Fool
08-26-2007, 11:24 PM
In 2005, the buzz revolved around the ill-conceived American Express advertising campaign in which Roddick had "lost his mojo." He proceeded to get bounced in the first round.


That reminds me--where is Gilles Muller these days? Is he playing the Open?

ryder66
08-26-2007, 11:56 PM
Maybe it will help Roddick to not have "the buzz". Not having those high expectations could cause him to relax and do better.

cobalt60
08-27-2007, 12:00 AM
I actually agree with Carillo. Now that is amazing. But really he tried to reinvent himself but in the process lost his penetrating forehand. And his tactics don't seem to be working ie:coming in on poor shots etc. Not sure if he will ever win a slam again. Still a good player but...... I saw him practice in Cinci once- he stayed out there all of 30 minutes hitting with his brother. Granted it was hot but there were other players out there more often and drilling more as well. Only wish him the best.

cobalt60
08-27-2007, 12:00 AM
Maybe it will help Roddick to not have "the buzz". Not having those high expectations could cause him to relax and do better.

I think you are on to something there.

Winston's Human
08-27-2007, 12:40 AM
As she sees it, Roddick's plateau is less about Federer's brilliance than the American's failure to reinvent himself. If she were his coach, she'd have him on court drilling buckets of balls, working on specific skills: hugging the baseline, shortening the back swing on his service return, improving his return game.


With such coaching insight, it is amazing that Carillo has not left the commentariat and become a professional coach. Of course, it is much easier to criticize than perform.

leng jai
08-27-2007, 12:48 AM
I actually agree with Carillo. Now that is amazing. But really he tried to reinvent himself but in the process lost his penetrating forehand. And his tactics don't seem to be working ie:coming in on poor shots etc. Not sure if he will ever win a slam again. Still a good player but...... I saw him practice in Cinci once- he stayed out there all of 30 minutes hitting with his brother. Granted it was hot but there were other players out there more often and drilling more as well. Only wish him the best.

Roddick has no tactics.

twisturhead
08-27-2007, 12:51 AM
andy roddick is still america's hope

Merton
08-27-2007, 12:58 AM
I am not sure that high expectations bother Andy, after all he handled the 2003 bandwagon very well and he clearly overachieved that summer (as evidenced by his results before and after). The worst thing for him is that he has lost to three different players of the younger generation in slams now (Marcos, Murray, Gasquet) and Djokovic has also passed him.

nikita13
08-27-2007, 01:00 AM
You're not over unless you stop improving. As long as he's working with Jimmy I think he still is.

r2473
08-27-2007, 02:51 AM
Wow! He is 5 in the world is is consistent top 10 and a has been all at the same time.

Nice trick Andy!!!!

markd
08-27-2007, 04:28 AM
I agree. I think (hope) lover expectations, and having the focus off of him may help him relax a bit and be able to play. All I hear on TV is how hot James Blake is coming into the Open..hot? He's won two small tournaments this year right? If there is someone who has never achieved anything but making people think he's better than he is it's that guy. What a poser he is... I can't imagine the pressure Roddick has been under these last few years...I'm not saying he's a brilliant player, but he's stayed close to the top and tries hard and just seems to get picked apart by everyone...give a guy a break! And IMO Mary Carillio is a complete and total A_Hole, no matter what shes talking about.

rmb6687
08-27-2007, 07:39 AM
yeah, i believe that andy has heart and works hard. But I don't see consistent proof. Yeah, he's still in the top ten, top five, but the fact is, when it counts (against tough players) Andy is still under performing and he commits the same errors as he was last year. He can make a nice point every once and awhile, but it happens to rarely, that it seems like luck and not the result of practice. le sigh. I'm as frustrated as any Andy fan and I hope he shows us something special at the USOpen and that less pressure will help make the lessons stick while he's on court.

Stensland
08-27-2007, 08:28 AM
i don't think andy's working less or is less determined than he was during 02 or 03. he has a big heart and i bet he's fighting his ass off when on court. but, and you can't blame him for that, the problem is simply his lack of talent. some have it, some dont'. it's therefor nonetheless pretty amazing what he's achieved in the last couple of years.

but let's face it: there's hardly any chance that he'll grab another major trophy in the future. his years would have been 04 and 05; he'd "just" have had to beat fed. nowadays, he will be starting to hustle like hell even during 3rd-round-encounters, at least at major tournaments.

Adler
08-27-2007, 10:46 AM
When I see highlights of Andy's matches from 02 or 03, I think his game even decreased. His BH is pathetic, his FH not accurate and net game is just hopeless

Tutu
08-27-2007, 11:03 AM
By no means is he a has been but he really needs to work so hard on nearly every part of his game to win another GS. He's defenatly talented and i used to think that all his game had a lot of potential, not just his serve. I think that, over the years, he's focused too much on the serve that everyone hyped up and neglected other parts of his game (groundies) which need attention to become weapons again. I always used to think that his forehand could become a massive weapon. I know the backhand's always been bad but there's somedays when he can't get his groundies past the service line! To me, he doesn't have the grooundies of a top tenner let alone a top 5 player. He needs to find a coach who can help him get the right technique because his f-hand and bhand technique is poor and he doesn't have enough natural talent to get away with it (unlike nadal). He's far from over though. Although i don't see him as a serious contender for GSs in the near future, if he can improve shots other than his serve and volley, he CAN go places. Im not saying he'll win another GS but he can defenatly make a few more serious challenges for one if he fixes up.

RagingLamb
08-27-2007, 12:49 PM
"He's running up against this road block named Federer, and there's no shame in that".

That's the most pathetic line I've heard. If you start thinking like that, you need to quit your sport, cause you don't deserve to be in it. Of course Roddick never said that.
But that's the feeling you get from some players, that their happy losing to Fed as long as their making a living from whatever scraps he leaves them. That's just sad to me.

Lillith
08-27-2007, 01:04 PM
There have also been some very important changes to the court and tennis conditions since Roddick won the US Open in 2003. The courts are much, much slower than they were 4 years ago, and some tournaments have admitted that they are using heavier balls as well. Roddick would have been a different player in the conditions of the 1990s, but he sucks on today's courts. It's a shame really, as there should be a place for players like him, Ljubicic, Ancic and others who favor the fast court conditions. Instead, we're treated to the monotony of baseline tennis even at Wimbledon. Also ironic that 2 of the fanbases who go at each other the most on this site should have a shared goal of forcing more fast court tennis on the ATP. :)


Before anyone asks, no I don't have any "evidence" of slower courts, other than my own eyes. I've watched tennis longer than many of you have been alive, and I've seen the lightning fast Wimbledon courts changed to quasi-clay of the last few years. Wimbledon was also one of the tournaments who admitted changing balls.

Burrow
08-27-2007, 01:51 PM
Quit stalking me. :retard:

You call me a retard but you do not have a clue how many Grand Slam finals Roddick has achieved.

:o

Jaap
08-27-2007, 02:03 PM
You call me a retard but you do not have a clue how many Grand Slam finals Roddick has achieved.

:o

Just shut your shitty mouth.

cobalt60
08-27-2007, 02:37 PM
There have also been some very important changes to the court and tennis conditions since Roddick won the US Open in 2003. The courts are much, much slower than they were 4 years ago, and some tournaments have admitted that they are using heavier balls as well. Roddick would have been a different player in the conditions of the 1990s, but he sucks on today's courts. It's a shame really, as there should be a place for players like him, Ljubicic, Ancic and others who favor the fast court conditions. Instead, we're treated to the monotony of baseline tennis even at Wimbledon. Also ironic that 2 of the fanbases who go at each other the most on this site should have a shared goal of forcing more fast court tennis on the ATP. :)


Before anyone asks, no I don't have any "evidence" of slower courts, other than my own eyes. I've watched tennis longer than many of you have been alive, and I've seen the lightning fast Wimbledon courts changed to quasi-clay of the last few years. Wimbledon was also one of the tournaments who admitted changing balls.

Excellent post.

R.Federer
08-27-2007, 04:24 PM
There have also been some very important changes to the court and tennis conditions since Roddick won the US Open in 2003. The courts are much, much slower than they were 4 years ago, and some tournaments have admitted that they are using heavier balls as well. Roddick would have been a different player in the conditions of the 1990s, but he sucks on today's courts. It's a shame really, as there should be a place for players like him, Ljubicic, Ancic and others who favor the fast court conditions. Instead, we're treated to the monotony of baseline tennis even at Wimbledon. Also ironic that 2 of the fanbases who go at each other the most on this site should have a shared goal of forcing more fast court tennis on the ATP. :)


Before anyone asks, no I don't have any "evidence" of slower courts, other than my own eyes. I've watched tennis longer than many of you have been alive, and I've seen the lightning fast Wimbledon courts changed to quasi-clay of the last few years. Wimbledon was also one of the tournaments who admitted changing balls.

It's the same for all players. There are many other fast-court players and they have all been forced to rethink their games and strategies. Roddick has really not changed his game at all, I wish he had done a little more s/v under Connors, a little more aggressive tennis. But the article is correct that he finds it hard to move out of his gamestyle. If you as a spectator have noticed the slowing of some courts, then he must have as well. It is up to all the players to adapt. Maybe that is one of the skills you need to have as a tennis player.

Andy is NO.5 in the world and has enormous consistency. But so long as he wins none of the big titles, this kind of talk will accompany him.

NYCtennisfan
08-27-2007, 04:35 PM
"He's running up against this road block named Federer, and there's no shame in that".

That's the most pathetic line I've heard. If you start thinking like that, you need to quit your sport, cause you don't deserve to be in it. Of course Roddick never said that.
But that's the feeling you get from some players, that their happy losing to Fed as long as their making a living from whatever scraps he leaves them. That's just sad to me.

He can't beat Federer over a best of 5 sets unless Federer plays poorly. It's as simple as that. He had a better chance in the past when his FH was more penetrating and his serve was more difficult to return, but now...

Again, losing to Federer has very little to do with players being 'happy' to lose to him. They just don't have the game to beat him unless he is playing poorly. A player who has the tools to hurt Federer i.e. Nadal with his ability to hit the serves that give Fed the most trouble along with the FH getting up high on the BH, the court positioning, etc. plays very well against him. If Roddick ha a better BH and the FH from 2003, he would play much differently against Federer as well.

NYCtennisfan
08-27-2007, 04:38 PM
There have also been some very important changes to the court and tennis conditions since Roddick won the US Open in 2003. The courts are much, much slower than they were 4 years ago, and some tournaments have admitted that they are using heavier balls as well. Roddick would have been a different player in the conditions of the 1990s, but he sucks on today's courts. It's a shame really, as there should be a place for players like him, Ljubicic, Ancic and others who favor the fast court conditions. Instead, we're treated to the monotony of baseline tennis even at Wimbledon. Also ironic that 2 of the fanbases who go at each other the most on this site should have a shared goal of forcing more fast court tennis on the ATP. :)


Before anyone asks, no I don't have any "evidence" of slower courts, other than my own eyes. I've watched tennis longer than many of you have been alive, and I've seen the lightning fast Wimbledon courts changed to quasi-clay of the last few years. Wimbledon was also one of the tournaments who admitted changing balls.

While conditions have changed at many venues, the USO is not much, much slower than they were in 2003. It may play a slight bit slower, but a lot of that has to do with how the players have changed as well.

DrJules
08-27-2007, 04:45 PM
He can't beat Federer over a best of 5 sets unless Federer plays poorly. It's as simple as that. He had a better chance in the past when his FH was more penetrating and his serve was more difficult to return, but now...

Again, losing to Federer has very little to do with players being 'happy' to lose to him. They just don't have the game to beat him unless he is playing poorly. A player who has the tools to hurt Federer i.e. Nadal with his ability to hit the serves that give Fed the most trouble along with the FH getting up high on the BH, the court positioning, etc. plays very well against him. If Roddick ha a better BH and the FH from 2003, he would play much differently against Federer as well.

Much of which results from Nadal being left handed while Roddick is right handed.

NYCtennisfan
08-27-2007, 05:03 PM
Much of which results from Nadal being left handed while Roddick is right handed.

Definitely. Roddick can't hurt Federer other than off of the 1st serve and sometimes not even with that so Federer plays very relaxed tennis. When Federer plays relaxed tennis, there isn't much chance of winning a set much less a best of 5 match.

rofe
08-27-2007, 05:16 PM
Much of which results from Nadal being left handed while Roddick is right handed.

Not much. If being lefty was the main prerequisite to beating Federer then Neiminen would have a positive h2h against Fed. As it stands, he is 0-7 against Federer. Being lefty certainly helps Nadal but what he does with that advantage defines his game against Fed.

DrJules
08-27-2007, 05:18 PM
Not much. If being lefty was the main prerequisite to beating Federer then Neiminen would have a positive h2h against Fed. As it stands, he is 0-7 against Federer. Being lefty certainly helps Nadal but what he does with that advantage defines his game against Fed.

Left handed slice serve to right backhand and forehand cross court into righthand backhand. If Nadal was right handed his forehand would go cross court to the Federer forehand and his flatter backhand to the Federer backhand.

DrJules
08-27-2007, 05:20 PM
Having looked though list of 1 grand slam winners in the 2000 onwards period Andy Roddick has easily been the most successful and still capable of a win if Federer loses..

RagingLamb
08-27-2007, 05:53 PM
He can't beat Federer over a best of 5 sets unless Federer plays poorly. It's as simple as that. He had a better chance in the past when his FH was more penetrating and his serve was more difficult to return, but now...

Again, losing to Federer has very little to do with players being 'happy' to lose to him. They just don't have the game to beat him unless he is playing poorly. A player who has the tools to hurt Federer i.e. Nadal with his ability to hit the serves that give Fed the most trouble along with the FH getting up high on the BH, the court positioning, etc. plays very well against him. If Roddick ha a better BH and the FH from 2003, he would play much differently against Federer as well.

Yes I understand that maybe it's tough or almost impossible for him to beat Roger, but as a professional athlete, if you are happy losing, then you should retire, in my opinion. If being completely dominated by another player is "nothing to be ashamed of", then you should seriously walk away from the game.

My point is that there is something seriously wrong with that attitude. I don't care if Roddick gets worse than he is even now. If he did whatever he could to get better, to win, and if he refused to ever let anyone just walk all over him, I would gladly watch.

Instead people like courier are saying it's ok to lose. And THAT DOES NOT BELONG IN PRO SPORTS.

Burrow
08-31-2007, 02:05 AM
Having looked though list of 1 grand slam winners in the 2000 onwards period Andy Roddick has easily been the most successful and still capable of a win if Federer loses..

If Federer loses, and Nadal is going strong, then you think Roddick can come through Nadal? On a hard court nowadays, it is a bad match up for Roddick, If they get into a lengthy groundstroke rally, there will only be one winner, and it won't be Roddick. If Roddick comes to the net, Nadal has his number. Roddick will only have his serve against Nadal, and might have a chance for the one two punch, big serve and then forehand finish up as Nadal, most of the time, does not return very aggressively, and often stands way to far back behind the baseline although he did show some signs of changing that at Wimbledon.