Interesting article on Roddick. What Federer did to him. [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Interesting article on Roddick. What Federer did to him.

Nole fan
01-20-2011, 07:24 PM
Playing Small
by Pete Bodo

http://blogs.tennis.com/tennisworld/2011/01/playing-small.html

The other night, I was prepared to write about the match between Andy Roddick and Igor Kunitsyn, but Fernando Verdasco got in the way. But watching those two matches, more or less simultaneously, presented an interesting and valuable contrast. Roddick, by the way, is playing in the second match on Hisense Arena later today, where he'll be facing a potentially dangerous opponent in Netherlander Robin Haase.

The two have never met, but I'm thinking this will be a shoot 'em up, because once you get beyond the resume items (Roddick has a Grand Slam title, a Davis Cup championship, five Masters 1000 titles and three Wimbledon runner-up trophies; Haase has, well, two runner-up trophies—in doubles), the physical and stylistic similarities aren't just noteworthy, they're striking.

At 6'3", Haase is an inch taller (as well as five years younger) than the 28-year old Roddick; the men are built alike, although Haase is leaner, more sinewy, and less broad in the brisket. Roddick's serve is bigger, but Haase can sizzle it as well. The Dutchman is more than solid off the ground (his favorite surface is clay) judging from the little I've seen of him lately, his two-handed backhand is more lethal than Roddick's—he likes to drive it and penetrate. Haase also looks more comfortable attacking, and he's not afraid to use the drop shot.

Most significantly, for our purposes, Haase shares a signature vulnerability with Roddick. Both men have a natural preference to retreat from the baseline, trusting that their long legs and reach will allow them to successfully defend a lot of territory and occasionally turn their defense into offense. During some points, they'll run up to take a short ball on or inside the baseline, but just like someone running down to the shore to test the frigid water with a toe, they're both apt to turn around and run right back to the blanket spread, well back from the seafoam.

If you've been watching ESPN's coverage of the tennis, you know that Pat McEnroe and company have become a sort of one-note band when it comes to Roddick; they fear for his competitive well-being because of Roddick's dogged insistence on giving up so much of the court. Against Juan Monaco, Haase was able to post a relatively comfortable win while playing from far back in his court. That should trouble Roddick, going in, because he's giving away five years in age (despite the excellent shape he's in), and because Haase enjoys an edge in the touch department, and also in a comparison of their backhands. Of course, wise use can trump technical superiority, and it will be interesting to see if that becomes a factor.

The intriguing thing here is that these are big men who play small. Either of them, playing in an earlier era, might have entirely different games. A few years ago, while visiting Andy, he challenged me to identify the biggest change in pro tennis over the past two decades. I searched my brain and came up with an answer (I forget what it was now) at which he only scoffed before declaring that the most profound change was the universal embrace of slow courts, especially on outdoor hard and other surfaces that were originally designed to showcase the aggressive, serve-and-volley "power tennis" games favored by so many pioneers of the early Open era.

Watching Verdasco mount that furious fightback against Janko Tipsarevic, I felt that the No. 8 seed may be the outstanding proponent of what passes for "power tennis" under today's changed conditions (although Robin Soderling, Tomas Berdych and a few of the other ball bangers are equally good or better representatives). Verdasco wants to hit big; he is big. And he certainly has the tools to whale on every ball, especially on the forehand side.

But it was also clear to me as we switched back and forth between his and the Roddick's match that Roddick, while well-designed for aggressive tennis (most noticeably with that serve, one around which you can build an entire game plan), made a decision to go another route. This is not stop-the-presses news, but I think it's still surprising, even though we've grown quite accustomed to Roddick's impersonations of Michael Chang.

Verdasco is who he is, and apparently he likes it that way. It's hard to imagine him departing far from his big game mentality. But Roddick's career path has been a genuine, transformational journey and it represents an admirable feat (put it up there with Rafael Nadal's transformation into an all-court hero, or Roger Federer's basic mental flexibility, even if the order of magnitude is different). One of the key crossroads in that journey lay at the semifinal stage of the Australian Open in 2007, when Roddick, under the tutelage of Jimmy Connors, that paragon of aggressive tennis, went right at Roger Federer. Roddick and was swiftly and savagely blown apart, suffering one of the most humiliating losses (if a loss to Federer can be described that way) of his career, a lightning-fast 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 blowout.

Roddick was never the same player after that; he actually became a better if not significantly more successful one. It was Roddick's rubicon, in some ways. And while he'd already been trying to shore up that weak backhand and otherwise improve his all-court game, the loss seems to have hastened and firmed up his commitment to playing small. And given that Roddick has found a way to hang in there as a Top 10 player for almost a decade, and still is a prime Wimbledon contender, who can question his choice?

I marvel at all this, when I look at the larger context. Roddick, after all, is a big guy, as well as a big personality. He's got a certain swagger, and he doesn't shy away from confrontation or controversial positions. He's a smart alec and a well-established star who's transcended the tennis milieu and become a staple of pop culture in the U.S. Some people believe his fame and fortune are larger than Roddick deserves, but mercifully none of them are in a position to apply their innate, presumed superiority to dictate who gets what. But what sometimes gets overlooked, even as more and more people have embraced Roddick because of his drive and work ethic, is a more fundamental point.

Roddick has a healthy ego, no doubt about it. But he checked it at the gate in order to wring the most out of his talent and career, and that could not have been easy. Nothing about Roddick says "small" except for his...game. Sure, that big serve enables much of his success, but he grubs and grinds and plucks at his shirt with the best of them, droplets of sweat dropping from the brim of his hat, alert and bright-eyed, always ready to get into some stupid little hassle with the guy sitting in the high chair. He's become fun to watch despite playing a game that's a monument to the idea of toning it down. His game is that of a guy who prowls a beach with a metal detector, patiently hoping for a find, happy to come upon a quarter, or a St. Christopher medal, without ever giving up on the idea of finding that $50,000 Rolex.

I don't know where they found this Haase kid. He looked a lot better than No. 62 in the world the other day, and better than his career-high ranking of 56. Haase ended his 2010 campaign in early November; in his last tournament (Basel), he outlasted John Isner in the third round before he fell in the quarters to Novak Djokovic. So Haase has had plenty of time to work on his fitness and game, and get some much needed rest (by my count, he played 28 tournaments in 2010). So far this year, he's 3-2 with losses to Isner in Auckland and to Stan Wawrinka in the quarters of Chennai.

Roddick gets a huge edge in the mental/emotional column, but this match is still apt to be a lot closer than it may appear. In any event, it will be agreeable watching two big men playing small.

MTwEeZi
01-20-2011, 07:25 PM
sounds like he was *****..

Certinfy
01-20-2011, 07:26 PM
sounds like he was *****..
:haha: :worship:

Roger the Dodger
01-20-2011, 07:30 PM
This should have come out after the Quarter Final.

General Suburbia
01-20-2011, 07:31 PM
sounds like he was *****..
Figuratively speaking, he kind of was.

ossie
01-20-2011, 07:49 PM
his mugness and lack of talent to one side, what about his lack of adapting, his perseverance to play the same game for how may years now knowing it has never amounted to shit, not against fed or any other serious tennis player. i can forgive his inability to play tennis but no his stupidity (and arrogance). roddick has always been and will always be a mug and he knows it.

Dr.Slice
01-20-2011, 07:58 PM
sounds like he was *****..

At Oz 2007, that semifinal, that actually was ****. I felt sorry for Roddick for how Federer completely destroyed him.

Corey Feldman
01-20-2011, 09:13 PM
2007 AO :lol:

remember the "the gap is closing" mantra :p

Priam
01-20-2011, 09:23 PM
07 was the year Roddick beat him at Kooyong too. :lol:

delpiero7
01-20-2011, 09:26 PM
his mugness and lack of talent to one side, what about his lack of adapting, his perseverance to play the same game for how may years now knowing it has never amounted to shit, not against fed or any other serious tennis player. i can forgive his inability to play tennis but no his stupidity (and arrogance). roddick has always been and will always be a mug and he knows it.

1 Major title + 4 finals
5 AMS Shields + 4 finals
29 ATP titles
Former world #1

Yes, his game has never amounted to shit. :silly:

I'd hate to see your assessment of other players if that's your view of Roddick.

FEDERERBEAUTY
01-20-2011, 09:45 PM
1 Major title + 4 finals
5 AMS Shields + 4 finals
29 ATP titles
Former world #1

Yes, his game has never amounted to shit. :silly:

I'd hate to see your assessment of other players if that's your view of Roddick.

You tell 'em Delpiero! Nice retort.

Arkulari
01-20-2011, 09:48 PM
Duck used to be an attacking player, with a big serve and a decent FH, he also used his double-handed BH.

His type of game falls straight on Roger's path, and he has destroyed the guy time and time and time again, one thing you gotta acknowledge is that he never gives up even after all the beatdowns.

Nowadays he chose to push his way to victory, that works with lower ranked opponents, but you can't push like he does against the Nadals, Federers or Murrays of this world, he's just a consistent top 10 player nowadays but has become too passive and that's why he hasn't won a Slam again :shrug:

SetSampras
01-20-2011, 10:20 PM
Federer Shmederer.. Roddick did more to Roddick then Fed did to Roddick. What do you expect when you never develop SHIT outside of your serve. Every other aspect of Roddick's game is what caused him from succeeding. Fed is the better player no doubt about it, but to have a 2-23 some record against the guy whatever the hell it is, Roddick deserves some blame for that.

There were guys around who have been around much shorter then Roddick who have a nice h2h against Fed and much more success then Roddick could get in 40000 tries.

Why Roddick failed?

Serve-Big time boomer, the only real strong aspect of his game. But also readable many times. Never could disguise the toss like other big time servers.
Movement: Improved but still horribly poor compared to other top guys.
Speed: Way below average
Backhand- not a weapon at all.. Very weak
FH- A great weapon for him at one point, now designed to grind and push and with more spin which is NOT Roddick's game. Regressed a tenfold, which prior along with his serve was his only other weapon
Net game: Fucking PITIFUL!!!
Anticipation: HORRIBLE
Approach to the net: FUCKING HORRIBLE
Consistency: Good for the limited all around game he had I guess.
Constantly switching coaches and making them constantly refine his game back and forth to pusher-striker-pusher-striker which has only caused him more problems then solutions for the last 4-5 years


Roddick in a nutshell. Now why did Roddick fail again? His game is completely full of holes. In fact, for as shitty as his all around game is, he should be happy having the career he had. If there was more 1-2 more all time greats in their prime at the same time Fed was Roddick probably would never even of won 4-5 tournaments for his entire career

Bubble99
01-20-2011, 10:25 PM
Federer Shmederer.. Roddick did more to Roddick then Fed did to Roddick. What do you expect when you never develop SHIT outside of your serve. Every other aspect of Roddick's game is what caused him from succeeding. Fed is the better player no doubt about it, but to have a 2-23 some record against the guy whatever the hell it is, Roddick deserves some blame for that.

There were guys around who have been around much shorter then Roddick who have a nice h2h against Fed and much more success then Roddick could get in 40000 tries.

Why Roddick failed?

Serve-Big time boomer, the only real strong aspect of his game. But also readable many times. Never could disguise the toss like other big time servers.
Movement: Improved but still horribly poor compared to other top guys.
Speed: Way below average
Backhand- not a weapon at all.. Very weak
FH- A great weapon for him at one point, now designed to grind and push and with more spin which is NOT Roddick's game
Net game: Fucking PITIFUL!!!
Anticipation: HORRIBLE
Approach to the net: FUCKING HORRIBLE
Consistency: Good for the limited all around game he had I guess.
Constantly switching coaches and making them constantly refine his game back and forth to pusher-striker-pusher-striker


Roddick in a nutshell. Now why did Roddick fail again? His game is completely full of holes.

Your wrong about his serve, his ball toss is almost the same for every type of serve he hits, his serve is what has keept him in the top ten for such a long time after 2005...Anyone else's serve could not accomplish what his has done for him.

Allez
01-20-2011, 10:48 PM
Yeah that match was just brutal. I remember Rogi's smug look throughout the match. Roddick reckoned he had finally closed the gap having beaten Rogi @ Kooyong the previous fortnight. Randomly charging the net and getting passed left and right :lol: Duck wasn't a happy bunny @ the post match interview :haha:

nobama
01-21-2011, 12:12 AM
I think the 2004 Wimbledon final had more of an effect on Roddick than AO 2007. Things might have turned out different had he won that match.

samjones
01-21-2011, 02:02 AM
> Roddick was never the same player after that; he actually became a better if not significantly more successful one. It was
> Roddick's rubicon

Never let facts get in the way of a good story. Andy Roddick has consistently produced results. Performance-wise he was about the same in 2006 as he was in 2008. I don't think he likes losing the Roger Federer but he comes right back out at the next Master and keeps hammering away. I don't think he likes losing to the vast array of schmucks who pawn his with regularity, but he comes right back out at the next master and keeps hammering away.

Perserverity has not been a problem for Andy Roddick.

coonster14
01-21-2011, 03:19 AM
One thing I will give to Roddick: credit to him for his perseverance and the fact that he keeps plugging away, respect to him for that, but that is about it.

His biggest mistake whenever he plays Roger is running around the backhand, hitting the ball to Roger's comfort zone on the forehand side and charging the net like a brainless fool, you think he would have learned after the first 5 failed attempts, but it's now 100000 times or something...:o

He will always be remembered as Roger Federer's #1 whipping boy.

Fujee
01-21-2011, 03:25 AM
Federer Shmederer.. Roddick did more to Roddick then Fed did to Roddick. What do you expect when you never develop SHIT outside of your serve. Every other aspect of Roddick's game is what caused him from succeeding. Fed is the better player no doubt about it, but to have a 2-23 some record against the guy whatever the hell it is, Roddick deserves some blame for that.

There were guys around who have been around much shorter then Roddick who have a nice h2h against Fed and much more success then Roddick could get in 40000 tries.

Why Roddick failed?

Serve-Big time boomer, the only real strong aspect of his game. But also readable many times. Never could disguise the toss like other big time servers.
Movement: Improved but still horribly poor compared to other top guys.
Speed: Way below average
Backhand- not a weapon at all.. Very weak
FH- A great weapon for him at one point, now designed to grind and push and with more spin which is NOT Roddick's game. Regressed a tenfold, which prior along with his serve was his only other weapon
Net game: Fucking PITIFUL!!!
Anticipation: HORRIBLE
Approach to the net: FUCKING HORRIBLE
Consistency: Good for the limited all around game he had I guess.
Constantly switching coaches and making them constantly refine his game back and forth to pusher-striker-pusher-striker which has only caused him more problems then solutions for the last 4-5 years


Roddick in a nutshell. Now why did Roddick fail again? His game is completely full of holes. In fact, for as shitty as his all around game is, he should be happy having the career he had. If there was more 1-2 more all time greats in their prime at the same time Fed was Roddick probably would never even of won 4-5 tournaments for his entire career

I have the prescription for deluded hallucinations, it says only to take one but i suggest 5.......

Mr. Oracle
01-21-2011, 03:40 AM
his mugness and lack of talent to one side, what about his lack of adapting, his perseverance to play the same game for how may years now knowing it has never amounted to shit, not against fed or any other serious tennis player. i can forgive his inability to play tennis but no his stupidity (and arrogance). roddick has always been and will always be a mug and he knows it.

yes, this ^^^

Dmitry Verdasco
01-21-2011, 04:06 AM
Net game: Fucking PITIFUL!!!
Anticipation: HORRIBLE
Approach to the net: FUCKING HORRIBLE

:haha::spit::bowdown:

River
01-21-2011, 04:15 AM
I think the 2004 Wimbledon final had more of an effect on Roddick than AO 2007. Things might have turned out different had he won that match.

Agreed.

It was Connors who got smashed for the AO loss since people kept saying how good he was as a coach for Andy at that time.

Ever since Andy lost in 04 his whole game was about trying to beat Federer, and he suffered for it.

bobbynorwich
01-21-2011, 04:25 AM
Bodo contends Roddick is a "big man" with a small game. Rather, Roddick's habits of temper-laden rants at officials and snarky comments about competitors make him actually just a small man with a small game.

River
01-21-2011, 04:30 AM
Bodo contends Roddick is a "big man" with a small game. Rather, Roddick's habits of temper-laden rants at officials and snarky comments about competitors make him actually just a small man with a small game.

I think he meant he big man as in Roddick is physically a pretty built guy... Nice play on the words though.

Bad Religion
01-21-2011, 04:46 AM
This all serve mug has achieved a lot given his infinite limitations and huge lack of talent

Seingeist
01-21-2011, 04:50 AM
I think that Roddick actually being ***** (Deliverance-style) would be less traumatizing than what Federer did to him at AO 2007. The post-match presser was epic.

Auscon
01-21-2011, 04:51 AM
07 was the year Roddick beat him at Kooyong too. :lol:

And shortly before that, Roddick came close to beating Fed at the end of year masters tournament (think he even had MP's?)...was hilarious leading up to that AO match, so many pro tips going Roddick's way.

This was the first ever Australian Open match I attended, and will probably forever be the most unforgettable match I've seen in the flesh. Spine tingling stuff.

tests
01-21-2011, 04:54 AM
roddick is obviously not utilizing his game to full potential, but we cant honestly judge him to the GOAT FED.

Plus Fed is a terrible matchup for him.

I mean, look at how roddick performs against the other top 10 (plays nadal pretty well, has beaten djoker plenty of times, played potro tough in the few matches they had).

If roddick could go back to his aggresive gamestyle, and mix it in with his defensive game and develop his volley skills (LOL), i am sure he would have been having much more success.

Nonetheless, roddicks a MUG