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Roddick: "My goal is to win at least another slam"

Asmus
06-10-2005, 11:14 PM
http://sport.guardian.co.uk/tennis/story/0,10069,1500073,00.html

Interview: Andy Roddick

Monday June 6, 2005
The Guardian

With an expression of wistful patience Andy Roddick gazed up from the dining area of Queen's Club towards an elongated TV monitor where Rafael Nadal and Mariano Puerta were knocking up for yesterday's French Open final at Roland Garros.
Roddick, who is going for a hat-trick of wins in the Stella Artois tournament this week, had come to England for the start of the grass-court season a little early after his second-round defeat by the Argentinian Jose Acasuso in Paris where, with four wins in five visits since 2001, he truly has feet of clay. "It's not my best surface, for sure, and I don't know whether I'll ever win there, though I enjoy the challenge."

At Wimbledon, which starts in a fortnight, it is a little different. He remains one of the favourites. The world No3 was runner-up last year and his record serve has been timed at 155mph - the cut-off speed for a number of performance cars. His serve, measured at a record 153 at Queen's a year ago and extended a few months later, is brutal, a real monster -perhaps it should be roaming Grimpen Mire along with the Hound of the Baskervilles instead of creating havoc on these manicured lawns. He is also the owner of a devastating forehand. But is it enough?

No one would want his race to be run when he is only 22 but there are some who feel that Roddick might struggle to win another slam after his US title two years ago. Where will the next one come from? He will never be Nadal's equal on clay and on grass Roger Federer appears to enjoy a nonchalant superiority. Then there is Lleyton Hewitt, and Marat Safin, the winner of the Australian Open at the start of the year, is another huge if inconsistent talent.

Federer, though, remains the main man. When Bettina Bunge was asked what she had learned from a number of quick defeats by Martina Navratilova she replied "How to shake hands" and most of Federer's opponents, Roddick included, have felt the same way in the past year or two.

"There are no second acts in American lives," F Scott Fitzgerald once observed, and there are some who think Roddick might already have had his strut on centre stage. The sense that he might already be glancing in life's rear-view mirror must have entered his intelligent mind but he is not letting on. "I find that talk humorous," he said, almost convincingly.

"People can't call me a one-slam wonder because I've been pretty consistent and finished No2 last year. It's not as if I've tumbled to 20. I can't remember a time when you've had four young guys who have all been No1 and all won slams. Then you throw in Nadal and Guillermo Coria and, wow, the top 10 is looking really deep right now.

"Roger has to be a clear-cut favourite for Wimbledon because he hasn't lost on grass for two years. He's the best player I've ever seen, though I didn't play Pete [Sampras] when he was at his peak. What Roger has done in tennis is very similar to what Tiger Woods has done in golf. Tiger was dominant but Vijay Singh, Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson all became better players. There's a direct correlation. We're all pushing each other to get better." He revealed something of his concerns when he added: "My goal is to win at least another slam". Only one? The Fed could well win three or four more titles at Wimbledon alone.

It is the thought of winning at the All England Club that consumes Roddick these days. "I'm hitting the ball better than I did last year. And I'm more professional with my fitness and preparation these days. But I have to do better on the return to put pressure on the server.

"I badly wanted to win the US because I had been going there since I was a kid and it was my home grand slam. But if I had to choose one tournament to win now it would be Wimbledon.

"It can be won from the back of the court and Lleyton and Andre have given us two recent examples. And the courts are slower than they were. Apart from the top seeds I think that Tim Henman and Sébastien Grosjean could be dangerous. But this is the one I really want. I love the tradition of the place, the way it's been around forever. And the coverage it gets in England is great. In the States it comes in sixth or seventh as far as sport goes."

Being obsessive about winning Wimbledon, however, is not enough. It was not enough for the stylish and dapper Ken Rosewall, the ironically nicknamed "Muscles", whose four final defeats here were spread over 20 years.

Nor did it bring triumph for the robotic Ivan Lendl, a man who so craved a more human persona that it was once alleged he underwent surgery to remove the bolts from his neck; Lendl was beaten five times in the semis and twice in the final.

Roddick has no special plans for Federer, who also beat him in the 2003 semis. "Last year I won the first set and was a break up in the third. It will be more of the same if we meet again. He's not going to go away. I will have to take the game to him."

The pressure on Roddick has been immense. As Sampras and Andre Agassi faded from the scene he emerged as the new champion of American tennis and there has been little in the way of support.

In Paris the United States did not have a single male player in the last 32 for the second successive year, equalling their worst showing in a grand slam in the Open era. There is not much coming through either, though great things are expected of Donald Young.

"Donald is being pushed a bit fast right now. He's got a lot of potential but he's still very young and played five weeks on the pro tour without winning a set. So we've got to be patient. The pressure's been on me to come through since I was about 18."

Roddick, extrovert and aggressive, with his back-to-front baseball cap, is the all-American boy, which some might interpret as meaning his game is based on immense power and no subtlety. But there is more to Roddick than just tennis. When he became the world's leading player at the end of 2003 he was hailed as the player for the MTV generation. He is intelligent and articulate. He has presented the comedy programme Saturday Night Live and appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman.

He has a passion for music and U2, the Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer are his favourites. "Last time I came here I went to see the Chilli Peppers in concert and this time I will be going to see U2. I don't think about tennis 24/7. I enjoy time on the lake at my Florida home and just being lazy on the sofa."

When he was only nine years old he presented each member of his family with a tennis ball which he had signed, telling them to "hold on to this - it might be valuable one day".

He laughs at the memory. "I would like to think I was being extremely confident about my future. On the other hand I might have been extremely frugal. I didn't have any money and used to wrap up a lot of stuff around the house." He is tall, 6ft 2in, but he was short as a boy when he was little more than a baseline scuffler. He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, but his family moved to Texas when he was four. He was the youngest of three brothers and used to hit the ball against a garage wall. When he went in for his tea and his mother asked what he had been doing he replied: "Beating the best tennis players in the world."

At that time brother John was the tennis player of the family. Then, in 1997, Roddick sprouted and with his height came an unusual talent for serving meteorites. We will see plenty of them at Queen's and Wimbledon in the next few weeks.

Allez-H˛
06-10-2005, 11:30 PM
Nice article :)

the cat
06-10-2005, 11:35 PM
If Andy doesn't end up with atleast 5 grand slam singles titles I will be somewhat dissapointed. He could win 4 over the next 6 years to bring his total to 5. It's entirely possible. But first things first. Roddick needs to start winning some big matches again. Then he needs to win grand slam singles title #2.

Scotso
06-11-2005, 12:07 AM
"People can't call me a one-slam wonder because I've been pretty consistent and finished No2 last year.

Sorry Pandy, but until you win another slam, you're a one-slam wonder.

Scotso
06-11-2005, 12:07 AM
If Andy doesn't end up with atleast 5 grand slam singles titles I will be somewhat dissapointed. He could win 4 over the next 6 years to bring his total to 5. It's entirely possible. But first things first. Roddick needs to start winning some big matches again. Then he needs to win grand slam singles title #2.

Roddick won't last 6 more years at a top level. The way he plays will destroy his body.

El Legenda
06-11-2005, 12:11 AM
:haha: andy is the most overated tennis player in a while..

Dirk
06-11-2005, 12:15 AM
Roddick will always be a threat at Wimbledon and USO until his body takes a turn for the worst. He could easily win Wimbledon this year, we just never know but Roger will be hard to defeat and Hewitt. I just hope Mark gets get some of his old form going again.

robinhood
06-11-2005, 12:15 AM
May your wish come true, Andy.

NATAS81
06-11-2005, 12:18 AM
Wimby, USO are EXTREMELY solid possibilities for Andy.

VingaRafel
06-11-2005, 12:26 AM
Me no liking Roddick
he no play the tennis
he only serve the boom
he no look fun the play
buuuuuuuuuu Rodick
;)

oneandonlyhsn
06-11-2005, 12:51 AM
Me no liking Roddick
he no play the tennis
he only serve the boom
he no look fun the play
buuuuuuuuuu Rodick
;)

:haha: good one

Qaatar
06-11-2005, 12:58 AM
What's ironic is that Alexito has been praising Roddick lately...arooddddddddddddddddddd
...seems like the only player he hates is Federer. :rolleyes:

alfonsojose
06-11-2005, 12:59 AM
Why ruling out Australia. Two semis aren't bad at all :yeah:

robinhood
06-11-2005, 01:00 AM
What's ironic is that Alexito has been praising Roddick lately...arooddddddddddddddddddd
...seems like the only player he hates is Federer. :rolleyes:

Exactly.
:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

RodLo
06-11-2005, 01:03 AM
Thanks for the article. :yeah:

Keeping my fingers crossed for Andy. :)

RodLo
06-11-2005, 01:04 AM
:haha: andy is the most overated tennis player in a while..

:(

Tennis Fool
06-11-2005, 01:39 AM
I don't know how many of you were posting when he won the USO, but half of MTF thought he stole (or fluked) that Slam, do to the organizers giving he and Andre preference and bad calls to Nalbandian. That was a wild match.

BAMJ6
06-11-2005, 02:10 AM
US Open and Wimbledon are his best chances right now until he changes his game.

Similar comments as last year.

El Legenda
06-11-2005, 02:18 AM
:(

:hug: :kiss:

Dirk
06-11-2005, 02:27 AM
He could win Oz with the right draw. USO and SW19 are his best shots.

NYCtennisfan
06-11-2005, 02:47 AM
Me no liking Roddick
he no play the tennis
he only serve the boom
he no look fun the play
buuuuuuuuuu Rodick

LOL! Roddick I think will win at least 2 more slams before he is done. I am not sure how long he is going to last hitting that forehand and serving the way he does. Given teh fact that he wins a great deal of the time, all those matches with that FH and serve motion will not be a good thing.

NATAS81
06-11-2005, 02:49 AM
Yeah, I'm surprised he hasn't had shoulder problems given the motion.

Billy Moonshine
06-11-2005, 02:53 AM
Good luck Andy, hope u achieve your goal.
Nice article :)

Paialii
06-11-2005, 03:05 AM
Hmmm. I'm both shocked and disappointed. Shocked in that he's usually more confident with himself (sometimes too confident), and yet I'm disappointed that he doesn't seem too convincing.

Roddick's game may be all about the power, but when the power is 100% "on," he's nearly unstoppable. Winning the Australian Open, Wimbledon and/or the US Open is very believable. I think the last couple of slams, he's lost his concentration and aggression when he most needs it. When he's in a tight situation, instead of being aggressive, he wants to back away; especially on the return of serve. The counter-example of this, in my book (call me biased :p), is Serena Williams, who, down three match points to Sharapova at this year's Aussie Open semis, was going for all-or-broke winners both on serve and return. She doesn't back away.

I'm a firm believer in not counting someone out too soon. The guy is 22 years old. And although I see him being the type of guy that settles down and gets married and has kids, I don't think it's fair to say that just because he hasn't won a slam in the last two years that it's impossible to. Many historic players went a few years without winning slams and then either completely dominated, or atleast showed some great results again. Lindsay Davenport, age 28, is now number one in the world again and has been since November. Who would have thought that would happen??

All the luck to Roddick in breaking through and winning another slam. If he gets another, he's truly earned it.

DanEd
06-11-2005, 03:32 AM
He hates coria too
What's ironic is that Alexito has been praising Roddick lately...arooddddddddddddddddddd
...seems like the only player he hates is Federer. :rolleyes:

RodLo
06-11-2005, 03:32 AM
Hmmm. I'm both shocked and disappointed. Shocked in that he's usually more confident with himself (sometimes too confident), and yet I'm disappointed that he doesn't seem too convincing.

Roddick's game may be all about the power, but when the power is 100% "on," he's nearly unstoppable. Winning the Australian Open, Wimbledon and/or the US Open is very believable. I think the last couple of slams, he's lost his concentration and aggression when he most needs it. When he's in a tight situation, instead of being aggressive, he wants to back away; especially on the return of serve. The counter-example of this, in my book (call me biased :p), is Serena Williams, who, down three match points to Sharapova at this year's Aussie Open semis, was going for all-or-broke winners both on serve and return. She doesn't back away.

I'm a firm believer in not counting someone out too soon. The guy is 22 years old. And although I see him being the type of guy that settles down and gets married and has kids, I don't think it's fair to say that just because he hasn't won a slam in the last two years that it's impossible to. Many historic players went a few years without winning slams and then either completely dominated, or atleast showed some great results again. Lindsay Davenport, age 28, is now number one in the world again and has been since November. Who would have thought that would happen??

All the luck to Roddick in breaking through and winning another slam. If he gets another, he's truly earned it.

:worship: Well said.

Chloe le Bopper
06-11-2005, 03:40 AM
I would be concerned if winning another slam was not on his list of future goals :p

Skyward
06-11-2005, 03:51 AM
And although I see him being the type of guy that settles down and gets married and has kids, I don't think it's fair to say that just because he hasn't won a slam in the last two years that it's impossible to.

What's the connection between his future family (is he engaged?) http://bestsmileys.com/family/1.gif and winning a GS right NOW?

RodLo
06-11-2005, 04:04 AM
What's the connection between his future family (is he engaged?) http://bestsmileys.com/family/1.gif and winning a GS right NOW?

I don't think there is one....and if there is, I'm lost. :shrug: (and no, he's not engaged...)

liptea
06-11-2005, 04:10 AM
What's the connection between his future family (is he engaged?) http://bestsmileys.com/family/1.gif and winning a GS right NOW?

I think she's just saying that Roddick really isn't going to hang up his career and give up, no matter what his plans are after tennis.

Andy's not overrated. I think he's rated fine. He's an excellent player, with a major serve and forehand. There are better players out there, but he's definitely a consistent top5 player with good chances at another slam. How is that overrated?

NYCtennisfan
06-11-2005, 04:27 AM
Hmmm. I'm both shocked and disappointed. Shocked in that he's usually more confident with himself (sometimes too confident), and yet I'm disappointed that he doesn't seem too convincing.

A very good point Paialii. Back in 2003, Roddick's interviews were different. Sure, he was younger and more brash back then, just beginning to taste the things that go along with world fame, but he was supremely confident in HIS OWN GAME. He would often talk about doing his thing knowing that even with his weaknesses, he could blow all opponents off of the court. I really think that his confidence has faded not just because he has been losing big matches, but his belief that he can blow anyone off of the court is just simply not there. Losses to Federer where Roddick served over 75% of his 1st serves in a set and still wound up losing has hurt him because the belief that if the "1st serve is on big-time, nobody can beat me" is now gone. He's never played with that same type of confidence that he had in the summer of 2003 and doubts himself. Even his best shot, his FH, has let him down in big matches i.e. to Ivan in DC this year, to Hewitt in the AO this year. If Roddick finds his confidence, I don't see why he won't win a few more slams.

Asmus
06-11-2005, 06:29 AM
There's also this in Jon Wertheim's latest mailbag:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/writers/jon_wertheim/06/07/post.french/3.html

The Panicked Roddick Brigade from all over "New York, Boston, California, Arizona" sent us an impassioned e-mail. Because the brigade is civil, well-intentioned and makes some valid points you're unlikely to hear on an ESPN broadcast, we reprint their cry for help:

A lot of us Roddick fans are beside ourselves, wondering where the old Andy of yesteryear went: the fearless, brash kid who took chances and fought like hell till the end. Andy has taken some bad losses in the past year and his confidence is obviously low as a result but every time we think he has it figured out, he loses yet another match that he should've won (or would've won, circa 2001-03). He came into Roland Garros with a fresh clay title under his belt, a new attitude, some new French clothes.

And yet it's still the same song and dance: He stands too far back from the baseline and isn't nearly as aggressive as he used to be, and then he loses the match. Doesn't he realize that when he plays aggressive/offensive, he wins matches, but when he's passive/defensive, he loses? This is exactly what happened during the Acasuso match. It is very frustrating to watch him make the same mistakes over and over again, and even more frustrating to listen to him say the same crap in interviews all the time: that he needs to "just work harder" and "hope things turn his way" and blah blah blah.

Does he even listen to himself? He has to make it happen, not hope for it to happen. He used to understand this. He used to be great at tiebreaks, converting break points, closing matches, etc. He used to be mentally stronger than this. He used to break cool records that he could be proud of. Now he's got a new record to add: first time in his career to squander a two-set lead! Does he need to see a sports shrink? Is there some kind of emergency intervention we can organize for him? We are worried about our guy. Please help us get our old Andy back. We miss him and he's too good a player to keep losing matches like this.
-- Signed, the Panicked Roddick Brigade

hablovah19
06-11-2005, 10:40 AM
I don't know how many of you were posting when he won the USO, but half of MTF thought he stole (or fluked) that Slam, do to the organizers giving he and Andre preference and bad calls to Nalbandian. That was a wild match.

I wasn't posting then but I do recall thinking the same exact thing :devil::angel: :p

Scotso
06-11-2005, 04:31 PM
Me no liking Roddick
he no play the tennis
he only serve the boom
he no look fun the play
buuuuuuuuuu Rodick
;)

lol I love it :D

tangerine_dream
06-11-2005, 04:40 PM
I don't know how many of you were posting when he won the USO, but half of MTF thought he stole (or fluked) that Slam, do to the organizers giving he and Andre preference and bad calls to Nalbandian. That was a wild match.
I wasn't posting then but I do recall thinking the same exact thing :devil::angel: :p

woo hoo! The paranoids and haters are back out in force. :woohoo: This is usually a good sign that Andy is playing well. :yeah:

I was beginning to worry that our poor Andy was being forgotten due to Rafamania lately. :awww:

the cat
06-11-2005, 05:59 PM
Well you were wrong Tangy. They remember Andy. ;)

Jogy
06-11-2005, 07:23 PM
Good goal for Roddick. Better Roddick winning 100 more Slams than Federer winning them all.