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Old 02-19-2007, 07:42 PM   #61
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Default Re: The "Let's Stay out of the Tabloids kthanks" 2007 News Thread!

Random sports headline today that made me do a double-take:

"A-Rod admits relationship with [Derek] Jeter has cooled."

ORly?

edit
Someone thinks Roddick/Murray could be a new kind of rivalry:

http://www.411mania.com/sports/other...t-Rivalry?.htm
Quote:
Across the Net: Tennis’ Best Rivalry?
Posted by Dan Martin on 02.19.2007

Andy Murray vs. Andy Roddick has a lot of plotlines and bad blood.

Tennis, like any individual sport, benefits when a great rivalry exists. Women's tennis saw Chris Everett and Martina Navratilova put on an epic rivalry that included 80 head to head matches. Navratilova vs. Steffi Graf along with Serena vs. Venus Williams helped generate the identity of the modern women's game. Jimmy Connors was a great foil for many people. Bjorn Borg vs. John McEnroe was a classic contrast in temperments and tactics. Pete Sampras never had a career long rival. Agassi and he mixed it up off and on, but Andre had bad years in 1993, 1997 and mediocre years in 1991 and 1998. Sampras never went away after breaking onto the scene in 1990, but the Agassi-Sampras rivalry was an on-again, off-again situation. Similarly Federer vs. Nadal might be a great rivalry if Nadal can stay healthy, but no one else has pushed Federer on a consistent basis.

What is the best rivalry in men's tennis?

It might very well be #4 Andy Roddick vs. #13 Andy Murray. Roddick and Murray do not like one another. They engaged in macho head games in a match at Cincinnati last July (George Costanza inspired use of the term "macho head games"). Murray is 3-1 vs. Roddick including a win at Wimbledon 2006. Roddick scored an emotionally charged victory at Cincinnati last year. This week Murray beat Roddick 7-6, 6-4 in the semifinals of San Jose. Murray followed that win up with a three set victory to claim the title.

There is more to this rivalry than personal animus. Roddick's former coach Brad Gilbert coaches Murray. Gilbert and Roddick split on poor terms and to this day do not speak to one another. Thus, Roddick does not like Murray or his coach. Murray and Gilbert do not like Roddick. We are now getting somewhere. What happens when one adds Jimmy Connors to the mix? Well old blood and guts Connors likes almost no one. Brad Gilbert recounts an encounter with Connors in his book Winning Ugly. Gilbert had just beaten Connors and when he returned to the locker room Connors was standing there wearing nothing but a jock strap yelling at Gilbert "You can't beat me! You can't beat me!!!"

Since Connors took the helm at team Roddick and Gilbert took the reigns of the Murray camp, the two are tied 1-1. Gilbert encouraged Murray to hit lobs at Roddick on Saturday. Roddick is not a natural volleyer and tends to get too close to the net. Gilbert using his inside information against Roddick likely burns Roddick up. Connors strategy for Roddick vs. Murray was to attack, attack, attack... Gilbert taught Murray to defend properly and the result was a close but decisive straight set victory. Federer and Tony Roche had similar results vs. Roddick's one track mind at the Australian Open.

The rivalry has it all, and Murray's ranking is only likely to climb in the coming months. However, Murray's ability to return Roddick's serve and take pace off of the ball lead me to believe he will dominate this rivalry. Murray lost to Roddick in Cincinnati after enduring a nasty round of 16 victory in the heat of the humid July day. Roddick won his wound of 16 match in the cooler night air. Murray looked gassed vs. an in form and inspired Roddick. Still a tired Murray got a lot of looks at breaking Roddick's serve. As Federer has proven, if one can return Roddick's serve and make him volley up, Roddick is not nearly as tough as when he is hitting aces and crushing put away volleys.
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"What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape." said Roddick with a laugh. "I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I've met every aspect of it: a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally — I've been completely committed ... The results have shown."


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Old 02-19-2007, 09:02 PM   #62
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Default Re: The "Let's Stay out of the Tabloids kthanks" 2007 News Thread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tangerine_dream View Post
http://www.411mania.com/sports/other_sports/50935/Across-the-Net:-Tennis-Best-Rivalry?.htm

Brad Gilbert recounts an encounter with Connors in his book Winning Ugly. Gilbert had just beaten Connors and when he returned to the locker room Connors was standing there wearing nothing but a jock strap yelling at Gilbert "You can't beat me! You can't beat me!!!"
AHAHAHAHA-

Andy should try that against Fed or Murray for that matter, although i could see Roger just laughing with that smirk he has...
Murray might go run and tell daddy.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:17 PM   #63
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Default Re: The "Let's Stay out of the Tabloids kthanks" 2007 News Thread!

heehee hmm well I don't like Andy Murray either!
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:07 PM   #64
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Default Re: The "Let's Stay out of the Tabloids kthanks" 2007 News Thread!

What i don't get is Murray's dislike for Roddick only began when Gilbert came along. I remember watching the interview after Wimbledon last year and Murray was full of noting but praise for Roddick. I find it really disgusting that someone takes an instant disliking of someone just because their coach tells them so....
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:02 PM   #65
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Default Re: The "Let's Stay out of the Tabloids kthanks" 2007 News Thread!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caren View Post
What i don't get is Murray's dislike for Roddick only began when Gilbert came along. I remember watching the interview after Wimbledon last year and Murray was full of noting but praise for Roddick. I find it really disgusting that someone takes an instant disliking of someone just because their coach tells them so....
I agree.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:18 PM   #66
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Default Re: The "Let's Stay out of the Tabloids kthanks" 2007 News Thread!

I'd call it no personality.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:46 PM   #67
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Default Re: The "Let's Stay out of the Tabloids kthanks" 2007 News Thread!

The thing is i don't think Gilbert dislikes Roddick, i don't see it.
..its plain to see the way Roddick feels.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:55 PM   #68
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Default Re: The "Let's Stay out of the Tabloids kthanks" 2007 News Thread!

It is strange after Gilbert and Roddick split I went onto Brad's web site and asked him a question and he answered back. At the time he had nothing but praise for Andy R and if you have witnessed interviews it is the same - I just think there was a personality clash and therefore let us move on!
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:07 PM   #69
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Default Re: The "Let's Stay out of the Tabloids kthanks" 2007 News Thread!

I don't think Brad hates Andy. He is, after all, trying to get his new charge to copy Andy's powerful serve, as evidenced by this past week.
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"What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape." said Roddick with a laugh. "I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I've met every aspect of it: a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally — I've been completely committed ... The results have shown."


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Old 02-21-2007, 05:41 PM   #70
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Default Re: The "Let's Stay out of the Tabloids kthanks" 2007 News Thread!

Brad shouldn't dislike Andy Roddick, he sold his books on the back of his name afterall. He should be thankful.
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:02 AM   #71
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Default Re: The "Let's Stay out of the Tabloids kthanks" 2007 News Thread!

Feb. 21 Peter Bodo ESPN chat

Sanford, South Dakote: PB! Brad Gilbert says he gets hounded by the British media wanting to know when Andy Murray is going to win his first Slam. Since you aren't his coach, when do you think Murray has his breakthrough moment?

PETER BODO: That's a great question. I respect Murray's talent enough to say that i wouldn't be surprised if he made a big statemtn this year. There is only one little stumbling block and his name is Federer. I sensed from the start that Gilbert knows full well what it would be for the British to have one of their own men finaly win Wimbeldon again. The really curious thing is that despite the enormous significance of a Murray win at Wimbeldon, Andy insisted to me that the Grand Slam he most wants to win is the US Open.

Wes (CA): With Clijsters going down in Belgium and Nalbandian in Argentina do you think that players put too much pressure on themsleves to win in their native countries? How did Tim Henman deal with this at Wimbeldon?

PETER BODO: Great observation about the pressure, but it really is very hard to be inside a players head on that issue. Overall Clijsters seemed to do very well in Belgium over the years, partly because she has such close ties with the promoter of many of Belgium's most high profile tennis events. I think that players from smaller countries where there is an enormous hunger to have a "local" champ tend to have greater problems satisfying that demand. Nalbandian is an iffy case in this regard, because he is capable of underperforming anywhere. the guy is a human walking, talking, blown opportunity. The best example of home country jitters of course is the wildly fluctuating performance of Mauresmo at the French Open.

James (CA): I wanted to know what you thought about Roddick. He has seemed to have started the year quite slowly. He famously spoke about how the gap was closing and was, well, humilliated and now Murray has beaten him again. Do you think this is just a blip or was his initial form just a result of the fresh perspective, the impact of which time has eroded?

PETER BODO: James this is one of those glass half empty glass half full scenarios. if you want to say Roddick closed the year well to take the game to Federer and other top guys, then I suppose you should be disappointed. On the other hand Andy had a very good Australian, until he played one of the most ill-advised matches of his career and got absolutely tore up by Federer. The Murray match could hardly be termed a surprise given that Murray has an awful lot going for him, both in terms of his game and the much less frequently cited brilliance of his career management. One of the interesting thing that Andy will have to deal with is that he had a window of opportunity for about three years where there werent many people beside Roger who could consistently up end him. That window may now be closing with the way Murray and the other young talents like Djokovic have been coming on.


Zach (CT): On a radio interview a few weeks ago Patrick McEnroe mentioned how Roger Federer should see this year as his best to win the French, and that if he doesn't do it this year he may never have a better shot at it. What are your thoughts on this? Should Roger feel a sense of urgency to win the French?

PETER BODO: Interesting question Zach. I don't know the specifics of what Patrick was thinking in that anlysis, because it's not as if the one guy who seems to have his number at times hasn't arrived. As of 2005 Nadal has been the player to reckon with on clay. There is, however, one important element to consider looking at Roger's French Open record. there is a form of Karma that seems to operate with players in certain tournaments. When they establish a winning trend early on, they tend to play better as the years move on. Now Roger has gotten off to a very solid history at Roland Garos, but three or four years of missed chances can add up. So I wouldn't say Roger urgently needs to win the French, he would make his life easier if that piece fell into place sooner rather than later.

John (VA): Hey Pete this whole Davis Cup schedule needs major revamping in my opinion. Sure having things spread apart may work for soccer with the UEFA Champions League, but with the tennis majors sprinkled in there how can the Davis cup get the attention it deserves if it is so spread out?

PETER BODO: Well John, I take your point but I have a tweo part response. Number 1 the support of the top players is the real key here. Most of the top players do support davis Cup, but it is a tough sell to the US media. In this regard I place the blame squarely on the medias prejudice. Second part is during a player meeting in Australia a few weeks ago the top 20 player lobbied to have Davis Cup week moved to the week after the Australian Open and the week after the US Open. This may seem counterintuative because you would figure the top players would want to rest. but remember that with the acceptions of the two grand slam finalists, everyone else would have had a solid eight or ten days of rest from singles before Davis Cup got underway if it were held the week after a Slam. For the players going home for a week, before heading out to Davis Cup duty is the worst of both worlds. My own wish list is to have a Davis Cup ties played a little later in the year, so that the defending champion can have more than a few weeks to savor victory. Otherwise I wouldn't mess with it except to continue to try and impress upon the indifferent American public the value and greatness of Davis Cup.

Karen (RI): Why was Andy's match against Roger "ill-advised?" Did Jimmy Connors give him the wrong game plan? Thanks.

PETER BODO: I think if you read my post on that match at my tennis world web log I go into great detail on the most bizzare aspect of that match. As we watched it occur it looked like an absolute dementration of Rogers genius, but after talking to a number of high level coaches and former players I became convinced that as indesputable as Federer's game was, the real key to that match was the chaotic and ill conceived game plan Andy played with. He basicly sent Roger balls that were in the world number 1's sweet spot and as we saw Federer made the most of them. Looking back on it all now I think Andy's gameplan was to pressure and force Roger into uncomfortable positions and to press him with agressive tactics, however, being able to execute that strategy with at best 60% effectiveness really played into Roger's hands. In other words, the problem wasn't the game plan as much as the poor level of execution.


Sean (TN): What do you make of Mardy Fish's year so far? This guy has guts the way he has battled back!

PETER BODO: Yeah that's a great point. Fish had a really good run in Australia and just today I received a report from Memphis saying that Fish beat Phau last night is feeling more confident and capable than he has in a long long time. Fish is one of those really interesting players who goes against the stylistic grain of today's game. The forehand still seems a liablity and he's not making the most of his serve. But if things continue to come together for Fish he will be an interesting and somewhat incoventional force on hardcourts and other fast surfaces.

Scott (AL): What is your opinion of Etien de Villiers and how he is performing so far. There has been lots of anger about the round-robin format etc. Do you think Tennis has a chance to become as big as it once was when nearly every tornament is a federer walkover? Does his domination hurt the game?

PETER BODO: Hi Scott, that clearly is a two part question. Od de Villiersd i think he has stimulated an interesting dialogue that has reenergized the ATP players as well as that portion of the public that pays attention. He certainly has sheken things up and I can't help but see that as a good thing. I had an interesting converstation with Agers (an ATP VP) about de Villier. Graham argued that experiments like the rounf robin were nothing more than experiments and the way he describes de Villiers MO is interesting. Apparently de Villiers will listen to all suggestions about improving the game and then very politely ask that the person support his opinion with quantifiable facts. So what you have is a guy willing to take some chances but not arbitrary ones acting solely upon opinion or even conventional wisdom that nobody has bothered to substantiate. I give him a pass on the round robin. I think the format stinks. I think he knows it. And I think it will be gone by 2008. As for the second part of your question, there is no doubt that an active rivalry at the top would help promote the game, but I don't think that it is a magic bullet. the next best thing to a great rivalry is domination by one player. If you consider the amount of publicity and discussion Federer's dominace has created you'll see that it amount to a lot more discussion than we would have if the guys in the top 10 more or less took turns winning events. I rest my case.

Josh (NYC): Once the clay court season gets into full swing, do you see Nadal and Federer having a similar battle as to last year? Will there be another match between the like last season's Rome final? Or were those six months last year just a flash in the pan for the young Spaniard in terms of being able to play at a level close to, if not on par with that of Federer?

PETER BODO: Actually Josh, if memory serves, Federer was the one playing on par or close to the same level as Nadal, but of course, that was only in the narrow clay court aspect of the competitive dialogue. But your question is the dominant one as we look ahead to the clay court season. It's not about whether Federer can catch Nadal at the French, Rome, or on any other clay court. Given the way Nadal tailed off after Wimbeldon, and the fact that red clay is his home turf, the authentic question here is whether Nadal can continue to bamboodle Ferderer, on clay, the way he did last year.
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"What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape." said Roddick with a laugh. "I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I've met every aspect of it: a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally — I've been completely committed ... The results have shown."


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Old 02-25-2007, 01:05 AM   #72
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Default Re: The "Let's Stay out of the Tabloids kthanks" 2007 News Thread!

Bahaha, Andy actually threw his back out while laughing, what a nerd

From this week's People magazine.
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"What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape." said Roddick with a laugh. "I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I've met every aspect of it: a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally — I've been completely committed ... The results have shown."


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Old 02-25-2007, 05:00 PM   #73
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Default Re: The "Let's Stay out of the Tabloids kthanks" 2007 News Thread!

heheeee dorky as usual!!!!!
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Old 02-28-2007, 02:16 AM   #74
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Default Re: The "Let's Stay out of the Tabloids kthanks" 2007 News Thread!

from http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/ten...ory?id=2781210

Returning the favor: Much of the scrutiny of Andy Roddick's more diverse game has focused on his play at the net. Yet in the last six months, he's quietly upgraded his return of service as well.

"I think that goes along with confidence," Roddick said earlier this month in San Jose. "When I'm confident, I've returned OK and been able to get my breaks. That being said, my positioning has changed a little bit [and is] a little more aggressive. I used to stand back.

"I think I play kind of opposite even than when I was number one. It was a necessary adjustment, a little bit of a compete overhaul on the run for lack of a better term. It's still a work in progress, but I feel like it's improving."

Players with serves as powerful as Roddick's sometimes tend to treat their return game with benign neglect, the way great pitchers don't spend a lot of time in the batting cage. But just as a pitcher helps himself by occasionally getting on base, a big server can boost his own cause by pressuring the very first shot, putting his opponent back on his heels or at least preventing him from jumping on the ball.

Sometimes the other player simply doesn't allow that to happen. Tommy Haas was literally untouchable in Memphis, where he beat Roddick in the final last weekend, and didn't face a break point in any of his matches.

As Roddick has stepped up his efforts to find openings and create something off a return, "It's more of a mind-set change than a technical change," his brother and co-coach, John Roddick, told ESPN.com.

"It doesn't feel good to try to do damage off a first serve. When you miss it a few times or you get aced, it gets frustrating. You just want to try to poke it in play and hope the guy misses.

"A lot of times before, Andy would just try to make returns, and then run around and figure out a way to win a point. Now he's doing a little bit more with the returns. If he misses 'em, he misses 'em."

Andy Roddick's other coach, Jimmy Connors, had one of the best returns of all time, and his input has helped Andy with the shift, John said.

"You'll see [Andy] sometimes now, he'll make a return but it'll be short, and he'll get on himself about it because a short ball doesn't scare anybody," John Roddick said. "That's what Roger [Federer] does so well. He doesn't necessarily hit it that hard all the time but he's just so precise with getting it back all the time, making the guy take a step back after his serve."

Coming into this week, Federer, one of the most effective, consistent returners in the game, was winning 38 percent of the points off his opponents' first serves to Roddick's 23 percent. [Federer had played seven matches at the time, Roddick 15.] The gap is smaller on second serves, where Roddick had won 50 percent of the points to Federer's 61 percent.

"Andy's not going to chip as many, he's going to try to hit over it a little more, but I think that's the difference between a one-hander [backhand, used by Federer] and a two-hander, too," John Roddick said. "On the one-hand, it's harder to move the grip around, so you end up having to do that hard chip."

Andy Roddick's longtime pal Mardy Fish said he understands the challenge.

"You can't have everything," Fish said. "You can't have the fastest serve ever in tennis and then have great returns. Andy breaks a lot, he's got a great ground-stroke game and a huge forehand. It's asking a lot to say, why isn't he a [Patrick] Rafter-type volleyer, why doesn't he have the backhand of [Marat] Safin? Guys have weaknesses.

"He's got good hands. Maybe he's applying them more, maybe Jimmy has given him something to think about on the returns, maybe he's concentrating more on the return games. Sometimes when you get in the swing of serving well and holding all the time, you say, 'Let's just hold every time, and eventually you're going to get chances to break.'"
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:16 AM   #75
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Default Re: The "Let's Stay out of the Tabloids kthanks" 2007 News Thread!

Thanks, Deb.
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