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I'll start by saying that more than a few of you were ripping James Blake last week for being too soft against Kei Nishikori and failing to flex his muscle against this teenage arriviste. When Roddick bullies the kid, he gets roasted for gamesmanship.

Also, I'm not sure this episode rises to the level of "felony trash talk." As I understood it, Roddick was telling Nishikori to be merciless, essentially saying, "If you're going to drive the lane, go for the dunk and not some cutesy finger roll." The message got lost in translation, but the intent didn't seem malicious. (Here's a write-up of his "monologue.")

Nevertheless, triggered by this latest episode, a lot of you wrote in criticizing Roddick's attitude of late. And I think that the larger point is a fair one. The dirty secret in men's tennis is that the guy has been fairly insufferable lately.

This isn't just from the grumps in the media. This has been noticed by everyone from ATP personnel to former Grand Slam champs to current players. And this diminishing reputation has nothing to do with match results or a stagnating game. It's all about disposition.

I haven't hidden my fondness for Roddick over the years. But it's probably about time he got called on his you-know-what. And heeding Roddick's advice to Nishikori, we're going to stick him with it: I cringed as Roddick dressed down Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and winced as he sucked down champagne and blew off the Portland, Ore., kids seeking autographs at the Davis Cup, and bristled at this laughable, Connors-ian me-against-the-world routine.

But he completely lost me in Australia. Roddick's tirade against the umpire -- some poor guy with kids watching at home -- was not only low-rent, but also played to every Ugly American stereotype. Roddick played the role of posturing bully frat boy, even when he didn't have right on his side.

Part of what makes this all so disappointing is that Roddick is better than this. I wish I had transcripts of some of the interviews I had with Roddick when he was 20. He simply "got it." He understood the flaws and virtues of tennis. His sportsmanship was beyond reproach. I vividly recall his losing to Pete Sampras at the 2002 U.S. Open, commenting that injuries were not a factor and then, in the locker room, removing a shoe to reveal a foot that looked fit for amputation.

He was accessible and accommodating. He did little things like pronounce Guillermo Coria's first name correctly; he did big things like launch a legit foundation, not the pay-my-friends-to-show-up-and-donate-the-table-scraps sham that so many other athletes perpetrate.

It's discouraging that at 26, Roddick has regressed almost to the point of cliché: another boorish athlete who appears to have forgotten that he was once that kid with the Sharpie in his extended hand. How is it that Roddick -- that wide-eyed teenager with Nebraska Cornhuskers wallpaper and pragmatic Wisconsin parents -- is now all about NetJets, model-dating and high-stakes poker games?

If there's any consolation, Roddick is conforming to a typical Tennis Growth Cycle. You start out innocently, thrilled to be part of the show and happy to accommodate. Then you get jaded by your existence. You're sick of being asked to sign autographs and pose for a photo with the promoter's sponsor's cousin.

You hate the Tour. You're sick of the media and their inane questioning. (In Roddick's case, how many times has he been asked some variation of a) how come American tennis is on the decline and b) with Roger Federer up there, have you resigned yourself to being a one-Slam wonder?) You're the smartest guy in the room and everyone else is an idiot.

Eventually, you come to realize that maybe your life isn't so bad. Those kids you just blew off? They are the ones paying your salary. The media? They help spread the gospel. The promoters? They're just trying to run a business. The money you got for showing up in Indianapolis or Bangkok? It will come in handy when you're done playing. As one of my favorite ATP execs puts it, "Tennis players learn how to say hello as soon as it's time to say good-bye."

So give Roddick a few more years. (Or wait until he and Connors part company.) Says here, he'll be back with us before we know it.​

Not sure I agree with the last bit. I think he's just a dick and always will be, end of story.
 

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I'm glad Wrtheim did tackle the subject, cause the last "ad-in, ad-out), he didn't.
 

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Not sure I agree with the last bit. I think he's just a dick and always will be, end of story.
More like he's always has been a dick and always will be.
 

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More like he's always has been a dick and always will be.
It's true. It's not like his abuse of umpires is a recent thing. I'm not sure why Wertheim and others think he's more of a dick now than he was 5 or 6 years ago. :shrug:
 

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Sounds about right to me.
I agree. I'm disturbed to see Wertheim's claim that this is becoming an off-court thing with Andy as well, that surprises me. So many players can be intense on court and then completely shake it off once the match is over, but if Andy is becoming insufferable to his peers, then it's time to take him out back to the woodshed for some serious disciplining. He has been a mostly congenial, affable guy through his career, it would be a shame for him to let the pressure, the competition, the adulation, and the money turn him into a complete moron.
 

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Connors doesn't seem to be doing all that much for Roddick's game. Given his negative impact on Roddick's personality, maybe it's time for a new coach.
 

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I've always admired Roddick's fighter mentality and heart. Ya know most of the supposed "dick" moves Roddick makes, are in the heat of battle on court, that's the one area where it's acceptable. Everyone wants to win, even Roger Federer tosses racquets, and gets in arguments with the umpires. Off court, Roddick has always been accommodating, to the fans, media, and most of all to his opponents. Andy is a champion in victory and defeat. Roger Federer learn a bit from Andy about being to respectful to opponents when he loses, complimenting them, instead of being bitter.

Werthiem give Andy a break, when I was at his last match at the US Open over the summer he stayed on court an extra 15 minutes signing autographs! When I saw him World Team Tennis, he stayed until every fan that wanted a picture with him, got one! Pah pah pah please Werthless write something worth reading!
 

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I will say, i don't think he is the "same" fighter he was years ago, maybe some of that has been replaced with a secondary emotion...its understandable.

I would say for the last 3 years or so, some of the emotional swells he's had for Tennis (good & bad) have seem contrived.

what do i know though?
 

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I've always admired Roddick's fighter mentality and heart. Ya know most of the supposed "dick" moves Roddick makes, are in the heat of battle on court, that's the one area where it's acceptable. Everyone wants to win, even Roger Federer tosses racquets, and gets in arguments with the umpires. Off court, Roddick has always been accommodating, to the fans, media, and most of all to his opponents. Andy is a champion in victory and defeat. Roger Federer learn a bit from Andy about being to respectful to opponents when he loses, complimenting them, instead of being bitter.

Werthiem give Andy a break, when I was at his last match at the US Open over the summer he stayed on court an extra 15 minutes signing autographs! When I saw him World Team Tennis, he stayed until every fan that wanted a picture with him, got one! Pah pah pah please Werthless write something worth reading!
Federer could learn manners from Roddick? I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say that Federer is bitter after losses, but certainly you can't really believe that Roddick is more respectful to his opponents than Federer. Roddick may not say disrespectful things about his opponents off-court, but his behavior towards them on-court is pretty shameful. You would never see Federer call an opponent a "fucking prick" or tell them to "back off that shit" during a match.
 

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Everyone wants to win, even Roger Federer tosses racquets, and gets in arguments with the umpires.
there's a limit for that and Roddick has passed that by a mile
 

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Jerky Jerk Jerkweed

nothing will ever change him, its no mind games, its no super competative fighting spirit, its no tactic to give him an edge

its just him showing what he is, an obnoxious f'en idiot - he'd be the same in any walk of life

but good for him, i'm sure he pleases himself.
 

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Federer could learn manners from Roddick? I'm not sure what you're referring to when you say that Federer is bitter after losses, but certainly you can't really believe that Roddick is more respectful to his opponents than Federer. Roddick may not say disrespectful things about his opponents off-court, but his behavior towards them on-court is pretty shameful. You would never see Federer call an opponent a "fucking prick" or tell them to "back off that shit" during a match.
So witch one makes a person better?

As a fan of both i'd be curious to see the responses...
someone who bad mouths people during a game to their face or behind their backs to the media & such?:lol:

i have no preference, i like it all.
Nobody is perfect.
 

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I've always admired Roddick's fighter mentality and heart. Ya know most of the supposed "dick" moves Roddick makes, are in the heat of battle on court, that's the one area where it's acceptable. Everyone wants to win, even Roger Federer tosses racquets, and gets in arguments with the umpires. Off court, Roddick has always been accommodating, to the fans, media, and most of all to his opponents. Andy is a champion in victory and defeat. Roger Federer learn a bit from Andy about being to respectful to opponents when he loses, complimenting them, instead of being bitter.
Oh please Fumas. Stick to subject...you're reaching here.......


Admittedly, I'm not too excited about Roddick's attitude, of late, on the court. But, I assumed, it was just a fighting spirit he was trying to adopt only for the court. I think it is very sad if this new attitude is beginning to invade his off court personality:(
 

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So witch one makes a person better?

As a fan of both i'd be curious to see the responses...
someone who bad mouths people during a game to their face or behind their backs to the media & such?:lol:

i have no preference, i like it all.
Nobody is perfect.
Well, first I need someone to tell me whom Federer has bad-mouthed behind their backs. Are we talking about the time he called Djokovic a "joke?" I think that was a bit surprising from Federer, but it wasn't a bitter reaction to a loss; it was in response to some questionable gamesmanship from Djokovic.

Roddick, on the other hand, verbally abuses players that are younger or lower ranked than him(he never tries it against someone like Federer or Nadal) absolutely without provocation. Even if it is in the heat of battle, to me that is definitely worse than Federer calling Djokovic out on his antics after a match.
 

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It's true. It's not like his abuse of umpires is a recent thing. I'm not sure why Wertheim and others think he's more of a dick now than he was 5 or 6 years ago. :shrug:
I don't get it either. It's like Andy's behavior has become more scrutinized than ever before because of who his coach is.
 

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I think there is some bitterness here with Andy. In 2003 there was big talks about a great memorable rivarly between him and Federer. Roddick was meant to be the guy to be the biggest competetion in the slams, and win the slams. Roddick did not give us this. The rivarly fizzled out really, and other players like Nadal and Djokovic took his place. Roddick has fizzled away, and not won a Masters Series in almost two years, and only has one slam to his name.

He must be rueing great chances and opportuinites missed.
 

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I don't get it either. It's like Andy's behavior has become more scrutinized than ever before because of who his coach is.
Maybe it's because he's meant to be a lot more mature now compared to 5/6 years ago. When you're 20 you're almost allowed to be a jerk and given a pass because your young. People in the media say you've got personality, and it's good for tennis to have some fiery personalities. By 25 it's not quite as endearing. Not that Andy's anywhere near as bad as Connors and McEnroe who never mellowed with age.

I find it interesting though that he is so honest about Andy's behaviour considering he's been a big cheerleader in the past. Andy's bad attitude in general behind the scenes being the tour's "dirty secret" would have stayed a secret but for this article, so if even Wertheim is disenchanted with Roddick enough to dish the dirt then there's probably some truth in it.
 
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