This post might get lengthy!!!
I slept on this last night. Look I'm no Roddick fan, I'm a Federer fan. I don't fall into the trap that because Andy is American, I like him. Anyway, here is Roddick's problem in a big nutshell.
P-Mac continuely says "you can't change technique for a 23 year old player on this level." I TOTALLY disagree with him. Look, i changed my forehand technique, added a Nalbandian-like two-hander to go along with my flat two-hander, and added a slice and topspin serve this summer on my own. It has taken me three months, but I've fianlly got confidence in all shots now. Enough about me. I have one name to say, and that is Tiger Woods. He changed his swing, something harder to do in golf and perphaps more risky than a tennis stroke. Golf is all based on your swing, nothing more. Andy is a supreme athlete. Learning the correct way to hit a backhand will not take that long to learn. It won't be any worse at first that his backhand is now. Go to Robert Lansdorp. He is the master of groundstrokes. He would not only intimidate Roddick to change, but teach him an awful lot. The backhand he has now is maxed out. He can't improve it anymore. Learning the correct way might take sometime, but he has time on his side. A technically correct stroke works, period. Plus if Tiger can do it at 29, Roddick can at 23.
~Lack of court positioning and knowing how to use the court~
Last night, I don't know how many times I saw Roddick fall ten feet behind the baseline or move back when he hit a good shot.He doesn't understand the tennis court and how to cut angles off and where he should move when he hits certain balls. Nick B. would teach him how to use his forehand the way it should be used. He also has poor shot selection. Roddick did not use the slice serve on either court well yesterday. He hit flat serves right into Muller's forehand. Andy's court positioning is bad, his defensive movement is way off, and he doesn't realize patterns and strategy on the court at all.
~Coach, USTA, and Attitude~
Dean Goldfine in 8 months has done nothing to help Roddick. He hasn't improved one area in his game, and nothing looks to be in the works. Dean is a good guy, but doesn't seem to voice his opinions like a Gilbert would. Andy needs to quit the drama, and take Brad back. Brad is a scouting genious and a great motivator. He also understands strategy VERY WELL. I believe that Brad had a 2-3 year plan for Roddick to become the best he can be and get the most out of his talent. The thing is, Roddick is super impatient and has NO tennis brain and didn't understand where Brad was going with his plan. There are going to be bumps in the road when working on uncomfortable things, but it was for his own good. Roddick hopefully will realize that now.
The USTA is really not doing a great job recently in teaching the top juniors to have pro-level games. We are too worried to lose in the juniors that our players become pushers. They didn't develop his backhand, his variety, or his net game at an early age. Wow, did they stick this one up!!
Roddick doesn't realize that hitting the ball well in a practice session doesn't mean anything. From what it looked like on Tuesday night be was hitting the ball cleanly, but with no directional. In practice, you need to take risks and miss more to work on things that aren't that comfortable. Andy is also so convinced that the rankings mean that that is his actual talent level and where he is. HE DOESN'T GET IT!!!!!!! Fed owns you BIG TIME. Nadal will soon own you. Lleyton still owns you. You aren't as good as the ranking says. Andy, there is something wrong with why you are content to be no. 2 or 3. When you're at that level, no.1 is the only place you want to be and you should never be satisfied with anything less. Again his tennis brain is really not there at all!!
These are some of Roddick's problems. I'm sure there are more.