Djokovic v. Roddick: Is Andy For Real?
by Sean Randall | March 7th, 2008, 10:56 am
  • 74 Comments

As an American tennis fan, through the years it’s always been intriguing to watch our top U.S. players battle the best international guys. Luckily for the second straight day we have such an occasion with Andy Roddick facing Novak Djokovic this evening from Dubai, and it doesn’t hurt that both guys are arguably two of the more disliked fellas on the tour.

Again, if you live in the U.S. or aboard and don’t get the tournament feed on your television, or maybe your don’t have a TV, you may still be able to watch the match in its entirety, commercial-free online via a high-speed connection and http//www.eurosport.com. If that doesn’t work for you, give channelsurfiing.net a visit, and I’m sure there options beyond those two if you search hard enough.

On to the match up…

With an impressive straight set win over Rafael Nadal, Roddick sent a loud and clear message of his intentions on returning the top of game. Today, we’ll find out if that message he’s sending is for real against Djokovic.

Djokovic, though, presents a much different opponent than Nadal for Roddick. The Serb possesses a complete game, dangerous off just about every stroke – especially the backhand – and some would say he’s already mastered the fine art of gamesmanship. Regardless of what you think, the guy’s a flat-out masher.

Roddick, on the other hand, is a smasher, bombing serves and recklessly ripping forehands. His new, post-Jimmy Connors aggression hints of his play when he won the US Open and finished as the World No. 1 in 2003. But questions need to be answered before we rush to anoint him a legitimate threat to the Top 3 off of just one win (remember David Nalbandian?).

Will this new, “old school” attitude shift pay off for Roddick? Can he sustain it? Or is it just a post-rush of being free from the reigns of coach Jimmy? Was the win over Nadal just a one-off? Perhaps Nadal, who was pushed to three by Kohlschrieber, was just off his game?

Based on Roddick’s results this week, his game’s in full gear and confidence sky-high. Djokovic’s has to feeling pretty good about himself, as well. The guy hasn’t lost an outdoor hardcourt match since the US Open, and he matches up well with Roddick. The game-within-a-game battle between the two backhands gives a huge, huge edge to Novak.

But for me, the key to the match rests with Novak’s serve. While I expect Roddick to again have a big serving night, if Djokovic, who’s only been broken once in three matches, can hold serve easily he’ll have the edge. For my money, if both players are serving at their best, I think Novak would get a few more break opps than Roddick. Djoko’s just a better returner and player, but if he has a poor serving, especially on second serve, day Roddick might be able to work himself into more of Novak’s service games, rip a few forehands and ride that mojo wave to another win.

That said I’ll pick Novak here. I still have to see more from Andy. One win over Rafa’s not going to elevate his threat level, but a follow-up victory over Djokovic just might.

Should be fun!


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74 Comments for Djokovic v. Roddick: Is Andy For Real?

Sean Randall Says:

Question answered, Andy’s back! I missed the match but what a triumph for Roddick. Nothing against Feliciano, but you should just fly out before the match against Andy, you are not winning.

More importantly, Roddick is back in the title talk for Indian Wells and Miami. The guy is obviously on a run, and if he can maintain it like he did in the summer of ’03 he’s going to a factor against the top guys.


Polo Says:

I am quite impressed. The game was well played by both and should be enjoyed by any lover of the game. And think of how the admirers of Andy must feel. Very well deserved. I am looking forward to more games of this kind from him.


Leo Says:

Wow! Andy’s best 2 wins in years, I think.

I’ve never been a big fan of Andy, but I sure hope he is back in the mix.


Paypal Says:

Some major hitting in this final, and much to my surprise Andy was the better player. A well deserved success for a real super guy. His involvement with Jimmy Connors has finally payed off, kind of ironic since they split up last week! But the improvement on Andy’s backhand has a lot to do with Jimmy, also the belief in himself I think. I’ll keep myselg glued to the TV set tomorrow for a big hitting final! Go Andy!


Glen Janney Says:

I’m a huge Federer fan, but if he’s out of the tournament I always want Roddick to win. It’s been a long time waiting for tomorrow.


Daniel Says:

Sean,

Precise point on Djoko service. Once his confidence decrease after the tiebreak, he wasn’t able to hit the aces and first services he was doing. Andy took his chances and played a very all around game, which surprises me, making even parallel backhand winner!


I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

Arod is for real and he is back kicking azz!! wtg arod now win the title !!!!!


tennismonger Says:

What a strange, but great match!! It seemed that Djoko was playing better (stat-wise in set 1) but Roddick just forced the issue come tiebreak time – very impressive. Once Djoko had problems holding in set 2, the writing was on the wall.

Connors has obviously been a positive influence for Andy yet he still can/must improve especially on the backhand. Some of Roddick’s b’hand returns look as if they’re coming from a popgun..& no, I don’t mean that as a compliment! That said, today Andy was rock-solid w/groundies, more so than I’ve seen him since…geez, his breakout years @ the beginning of the decade! Only now he’s playing the percentages more & he’s keeping his cool during the tense moments.

And howzbout that ‘curveball’ forehand passing shot Andy hit? Insane! Hadn’t seen anything like that since Becker’s heyday, though I could certainly see Safin or Tsonga workin’ that shot. But I digress – a most enjoyable match – now finish the week & bring home the cup, Andy!


Zola Says:

what happened to my post? I was the first one to come here after the match!

Anyway…congrats to Von, jane, Sean and all Roddick fans.Sean you missed a good match. They both played well, but I guess that serve is a pretty heavy weapon. Novak showed signes of mental fatigue in the second set. But he played great too. Andy was just too good.About Novak, I have to say a much as I don’t like him, that hug over the net is great. He is more relaxed and less arrogant when his parents are not around!

I liked Roddick’s interview. he was careful to give credit to everyone. Congratulated and paid respect to Novak. Then when asked about the “Roddick curved ball”, he said he saw so many of them from Rafa last night that he decided to copy it! Then said how much Rafa ad fed and now Novak have made the game better and harder …
He was not arrogant at all. I might forgive his Nishikori comments now!

I loved the last part when the reporter said that he still has not lost his serve and feli might do it. Roddick said, he will hold him responsible if that happens!

Oh, now we have to give props to Rafa. Andy’s win over Rafa was not a fluke at all and Rafa did not play bad at all. Novak as Sean said has lost only three matches on open hard court and he was out in straight sets. I think this is great news for Rafa and the level of his game.

Well,I wish I asked for a million dollars. I wanted either Andy or Feli win this and now that will happen tomorrow!


Ellen Mooring Says:

I love Andy but am anxious for someone, anyone, to be at the tope of the ranking other than You-Know-Who. Novak seems to have the best chance right now.


Von Says:

Zol:

Great post. Thanks for the congratulations. I didn’t see the match but looked at the live scores, so I can’t comment on anyone’s game. It seemed like an eternity waiting for those scores to change. I am happy that Andy was not arrogant and gave credit to his opponents and especially to Rafa for copying his curve ball. When, and if, he plays Rafa again and uses that shot, I’m sure Rafa will be amused to see that his great shot-making was copied by Roddick. Imitation is the best form of flattery. Tomorrow should be a good final.


Von Says:

Zola:

My apologies for leaving out the “a” in your name.


Skorocel Says:

To Von:

Why didn’t you watch the match? Did that live streaming work for you or not?


andrea Says:

Nice to see another final with unexpected players. Despite not being an Andy fan, happy that he beat Novak, who’s getting a bit big for his britches.

Feliciano has a good game. When he played Roger at the US Open, his huge serve wrapped up the first set in about 24 minutes.


Zola Says:

Von,
how could you not watch the match? there are billions of streaming links. one of the should work for you. I hope you can watch the final tomorrow.

About the “curved ball”, I bet Rafa will be thrilled to hear that comment from Roddick. I was!

He is very happy and I like it when I see people are relaxed and having fun. Rafa was like that in IW last year. It is a great result for both Feli and Andy to be in the final with such a heavy field. Feli has beaten 3 top-10 to get there and Roddick has beatn No 2 and 3 ….very interesting.


Seraphim Says:

An American? In Dubai? Playing in a tournament? Like when Fed played? Hmm……..

Randall?
Kuijl?
Berenbaum?
Vach?

Nothing?


Von Says:

Skorocel
“Why didn’t you watch the match? Did that live streaming work for you or not?”

Zola:
“how could you not watch the match? there are billions of streaming links. one of the should work for you. I hope you can watch the final tomorrow.”

I had to be somewhere else and could only sneak a peak at the court computer in between hearings. I would like to watch the final tomorrow.


Shital Green Says:

Congratulations to A-Rod ! Dubai debut really bore the fruit for him. Well, to be honest, my support was divided between Roddick and Djoko, but Roddick simply played a lot better in the second set, especially after 3-1 in the second set. He served better and returned better. Djoko’s serve was flat and not working for him, and he looked clueless in most of the later part of the 2nd set. Let me quote Djoko, “I came up nervous in the match from the start. I didn’t return well…” Poor Djoko, I feel sorry for him. Well, one had to lose for the other to win, and it just was not his day.


Zola Says:

Von,
don’t they have big screen TV’s connected to channelsurfing.com in courts? tsk… tsk……!

I am glad you can watch the match tomorrow.

Shital,
I think Roddick was mentally fresher than both Rafa and Djoko and his serve put so much pressure on them that drained them mentally. Otherwise they were both able to keep up with him in the first set.


Von Says:

Zola:

“don’t they have big screen TV’s connected to channelsurfing.com in courts? tsk… tsk……!”

No, maam. Not even allowed to talk much. tsk, tsk, is correct!


I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

Does anyone know a video somewhere that shows Andy’s curveball forehand? thanks..


Zola Says:

Von,
you need an iphone!
“your honor, we need to adjourn. it is a tie-break!”


minime Says:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/03/07/sports/arena.php?page=1

Read this dudes. Federer was suffering from mononucelosis and only had practiced 5 days before Dubai. He’s been suffering it ever since before Aussie Open. Explains why he looks so ragged. It’s the same condition that Ancic had which forced him to withdraw for several months.

Anyway Congrats to Roddick. Hardly my favourite player but that forehand’s been missing for like the past 3 or 4 yrs, then suddenly it shows up again? It took him that long to realise that he needs to crush it instead of ‘moonballing’ it every pt? Anyway I’m with the underdog, Lopez for the win!!!


Skorocel Says:

minime said: “that forehand’s been missing for like the past 3 or 4 yrs, then suddenly it shows up again? It took him that long to realise that he needs to crush it instead of ‘moonballing’ it every pt?”

Exactly! I just can’t understand why the hell did he waste so much time playing this way?!


sensationalsafin Says:

I seriously couldn’t be happier. I may not have shown it the past couple of years but I’ve always liked Roddick and I’m soooo happy we have an american stirring things up again. Too bad he’s not facing Federer in the final, otherwise he could’ve pulled a Djokovic/Nalbandian by beating the top 3 players. And with the WAY he’s playing, the whole ball crushing thing, is exactly how he’d beat Federer if he were to beat him. Crushing the ball and just powering his way through would work against Federer as long as he’s playing very well, which, as we’ve seen, he is. I said before I don’t think he’s really a contendor for the top spot, and unfortunately that will always be true because of his lack of results on clay. But on the grass and hard courts, he should be considered a legite contender so long as he plays this kind of tennis. Pure ball bashing tennis that got him to the top in the first place. And now he does have a better backhand and he is smarter, so he should have great success.


jane Says:

Yay for Andy! I love the Djoker, but this win/loss is good for a couple of reasons.

A. It will force Novak to have yet another look at his game, and perhaps his (overly)healthy ego. However, I hope his confidence is not too affected as it really works to his advantage and much of it is warranted as he’s backed it up with great results. Anyway, it’s nice to know that Novak gave Andy a congratulatory hug and Andy graciously acknowledged the talent of the top two players he’s defeated.

B. This is just long-overdue for Andy. Finally he is playing HIS game again AND clearly having fun while doing it. I hope he can keep us this form through the season. I want to see him take another slam, whether Wimbie or the USO. I’ve been a fan of his since he burst onto the pro-scene.

Lopez has a wicked serve, but this tourney SHOULD belong to one of the Andys; at first I thought it might be the Andy who took out Fed, but surprisingly it will be the other Andy, the one who took out both Rafa and Novak.

Let’s hope this marks Roddick’s return to the top 5.


Joker Says:

A-rod upset my predictions by playing the best I have seen him play since Wimbledon 04. Too bad Fed is not in the final. A-rod would have got a chance to repeat what Novak did at montreal and nalbandian at madrid, last year. I hope F-lo plays like he did against Fed at USopen last year. That is the only way this match goes 3 sets.

Fed with mono? Just as I suspected! Henin had it in 04, right? So Fed gets it in the next olympic year? Gasquet should be a little careful in 2011 ;)

Jokes apart, it is a very sad turn of events for Fed after the way he closed out the Masters last year. It was scary the way he beat a-rod and nadal in about an hour each.

It will be unfair for Nadal and Federer if Fed loses the no.1 because of this injury rather than Nadal cranking up his game and really wrestling the no.1 from Fed’s hands at RG/Wimby. I guess after 3yrs of chasing and with the joker hot on his heels, Nadal will take the no.1 ranking any which way. It will be interesting to see how this chase will end. If fed somehow manages the IW-Miami double (which looks quite unlikely right now), the pressure will be squarely on Rafa to protect his number 2 ranking from the joker.


Zola Says:

Joker,
I don’t think it is unfair to Rafa or Fed in any way that Rafa becomes No 1. Fed accumulated many points when Rafa was 6 months out for his foor injury in 2005 and 2006, was injured end of 2006 and middle of 2007. That’s tennis. It doesn’t undermine Djoko’s win in AO or Muray’s win in Dubai.
But that said, I hope Fed is over that mono. It is very scary and I don’t want him to be sick.

Djoko has to defend 850 points in IW and Miami. otherwise he will be way behind Rafa and Rafa has to win all his clay points to stay where he is. fed has an opportunitu to gain points in IW and Miami, but on clay, he has to be careful ( maybe not in Rome), but the rest he either played the final or won ( hamburg). So an early exit will be very costly. The same for Rafa. Djoko can earn lots of oints if he plays well on clay. If Rafa can stay at No 1 or 2 after clay season, the rest of the year he should be fine.


jane Says:

Can I also just say, and maybe everyone feels this a little bit (except maybe diehard Fed fans?) what a pleasure it is to have tennis so rather unpredictable again.

Before they happened, that is to say, before 2008 really got underway, who’d've thunk this:

AO final: Djokovic vs Tsonga
Dubai final: Roddick vs Lopez

This is awesome.


sensationalsafin Says:

Damn, Roger Federer sick? Hell must’ve froze over big time this year. He’s still able to compete well, though. I mean ok he lost to 2 very competent players and it’s not like he was blown off the court. Even with an illness the guy still seems to be above the rest of us mortals. Hopefully he will get over it quickly and do good in the masters events.


Joker Says:

Sensational Safin:

I think we said the same thing about Fed being in the final, but I dont think I agree with A-rod beating the Fed in a final. Look at the players who have beaten Fed-ex in a final since he became no.1

Nadal(6), Nalbandian(2) and Djokovic (1). Only 3 players! And if you exclude clay, the no. of times he has been beaten in a non-clay final is 4. 2 of those 4 ended in a last set tie-break. And all 4 have gone full length. What that tells us is that Fed when he gets to the final will be in devastating form and the only way to beat him there is if you have a totally impenetrable defense. Andy’s game, even at this scary level doesn’t qualify for that. Infact none of the big servers have beaten federer since he became no.1 Not andy, not karlovic, not ljubicic, not ancic. Safin is the closest to a big server that has beaten federer, but if you have seen that aus open 05 classic, you will agree that it was not Safin’s serve that did fed in, but his defense. (remember the lob that he hit on match-point?) Some of these fed streaks will be appreciated only when things return to the pre-Fed times where it is an upset filled atp. Fed didnt just beat players he absolutely demolished them. I think he is a statistician’s delight.

Jane:

Andy who lost to davydenko will always lose to a player

a) who can counter-punch atleast as well as he or

b) a supreme shot-maker.

To a large extent he relies on the other players’ errors like all counter-punchers. That is very bad news because in most sports, and very much so in non-clay/slower court tennis, supreme offense will always overpower supreme defense. You only have to look at the fact that agassi (one of the best defensive/reactive players) never beat sampras (one of the best offensive player) at wimbledon or US open.

The bottom line is that he is vulnerable to a shot-maker on a hot-streak on fast courts, very much like nadal. He has a little more offensive game than nadal but he will always need a little bit of help from the other player to beat him. The other night he got that against federer, but more often than not he does not get it and he gets beaten by tsonga at aus open, baghdatis at wimbledon and djokovic at IW/miami last year. Infact djokovic totally crushed him in the semis of both those tournaments.

This is exactly what fed, the shrewd analyst he is, mentioned when he lost, but fed-haters had a gala time using that mis-timing and/or mis-communication from Federer to criticize his behavior.


Joker Says:

Zola:

You are getting too defensive about Nadal. I like nadal’s game but it is not nadal’s injuries that prevent him from performing well on hard-courts. Like I said about murray, above, he needs help from the shot-makers to win on fast courts. Ofcourse his huge heart and fight for every point game means he needs much lesser help than does murray but nevertheless he needs roddick’s serve to be off or fed’s fh to be shaky or joker’s nerves to put it across them.

There is no insult when I say defensive players need help because that is how defense works. You will always be reacting and hence be under much greater pressure if the guy who takes the 1st strike gets it good. Ofcourse the guy who takes the 1st strike is under pressure to make a quality strike, but from my experience of watching sport the reactive pressure is way much too handle than the “1st strike” pressure.

Jane:

How does Fed beating gonzo/baghdatis in a high-quality/dramatic match differ from Djokovic beating tsonga in a similar match? May be the shoe is on the other foot? To an ideal fan of tennis both matches are fun but to fed-fans pre-08 was fun and to a fed-whatever-you-want-to-call-yourself, post-08 is exciting.

It is hard to believe you can appreciate Federer’s contribution to the game when you declare that the sport has become awesome when reports are suggesting that he has a bout of mono.Too sad that.


jane Says:

Joker,

Yes, Andy can be too defensive, and he’s knows that’s what cost him the match against Tsonga, because when he finally began playing more agressively in the 3rd set, he won it at love. But it was too late. Andy also lost to Davy here because of his weird anomalous knee issue (the cap is split into two) or injury, which was aggravated in the Verdasco match and which, sadly, will likely plague his career.

“This is exactly what fed, the shrewd analyst he is, mentioned when he lost, but fed-haters had a gala time using that mis-timing and/or mis-communication from Federer to criticize his behavior.”

Interestingly, in the most recent NYT’s article, wherein Federer announced his mono, Federer claims that he thinks Murray is the more talented of Murray and Djokovic. Or least that’s what he originally thought, apparently. I don’t think it was Fed-haters who reacted to those comments, at least not only. Even fans were a little surprised he said those things in a presser; his intentions may not have been bad, as you point out, but maybe giving “constructive criticism” to another player shouldn’t be done through the press, where, well, pretty much everyone else can here it. Maybe he could’ve offered it privately, I don’t know.

Anyhow, that issue is done. I hope Fed gets well. But I hope the year stays unpredictable like this.


jane Says:

Joker,

“It is hard to believe you can appreciate Federer’s contribution to the game when you declare that the sport has become awesome when reports are suggesting that he has a bout of mono.Too sad that.”

Um…you’re twisting my words. When I declared that “this is awesome” I meant the surprising results of the tournaments. I did NOT say it was fun or awesome or good that Fed has mono. In fact I don’t even think I had read that post yet.

Sheesh – you sound a lot like Grendel btw.


jane Says:

“here” in 9:31 posting should be” hear” – sorry re: typo.


Zola Says:

Joker,
I don’t know which post you were referring to. I don’t remember talking about Rafa’s style. I replied to your post about Fed’s injury and the rankings.

But you got it right. I am always very defensive when it involves Rafa. Can’t help it. So my apologies in advance if I get heated up!
I think he is working on his shot making. Of course it always helps if he has an expert helping him. I remember in AO 2007 , uncle Toni askd pat cash to help him. I don’t know what happened.
But with Rafa I sense more is about confidence on the court. I don’t agree that his injuries are not a factor. They are a HUGE facor.

It is clear that he does not push his body as before and plays more cautiosly now. He said it himself that the injury is always in his mind. In 2005 he was almost out of tennis for good. I don’t think he wants to change his style completely, but he is changing it bit by bit. I think he is now a much better player and he has better results on hard court every year. He is only 21 and I don’t expect him or Djoko to play their peak tennis right now. So, I am actually happy about the way Rafa plays right now. he is much better than many hard court specialists and I think with a better serve he can be almost as scary on hard courts as he is on clay.


jane Says:

Zola,

Do you think Rafa needs to step up closer to the baseline on hardcourts?


Joker Says:

Jane:

Fed has, in the past as well (just before 07 US open or the 08 aussie open), talked about how talented murray is. I remember he was asked a question about Novak’s rise last year and whether he was surprised by that or something to that effect and he responded that he was not totally surprised though he expected murray to be the 1st of the younger guys other than nadal to break through.

Ofcourse none of these critics bother to look at Fed’s previous comments regarding Murray, because good-Federer doesn’t sell any more. I guess the “Good-Federer” story has entered the zone of diminishing returns with Fed losing a match/two more than his lofty standards dictate. If he doesnt win both IW/miami the press will accelarate its process of tearing down federer.

As much as Federer should have offered his advice to murray in person, it is murray who should have had a problem and I am sure Murray/ most other players on the tour have not said anything about this well advertised “graceless attitude” of Federer. Atleast up until now. I am sure none of the other players on the atptour are Gandhi-esque enough to meekly take oppression/abuse from others. They donot need media/their own fan-boys/girls to show and convince them of the abuse/oppression Federer doles out to the atp tour. Has there been any news that murray was offended by Federer’s remarks?

I donot know who Grendel is, but I am sorry I assumed you had read that news about Federer’s mono which was mentioned a few times in the posts above yours.

Strange, but now that I know you are actually aware of this sad-turn-of-events for Federer, I hope it does not diminish your enthusiasm for that totally unpredictable final between f-lo and roddick. :D

I would like to bring to your kind attention, however, that F-lo has not won a set against a-rod in 3 prior meetings and the last time they played at last years IW, roddick won in 2sets before getting steam-rolled by nadal. This time he comes in merely having beaten nadal and djokovic. The facts donot seem to support your claim that there is going to be more drama/uncertainty in a f-lo/a-rod match than a federer/youzhny final like last year.


jane Says:

Joker,

I’m glad you realize I meant no disrespect to Federer or his fans. I root for a few other players before him, but do not “hate” him and certainly appreciate his phenomenal game. I’ve even come to like him more now that he’s not superhuman, flying around the court, like at last year AO – that was too much! ;-)

I would indeed expect Andy to win tomorrow, and hope he does since he’s one of the 4 or 5 players I root for usually, but Lopez is also on a roll and he can trouble even the best. But Andy seems to have his number and should be King of the desert on his debut.

I am looking forward to the American MS tourneys, and hopefully with a fit Roger in the mix, we’ll see a great field and a lot of great – and sure, unpredictable – matches.

Cheers.


Joker Says:

Jane:

Amen to a fit-federer and unpredictable matches. Though that sounds like an oxy-moron, it is not.

Fed has been part of a few of the titanic struggles of the decade. Fed/A-rod at W 04, Fed/Safin at 05 aus Fed/nad at rome 06 and fed/nad at W 07. It is quite hard to find matches that match the above matches for shot-making as well as drama. I can list a lot more but I am guessing you have had enough of Fed for a day.

I totally love the Masters. To me, the build-up to a match is as important as the match itself and the MS always throw up fun match-ups. I hope the ladies on the blog read the 1st part of the previous sentence with some lateral thinking ;)

On a more serious note, I am taken girls :D

Ok, before some troll gets put off by my attempts at humour, I want to say that the Masters series are total fun.


Joker Says:

“It is quite hard to find matches that match the above matches for shot-making”

God! I cant believe I typed that sentence. Only thing that is more embarassing is the fact that I have read my own post :(


Zola Says:

Jane
***Zola,
Do you think Rafa needs to step up closer to the baseline on hardcourts? ****

Generally speaking yes. But against some players, defensive game works better. like Federer.

When Rafa is confident he plays aggressive and he moves to the net. When he doesn’t feel as good he retreats to miles behind the baseline. I think he is concious about it and is trying to improve that.


deb Says:

Zola,

I’d be interested to know whether you think Rafa is more inclined to play close to the baseline on grass and, if so, why? Is it something to do with the way the ball bounces off hardcourts compared to grass?


Paul Says:

Sean Randall teases us with an interesting comment but doesn’t fill us in: Why, please, are Roddick and Djokovic two of the most disliked players on tour?

The inside poop, please!


Sean Randall Says:

With Roddick, everything flows from his serve and forehand. If both are clicking, his backhand is that much better. But the past few years his forehand hasn’t been as fearsome as once was, so players were not as afraid to go after it. Now, with Roddick really flattening out the forehand, even overhitting again, his opponents will be less certain on how to respond, and even though he’ll make more errors, I think it’s a good play for Andy.

As for Lopez, I’m not sure how the hell he is going to break Roddick’s serve, and Roddick will also have his hands full with Feli’s, but I think Andy will get some more chances over the course of the match, and Feli will play a loose point and that’s all it will take. Lopez, though, could certainly pull out a couple tiebreaks.

Paul, I don’t think there’s much in the way of “inside poop.” I am quite confident though if you did a poll among fans of “Which tennis player do you hate the most” Roddick and Djoko would be right up there.


jane Says:

Well, here’s the predicted 1st set tiebreak-Lopez has been fighting and aceing his way through but Andy has the minibreak at 4:1 so we’ll see.


jane Says:

“Which tennis player do you hate the most” Roddick and Djoko would be right up there.”

Weird – they’re 2 of my faves…


jane Says:

Sheesh – who knew?

Lopez gets his first set off Andy now! Wonder if he can keep the momentum.

If I was a betting person, I would be holding onto my cash bets in tennis for awhile.

Or as someone else put it (I think it was at “tennis talk” or something) in previewing this final…

“But with the insanity of 2008 thus far with Fed and Nadal playing poor, Djokovic winning the Aussie Open, Stakhovsky and Nishikori winning titles, Darcis winning indoors, and David Nalbandian actually playing and winning optional events, who
knows what can happen tomorrow.”


Paul Says:

It’ll be interesting to see how the fans will react to the fact that Djoko addressed the big crowd of anti-American Serbians last week, and then some of them went on to burn the US embassy in Belgrade.


jane Says:

Paul,

Djok should stay out of the politics. I know he’s sentimental about Kosovo and doesn’t want to see Serbia lose it, but in my opinion, here’s another example of where a tennis player should keep his thoughts out of the press. And that’s all I’ll say on the matter. I’d rather talk about Djok’s game.


jane Says:

Well, Feliciano is out-aceing Andy thus far, but the match is going to a third and deciding set as Andy just took the second set 6:4. This is a good final so far.


jane Says:

Well, Andy has got the early break in the third; I’d say this is it, as Lopez has not earned a break point against Andy’s serve as of yet, so Andy should have no problem holding his lead and going home the first American to win the Dubia title in its 16 year history.

But it’s nice that Lopez pushed it to a third. Good stuff from a couple of unexpected finalists.


Sean Randall Says:

Andy’s usually pretty good about beating people he should in the finals. I can’t see him given back the break now!


Sean Randall Says:

Court must be very fast to have these two guys in the final!


Shital Green Says:

Looks like, Jane, you are the only one watching. That was beautiful. That overhead and net volley help A-Rod hold his serve at 4-2 in the 3rd set.


Shital Green Says:

It is about to be 5-2. A-Rod has 2 break points, but FeLo saves the 1st one with an ace, but A-Rod does it. And it is 5-2.


Sean Randall Says:

Lopez is playing damn good, smartly attacking the Roddick backhand, but Roddick’s just coming up big with the two-hander.


Shital Green Says:

And the crowd goes Ro–ddick—Ro–ddick. Rodddick hits ace. FeLo misses the 2nd ball. It is 0-30. FeLo returns well. 30-15. But it is match point. Roddick wins a big time. Congratulations to him.


Sean Randall Says:

Credit to the crowd, very vocal!

Andy certainly is back, and he’s got good timing, too, with two major events back on his home soil he should definately be in the mix. Wonder how Jimmy Connors feels about now?


jane Says:

Bet Jimmy is writing a text message about now – or maybe that’s too high tech and he’ll be phoning, but he’s got to have some mixed feelings: happy Andy won (there can be no doubt he helped Andy in some ways); sad he’s not sharing the glory.

In any case, mojo rising…


Shital Green Says:

Roddick is speaking, admiring the crowd and FeLo. A nice comment about FeLo’s performance, “I don’t think he [FeLo] missed that much.” Andy Roddick, the new champion. It was a good match. I enjoyed it very much.
The guy on the microphone gets mild boos from the crowd for saying, “Federer lost in the 1st round. Brilliant!”


Sean Randall Says:

Yup, Jane, it’s been a while. Andy’s finally got his mojo back!

Andy won’t say it, but you could make the arguement Jimmy was holding him back, now with the leash broken Andy’s running free.


jane Says:

I think Jimmy helped with both confidence and Andy’s backhand, but he also added pressure on Andy to win & to play a certain way, etc (it’s got to be tough having a legend watching / coaching you).

It really seems like a weight has been lifted, or as you say, Andy’s running free.

Congrats to him for his diehard work ethic and steely will; he deserves this win, and more still.


Zola Says:

Congrats to Andy and his fans for his Dubai Title. Feli fought incredibly. I hink he lost the match after that untimely double fault. Nevertheless, he was great.

I think USTA has free live streaming for Fed-Sampras exo.( I saw the link on tennis-x.com.

http://www.usta.com

About Fed and foodpoisioning/stomach flu/mono, it is all too confusing and doesn’t make sense at all.


Zola Says:

Sean,
how can Jimbo possibly hold Andy back?

I think as in the case of Fed after Roach and Murray after Gilbert, they have to prove to themselves and the crowd and the coach that they have made the right decision. Andy was completely down when he teamed up with Jimmy. He just got better, but perhaps it did not work out after a while.


Von Says:

With all the ruckus about Fed’s illness, Andy’s win has now become backseat. Anyway, I am proud of Andy. His critics can now take a break. It’s as though he has read some of those comments because he mentioned that he wanted to play Dubai due to the higher seeds being there to prove that he still can play, and walla, great result.

Zola: “how can Jimbo possibly hold Andy back?”

Andy wanted to please Jimmy very much and as a result whenever Jimmy was at any of his tournaments, he got very nervous and tight. His nervousness was visible. He could hardly serve big and always lost. Andy needs a coach who he can look up to but not feel pressured because of the coach’s great career. Gilbert messed him up by telling him to play so far behinf the baseline. Connors made him nervous. I hope he can find an in-between coach to take him to new heights.

Anyway, CONGRATS TO ANDY! He deserves this ‘huge’ win.


Von Says:

jane:

Re: your statment to me on the other Fed thread, shhhh. Put your finger on your lips. :)


deb Says:

Hi Von

“With all the ruckus about Fed’s illness, Andy’s win has now become backseat.”

His whole career seems to be defined, by some of the media, by his losses to Federer so for such a wonderful week for him to be overshadowed by Federer is sad.


Von Says:

deb:

“His whole career seems to be defined, by some of the media, by his losses to Federer so for such a wonderful week for him to be overshadowed by Federer is sad.”

You’ve got that right. No wonder he is so frustrated and we, his fans, can’t even enjoy it also. He’s always walked in Federer’s shadow. I don’t see the critics praising his win. Even though I sound redundant, I’ll still re-emphasize my remarks, “lavish on criticism and stingy on praise.” :)


TD Says:

The Dubai final featuring Lopez and Roddick was one of the most high quality entertaining and unexpected tennis matches I have seen this year. Congratulations to both players for a terrific show. Matches like that one are why I am a tennis fan. Bravo boys. I am sure that Jimmy Connors will be one of the first to text message his congratulations to Andy. Von, did you see the match? how do you feel? :D

Quote-”Why, please, are Roddick and Djokovic two of the most disliked players on tour? The inside poop, please!”

I don’t think he really has any inside poop, he was just speaking for himself. Sean’s dislike of Roddick and Djokovic are well known if you’ve read his previous columns.

Quote-”Djok should stay out of the politics. I know he’s sentimental about Kosovo and doesn’t want to see Serbia lose it, but in my opinion, here’s another example of where a tennis player should keep his thoughts out of the press. And that’s all I’ll say on the matter. I’d rather talk about Djok’s game.”

jane I could not agree more. Djokovic should stay out of politics altogether or he may find himself alienating fans.

As for Federer’s illness who cares?


Von Says:

TD:

Congratulations are in order for you on andy’s big win. You’ve been in the trenches fighting for him. Very admirable and you earned this win together with him, with your undying support.

You stated: “Von, did you see the match? how do you feel?”

NO. I am so ashamed of myself. I was so tired from my work yesterday that I overslept today, but I checked the ATP website and saw his picture hoisiting the trophy. He looked radiant and proud as a Cheshire cat. What a great week for Andy. His opponents will once again realise that he is a force with which to be reckoned, as they did way back in ’03-’04.

TD: Did you watch the match? If so, how do you feel about his match play? Did you jump up for joy? I did. I was clapping for joy, and still have a smile on my face. :)

Way to go Andy!


Zola Says:

I saw a post on the other thread about tvu. ( I think from Skorocel). I am very skeptical about installing all these unknown programs on my PC too. But I have installed TVU and sopcast and I have not had problems with them. I have to say that TVU installs a shortcut in your startup menu and every time you start your computer it shows up . You have to go and take it off the startup menu or just turn it off each time.
Other than that, it is fine. It does not need a browser. It has a TV screen for itself. You have to go to tvu.com and install it.

I bet channelsurfing.net and tennisform.net will also broadcast it. There, you probably need IE. I also think tvu does not work on a MAC.

Von,
I can’t believe you didn’t watch the match! You missed a great one. They both played excellent tennis. I was rooting for Feli of course, but I knew Roddick had a better chance to win. Dubai is a small tournament, but had such a great field, Rafa said it is almost like a slam. So, that is a HUGE win for Roddick.


jane Says:

I tell you Zola, I think I’m going to pass on watching the exo as I has some problems with my computer last week after trying to watching streaming video in a windows parallel desktop. I did get to watch the Roddick match as channelsurfing.net worked on my laptop.

And what a match!

Anyhow, thanks for all the computer and link advice; it’s good to have computer savvy people like you around!


TD Says:

Quote-”Congratulations are in order for you on andy’s big win. You’ve been in the trenches fighting for him. Very admirable and you earned this win together with him, with your undying support.”

Same to you Von! It was such a wonderful surprise win, nobody expected it at all, all of his fans should be celebrating with him. They’ve waited far too long for a special moment like this.

Quote-” What a great week for Andy. His opponents will once again realise that he is a force with which to be reckoned, as they did way back in ‘03-’04.”

I certainly hope so! If Andy can bring that kind of game to the masters and slams then he will definitely be the fourth player “in the mix” so to speak, and tennis will be all the richer for it. All credit to Connors of course. ;)

Quote-”TD: Did you watch the match? If so, how do you feel about his match play? Did you jump up for joy? I did. I was clapping for joy, and still have a smile on my face.”

Yes I watched it on livestream and I am still over the moon five days later! It was stupendous tennis, both Lopez and Roddicvk brought their very best to the final. This smile hasn’t left my face since Saturday. I hope we get see something just as special at Indian Wells next week. :D

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