If you are James Blake, John Isner, Robby Ginepri you need to be taking notes fast. The cat is out of the bag on how Americans can beat Roger Federer. It’s simple. Get engaged to a model. Federer of course had won 42 straight against American players before losing to the engaged-to-a-model Mardy Fish at Indian Wells. In Miami, same outcome after Federer loses this evening to newly-engaged-to-a-model Andy Roddick. Coincidence?
On the serious side, congrats to Roddick who served his way to a 7-6, 4-6, 6-3. I thought Andy would get to Roger at Indian Wells, that match never happened, but tonight’s result surprised me because Andy wasn’t very sharp in his first three matches, until this evening that is. Credit to him getting just his second win in 17 tries against the Swiss, also snapping a 12-match losing skid to Federer since 2003 Montreal. He served really well.
Federer played well also, much much better than he did against Fish, but his groundstrokes were also somewhat suspect. I also felt tactically Roger should have brought Roddick into the net more with the short chip-and-dip slice backhand, but for whatever reason he didn’t make use of it much at all when Andy was winning very few points at the net.
With the loss it’s now very conceivable Fed might not win a title until the grass season and might lose the No. 1 spot by then as well. The guy is simply not hitting his groundstrokes with confidence. And I still wonder about the mono situation – for the third tournament he ran into problems after playing the first six sets in clean fashion. Though I didn’t notice any mono-like symptoms, so let’s bring it up Fed camp!
And this is the fourth loss on the year for Roger who has yet to reach even a final. Fed of course will no doubt brush it aside and remind people to look at the rankings. But for Roger it is finally time to hit the panic button or just retire and let Pete have the GOAT title. If you can’t keep the ball in play on hard court, how the hell are you going to do it on clay? And no, Tiger Woods does not have the answer, stop texting him. He’s busy winning titles while you are losing to Americans. And stop worrying about your outfit and Wimbledon ensemble and spend some more time on the practice court, assuming you are healthy. This should be a wake up call. Get a coach. Perhaps give Darren Cahill a ring. Get him in your “Fav Five”.
Roddick meanwhile has to be jacked up. Brooklyn Decker aside, he’s now beaten the Top 3 players in the last month, not bad for a guy who hadn’t beaten anyone that high in 1.5 years I think it was. He now gets Nikolay Davydeko, who beat Janko Tipsarevic earlier today, and then perhaps Rafael Nadal who I give a slight edge against Tomas Berdych. And Davis cup next week? France should head home now.
Good result for Roddick of course and even better result for tennis, which for the first time in many years the season remains up for grabs after the first three months. And gentle reminder for you American players heading to Europe for the clay campaign, there’s no better time than the present to find that model!
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