Obviously I’m joking. Such a scenario would unfortunately never, ever happen. And that’s too bad, though. Because in my mind, based on recent results both Roger Federer and Andy Roddick would both benefit from such a trade.
By the looks of it, Federer simply is not having much fun out there on the tennis court. The guy’s hardly smiling anymore as his game’s been really in the toilet all year. I think he just needs something or someone to take his mind off of tennis and Rafael Nadal for a while. Something to make him forget a season in which he hasn’t won a single Slam, he’s failed to even reach a hardcourt final, he’s already into double digit losses, his Mr. Rogers Wimbledon cardigan was a fashion misfire and he’s about to lose No. 1. Is there anything else? Oh yeah, Pete’s not the only buddy of his up two in Slams on him, add Tiger Woods to the 14 Club after his memorable US Open title, and while Woods is out winning more Majors Roger’s been losing to guys named Gilles and Mardy.
I’ll be nice and stop there.
But truth be told there haven’t been many high points for Roger this year, and maybe that’s where a girl like Brooklyn Decker can come in and get Roger right in the head again and put the smile back on his face. And as a superstar Sports Illustrated swimsuit model I’m sure she could more than handle the Life of Roger: Jet setting to and fro Switzerland, chilling by the beach with the sheiks in Dubai, enjoying $800 haircuts with Roger and dining with fashion moguls. And that’s just the surface.
If only temporary, it looks like a good fit for both. And nothing against Roger’s current and longtime girlfriend Mirka or coach Jose Higueras, who really hasn’t brought much to the table to Roger’s game that I can tell, but maybe a little change of routine, change of scenery might do the Fed some good right now. It can’t get much worse, can it?
As for Roddick, maybe he’s just too amped up of late. Too much jawing with the umps and not enough on-court action to back it up. He’s like a jitterbug out there, he needs to calm down and get back to basics. Go old school like he was when he first burst onto the tour. Hitting guys in the chest with his serve. Smash and crash. Big serve, bigger forehand, point over. But with an SI model now in tow, where’s Roddick finding that fire, that motivation to win now?
For most young American guys that’s the dream: Hit it big, then hit it with a super model. Check and check for Roddick. Career over. But hold on, that’s where Mirka can come in and remind Roddick of his true roots. She seems like a nice, low-key country-type girl, and Andy who grew up in Nebraska and now resides in Texas deep down is probably a country kinda guy. A match made in heaven it probably isn’t – Mirka won’t be thrilled about having to watch Nebraska football Saturday afternoons with Andy – and that’s where the drive for Roddick returns.
And when Jose is thrown into the trade, it’s an even better deal for Roddick. Sorry, John, I love you and all, but Andy really needs another set of eyes on his game, not just his brah. Someone with some big time coaching experience and someone who can give Andy and actual strategy of what to do on court. He needs a “game plan”, John, because cracking serves, hitting off-pace, loopy groundstrokes and then throwing up your hands in bewilderment as the ball goes by isn’t getting the job done right now. Enter Jose Higueras who’s coached many of the best game’s best. Plus, Jose’s already familiar with the ways of Mirka (I presume they get along) and he knows a thing or two about getting results from high-profile American players. Just ask Jim Courier or Pete Sampras.
Unfortunately, all this is a pipe dream of course…
But what isn’t a pipe dream – as I transition back to reality – is the steady rise of the young guns in men’s tennis, and we are going to see that on full display today in Toronto where six of the eight quarterfinalists are under the age of 23.
We have the Fed-killer Gilles Simon vs. Roddick’s conqueror, Marin Cilic, along with Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic locking up in probably the best match-up of the day and of course Rafael Nadal will try to edge closer to No. 1 against Richard Gasquet late this evening, while James Blake and Nicolas Kiefer will assure the vets a spot in the semifinals.
And it’s not a stretch to think that this is what we’ll be seeing more of in the future as Federer, Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and many others are slowly being phased out. Things are indeed a changing…
I thought going into the Toronto week that we might return in some form to the madness and unpredictability that we witnessed at the start of the year, and it looks like it’s indeed happening at least in the top half where with Federer and Roddick ousted we’ll likely get a surprise finalist.
As for the actual matchups today, all four could go either way. I said earlier that I felt Djokovic enjoyed the easiest draw of the top dogs and match-up-wise that doesn’t change much today as I give him the best chance of advancing of anyone. Murray’s been playing better, but Novak is just a level above in all departments and really matches up well against the Scot.
I had also written that I didn’t think Gasquet has the belief needed to beat Nadal right now. I still feel that way though I’ve been impressed with just how well Richard’s been playing this week. So I could see Gasquet troubling Rafa, maybe getting up on him early before Nadal takes control. Maybe three sets. I think it should be close.
I also like Simon to take out Cilic and Blake to edge Kiefer.
Of course this all sets up for a tantalizing Djokovic-Nadal semifinal Saturday. Almost sounds too good to be true. Will it?
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