Roddick, Roanic Set Up Powerful Clash for Memphis Title Today
by Sean Randall | February 20th, 2011, 1:55 pm
  • 58 Comments

What a breakout year it’s already been for 20-year-old Milos Raonic. The young Canadian will bid for his second straight ATP title in few hours this afternoon against Andy Roddick.

Yesterday, Raonic toughed out Mardy Fish in three sets 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to win his eighth consecutive match.

As I’ve said before, I like the kid’s on-court composure, attitude and focus. Nothing seems to rattle him and even in the toughest of situations he just doesn’t crack. At just 20, it’s quite a feat to have those traits.

“It’s coming nicely,” said Raonic who was virtually unknown six months ago. “I’m acknowledging it all and taking as much as I can from it. But I’m focusing on the next day and doing what I need to do for tomorrow’s final. It’s amazing to be in two finals in a row. After you get the results, everything comes with it, like the rankings. But the thing I’m most proud of is my level.”

Does that sound like a kid who hasn’t even played a full year on the tour?

“I think I’m doing well with it and handling it well,” he added. “I felt it a bit in the second set, but I managed to pull it together and play a really good third set and I played at a high intensity. There’s still juice left in the tank and I’m ready to fight.”

Said Fish, “He’s playing Top 10 or Top 15 tennis, there’s no doubt about it. I hadn’t seen him play live before – maybe 30 minutes on TV. I tried to get every return I could in play. I moved back to get my racquet on a few more, but he hit his spots well. On his return game he connected there in the third set and broke me, and that one return game was all he needed.

“It’s a scary thought that he’s got a ways to improve.”

So today Roanic goes up another American (will he do an American Davis Cup sweep?), against Roddick.

For all the slack I give him, Roddick is coming off what he says was one his best matches he’s played this year. It’s hard to doubt him as he easily drubbed Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 6-4.

“This is probably the best match I’ve played this year including Australia,” Roddick said. “I played one bad game but besides that I was making his holds tough ones and I played pretty good defense, and attacked when I had to. I played pretty smart and mixed up some serve and volley and I didn’t let him get any rhythm, if he sets up for enough balls and gets some rhythm he can hit it probably harder than anybody. I was happy with the way I played today.”

The win moved Roddick into his 50th career ATP final where he’ll shoot for a third career Memphis crown and 30th title. And against Roanic I actually think he’ll get it.

Roanic has been red hot but he hasn’t faced a serve like Roddick’s in his matches. Fish and Robert Kendrick can pack the power off their deliveries but Roddick’s is just a great force. So I think that will cause Milos some problems.

I also have to wonder if Roanic is getting fatigued. He’s only 20 but even still the wear-and-tear of the last three/four weeks has got to catch up sometime.

That all said, if Roddick plays too defensively and has trouble finding that backhand up the line shot, Roanic will win. But I think Roddick, knowing his chances at the bigger titles are slipping and with the points he has to defend next month, will come up just a little bit better today against Milos.

He’ll pound the serve, use that backhand slice and try to get to the net as much as possible to put the pressure on Raonic’s ground game. Then again, Roddick could easily decide to try to out-smart Raonic by keeping the ball in play and out rallying the 6-foot-5 Canadian, a strategy I don’t think will work.

Regardless, it should be a very interesting and very tight match as the guy with the best serve in the business meets maybe the kid who’ll next assume that title.

The match begins at 4pm ET on the Tennis Channel.

As congrats to Robin Soderling who just won his third title of season beating Marin Cilic in three sets. And in Dubai Caroline Wozniacki has defeated Sveta Kuznetsvoa. The Dane will return to the No. 1 ranking tomorrow.


Also Check Out:
Roddick X-Its Memphis, Roanic Stays Hots; Del Potro, Davydenko Meet In Marseille
Roddick, Hewitt Renew Rivalry in Memphis; Roanic Blasts 38 Aces in Win
No Hokey, Raonic Edges Verdasco for First ATP Title, Will Play Re-Match Wednesday in Memphis
There Will Be An Ernests Gulbis Appearance Tonight In Memphis!
Roanic Roughs Up Verdasco (Again) in Memphis; Roddick, Del Potro Return Today

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58 Comments for Roddick, Roanic Set Up Powerful Clash for Memphis Title Today

Kimmi Says:

I think it will be tough for meelosh too, so sean we agree today for a change.

win or lose, milos has achieved wonders this year. no-one expected him to be playing the final match today. just unbelivable to achieve this during the era where it is so difficult to get to the top. gone are the days where young new guys to tour wins Masters and slam titles.

i will be cheering for the guy. good luck!


dari Says:

This one is tough. Yesterday, I was undoubtedly for milos but today, I kinda feel behind roddick. My opinion is that he doesnt “need” a 500 title, milos does, but Andy always needs wins and always needs confidence. Nobody better than Andy, who has held up American tennis for the past 10 years, to be the one able to say, “hey, great job milos, but your run ends here!”
One the other hand, who wants to see this fairy tale end right now? It’s hard to say I do.
We’ll see shortly how I feel, I was impressed with roddick tennis yesterday. Wish he wouldn’t have held out on us with that good of tennis before and brought it out on poor polito!


Kimmi Says:

hope meelosh at least take this set to the tie break. then its 50/50..


Kimmi Says:

roddick has not won a point on milos serve yet..not even 2nd serve.

I am sure he will start to read it better as the match goes on..but this is amazing so far.


dari Says:

Geeze Louise, milos!


Christy Says:

this is funny….battle of serve!!!


Kimmi Says:

Do we have a tie break..milos go!


Kimmi Says:

first time meelsh serve was in trouble.

tie breaker! aaaah cant watch!


Kimmi Says:

oh no! gave it right back..concentrate meelosh!


dari Says:

What’s wrong with roddick? Commentators saying hes “under the weather”?


dari Says:

I want three sets no matter what. All these quick serve games means less time to watch!


Kimmi Says:

i am actually not listening to commentators. roddick is playing well though..dont see any problem with his game so far


dari Says:

LOVELY point construction on that point for milos. Has a set point… misses it.


Kimmi Says:

ah he had it on that FH..c’mon meelosh! tense tie breaker


Kimmi Says:

now roddick with set point..oh well, he got nervous there milos!


dari Says:

Oh well , couple mistakes caused milos the set. Hope he can shake it off and take the second. roddick is just that step up from verdasco to make him nervous.


Kimmi Says:

double break point for roddick! meelosh cracking. too much expectations, wont win this match for sure..


dari Says:

Roddick does look a little droopy/pale


dari Says:

No way, Andy!
Didn’t look sick there!
Running forehand winner from outside the frame of the camera.


stu Says:

whats up with Andy, can’t get a first serve in?


dari Says:

Just break now, milos. Don’t risk the tie break- Andy still popping out an ace each game just about.


stu Says:

wahooo Milos rallies in style to win the first point of the TB! this isn’t all about serves is it?


dari Says:

BIG tie break.
Lets go, meelosh.


Kimmi Says:

milos! now or never..that’s the was it goes.

now milos!


stu Says:

milos mini breaks backkk!! this guy’s got b**ls!


dari Says:

OMG, the nerve of milos to go to net like that on roddicks match point. Wow! Gotta get this milos!


dari Says:

OMG, the nerve of milos to go to net like that on roddicks match point. Wow! Gotta get this milos!


stu Says:

Set point on serve! DO IT!!


stu Says:

this kid is nothing short of amazing.


dari Says:

What a tiebreak! Andy played some great points, but milos was never afraid when roddick had championship points. Big serves, great defensive slice, and his owngood net play- whatever it took to win that point he did it!
I am on his side after that tb!


dari Says:

that was a little embarrassing. don’t turn that failed air Jordan smash into a break, milos :/


stu Says:

looks like he’s still thinking about the break…


Tennisfan Says:

Roddicks got the ump in his backpcket .. an overrule on a critical point in the match. Pretty disgusting really …


stu Says:

experience trumps talent. always.


dari Says:

Good for raonic to hold after down 15-40. Dare he break roddick here?


Tennisfan Says:

… Now maybe we can get a fair ending …


dari Says:

You know, stu, that’s a great idea, but milos, young Rafa/young fed, many others, prove that wrong. How else do you make new stars?


stu Says:

dari, i’d say they all need a couple of matches like this one, as learning experiences. of course, this could still go milos’ way :D. looks like it will be 3 TBs

i’m so impressed with the way he is able to focus and think his shots through when he’s facing match point, break point, set point….


stu Says:

good run, milos. take a long break now.


Tennisfan Says:

… another missed call on an obvious double bounce right in from on the ump … This kind of stuff can affect a players concentration … An affects this match. Pathetic calling ..


dari Says:

Can we get a replay please. Holy $#¡+
Such a deserving championship point!


jane Says:

Kudos to Roddick for a great match point. Excellent effort from Milos once again; he showed a few nerves here and there, but overall, he was awesome – great final!!


stu Says:

that was a great speech! milos is the real deal.

congrats on your return to pro tennis, andy


dari Says:

stu, dive balls trump talent today!
Great great final!


jane Says:

Aw great speeches from both guys – 5oth final and 3oth title for Andy R, awesome stuff. And he was very complimentary of Milos, a very classy guy, as Milos was funny, joking about that brave stab volley of Andy’s and being on the wrong side of the net. Good stuff. I love tennis. :)


dari Says:

Roddick coughing, bruised, but holding the trophy no less. You could tell it did mean a lot.


Tennisfan Says:

… It was a great dive shot by Andy … still maybe the chance to play that winning shot would not have been thrre if the ump wasn’t owned. Roddick know how to get in an ump’s head … If that is experience … then experience won today. A good lesson for Milos …


Sean Randall Says:

Heck of a shot by Roddick, and a great win for him.


jane Says:

I think Milos will learn from all these matches, Verdasco’s reaction to a fan in San Jose, Roddick’s discussion with the ump on change-overs here in Memphis; he is being exposed to big matches and the pressures and emotions they entail. This, I would argue, can only be good for him. Call it the school of hard knocks or whatever, but it is something he will grow from. He continues to amaze me; he really has outstanding composure, imo.


grendel Says:

http://eurosport.yahoo.com/tennis/simon-reed/article/5598/

Interesting. Just get the feeling that for once (where a promising Brit is concerned) this is more than just hype.


steve-o Says:

Congrats to Roddick for his thirtieth title, and to Raonic for a stellar performance. He surely has a bright future ahead of him.


steve-o Says:

Re: Reed: can’t he let the poor kid play just one tour-level match before pronouncing judgment?

It’s a problem: too many expectations and media hype being heaped on young players, they don’t have time to develop at their own pace and figure it out.

Even though I’m not a Murray fan, I have to respect him for bearing up fairly well under all the pressure the British media piles on him.

I suppose it’s the curse of coming from the nation that invented tennis.


Watch Andy Roddick’s Sick Diving Winner on Match Point Against Milos Raonic [Video] Says:

[...] Recent News… Roddick, Roanic Set Up Powerful Clash for Memphis Title Today [...]


grendel Says:

it is true that the British tabloid media is sensationalist, and encourages generally hysterical opinion (not just in sport) – mainly with the view to selling newspapers.

My impression is that Reed was responding to intalk amongst the jaded journos, who long for something different to prattle about. If Morgan looks like an unusually exciting prospect, surely it’s fair enough to tell the rest of us something about him.

I for one greatly look forward to seeing him play. It’s rare to see a powerful British player. Henman and Murray have adorned the game with their distinctive talents – especially Murray – but in the end, lacking the essential ingredient in the modern game – power – ultimate success was always likely to prove elusive.

Of course, Morgan may just fade away. Somehow, I doubt it….


jane Says:

grendel, that’s good news. It may even unburden Andy somewhat, if the spotlight shifts. And new talent, as we have seen with Raonic and Dolgo this year thus far, is exciting. So I say good, bring him on. Also sounds like he is a different sort of player than Murray, also good. And maybe this will inspire a Davis CUp run in the future too… Okay getting ahead here maybe.

margot, wherever you are! I read somewhere, maybe on ATP site, that Murray and Nole have confirmed to played doubles together at IW. Good stuff!


grendel Says:

Talking of Dolgo, he is actually 22. What’s he been up to all these years – was he on the challenger circuit, at University perhaps?

Becker won Wimbledon at 17, and so far as I could see, he didn’t really improve all that much in the subsequent years whilst at the same time, he lost that magical freshness which made him such a pleasure to watch. So you just never know. Johan Kriek said of Becker – after he had just beaten him at Queens, that if he continued to serve like he had just done in the final, he’d win Wimbledon.

Nobody took Kriek seriously. But I hugged his words close to my chest, and looked on with ever increasing delight as Becker stormed through the rounds. Spoilsport Kevin Curren to dispatch McEnroe – what a final McEnroe against the 17 year old Becker might have been.

There’s too many great players about these days for that kind of success to be repeated – but even so, some young men achieve physical maturity at least at 18 or so, so you never know what Morgan might achieve if he gets the chance. Might beat an old lag like Raonic, for instance….


margot Says:

jane: cheers, look 4ward to it :)
grendel: Dologopolov was very ill last year, I believe.

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