Haas, Henin Collect Titles; Murray Unfazed by Roddick Loss
by Sean Randall | February 26th, 2007, 4:53 pm

Impressive performance this weekend by Tommy Haas, who hammered Andy Roddick to win his third Memphis title. Haas won the event without dropping a set or even facing a break point – a pretty amazing statistic – and he raised his 2007 record to 13-2. ADHEREL

Haas has been here before, of course. Last year he started just as strong winning 23 of his first 29 matches, with three of those losses coming to Roger Federer, before fading down the stretch. If Haas can stay healthy there’s no reason he can’t be a Top 5 or even a No. 2 player. He has all the shots, quick feet, but injury, bad fortunes, mental lapses and maybe his super hot girlfriends have plagued the German’s progress. Let’s hope he can put together a full season and his results continue.

After she split from ballkid extraordinaire Pierre-Yves, Justin Henin seems to be back on track following an excellent win in Dubai over Amelie Mauresmo – her fourth title in the UAE. And with the top spot on the women’s tour wide open, it could very well be Henin’s again at year end, especially when you look at the field.

Jury is still out on how Sharapova will handle her beat-down from Serena is still unkown. Mauresmo’s motivation is probably not be there like it was a year ago. Clijsters is busy making wedding arangements. Hingis is determined but I don’t think she has the firepower to compete for No. 1, and the Williams sisters are always a question mark.

That leaves Henin with a good look at the No. 1 ranking. Problem is she needs to win two of the next three Slams to have any real chance (remember she reached the final of all four last year, winning just the French, so plenty of points to defend).

Back to Memphis, you have to love Andy Murray dismissing his loss to Roddick, saying afterward: “You’d have to ask him how he saw it, but I just viewed it as another match…It was the semi-finals of a Tour event. Maybe it did mean a lot to him but it wasn’t like it was the biggest match I’ve ever played. I didn’t feel nervous walking on the court like I did at maybe some of the grand slams, against [Rafael] Nadal, against Roddick at Wimbledon, [David] Nalbandian the year before. I didn’t feel nervous, I was just looking forward to trying to play my game and unfortunately I didn’t play my game that well today.”

I’m sure Brad Gilbert, who with Murray is now 1-2 vs. his former pupil Roddick, didn’t see it just “as another match”, losing to the guy who fired him. And it’s probably not the attitude you want for a kid who’s about to crack the Top 10.

A guy with no attitude issues is Roger Federer, who’s in Dubai this week collecting some serious cash (a million anyone?) and some more records. Federer this week breaks Jimmy Connors’ run of 160 straight weeks at No. 1. By my math, if Fed doesn’t hit another ball he will hold onto to the No. 1 ranking guaranteed another 15 straight weeks before he could lose it to someone like Roddick should the American win the next five Masters Series events (Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Hamburg, Rome) and then the French Open.

Now if only you could bet against that happening…

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12 Comments for Haas, Henin Collect Titles; Murray Unfazed by Roddick Loss

zola Says:

Roddick has 2830 points against Roger’s 8120 and Rafa’s 4705. I bet you Roddick will have a hard time staying at No. 3 for more than a few weeks (Davydenko is 2825). You have lined up too hard of a list for him and there is Nadal with 2000 points above him.
I like Roddick, but I think he is allergic to the first half of the year!

euroka1 Says:

Am I not right in that Murray has beaten Roddick 3 times (memory says San Jose last year and this year and Wimbledon) so it is 3 – 2, with Roddick also winning Cincy. Murray apparently did not disgrace himself on Saturday. Key parts were losing the break so early in the first set and tanking in the tie-breaker of the second. Looks to me as if they are pretty comparable right now with Murray noticeably on the ascent.

luke Says:

i agree with zola. in fact roddick’s days in the top ten are numbered. his current ranking rests solely on two easy draws at big events – cinci masters where noone played, and usopen where he didn’t play a top 10 player to make the final(gonzo had to beat three). good luck defending those points this year.

his only hope really is to get a time machine and take his half court chip and charge approach shots back to the 70s.

dibs Says:

Interesting to know that at the cinci masters Federer and Nadal were suddenly ‘noone’ – I thought it was the only masters last year that they both entered and wasn’t one by one or the other.

Not that Roddick had to beat either of them but it’s always interesting how his few small victories are dismissed. If Murray had won that event I’m sure the reaction would be different!!

zola Says:

I for one don’t dismiss Roddick’s victories.All I am saying is that playing like this, he won’t have a chance at holding to his No. 3 seat, let alone challenging Federer or Nadal. There are many other in the row. Davydenko, Berdych, Murray,Gonzo,… He was doing well with Conners till the AO final and the loss to Federer took more away from him than the trophy. But he can’t lose his confidence now. It is too dangerous. He is a good guy and I wish he can put these behind and find his game.

zola Says:

sorry! Ao semis…

fresco Says:

>>> in fact roddick’s days in the top ten are numbered.

LOL. Lost souls have been predicting this since 2003. Four years later and it still doesnt appear likely that Roddick will be leaving the top ten anytime soon. Sorry haters. Keep that dream alive!

Mac Says:

Roddick is right where he should be — top three. Without Federer, Roddick would have been a 2 time US Open, 2 time Wimbledon champ, and maybe an AO champ. He’s a great player, with a great serve and great forehand, who went through a brief slump. We wouldn’t even be having this conversation if it wasn’t for the Fed, who (on hard and grass courts) makes every opponent’s flaws look like gaping wounds.

luke Says:

re:dibs, my mistake fed and raf both at cinci. but yeah the point is roddick doesn’t have to play them, his results are based on a few easy draws at big events. take AO. safin was playing crap, almost gets beaten by becker and some israeli guy noone knows. sure he beats ancic(just), and then gets fish in the QF?! meanwhile davydenko is playing haas, nadal is playing murray…

roddick overwhelms the lower players with his serve, but people who can return it find there’s not much else to deal with. it’s a myth that he has a power baseline game, the stats show he hits very few winners from the back. after the serve goes in, he’s basically a slower, less steady version of hewitt -conservative play, wait for the error, (and to mix it up, the new kamikaze chip and charge.)

luke Says:

i mean nadal is playing gonzo…man why did gonzo have to play so well and then chose the final to start making all the errors again…

John Says:

Hey Sean, there’s some interesting stuff at the TC Open.

It’s not the 30mph winds.

It’s not the fans (aka relatives) in the stands. I try to count them during each match. It seems like maybe in the 10 to 60 range, depending on who’s playing.

It’s not the cold, Agassi looks like he’s freezing and dressed like he’s from Alaska.

It’s the “round robin”!

James Blake is in group of three where all ended 1-1. Here’s where it gets interesting. One of the 3, del Potro, retired in the middle of the second set of the final match. Since it looks like set percentage may be the first tie breaker, does Blake get credit for winning in 1 set, 1.5 sets or 2 sets. The final score was 6-1, 3-1. If two sets Blake wins on match percent, I guess. If head-to-head is the first tie breaker then Blake loses, Korolev wins. I don’t think this is the case, but I thought I read it on the TV screen during Safin’s match.

Now let’s take a look at Hewitt’s group of 3. The players are Hewitt, Johansson, Spadea and Lu! Hey, that’s four!!! What happened? Spadea lost his first match and retired before his second match. Lucky-loser Lu took his place. Now, is the Lu-Spadea team considered one person for the stats? Or is Lu’s match an exhibition for him but a live match for Johansson? What’s the story here?

Should the fans have access to a computer to figure out who won? Maybe the non-relative fans, if there are any, should be provided with a laptop to use during each match. The TC would only need a few.

John Says:


More on the TC Open:

I was watching the Bryan brothers’ doubles match. At the first no-ad (i.e. win by one point not two), I got disgusted and stopped watching. I guess I’ve had my fill of the “doubles revolution”.

Then I had this amazing idea!

Just a few more changes to get it right:

1) Shrink the court.

2) Shrink the ball.

3) Shrink the net.

4) Go to one set.

5) Change the set from 6 games to 21.

6) Take the fuzz of the ball and make it white.

7) Change from rackets to paddles.

8) Raise the court to about waist high.

9) And call it ping-pong :-)

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