Why Andy Roddick Can Win Wimbledon This Year
by Sean Randall | June 24th, 2007, 8:51 am

Okay. I really want to post such an entry – that Andy Roddick will win Wimbledon this year – but I cannot bring myself around to write it. Not after the draw matched Andy against Roger Federer in the semifinals. If Federer had been on the other side of the draw, then perhaps Roddick could win his first Wimbledon, but with Federer a likely semifinal opponent for the American, there’s no way Andy wins that meeting. And I’m not getting suckered again into thinking he can win that match like I did prior to their Australian Open encounter – and we all know how that turned out! 1-13 is 1-13. ADHEREL

Roddick did win the Queen’s title but he wasn’t exactly overpowering en route to the win. Bad signs were all around: Needing three sets to beat a Brit not named Tim Henman or Andy Murray, and then having to save a match point against Nicolas Mahut. Not exactly the kind of results befitting of a future Wimbledon champion.

But there’s just a feeling in the air (at least where I live, maybe not at Wimbledon where it matters most) that maybe Federer gets upended this year. I mean he does have to lose on grass sometime, right? So why not this year? He’s down after the French loss to Nadal. He skipped Halle. And since the Australian Open he’s won just one title, that in Hamburg.

However, here at Wimbledon he won’t lose to Roddick, he won’t lose to Karlovic (he’s on the other side of the draw), so just who can derail a semifinal run in his section of the draw? Marat Safin? He’ll be lucky just to meet Fed in the third round. Dmitry Tursunov or Tommy Haas in the fourth round figure to have a shot, but let’s be honest, could they really keep their heads and win three sets off Fed in one match? Doubt it. In the quarters, Fed’s last chance for exit before potentially meeting Roddick, Fernando Gonzalez could await, and he’s given Roger trouble in the past but again, him taking three sets is just to big an ask of the Chilean.

So, barring an injury to the Fed, it’s not looking good for Roddick. The good news for the Andy is that he, like Federer, has a pretty clear path to the semifinals. Maybe Ivan Ljubicic in the fourth round could pose some problems, and maybe a free-swinging Frenchman like Richard Gasquet, Jo Tsonga or Mahut might be able to snake a set or two in the quarters but that’s a longshot.

Bottom line this year at Wimbledon is that there are so few dangerous players in the draw with Mario Ancic out, Andy Murray and Mardy Fish not 100%, David Nalbandian on a downslide, Sebastien Grosjean and Jonas Bjorkman a year older and Top 10ers Nikolay Davydenko, James Blake, Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych and Ljubicic unproven on the Wimbledon grass, that it’s really hard to pick against Federer and Roddick.

So what about Rafael Nadal? The Spaniard is a bit of a question mark on the grass, and I think his status as the No. 2 favorite among the bookies is rather generous. In addition to Fish, who if healthy I think could pull off that first round upset, Nadal has plenty of formidable foes to fend off. Robin Soderling or Olivier Rochus could take out Rafa, as could Jarkko Nieminen, and then Berdych in the quarterfinals. And the rain is not going to help Nadal’s cause. That’s why I’ll stay away from Rafa this year and pick as my bottom-half semifinals Lleyton Hewitt to meet Berdych. I think the flaky Berdych has the easiest path of anyone to the quarterfinals, and then I think he’ll finally come through in that section to reach his first Major semifinal. Hewitt looks to be in good shape, as well. As long as he can stay away from Karlovic and Chris Guccione he should emerge from his quadrant. Too bad he’ll get punished by Federer in the final again, but at least Hewitt is back in a championship match, and likely back to getting fed bagels.

As for the women, like the men, I think it’s also a two horse race between Justine Henin and Serena Williams, who’ll meet in the quarters. I’ll take Henin in that one to keep it going and finally claim her first Wimbledon title, and get her career slam.

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30 Comments for Why Andy Roddick Can Win Wimbledon This Year

takeitover Says:

for the record, fed also won dubai after AUS, not just Hamburg.

nadal got the biggest break by avoiding roddick in the semis. he probably won’t go that far though. fish might drown him in the first round.

JCF Says:

I’m not understanding your logic… He can’t beat Federer if they play in a semi final, but if they were on opposite sides of the draw, he can win Wimbledon?

And did you mention Mardy Fish as one of your ‘dangerous’ players?

TenFan Says:

How did Nadal get a break by avoiding Roddick?
Nadal showed in the Miami that it takes more than a big serve to break him….
Roddick has a big serve, but unlike just about every other big server in the game, once he gets the ball in play he plays percentage from the ground, even to the point of playing 5-8 ft behind the baseline (see Queen’s club), which makes him NOT a bad match up for Rafa…….That match in Miami was not even close….
I think Roddick has more Rafa beat downs in his future……

Samprazzz Says:

The way that Nadal was holding serve on clay at the French convinced me that he’s now really tough to break. His lefty slice serve will be effective on grass if it’s wet. I like Nadal’s chances this year. I agree- Byrdych matches up very well against Nadal. But I think Djokovic is even more dangerous for Nadal. There were moments in the first set at the French when Djokovic had the upper hand. If anyone beats Nadal at Wimbledon, I think it’s Djokovic. In the final, Federer will lose to Nadal or Djokovic – that’s my prediction.

Christopher Says:

JCF I’m with you! Roddick lost twice to Federer at Wimblemdon in the finals. What possible difference could it make if they meet in the finals or semi-finals? Has Roddick improved that much? He has won Queens 4 times and still has never won Wimbledon. He lost in the first round of the French open with Jimmy Connors as his coach. Has Jimmy really made that big an impact on his game. I don’t think so. Roddick, for the most part, has remained consistant at 3 or 4 in the world due to his outstanding serve. Roddick’s liability is his backhand. It always has been. Even Jimmy Connors can’t fix that. Federer knows how to exploit it and expose it as the weakness it is. If Roddick does meet Federer in the semi-finals (and that is a big IF) then I’ll take Federer in 4 sets. I’m not sure who Federer will be meeting in the final. Nadal is not a sure thing at all. It could be Hewitt or Djokovic. Let’s stay tuned in.

Jabba Says:

It’s obvious that Federer fanboy Sean can’t wait to smugly ridicule Roddick when he loses again. Pathetic ploy, Sean. Leave Roddick alone. He’s not the only one who loses against Federer.

John Says:

I think Roddick is, if anything, less dangerous than he was a couple years ago. Even on hard courts, he hasn’t performed particularly well against tough opposition this year–destroyed by Federer and Haas, lost to Murray once. The only reason I’m picking him to the semis is his extraordinarily friendly draw.

And I think you’re underrating Rafa considerably. Fish might win the first two sets, but I think Rafa would grind him down in five. I don’t think Fish is mentally or physically capable of keeping it together long enough to beat him–and Rafa’s beaten him on grass before. Olivier Rochus? He’s 0-2 on grass this year, and was straight-setted by Andrei Pavel. Rafa crushed Nieminen in straight sets last year–why should it be any different this year? That’s not to say he doesn’t have real challenges in front of him. The bottom half of the draw is much stronger than the top with Youzhny, Berdych and Bjorkman in his quarter. All his plausible semifinal opponents are potentially problematic (Djokovic, Baghdatis, Hewitt, Karlovic).

Christopher Says:

John, Good post.

I couldn’t agree more. Many of the top players have learned how to break Roddick’s tremendous serve more often. If Roddick has an off day serving – he’s out! Federer and Nadal have other resources to call on.

sheila Says:

“It’s obvious that Federer fanboy Sean can’t wait to smugly ridicule Roddick when he loses again. Pathetic ploy, Sean. Leave Roddick alone. He’s not the only one who loses against Federer.”

I’m glad I’m not the only one who immediately caught onto Randall’s “Federer is Great So Let’s Bash Roddick!” post. It’s really sad how low quality tennis-x’s writing has become. Whatever happened to in-depth analysis instead of just bashing players?

“Many of the top players have learned how to break Roddick’s tremendous serve more often. If Roddick has an off day serving – he’s out!”

That’s funny because I’ve seen Roddick win many matches when his serve wasn’t working well?

btw, players haven’t figured out Roddick’s serve at all–Roddick simply hasn’t been putting nearly as much spin and power into his serve as he used to. Just look at old videos of him serving from a few years ago. He’s off by 15 mph and a foot inside the line now which makes his serve much easier to return.

Dr. Death Says:

Sheila – I like that analysis and you are right about Roddick’s serve from what I have stored on file. Pat Cash would be proud of you.

Let us all keep in mind that Wimbledon brings out the best from a lot of players especially the lads who like to make a debut at this tournament. The Medical gods have already taken their first victim, Mr Murray. Unlike the French, this will not be a boring tournament. And what tennis needs is some excitement in this and the U.S. Open.

Christopher Says:


With all due respect, do you honestly believe Roddick can win a match at Wimbledon against Federer, Nadal, or perhaps Djokovic while having an off serving day? He may get away with it against a less experienced lower ranked player but against the best he needs his big weapon to work on all cylinders to prevail. I think Roddick is a wonderful talent but he just happens to be playing at a time when Federer (maybe the best ever) is in peak form. To have any chance against Federer he needs to serve well. That’s all.

Sean Randall Says:

takieitover, good catch. My bad for leaving off Dubai – guess that goes against me being a Fed Fanboy, right?

Really, though, if something happens to Federer I think Roddick will win. That’s the basis of the post. Unfortunately, It just doesn’t appear anything can happen to him.

As for Roddick’s serve, I do agree it’s not as strong as it once was, but I think his backhand is much better than before. But again, there are so few people with the ability to break it in grass. I don’t think Nadal or Djokovic could beat Roddick on turf. Will add more later…

Roddick Girl Says:

I think roddick is gonna take feddy down this time & this is not 4 sure coz we have to wait ‘n c the way feddy & andy play , then we’ll be able to tell who’s going down , but I still think that roddick is gonna make it this time .

Smasham Says:

Andy will most likely get to the semis but the problem when he plays Federer is that Fed picks the serve and can return Andy’s serve and get the ball back, setting up the forehand. Once the ball is in play, if Andy does not get first strike in the rally (which he has not been doing against Fed) it’s usually over for him in the point. He has to have a supeb volleying day. Dont think he could stay at the baseline. And he has to hope Fed is not returning well. But by that time Fed will be primed.

Samprazzz Says:

Roddick’s a great competitor, and he’s got great energy to draw from. But Roddick is not serving as hard as he used to: that’s obvious. He also doesn’t hit his forehand as hard as he used to. He’s lost a touch of zip on both shots- which brings him down from #2 in the World to about #6. The problem with Andy’s serve is that it’s not technically correct- so he wasn’t able to improve it, or vary it. The way he torques his shoulder guaranteed that he wouldn’t be able to keep the extreme velocity that he had on it for the first few years. As with happens to alot of great fastball pitchers in Major League baseball, he burned out his arm. Because of that, he’ll never win another Major. Prediction: Roddick out by the 3rd round.

TX-brat Says:

I’m still shaking my head over Mardy Fish being called dangerous!!!!

Angela Says:

First to say that he is down to # 6 in the world is a little ridiculous considering he has been a consistant #3 player for the past couple of years, yes he did drop last year and right after the french this year but I did say consistantly and he went right back up both times. Second to compare anything to last year is a little absured to since he had his worse year ever since becoming a pro and still managed to end the year ranked in the top. And for the guy who said Connors hasn’t helped him should go look at what Roodick was doing before he hired Connors, he was sinking and sinking fast. Connors gave him his confidence back, helped his backhand especially down the line, Roddick passes much better, returns better (granted he needs to be more consistent), and volleys much better than he ever did. I’m not claiming he will ever beat Federer but in all seriousness who really has. Nadal on clay and Canas twice this year. Roddick has a better all around game than he did a year ago. And the two guys that he came up against in Queens were playing the tennis of there lives it’s not that Roddick was playing bad, they were playing unbelievable (read the transcripts and what the commentators were saying) and he still won becasue he fought and came up with the goods when it counted. I mean Manhut beat Nadal, Ljubicic, Clement (who beat Djvkovic) and Bjorkman. And the person who doensn’t even put Roddick in the semis is ridiculous since if you ask almost anyone they will say that Andy is the 2nd best grass court player, only behing Federer, look at his stats and the fact that he has made it to the finals before. And about his serve it may not be as fast as it use to be (by very little)but it is still consistently the fastest on tour and he has tremendous placement and a tremendous second serve. And to say he can’t vary it have you watched him or listened to the commentators talk about his serve , that he can go out wide, into the body, down the line, he can take a some off when you are not expecting it or add a little more to it, no variation, come on now. I’m not saying he will win Wimbledon but to not give him a chance especially with some of your reasoning is just ridiculous.

zarlee Says:

What is this! no really! lol

This article makes no sense,
“If Federer had been on the other side of the draw, then perhaps Roddick could win his first Wimbledon,”…Huh! (confused face) this statement is the equivalent of saying…well uh.. if Roger Federer met Rafael Nadal in the Semis he would have a better chance at Roland Garros…Yeah makes no sense right!

Dear Sean I think your blinded hope for Roddick overcoming Federer and wining Wimbledon last year was a better approach. This “logic” you’ve presented here is just not cutting it.

* Feel free to visit our site and vote for your Wimbledon pick for 2007 *

John2 Says:

Christopher Says:
John, Good post.

I couldn’t agree more. Many of the top players have learned how to break Roddick’s tremendous serve more often. If Roddick has an off day serving – he’s out! Federer and Nadal have other resources to call on.

That says it all. I agree Roddick has not played especially well on grass so far.

Jeremy Says:

I cant believe there are others who picked Berdych to make it to the semis as well, actually, I picked him to lose in the finals – to Federer of course

Jason Alfrey Says:

I heard in Rogers interview that he said his first couple of matches is his warm up and that he hasn’t really practiced since the FO. Although, I love it, I don’t think his opponents do. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone finally stepped up and challenged him.

Angela Says:

Not playing good on grass, really? He won the warm up tournament and won yesterday so how is he not playing good? I know you will bring up last year but honestly last year was a bad year for him all around and he got beat by Murray who was playing extremly well. The two years prior he made it to the finals. And again Roddick has more weapons now, he has worked on his return, has improved his back hand, and feels comfortable around the net, he also has a powerful forehand. It seems you people just repeat what you have heard people in the past say about him and have not realized the improvements that he has made to his game. Most guys in his position would of just packed it up after last year and all the negativity that surrounded him but he didn’t, he worked hard and made his way back up the ranking. I think it is funny everyone who says Nadal is so good on grass before last year he had done nothing on grass and has yet to really prove anything. He is an extremly good player but so is Roddick and deserves more respect than he gets. He may not be #1 but you sure don’t get to #3 in the world by accident either.

JCF Says:

“nadal got the biggest break by avoiding roddick in the semis. he probably won’t go that far though. fish might drown him in the first round.”

Fish just lost to him in straights. Enough hyping Fish please. You’re just putting more pressure on him.

Giner Says:

Angela, have you got Roddick’s phone number yet?

Here’s a tip if you haven’t. His life is about staying positive. He likes to reserve an empty seat to hold the trophy for the return flight, but if he doesn’t win, maybe you can ask for his spare seat?

Samprazzz Says:

Roddick will have his hands full with Tobasco Sauce, Verdasco in the 3rd round. He won’t beat Verdasco. Roddick’s arm is shot.
Did anyone see my man Rafa today? See those returns? He was returning serve one foot inside the baseline and hitting winners. A blistering-hot Federer only hung on to beat him last year in the finals. This year, Rafa will take him in a close one. He’s got all the tools to win on grass, and his lefty spin does crazy stuff on the grass.

Angela Says:

There really is no need to be an a**. I just actually watch him play. And I never said he was going to win I was just pointing out the improvements in his game since everyone else kept continuing to say that he hasn’t.

Roddick has beaten Verdasco before and how exactly is his arm shot? And how did Federer only hang on last year? Yes Rafa took 1 set but Fed took 3.

bored of it Says:


The constant Roddick bashing from tennis-x and its pubescent readers sure does get old after a while.

Vamos Andy Roddick.

Samprazzz Says:

I’m here to eat my crow: Roddick beat Verdasco. Didn’t think Roddie had it in him.

Paula Nechak Says:

Thank goodness Gasquet pulled himself together so I don’t have to watch Roddick grabs his privates on television anymore! People (like Soderling) make fun of Nadal’s butt picking and others, Hewitt’s nose picking but really Roddick has his hands on his ____ like a three-year-old who has to go to the bathroom constantly. Is this supposed to be manly, sporting, threatening or does he need to wear different athletic support?

FloridaMan Says:

I don’t know if I would go to that much of an extreme. I will just say that Roddick lost to Gasquet partly because Gasquet simply caught fire, but also because Roddick simply does not have the best big-match mind out there. Nothing like what Federer, Nadal, or many of the champions of the 80s and 90s had. Not even close. But I will also say that Roddick has probably done more with less than any past number one.

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