BAD-ANDY RODDICK READY FOR OPEN CHALLENGE — Goran Ivanisevic had his “Good Goran” and “Bad Goran” days. But where Bad Goran usually produced bad results, Andy Roddick, like his coach Jimmy Connors, has the ability to turn a bad attitude into a bad time for opponents. If Roddick’s pre-US Open press meeting Sunday was any indication, Roddick is ready to take no prisoners at the US Open. Entering the press room, Roddick briefly spoke with a USTA official regarding the length of the conference, affirming “Oh, it’s gonna be short..” but the assembled media was in the talking mood. Roddick was critical of reporters’ questions that he found too vague and laughed at other questions, but also displayed his trademark snappy wit on numerous occasions, replying to a question regarding the Saturday ATP player meeting and the Davydenko gambling issue with “I don’t know, I was playing rock-paper-scissors with another guy in the back” before going into a well-thought-out explanation on the ATP’s process of dealing with the investigation. Roddick ended the conference by doing a one-on-one conference with Australian radio, then lambasting his ATP media handler, “You didn’t tell me about this, and we’ve been arranging this *** all week!” Roddick will need some Bad-Andy-ness during the fortnight as he is defending runner-up ranking points, but is scheduled to meet world No. 1 Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. I’ve spoken with other media members who feel Roddick may have been a little more effective years back when he pulled the trigger more on the forehand rather than trying to “work the point” while opponents key on his backhand. I asked Roddick if he was making more of a conscious effort to work the point. “I don’t know,” Roddick said. “You know, when I’m playing well, I feel like I can — I have the ability to work the point a little bit more.” He added that it’s not as simple as “working the point” when facing a different opponent each day. “You know, it’s all part of basic strategy,” Roddick said. “Against some guys you’re going to be able to be a little bit more patient, against some guys you’re going to have to take some risks.”
HOW TO BEAT ROGER FEDERER or THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINNING AND JUST LOOKING GOOD — Serb Novak Djokovic knows how to beat Roger Federer — and Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick, as he displayed en route to the title at the Masters Series-Canada — but he’s not going to tell you (or can’t). “Well, everybody’s asking that,” Djokovic says. “I cannot explain you by the words. You will have to play him on the court and then see how it looks. it’s difficult to play him…I lost four times, but put away the negative thoughts and just got into the match thinking of winning. It was not the case in the last four matches. I was just trying to prove to the people that I’m playing good tennis, that I’m talented. In Montreal it was another thing, I tried to win.” The “Djoker” also admitted me does a good impression of Federer when goofing off on the practice court. “I don’t think he saw it,” Djokovic said. “He has to come to one of my practices. Maybe if we practice together, I do a joke.” While the media has been goading Federer to name Djokovic as the top contender, the Swiss won’t bite: “At the moment you would have to probably say Djokovic and [Andy] Murray,” Federer said of the young contenders. “At the same time I like [Richard] Gasquet’s game better than those. It’s my opinion. [Tomas] Berdych’s got a huge game. [Marcos] Baghdatis has announced himself already a couple years ago with the finals at the Australian Open. Then there’s other guys like maybe [Juan Martin] Del Potro who is going to come through. I think there’s going to be a few very soon, a lot of them in the Top 10.”
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