No Magic for Roddick in France
by Sean Randall | October 25th, 2007, 7:05 pm

The only thing surprising about Andy Roddick’s loss yesterday to Fabrice Santoro in Lyon was that Roddick even showed up to play in the match. ADHEREL

Roddick has said that one of his goals in his career was to win the Davis cup. With the final against Russia just six weeks or so away it’s a wonder why Roddick even bothered going to France in the first place. I’m not saying his loss to Santoro yesterday was a tank job, but the defeat is not going to keep him up late at night. (Credit to Santoro. How old is that guy!!)

Let’s face it, Roddick has little to gain by playing this time of year in Europe. Unlike his countryman James Blake, Roddick doesn’t need any additional points right now that are available by playing in Madrid, Lyon, or Paris – Roddick has already qualified for Shanghai, and he usually does most of his damage at the Slams, where the most points are. Plus. isn’t he battling some sort of heel ailment? And Andy hasn’t enjoyed the greatest success in France recently. In fact, by my count Roddick’s last three first round losses have all come in France.

So in a backward kind of way credit to him for even playing in Lyon (I’m guessing he had some sort of contractual obligation to play. That is, big bucks at stake!).

In my mind Roddick is best served by simply staying at home, sitting on the couch or on the boat and watching NFL, college football and the World Series while resting for Shanghai and the D-Cup final. That said, I would be surprised if he remained in Europe another week to play in the Paris event.

Regarding Paris, it will be interesting to see just how many top players do attend after last year’s debacle when five of the top 6 players withdrew. So, will there be another exodus?

If Roger Federer reaches the final in Basel I wonder if he’ll play in Paris after two full weeks of competition. Not to dampen Fed fans in Paris, but when was the last time Federer played three straight weeks on the Tour?

Novak Djokovic and Nikolay Davydenko I think will play, as will guys like James Blake, Tommy Haas and Thomas Berdych, who are all in the Shanghai chase, but Rafael Nadal is always a question mark with his injuries.

And I have to mention Olivier Rochus who was really up against it today vs. Mardy Fish in Lyon. Rochus brushed aside 43 aces and six match points from Fish to beat the American 17-15 in a third set tiebreak. Wow! Great job by the little guy!

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34 Comments for No Magic for Roddick in France

张爱罗 Says:

Why does Federer play Basel at the risk of Paris? That makes no sense.

His losses in Montreal and Madrid also made no sense.

I wonder what is going on with the Fed?

Ecublens Says:

To play in his hometown even though the calendar is not appropriate at all is a beautiful gesture.

This is the proof that Roger is an hearted and faithful person, unlike some people here argue on a regular basis.

Giner Says:

“If Roger Federer reaches the final in Basel I wonder if he’ll play in Paris after two full weeks of competition. Not to dampen Fed fans in Paris, but when was the last time Federer played three straight weeks on the Tour?”

Don’t know if it was the most recent, but in 06 he played Roland Garros till the finals, then went to the grass warmup in Germany.

“Why does Federer play Basel at the risk of Paris? That makes no sense.”

Because it’s in his hometown. That means more to him than the points he doesn’t need, from Paris.

Why does Roddick play Houston clay event at the expense of Monte Carlo masters?

“His losses in Montreal and Madrid also made no sense.”

He’s human. He got beaten by someone who played better than him on the day. Is that so hard to understand? He’s a good player, but even good players lose matches. Give his opponents some credit.

Michael Chen Says:

Totally agree Giner; and kind of wonder the other just saying things and not following things.

John (1) Says:

Do you think Andy should be fined $2,000 for “lack of best effort”?

andrea Says:

That is a strange fine – lack of best effort. how can you honestly and objectively judge that as a third party not even playing?

Better yet, how do you, as a top tennis player, try to pull off that you are trying really hard but actually are not trying really hard?

I’m too lazy to look it up, but if someone can explain how and why this fine exists and is imposed, given the lack of objectivity of it’s call from a third party, that would be great.

Sean Randall Says:

Agreed. Federer should play Basel. That’s his town!

As for Roddick, no fine. I’m sure he gave a good effort, but I also don’t think he was terribly concerned over the outcome. If he does play Paris then clearly I am wrong.

grendel Says:

If Roddick wasn’t concerned about the outcome, he (reportedly) gave an odd way of showing this – ranting, raving, treating the umpire to the old McEnroe bullying technique.

This is one of the great differences between a Safin and a Roddick – Safin gives himself a bad time. Roddick will have a go at anyone rather than admit to personal responsibility.

Not very nice.

zola Says:

I am surprised at the fine to Davydenko and I think it was not fair to him. The same way Roddick could have been fined. What about Djoko in Wimbledon Semi-final?

The interesting part is thatthe umpire thinks he caught him tanking a match? and fines him what? $2000? it is ridiculus.

I don’t know which European event Roddick cares for. Has he ever won a tournament in Europe?

I bet Fed will pull out of Paris. He will ever play 3 weeks in a row. let alone ahead of Shanghai.

zola Says:

sorry. in my last sentence “ever” should read “never”!

funches Says:


Somehow, you’re forgetting about Roddick’s 2005 Lyon title. It’s his only one in Europe.

d Says:

Roddick also won St Polten in, I think 2003, European and clay!!

grendel Says:

Zola – it’s not just unfair to Davydenko (how on earth do you prove someone is tanking? Davydenko’s sharp drop in form could have had one of a number of causes), but you have to wonder about what the umpire was up to. Don’t tell me he wasn’t influenced by all the current hoo-ha. And that’s weak. I’m not weeping at the sum, and I don’t suppose that’s why Davydenko was crying either.$2000 is to davydenko what an ice cream would be to you or me – well, me anyway, dunno about you. But the aspersion on his character is unfair.

What do you think of the Paris draw, Zola? Bit topheavy, isn’t it? If your man Rafa doesn’t get to the final this time, he needs to, well – well, I’m lost for words – get a good spanking, perhaps.

zola Says:

I didn’t know Roddick won a title in Europe. Thanks for the mention.

I agree with you about the umpire. Can this be a way for them to get back to a player they don’t like? Someone mentioned in tennis.con that the player’s association should investigate this and ask for the fine to be nulled. I can’t agree more.

Davydenko is not the strongest or fittest on tour. last year he played lots of tournaments and then in Shanghai he just could not play the third set against Rafa. same thing happened. his legs did not cooperate. I am just stunned.

Paris draw,
Oh, perhaps the tennis Gods decided to look at my guy this time. I am honestly happy that Andy Murray and Djoko are on Fed’s side. My guess is Fed will withdraw from Paris and Andy might be too tired to play another week. So, maybe it will be between Rafa and Djoko.

For Rafa, the first match agaist Mezler or Volandri should be the hardest one. After that he can meet Youzhny , who is very much in form of Gonzo…

I really don’t care if he does not reach the final. I think it is more important for him to stay healthy and have a good run in Shanghai.

zola Says:

d you are right about that.
I also forgot that he won Queens club this year.

Anyway, I just decided to look at his ATP page: these are his titles:

2001–Atlanta, Houston,Washington;
2002–Memphis, Houston;
2003–St. Poelten, London / Queen’s Club, Indianapolis, Montreal / Toronto, Cincinnati TMS, US Open;
2004–San Jose, Miami AMS, London / Queen’s Club, Indianapolis;
2005–San Jose, Houston, London / Queen’s Club, Washington, Lyon; 2006–ATP Masters Series Cincinnati;
2007–London / Queen’s Club, Washington

So, althogether he has about 6 European titles. 4 in Queens Club, one in Lyon and one St. Poelten, London .

FloridaMan Says:

Yes, Roddick has won several tournaments in Europe. As for his game..well…I think that in today’s game, everyone hits with a lot of power, and power is a must. Therefore, the ways that a player stands out is efficiency of groundstroke, and just knowing what shots to hit at the big points. And if your strokes are not efficient, then you have to be as strong as Nadal to consistently hit the ball hard and deep like that, with the kind of heavy spin he hits with. To me, Roddick is neither an efficient groundstroker, and he is not the best big-point player. Sure, he’s worked on getting to the net more, but even with that, there’s a time to do it in a match.

grendel Says:

For some reason, I’ve only just noticed – Zola says Nadal’s first match, against Melzer or Volandri, could be the hardest. Volandri! Come off it, the guy never wins anything outside of clay. There surely can’t be any doubt that Nadal will be giving himself a good, long kick if he doesn’t reach the final this time. It is charming to see his fans so protective of him but, you know, he’s a big boy now. If the gods have decided to look at Nadal this time, it is incumbent upon him to accept the gift. They might not be so kind next time. I’d guess that Nadal understands that, and even if Zola doesn’t care, the Spaniard will be one unhappy bunny if he doesn’t make the final.

zola Says:

I would be very upset if Rafa loses a match on clay or even on slow hard court like IW or early in Wimbledon. But it is no secret that indoor carpet is his worst surface. I don’t expect him to make a leap right now. There is not much point. Federer is already No 1 and Rafa is in Shanghai. If reaching the final means injury and no play in Shanghai, I don’t want that.

On clay, I am very confident of Nadal. he is another player. I have been following his game for two years and have learnt to take things one match at a time. If he wins great. If not, I won’t be disappointed. He had a good draw in US Open too and had a hard draw in IW. It really doesn’t matter. He needs to stay healthy for the last two events of the year.

He is just 21 and has lots of time to improve. If he stays healthy and continue mprovig the way he did last year, his victories on hard surfaces will come too.So I am just being patient not protctive!

grendel Says:

You make a good case, Zola. And imagine: Volandri won!

Sean Randall Says:

Haha. This time of year anything is possible. So yeah, I guess I too could see Volandri upsetting Rafa. More likely though, I’ll pick Karlovic over Federer.

zola Says:


Glad to be able to explain why I feel how I feel. Nevertheless, I am crossing my fingers for Rafa’s win tomorow!

I just picked Karlovic and Santoro to win tomorrow! what about that!

Kara L. Says:

If a defeat to Fabrice Santoro isn’t going to keep Roddick up late at night then something is seriously wrong. Man is this blog biased.

Sean Randall Says:

Zola, you may be on to something. If I had to bet upsets, I’d take Karlovic first (to beat Federer), then Tsonga over Gasquet, then Volandri to beat Nadal and then Santoro over Djokovic.

I haven’t heard, but if Fabrice is planning to retire at year-end (meaning after his next loss) then I would say he’ll beat Novak.

I would also lean to Mahut beating Blake and Baghdatis defeating Ljubicic. Let’s see!

Daniel Says:

Djoko collapsed!

Will the witch be unleashed?! (Here in Brazil today is Halloween)

zola Says:

I am 50% right till now! The other 50% is in the hands of Ivo.

Djoker said he recently had foot surgery. ( two weeks ago). But he was in Madrid two weeks ago and I don’t know who can play in a tournament right after a surgery. was that the appearence money that made him play? The bonus? or the surgery was nothing serious?

He can’t lose a match and then draw sympathy by something like that.

Fed said once that he was a joke when it came to his retirements with injuries. I hope this one is not one of them.

zola Says:

Apart from that,
what a joy is to watch Santoro play. I hope he does not retire soon.

kiki Says:

I thought Djokovic had oral surgery to remove wisdom teeth

Mitchell Says:

Umm…be plays Basel because he is from Basel. I think your hometown crowd would be a bit upset if you snubbed them.

grendel Says:

I’m not sure, but I think Kara L meant Roddick didn’t tank against Santoro. Given his reported behaviour, that certainly seems to be so, unless he was putting on a first class covering up act. And Djokovic didn’t tank against Santoro – he was just, as Peter Fleming pointed out, almost certainly out of practice. And Santoro was Santoro – an utter joy, I so agree Zola. Nor, as has been suggested he might, did Federer tank against the mightily improving Karlovic. He had to pull out his best stops to win – and he did. And Fed will certainly not tank against NMalbandian. If Nalbandian wins, it will be because he deserves to. And given how well Nalbie is playing – after the hiccup of Basle, he’s back to his best form – I think he is entitled to be considered slight favourite against Fed. He understands Fed’s game better than anyone – and seems to like it. This should be a cracker.

max619 Says:

Djoko should be fined $2,000 for lack of effort…against 35 year old Santoro he was a Djoke.

If Nalbandian thinks he’ll beat Fed twice in a row like Cañas did earlier this year, dream on.

Murray might have a shot at Fed though.

zola Says:

I want to stay on the cautios side and think that Djoko said he has tooth surgery and the press wrote it as foot surgery. that’s the only thing that makes sense. Otherwise no one (maybe superman or Batman!) can have a surgery on their foot and then run on it after two weeks.

Yes, credit to Fed for not tanking against Ivo. I love Ivo’s face. such a gentle, innocent face.
again I agree that Fed would not want to lose to someoe twice in a row. so there is some pressure there. I am undecided here. But if Nalby wins, he should win the tournament.

zola Says:

sorry for my typos. i meant cautious

Sean Randall Says:

Zola, Nadal’s looking real good.

I think that was Ivo’s best shot at beating Fed. Despite the slow court (it seemed slow), Ivo actually broke Fed for the first time in his career and big the guy is getting much better from the backcout. With a game like that, I see no reason why Ivo can’t make into the Top 15/Top 10.

FloridaMan Says:

I sometimes wonder if Roddick is slowly losing interest in being at the very top of the game. And how much longer is Jimmy Connors going to want to be his coach? I can see the headlines coming soon: “Connors departs Roddick as coach….”

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