Ruthless Roddick Plays to Win
by Sean Randall | February 25th, 2008, 3:19 pm

As many of you know I’m big NFL football guy. Love the game, the competition and every now and then someone says something interesting. One the memorable riffs I’ve heard was from then NY Jets coach Herman Edward, who during a press conference in 2002 made it crystal clear that “you play (sports) to win the game.” Simple as can be. We play to win. And I think that philosophy applies in tennis, and specifically to Andy Roddick, who I believe carries with him that same passion and focus, he plays to win. ADHEREL
Now I know Roddick also draws a lot of heat and venom from fans, critics, journalists and bloggers (even me sometimes), but the guy lays it out on the court every time out there.

And love him or hate him you have to give Roddick his fair due. At just 25 he’s already put together one hell of a career resume:

Roddick’s a sure-fire, first ballot Hall of Famer.

He’s won the Triple Crown of tennis – finished as a year-end No. 1, scored a Grand Slam title and won the Davis Cup.

He’s the last guy before Federer to rank No. 1 (a good trivia question no less).

He’s got the fastest serve ever recorded at 155mph.

He’s downright comedic at times. Remember his press conference after Federer wiped him out at the Australian Open last year.

He’s big into charitable causes, and he seems to carry himself the right way off the court.

And while top dog Roger Federer’s been rolling with longtime girlfriend Mirka, Roddick’s been making the most of his stardom by getting it on with movie stars (Mandy Moore), swimsuit models (Brooklyn Decker) and even WTA starlets (Maria Sharapova allegedly). Not bad for a scrawny kid from Nebraska.

Sure they are more talented, better all-around players than Andy in the game right now. But in my mind, if I needed someone to win a single match for me and Federer or Rafael Nadal weren’t answering their phone, I’d probably have pick Roddick.

Yet with all the good that comes with Roddick, there’s also the bad.

Last week Roddick drew the ire of many for his apparent bullying of 18-year-old Kei Nishikori in his second round win in San Jose. (I should add that thankfully Andy won San Jose preventing Radek Stepanek from breaking out that freaky worm dance again.) I didn’t watch the match, and maybe the reports were indeed exaggerated, but broke out some of his on-court intimidation tactics en route to victory.

Much like his coach Jimmy Connors did before him, Roddick enjoys strutting his stuff, smack-talking his opponents and making it abundantly clear that when he’s not playing guys named Federer, Nadal, Safin or engaged in battles with his fellow American friends, the court is his, that he’s the boss. (Now c’mon, wouldn’t we all love to see him try to drop his act on Federer or Nadal?)

If you are offended by such antics from Roddick I completely understand. If you want to call him in an obnoxious asshole or a jerk for his routine that’s fair. The guy’s not trying to or going to, for that matter, win the sportsmanship award anytime soon. But what Roddick is trying to do is win the match in whatever way possible, within the rules. And if that means he needs to verbally attack the opponent, than that’s the measure he’ll take.

Like it or not, at least the guy owns up to it.

Said Roddick after the win over Nishikori: “Tonight, I just needed to make my presence felt a little. Make him think about something other than how well he’s been playing…. I’ve been a brat for a long time. This isn’t something that came along in the last year and a half with Jim. … Things were happening for him without him thinking so I wanted him to think about other stuff and not how well he’s playing. There was nothing personal in it. He’s probably not that happy with me for doing that. But I don’t need any young friends.”

Well, Jimmy may or may not have given you the manual on how to act like a brat on court, but Andy, I’m sure he’s not stopping you from doing it. And for Connors, there’s no reason for him to do so.

I honestly get the sense that Roddick feels that against some players he needs to make his “presence felt” to give himself a better look at a win or win at all.

Fact is, Roddick’s serve is being returned more and more each year, and his forehand seems to have lost some of the sting it once had. Wins are not coming any easier for Roddick, and he’s finding it increasingly tougher to make an impression on his opponents on court, and that’s where this gamesmanship comes in. And that’s why I think we’ll only see more of this ruthless, aggressive behavior from Roddick in future.

Roddick also understands that tennis is such a thinking game, that tennis pros operate on such a mental tightrope that any kind of disruption to their concentration – be it an amusing comment or an in-your-face trash talk remark – could through off their rhythm and ultimately through off their game. As Roddick said, make the other guy think about other stuff and not just how well he’s playing.

Is it a dirty move? A form of gamesmanship? Probably. But there’s no rule against it directly. So if you play Roddick you might want to prepare to be verbally blasted and deal with it. Crush Andy’s serve back. Call him Mandy. Tell him his backhand’s crap. Something. It’s the pros. It’s mano y mano. Gladiators. Heck, in other sports like the NFL, MLB and NBA players trash talk all the time, why not tennis? And it’s not like Roddick’s totally abusing existing rules as some players do by calling injury timeouts and using delay tricks.
That all said, even though I’m not a big Roddick fan per se, I actually support his bully campaign. As despicable as it may be, it’s good fun to watch and I really hope he doesn’t stop by winning matches without it. For my money Roddick’s great value. And yeah, his bullying shows what an arse he can be, but it also shows just how much the guy wants to win. And that’s why he plays. To win.

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92 Comments for Ruthless Roddick Plays to Win

Ellen Mooring Says:

I disagree with you. And it IS Jimmy’s influence. One can be a really good player without acting like that. I don’t believe it is the real Andy. I’m ready for the sweet Andy to come back while playing the best he can. I’m old enought to remember Rod Laver. He proved you can be the best and still a gentleman.

penise Says:

i don’t mind the bragging and intimidation but he loses all the time to Top Ten players, and he has only won one Slam, and that was five long years ago, so you are going overboard saying you would pick him after Fed and Nadal

Mia Says:


You are a bit late. Should have written this article days ago. Now we have closed our discussion on this subject.

grendel Says:

Yes, of course, Sean, trash talk goes on in many sports – including the so-called gentlemen’s game, cricket. There, it’s called “sledging”, and the Australians are past masters at it – though it seems that the Indians are catching up quick.

However, it is one thing to intimidate an opponent. You might want to argue that if the opponent can’t handle it, he should seek a gentler way of making a living. But bullying the umpire – there, I draw the line. I’m not talking about a little bit of a rant. Many players do that, including Federer and, memorably (and astonishingly) Bjorkman at Wimbie last year. For those who didn’t see it, the umpire overuled a shot in Berdych’s favour from a position where he could not possibly have had a good sighting of the ball. It was at a crucial point in the match, and the placid Swede was incensed, and gave the umpire the full benefit of his opinion, first in loud bellows, and continuing in mutterings at the chair. Although I wanted Berdych to win, my sympathies were entirely with Bjorkman on this occasion – he had been the victim of a rank injustice which possibly turned the match. One has to add, a little guiltily perhaps, that it was pretty funny too, just because of the sheer incongruousness of it. Mild mannered Bjorkman!

However, when Roddick rants at the umpire, it is nearly always manufactured. Livid with the way he is playing, being beaten up, he takes it out on the umpire. This is contemptible. There is nothing the umpire can do, he just has to absorb this crap. The last player to do this on an industrial scale was John McEnroe, and I despised him equally at the time. (Ironically, he’s one of my favourites now, that’s how it goes). People talk about a Safin or a Haase, e.g., exploding. They explode against themselves, they don’t take out their frustration on an innocent who is not in a position to defend himself. No umpire would have lightly penalised McEnroe, such was the drawing power of the man – and he knew it, and played upon this. Roddick does the same.

“Wins are not coming any easier for Roddick, and he’s finding it increasingly tougher to make an impression on his opponents on court” – Sean. Well, this may be generally true, but I watched the final with Stepanek, a gifted player who can give anyone trouble. Roddick was very impressive against him. The serve, obviously, (he didn’t concede a single break point), but he did some wonderful backhands – perhaps all that work is finally paying off. Admittedly, it was a very fast court which was in his favour; even so, on the strength of this performance, you’ve got to think he’s got within him a big win on a big occasion, just waiting to break out. I reckon the big three will be very happy to avoid him at IW and Miami.

Tennis Says:

I think you should get in line Mr. Randall. Don’t forget that Mr. P McEnroe wants to marry Roddick.

Mia Says:

Heck, in other sports like the NFL, MLB and NBA players trash talk all the time, why not tennis?

Than the crowd in tennis should be given the right to boo, cheer, jump up and down, wave balloons during points. Now that would be fun. I can only imagine what would tennis match look like in Greece for example where they are so passionate when it comes to sports. Why not, other athletes do it.

joe Says:

I also agree with some of what you say, Sean. I’ve lost so much respect for Roddick as a player and a person now. Yes, he does do charity work, but nearly all the players do, if you dont you seem like a horrible person. The taunting of the young Japanese was not acceptable, real tennis fans do not want to see that on court, they want to see great tennis. Roddick is overrated I think, and has even overachieved.24 titles seems alot for being reasonably less talented than other players in the top 10 or even the top 60. He has the great serve of course and good forehand but his backhand is decidedly average. He has been number 1 in the world for only a couple of months and its not like he was the unprecedented tour ranking points leader at the time either.
And picking Roddick if Fed or Nadal didnt answer your call………………….cough.
And I know I am sounding really negative about Roddick but San Jose isnt a major title either. And none of the major top 10 players play it.

After all that its only fair to give him credit for what he has managed to achieve. After all. None of use here achieved what he has.

Krissy Says:

“Yes, he does do charity work, but nearly all the players do, if you dont you seem like a horrible person. ”

Joe… You don’t have to be a fan of the man, but give him the respect that he’s due. Yes, a lot of the players DO charity work, but how many of them do as MUCH as Roddick? Not only does he have his own charity, but he takes his off season by supporting others as well. Andy is continuously giving back. He doesn’t do it to be seen as ‘not a horrible person’, but because as a man, he is a giving one. What he does on the court is one thing, but don’t degrade him off of it.

Von Says:

“And I know I am sounding really negative about Roddick but San Jose isnt a major title either. And none of the major top 10 players play it.”

Considering Sampras, Agassi, Federer, et al., won about 50 per cent of their titles at the smaller toournaments, this statement is lame. Look at the stats. The Americans flock to play at the American tournaments because they don’t like to travel overseas. It’s less tiresome and they feel at home with their American crowd. The South American clay courters play in South America and the Spaniards play in Spain and the surrounding countries. How about just stating you don’t like and disrespect Roddick and leave it at that, minus the semantics. Whether you agree or disagree, Roddick has a good game, and been in the Top 10 for 5 years consistently.

I’ve never seen the words “one dimensional” bandied around except in Roddick’s critics’ description of his supposed ‘overrated’ game. He has gotten to several GS finals, semi-finals and quarterfinals, and, had it not been for the alleged present day ‘multi-dimensional’ Federer, would have won. Roddick is not the exception here, it’s nearly all of the players that are stopped by Federer.

Von Says:

Roddick’s serve is better suited to a slower court. Considering he won on a fast court is a great achievement. He has been re-inventing his forehand and backhand, and has selectively been going up to the net on his terms. His alleged ‘one dimensional’ game is moving toward a ‘multi-dimensional’game. His critics can scoff at this, but he WILL beat Federer again. I’m betting on this and then they can plug up their gaping mouths with a scoop of ‘crow’.

Atta boy Andy, give ’em hell and some more hell! Then they’ll really have something to ‘crow’ about.

TD Says:

And sure enough here is TennisX trolling for comments again.

For the record Buenos Aires isn’t a big title either. All of the top players were spread out this week and most chose to play tournaments closer to home.

Sean Randall Says:

Grendel, I share your sentiments. I think Roddick could sneak away with another Slam as early as this year. Maybe Wimbledon – he’ll again be on the short-list of favorites – but I think depending on how things shake down at the Olympics, he might be able to bag the US Open. If the “big three” go deep in Beijing and Andy slips up early there, the added rest for Andy coupled with the fatigue from the Big Three might give him the edge.

As for his rants on the umps, very true. He does like to blow off some steam on them, no doubt. Was it during the Australian he made a remark to the ballkids, “Stay in school, you don’t want to grow up to be a chair umpire,” or something like that. Sure he’s a jerk, but give credit, it was a good line!

I didn’t watch any of San Jose but the win over Stepanek is a good one. Roddick must be playing fairly well and if he maintains he can certainly present some problems for the big guns next month.

And Joe, true San Jose might not have been a major title, but Roddick – unlike Blake or Haas – can smell blood at the smaller events, and against the lesser competition at least he usually comes through and upholds his favorite status.

Penise, out of curiosity who would you pick to win a match for you in that case?

Mia, I think someday we’ll have full-on cheering during points at the pro level. Maybe not in this century, but I think it will happen one day. They say (not me, “they” whoever they are!) the toughest thing in pro sports is to hit a baseball, and those guys do it with 40,000 fans screaming at them. How much different is that from returning a serve?

Von, as for Andy beating Roger again. If they play enough times I think it’s likely. Roddick will always have a huge serve to rely on even into his 30s. Whereas Roger could struggle once as he ages as his game is based so much on timing and quickness rather than brute power. Who knows what will really happen, but if it plays out like that than Andy should be able to get another win or two down the road.

TD, what would you like me to write about? Maybe rehash a wire story of Sharapova’s win? Talk about the upcoming Zagreb event? Get into all the nuances of racket stringing? I can’t speak for the rest of the writers on this site, but so tell me. I’m all ears.

Larry Says:

Roddick did the same thing to Tsonga at the 2007 Australian, I have no problem with it. His forehand has lost a lot – it’s not one of the ten hardest anymore, watch a dvd of him from summer of 2003 and you see how silly the claim is that he’s improved since then. His serve is also slower and his toss gives away where he’s going, so I think another slam for him is about as likely as apples starting to rise when they break off from the tree.

Von Says:

“As for his rants on the umps, very true. He does like to blow off some steam on them, no doubt.”

For the selective memory group, let us not forget Federer’s rants at, and his berating of, the umpire at the ’07 Wimbledon v. Nadal. He cursed at and berated the umpire consistently, during several changeovers, and his statement, “This f******g hawkeye is killing me.” Additionally, Federer rants most of the times when his racquet can’t click simultaneously with his brain and is given a free pass.

grendel Says:

Sean, noone questions Roddick’s wit – and he displays it without rehearsal, too. But his bullying of umpires is something else. Only someone who needs to see an optician, or possibly a psychiatrist, could claim that anyone comes remotely near him on this score. Remotely. You have to go back to McEnroe. In fact, I would argue Roddick is worse, on these grounds. McEnroe did undoubtedly indulge in gross gamesmanship and somehow managed to channel his rage into a better performance. On the other hand, he lived very, very much on the edge – he was temperamental in the way exceptionally talented people sometimes are, and he would sometimes appear to be almost deranged; this was definitely not a put on. McEnroe himself used to say the umpires should have been tougher on him. It was as if he wanted someone else to take the responsibility for his behaviour, which he scarcely understood, off his shoulders. Roddick, of course, who is not in the least bit unbalanced, has no such excuse.

Joe says “(Roddick’s) backhand is decidedly average”. That is true, usually. All I can say is, it was working like a dream against Stepanek. Roddick cannot beat any of the great players when they are on song, he just doesn’t have the talent. But what he does have is a quality of sheer indomitability. He’s like the kid who gets endlessly punched to the floor, and who endlessly comes back for more, until eventually, by sheer persistence, he clocks his opponent one. And Roddick has persistence like nobody has persistence. One day, the cards will shuffle out favourably for him, and he will be rewarded.

Daniel Says:

Roddick’s bad attitude on court his entire career has made him get into a very convenient point where he can do anything and people will let go, because we think: OK this is just another one from Roddick’s!

That is a sad thought for a remarkable player, specially when you think that he is only 25 and is already needing do win matches yelling.

LK Pratt Says:

For all of Roddick’s bad behavior on court (and I agree that there is plenty of it), let’s not forget the other side of the coin such as the clay court match where he conceded a serve against him that had been called out, acknowledging that the serve was indeed in and therefore an ace for his opponent. He went on to lose that match and the turning point seems to have been that particular game … While much of his behavior is unsportsmanlike, he does also exhibit sportsmanlike behavior that is easy to overlook ….

Mia Says:

LK Pratt,

You are absolutely right. It is easy to overlook this. and I`ve seen Roddick applaud Stepanek on one of his great shots. I was really happy to see this.
I`ve seen Djokovic as well as Tipsarevic do that on many occassions and not just on clay.

I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

I dare tennis-x to write a positive story about Andy Roddick and praise his top ten talents instead of always cutting him down.

I then triple dog dare tennis-x to call Federer out on his shallow, vain behavior the next time he has a hissy fit over shotspot and curses at an umpire (which happens more often than you think). Write a whole story about it and put Federer’s obscenity in the headline.

Let’s see how unbiased you really are, sean.

deb Says:

Sean, something you could write about is the American No 1 David Wagner. Ranked 1 in both singles and doubles for Quad Wheelchair and has an interesting rivalry with Peter Norfolk (GB) who he beat at last years masters but lost to in the Aus Open final earlier this year.

Norfolk is the current Olympic champion so any thoughts on who might take the gold in Beijing?

As Mia pointed out Roddick was discussed at length just a few days ago so something different to talk/think about would make a nice change.

grendel Says:

Roddick did applaud one of Stepanek’s shots. But then he was winning easily. Stepanek applauded one of Roddick’s shots, too – that would have been a little more difficult, considering the beating he was taking. The player I have noticed consistently applauding his opponent, even when losing, is Djokovic. Who, as we all know, is not averse to a spot of gamesmanship from time to time. And yes, it is true that Roddick was extremely sportsmanlike on a clay court match – against Verdasco – just as Mia says. The cynic in me wonders if he’d have done the same on grass, where he could legitimately expect to go a lot further. Even so, it was a creditable action. Roddick is certainly not a monster. But he lets himself very badly down on occasion.

rogers twin sister Says:

It appears Roddick is becoming a tennis thug, then. Sharapova isn’t far behind.

SG Says:

When it’s all said and done, you have to be who you are. The fact that Roddick struts out antics against lower ranked players but then turns into a little angel when he plays Federer doesn’t really say anything good about him. His best tennis just doesn’t match up with Fed at 90%. It just doesn’t. Taking it out on other players doesn’t wash with me. If this is Connors’ influence, then I say turf him. He doesn’t lose to Federer on style points. He loses because he lacks the tennis mechanics to beat Federer.

Roddick thought that Jimmy could help him beat Federer. Jimmy hasn’t changed his forehand. His backhand is a little better, but not significantly better. His serve, though ferociously hard, sometimes lets him down in tie-breaks. And it’s not like his fitness is the best either. Jimmy was a great player. One of the 10 best of all time. He was a thinker and an intimidator on the court. His game was so much better than Andy’s (…except for the serve of course). The problem is, it’s Roddick playing Federer, not the 1974 version of Connors. I don’t even think Connors is all that committed to coaching. How does that help?

It comes down to a very simple point. You can rant and rave and jaw and do all of that but if you cannot hit a tennis ball through the court, you will eat Fed’s dust. If Andy wants to dent Federer, he needs some mechanical upgrades. And he needs a coach who can teach those mechanics fast. Wilander learned how to hit the ball flatter. If I were Andy, I would call Robert Lansdorp, and I wouldn’t call collect!

Sean Randall Says:

Grendel, Roddick’s bad towards the umps, but I don’t think anywhere near McEnroe or even a guy like Nastase. Hewitt’s pretty bad. That said, I think Roddick’s outbursts against the chair are more orchestrated than those of say Johnny Mac’s.

Arguing with the chair is in itself a fine, dangerous art. Some guys like Mac and even Hewitt can channel it the right way and improve their performance, whereas for many (I think Mardy Fish blew his match arguing a bad call at the Australian last month) once they lose their focus, their zone it’s very hard for them to get back on track and regain their form. I don’t think Roddick’s focus changes for better or for worse after a heated exchange, but his opponent’s concentration may dip. And maybe that dip is what he hopes for.

And your statement, “Roddick is certainly not a monster. But he lets himself very badly down on occasion.” rings very true.

LK Pratt, good pickup on the Verdasco overrule.

Deb, thanks for the tips. I’ll look into it. I believe Ester Verger (not 100% sure of the spelling) dominates her sport (wheelchair tennis) like no other athlete in any other sport.

Against my better judgment, I’ll even respond “I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies” if only because I like your name. Am I not giving Roddick some praise, even much praise in my post? Am I even cutting him down?? Roddick can be an undeniable ass on court – even he admits it – but he’s had a pretty incredible career and he deserves respect for it.

As for cutting down Federer, if you read back through some of what I have written in the past I’ve taken plenty of shots at Federer. I’ve called him out for wearing that white jackets, rolling with Mirka, talking to Sampras, not owning a house, being arrogant, spending too much time texting Tiger, turning down interviews after losses and showing up at Super Bowls when he should be practicing. Sorry I haven’t attacked him for his chair ump abuse. Please alert me next time he does and I’ll let him have it.

Von Says:

Well, the armchair analysts are out, with their opinions, bearing in mind that opinion differs from perception. The opinion that those of us who do not perceive Roddick to be an enfant terible’ need an optician or a psychiatrist. Should be an opthamologist and a psychiatrist. Our paralells should be consistent. However, it’s these ‘analysts’ I find to be the most overbearing. It all comes down to our likes and dislikes.

No come comes near to Roddick. I think this is an ambiguous statement. As Sean pointed out Nastase, nicknamed “nasty Nastase”, and for good reason. However, he did what he had to do and won. In the end, I guess, from his point of view that’s all that matters. We were also enlightened that McEnroe’s behavior was, or is due to his mind being ‘unbalanced” or “deranged”. LOL. What a revelation. I’m pretty sure that Johnny MC would be enlightened to finally find an answer to his on-court problem. Lord have mercy.

Applauding on grass. Clutching at straws. Roddick has always been a sporting loser. he not only applauds when he is winning. Anyone remembers that heartbreaking loss at Wimbledon to Gasquet in ’07. What did Roddick do when the match ended, he jumped the net to congratulate Gasquet. I thought that was class and grace personified. The old roots of tennis are still admired by a few, and it shows this ‘punk’, has class and is cognizant of his tennis roots. I’ll bet some present day fans probably dd not understand the significance of his action. Everytime Roddick loses he always wishes his opponent ‘good luck’ with the balance of the match. What does the mighty Federer do when he losesz?

Sean, i’m glad you mentioned Federer’s rolling with Mirka. Someone mentioned Roddick is not a good role model. I’ll stick my neck out and say, if any young kid wants a role model in life, other than tennis, it shouldn’t be Federer. What self-respecting man and woman, who is is the limelight of the world, shacks up for 8 years and parades this lifestyle on center stage? Whatever happened to the sanctity of marriage. 8 years, Lord help us. He has also stated that he is ‘scared of being married because of the divorce rate in tennis marriages’. What a save face statement. For those who overlook this, good for them. Rationalize how much you want, I think it’s appaling. However, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. This comes under the umbrealla of ‘celebrity entitlement’, I guess.

It was stated that Roddick does not have talent. Oh well, perception again. I wonder how he won 24 titles. I guess he tiptoed through the tulips. Ridicule him and shred him, however, there are those of us who like his flawed tennis and, I speak for myself on this, I like a flesh and blood human being who has foibles and frailties as opposed to a well-oiled machine or a robot. I suppose you all know what happens to a computer when the chips go berserk. Xo;,./+

Dr. Death Says:

If we take this exchange and the last one that so many people responded on when the Roddick outburst occurred, we have a book.

Keep in mind this “going beserk” on the courts is a plus or a minus depending on the player. I suspect these are more self motivational than aimed at a particular person. John Mac and Jimmy Connors used this most effectively to raise their games. That is why they did it.

Nastase self destructed because of his temper. I used to go to matches in his era and I watched one of the most beautiful tennis players ever on the planet decline in front of my eyes. I remember him arguing about a cyclops call once. He played his best when his temper was under control. And usually lost when he was out of control.

So, for young players, it is not stylin and profilin, it is – does it work to raise your game?

Are you a Borg or a Mac?

grendel Says:

“I think Roddick’s outbursts against the chair are more orchestrated than those of say Johnny Mac’s”. That’s the point. McEnroe actually couldn’t help himself – he still does it now, doesn’t he, on the veterans’ tour and it’s not all just for laughs. And yet he somehow, as Dr Death points out, used these outbursts to raise his game. Talk about making the most of temporary derangement. Roddick, on the other hand, is just a pathetic bully when he gets into this mode. Pathetic, because anything than face up to his own limitations. Even so, he’s an interesting character and – I maintain, against a lot of opposition – an interesting tennis player.

Von Says:

“Dr. Death Says:
If we take this exchange and the last one that so many people responded on when the Roddick outburst occurred, we have a book.”

Let’s not deprive the great tennis ‘analysts’ the pleasure of analyzing and articulating their perception of this horrible tennis monster, in the form of Roddick. It’s not often that these analysts are accorded the privilege to analyze, considering this is a part-time job. That reminds me, even though my annual Opthalmologist appointment is in August, I need to move that appointment forward, because my vision is somewhat distorted. Oh, I also need to find a Psychiatrist, does anyone know of a good one? I’ll also email Johnny Mac that his on-court behavior has just been diagnosed. he’s mentally deranged! LOL.

Kim Hutley Says:

omg, leave the poor guys alone! yeh andy’s not the best but thats why he’s ranked no.6. and yeh federer is an awsome player and so is nadal thats why there ranked 1 & 2! but everyone gets upset when they lose even you! dotn not admit it everyone does. no one likes to lose so just because your job requires you to lose sometimes doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be any less agro! thinmk anout it you must of had a time when u lost it cuz u lost! well so does andy. and be nice he has accomplished alot! and will continue to do so (i reckon). and yeh he has gone down hill abit but federer hasnt been playing at his best either of late so, and im sure its different when your out there. i am a huge andy fan and have been for a while but i respect all the tennis players that can go out there and give it all they got for 2+ hours.

grendel Says:

“thinmk anout it you must of had a time when u lost it cuz u lost!” Absolutely, Kim Hutley! Get positively deranged, in fact. The one thing I have in common with the great John McEnroe. And of course Roddick has accomplished a lot. That is not in question. But when he loses it – and that’s questionable, by the way – 1) he does it at the expense of the umpire who cannot defend himself and 2) he does it in front of a huge audience, and clearly gets off on that. Plus , in the process, he makes an aweful lot of loot. Nothing wrong with that, but it does impose a certain responsibility, doesn’t it? If you opt for the public life, then I guess there are obligations as well as rewards. That said, I have repeatedly said (not that it matters in the slightest what I say or think, but one gets just a teeny weeny bit tired of being traduced) that Roddick is an interesting character, and adds hugely to the tennis scene. I just wish he wouldn’t bully umpires, that’s all.

I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

__It appears Roddick is becoming a tennis thug__

say yey to connors thugs and nay to prissy federer types

neca Says:

At the moment Andy Roddick should forget about winning a grand slam and work on staying in the top eight, otherwise he will be playing the top three in the round of sixteen in the grand slams. This would not be good for his chances

grendel Says:

I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies:
I like your style.
b.t.w. the sexual, domestic etc arrangements of mssrs.Roddick and Federer are of no conceivable interest to anyone other than perhaps a novelist – and even then, one running short of creative juices. So far as I am concerned, they can take a tumble with each other, and I wish them joy of it. Meanwhile, it’s time to hit the sack. One wearies of this nonsense. I’ll leave the last word with the local control freak. That’s the normal state of play, isn’t it?

Von Says:

“I’ll leave the last word with the local control freak. That’s the normal state of play, isn’t it?”

You’ve said it baby. Unlike you, I finish my arguments, I don’t smack one jab and run. But you’ve always done that. So what’s new. If it weren’t for being censored, I would love to engage in a word battle with he who is the wisest and knows it all. You’ll be googling for sure. But alas, that’s not to be. A word to the wise. Don’t start something unless you can finish it. Don’t turn on the radio unless you want to hear talking, and don’t disturb a resting lion. Be big enough to confront and be big enough to take the consequences, don’t jab and run.

Roddick’s critics have conveniently overlooked Federer’s tirade of his F bombs at the umpire at the ’07 Wimbledon final in front of a larger crowd than at San Jose. And, they have also discretely left out Nishikori’s F bombs at San Jose. So what’s their point. Federer is certainly the first tennis Christmas tree I’ve ever seen. He has taken tennis dressing to new heights. Let’s not forget his arrogance on and off the court. And best of all, his smug invitation to Tiger for this year’s US Open. Talk about stretching it.

Andy is no Federer, and that’s why we one-dimensional tennis fans love him. So, I’ll just say, Andy, I love you, baby, your ‘one dimensional’ tennis, lack of talent, your ‘pathetic bullying’, your ‘disgraceful’ behavior, your turkey temper, et al. You’re the beautiful one, inside and out. I’m sure the great one would trade some trophies to experience what it feels like to be handsome and strut it. Keep on strutting that stuff and ya’ll come back now, ya hear!

Kim Hutley Says:

yeh i guess ur right grendel, i mean he shouldnt yell at the umpire but whne ur losing as bad as he does some times you go for the person who can’t defend themselves but yes he shouldnt take it out on him. but i guess everyone still does it.

Daniel Says:


You were doing fine until the last sentence! Next time just ignore it. Jump the posts! This way reading this blog became so much more interesting.

Paypal Says:

No way is it Jimmy Connors influence! Andy has been doingthis since the begiinning. I see nothing of Jimmy Connors at all in him. In a way I wish I DID see more of Jimmy in him. How about adding a return of serve, Andy, to your repetoire.

Leo Says:

I really would love to see Andy take his intimidation act to a match with Fed, Nadal or Djoko…. oooh – there will be blood! They will eat him alive. Go on Andy, do it!

Daniel Says:


Then it will be No country for old Rod. LOL!

Iona Says:

So Roddick yells at players during matches to get an edge, is this really news? He’s been doing it for years. The media is focusing on Roddick’s behavior lately only because of his association with Jimmy Connors but they are gasping for straws. Andy was just being Andy.

Von Says:

Iona: “The media is focusing on Roddick’s behavior lately only because of his association with Jimmy Connors but they are gasping for straws. Andy was just being Andy.”

You are so correct. Andy mentioned that since hooking up with Jimmy he has been a target of the press for the duration of Jimmy’s coaching. These critics are the Federer gang who have repeated themselves eveday for the last 2 weeks. It’s nothing new. They have sunk their teeth into this. Since when did they care about umpires? In their eyes only their alleged ‘great one’ is perfect. He’ll destruct in the same manner as Borg when he begins to fade out some more.

I began posting here after the first Federer/Sampras exhibition match. Being a Sampras fan I was appalled and aghast concerning their statements about Sampras. As a newbie, I did not realize how many of them were Federer’s fans. needless to say, I was slaughtered. They were ganging up on me, similarly to what they are doing now and they were very, very cruel. They made me feel like dirt and made fun of my comments. However, their behavior only increased my defenses, and I also realized that some of them are not really that knowledgeable about tennis as they imply. They hate anyone who says anything about Federer, and some are so positive that Federer would ‘never’ do such things. Anyway, within the last 5 months I’ve seen the mighty one fall several times, and he’ll fall many more. He is the sorest loser. They’re lavish on criticism and stingy on praise. I wish them bliss in their dreams and only hope they can handle their hero’s losses.

Von Says:


Considering Andy has only played Djokovic one (1) time and Nadal (2), I would like to see what ‘blood’ you are talking about. You’ve been repeating the same statement. I hope you’re not too disappointed about seeing ‘blood’.

MMT Says:

First of all – good post – fair and reasonable.

However, I disagree that Roddick’s unsporting behavior shows his passion. Lots of players have passion and don’t berate their opponents. These are 2 completely different things.

Roddick’s done it many times in the past to players (Stepanek in DC and Tsonga in Australia both in 2007) and officials alike.

I do think he’s good for the general interest in the game, which increases US tv coverage and means I can watch more tennis on tv, so I have to take my medicine. At the end of the day, I love tennis more than I dislike this behavior from Roddick.

On another topic, Von, my friend, there’s a big difference between being a Federer fan and being a slavish fanatic. There are plenty of both, but it has nothing to do with criticisms of Roddick. Roddick is what he is, and even if Federer suddenly began behaving similarly, I’d still condemn it and I like Federer.

Fair enough Fed behaved badly as a younger player, but mostly this was self-destructive, and not directed at opponents or officials and certainly never as blatantly as Roddick has throughout his career. Not an excuse, but an obvious distinction of why with Roddick the behavior is so roundly condemned. It’s true many many do it, but few do it as often and brazenly as Roddick and fessing up to it makes it no more tolerable to this tennis fan.

As for the disrespect to Sampras, I also find that appalling. He is the greatest grand slam champion of all time, and may be the best ever – right up there with Gonzalez and Laver in my book. If Fed can equal Sampras’s record in slams and #1’s I’d put him one notch above him, but that remains to be seen. If he surpasses both, I’d have to say he surpasses Sampras on my list as well.

Von Says:


I like your post too. I don’t want to sound patronizing to you, but I feel that you are being fare-minded in some of your remarks. Yes, from the inception of Richard Vach’s article, I stated that I do not condone Andy’s behavior at times, but let’s be realistic, he does get bad calls. Lars Graf and Norm Crist made Andy a target of bad calls. How many times have you seen either of them at Andy’s matches in the last 18 months? Maybe 2. Sometimes, I feel that Andy gets an overflow of frustration and let’s it out at the umpire when he feels that he has had enough. Umpires are not defenceless, and by no means angels. If they’ve got it out for a player, watch out. They can really swing a match, which has happened on many occasions. They can also be unreasonable and impose ridiculous fines, e.g., Davydenko. Anyway, be that as it may, I would like to see Andy rein in his outbursts, especially toward other players. However, Andy does make tennis interesting, hence the posts within the last 2 weeks. We can always turn off our TVs. I do that when some players are playing.

Sampras was, and is a class act for tennis. He stated that he felt 14 slams was enough, and he didn’t feel that he needed more. There are many factors to be considered for Federer to be the greatest. I don’t foresee this happening, maybe in the slams department and perhaps, the No. 1, but then, there’s Laver’s 184 titles. I don’t think one can apply ‘greatest of all time’ to Federer unless he beats both Laver’s titles, Sampras’ GS titles and his No.1 ranking. And, even then, considering Laver was not allowed to play in many GS tournaments, some analysts feel that had Laver been able to do that, he would have surpassed 14 slams, etc. The jury is still out on the greatest.

With regard to the Fed fanatics, well, I can only state my experience and I am not being ridiculous in my remarks, when I say that I am a target. There are those who love to strut their sarcasm and I am not a fool, I know that’s its in response to my comments. One does not have to mention a name to be sarcastic to another. This is what gets me going, and I can be a stone wall. There’s one comment just today if I were to answer it, it’ll be fireworks. For the sake of not being censored, I’ll let it go, but that’s not to say that I’m not aware. This poster likes to take little jabs. I’ve had my fill of their poor remarks I give it back to them. Their ganging up makes me more determined. I can outlast them. Many of them make inflammatory statements against Roddick because they know I like Roddick, for good reason. I’m patriotic and I find Andy to be very electrifying and can cause sensationalism.

I dislike Federer for his arrogance and smugness. I mentioned yesterday, that he invited Tiger to the ’08 US Open, I meant Sampras. This to me, is really pushing it. Sampras, when interviewed about his feelings on Federer breaking his record stated he won’t be happy, but there’s nothing he can do about it. Fed’s invitation to Pete to watch him break Pete’s record is really putting the spike in. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.

Well, MMT, thanks for your kind remarks. I look forward to posting to you in the future and maybe butting heads again.

rogers twin sister Says:

One does not “gasp for straws,” they “grasp at straws.” The illiterati know no bounds.

MMT Says:

The GOAT debate is fascinating, and would it were not for the lunatic fringe of each candidate’s supporters sullying the discussion with their desperately obtuse perspectives, I could go on for days about it.

That said, consider the following: imagine two players of the exact same quality playing two completely different sets of competition. One plays an elite group of 5 players once a week for a year while the other plays a mixed group of about 100 different players in a year.

The next year these two players play against one another once a week for a year. I guarantee the one who played against the elite group will crush the other one for at least 6 months, until the other finally catches up to his level, and then maybe they’ll split the remainder of the matches(i.e. the elite group guy will finish with about a 3:1 advantage).

Conclusion – Laver probably won his second slam BECAUSE he played professionally. If he had continued playing everyone else I don’t know that his game would have been good enough to do it again and certainly not 7 years after the first.

Also, if Laver was allowed to play the slams as a pro, so too would have all the other pros, some of whom would certainly have had something to say about it as well. Frankly, I’m thinking about Gonzalez, but maybe Rosewall too.

Food for thought.

Von Says:

MMT: “The GOAT debate is fascinating, and would it were not for the lunatic fringe of each candidate’s supporters sullying the discussion with their desperately obtuse perspectives, I could go on for days about it.”

I wouuld not want to touch this subject matter with a ten-foot pole. Perhaps Sean would want to do so. If he does, I’ll sit this one out. I’ve already put in my two cents worth based on the professional analysts’ opinions, not mine.

“Frankly, I’m thinking about Gonzalez, but maybe Rosewall too.”

I agree on this, also. However, I think this ‘greatest’ player designation should more or less be pertinent to each specific tennis era/generation. There are too many variables to ponder/consider in order to be able to arrive at a conclusive decision. That being said, I’ll leave this ball in your court.

I’m looking forward to the Sampras/Federer match at Madison Square Garden in NYC, on March 10th. The Tennis Channel will be televising this match. This is one occasion that makes me wish I had not given up Nedw York City as my home state. Anyway, I’ll have a good seat in my study with my popcorn, a glass of wine and the DVR set to record. I just hope I can stay awake after downing that glass of wine. Is this match being televised in your viewing area?

Leo Says:

Funny, Daniel!


It’s a good thing for Roddick that he isn’t running into Nadal and Djoko often enough.

Without antagonizing them, he seems to lose to top players, quite regularly… not to mention the middling ones too… His hysterics will work against the likes of some 18 year old, but he’s smart not to try that against better players. And I have to say, he isn’t as dumb as some may think!

I don’t care if he wants to break a racket, yell at an umpire whatever. His game is boring enough, sure this adds to the entertainment.

But when he yells at opponents – unless he yells at the top ones too – he just proves to be a big wuss.

tennisfan Says:

look Roddick has been a dirtbag since his entry onto the tour and will be a dirtbag long after he is gone…..

Zola Says:


Dubai starts Monday. Let’s see how Roddick is going to intimidate those players. It is very sad that a player has to resort to scare tactics rather than his tennis to win a match. It looks desparate and ridiculus.

I have never enjoyed watching bullies and Roddick is now in that category for me. Can’t wait to see a Federer-Roddick match again.

I like tennis bullies not tennis sissies Says:

I cant wait to see Nadal humiliate the arrogant Federer again in Dubai!

deb Says:

I can’t wait for a new blog so we can talk about something else!!

Von Says:

Politicking is a very dangerous game, and politics strange bedfellows doth make. However, comeuppance can sometimes be very quick, befalling those we favor, and crow is very upalatable.

Von Says:

deb Says:
“I can’t wait for a new blog so we can talk about something else!!”

Same here. The redundancy is suffocating!

Von Says:


You had mentioned that Andy will be playing Memphis and Dubai, but I think there was a change. He originally wanted to skip Memphis but changed his itinerary in favor of Memphis due to the sick child at St. Jude’s, hence Dubai is out.

Von Says:

Leo: “… he seems to lose to top players, quite regularly… not to mention the middling ones too…”

The same can be said for the top 10 players. I refrained from replying to your post because I felt enough was said about this article, but it seems that’s not the case from today’s posts.

Von Says:

Sean Randall:

Do you hve any information pertinent to FSN other than its tennis commitment to only broadcast IW and Miami? I have FSN FL and am wondering whether this station will be broadcasting the MS tournaments, considering its designation ‘FSN FL’. I tried their website but am none the wiser.

Does Tennis.X have an ‘uncategorized’ comments thread? If none, I would like to suggest that one be created for miscellanoues questions, answers, et al.

Von Says:

FYI. I came across the following re my question. I suppose it’ll have to be a wait and see scenario for me.

FSN Finalizes Indian Wells Commentary Team By Richard Pagliaro Thursday, February 28, 2008 Indian Wells will come complete with a new soundtrack next month.

Fox Sports Net, which will televise the Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells as well as the Sony Ericsson Open on Key Biscayne for the first time next month, has assembled its commentary team for Indian Wells.

Veteran broadcaster Barry Tompkins will anchor the telecast as play-by-play announcer joined by analysts Justin Gimelstob and Chanda Rubin.

Gimelstob, who took a memorable turn behind the microphone when he conducted an entertaining interview with Andy Roddick live for USA Network after playing his final U.S. Open match in a 6-7(6), 3-6, 3-6, loss to Roddick in the opening-round of the Open last August, will also serve as court-side reporter for the Tennis Channel’s coverage of the Roger Federer-Pete Sampras exhibition set for Monday, March 10 at Madison Square Garden.

FSN has not yet confirmed its commentary team for the Sony Ericsson Open though it is possible it could reconvene some of its Indian Wells commentary crew for Key Biscayne.

FSN is planning on televising 34 hours of Indian Wells coverage (30 hours live and 4 hours on tape delay though the live coverage can vary depending upon which regional FSN network you receive), including the men’s and women’s finals on Sunday, March 23. FSN is scheduled to televise the women’s final from 3-5 p.m. Eastern and the men’s final from 5-7 p.m. Eastern on March 23. To view the complete Indian Wells television schedule please click this TV Schedule link .

ESPN, which has televised Indian Wells, Miami and the Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai for several years, did not renew its broadcast rights for those tournaments this year.

Instead, Fox Sports Net will televise all three events. FSN, which was approached by the ATP as a broadcast partner for all three tournaments, has a one-year agreement for cable and satellite broadcast rights to televise Indian Wells, Miami and Shanghai with an option for future years. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The tournaments are delighted with FSN’s broadcast commitments to the events, both on a national and regional level, to two of the largest tournaments on the tours,” an ATP spokesman told Tennis Week. “In establishing this new broadcast partnership, the ATP Masters Series and Tennis Masters Cup is expanding its presence in the U.S. television market by adding FSN to its long established broadcast partners in CBS, ESPN and Tennis Channel. It is a one year deal with an option for future years.”

Both the ATP and FSN will assess the partnership at the end of the year before deciding on a possible renewal.

“We’re doing these two events and the Shanghai event,” FSN Vice President of Programming David Sussin told Tennis Week. “These are three very important tournaments in the tennis calendar and we’re really very excited to televise them. The ATP came to us and it fit in really well between our college basketball coverage so we’re looking forward to it and we’re both excited to try this and see how it works.”

CBS will continue to televise the Sony Ericsson Open finals.

deb Says:

Von –

Enjoying your posts as always!

I think you could be right about the Memphis/Dubai situation. Andy made a comment that if he was still playing in Memphis at the weekend it was going to be difficult but that would be a ‘good problem’ and they’d worry about it when/if it happened.

With the strength of the field in Dubai it’s hard to see there being the sort of first round match that can be got through with jetlag.

Von Says:


Thanks, I enjoy yours too. Yours are succinct – straight to the point. As usual, I am wordy.

Yes, I don’t foresee Andy going to Dubai after 2 weeks of playing everyday in San Jose and Memphis. Jetlag is a battle in itself and he does not favor travelling. He needs to rest up for IW and Miami.

Soderling came from Rotterdam to Memphis and had initially stated that he was not too sure how he would fare due to jetlag, however, he had two (2) very easy rounds and plays Andy this evening in the quarters.

grendel Says:

Been away for a few days, and upon returning, I see that the delusional one is on good form. “I finish my arguments”, she says. That would be difficult, since Von shows no evidence of having the slightest idea as to what a reasoned argument might consist of. When she doesn’t understand an argument, or is shown to be so demonstrably wrong that even she can’t help but recognize it, her tactic is to brush it aside as if it were some kind of annoying fly, and then indulge in some flowery invective and completely meaningless abuse. She is a master at saving face, at retrieving a lost situation, just by raising her voice in a confident sort of way, and reluctantly, one cannot help but feel a kind of awe. My initial withdrawal from this thread is not, of course, for the reason Von supposes. As a matter of fact, I was embarrassed at taking up too much space and perhaps boring everyone to death. Understandably, this is not something which would occur to someone like Von, who wants to be noticed all the time and, as is the way with such people, presumably assumes this must be true of everybody else. It takes stamina to engage with this person. She is without shame or scruple, and will do almost anything to gain her end – which is control. Normal rules of debate do not apply. Her weapons are emotional – flattery, bullying, weeping (she tells us a lot about how much she weeps), manipulating, trying to gather a kind of coterie about her and ruthlessly dropping anyone who proves to be too independent; it’s a strange list.

I was foolish enough to allow myself to be drawn by some characteristically spectacular irrelevancies, forgetting who she was. That is, someone who is not concerned with reality. It seems now I have to revoke my earlier decision, but at least it will allow me to address an injustice which has worried me.

People will have noticed that Jane no longer posts. She was on the receiving end of a tirade spectacular and vicious even by Von’s standards (Roger Federer Shows Up at the SuperBowl, Feb11, 10.18). Jane, surprisingly and quite unnecessarily I thought, decided she had “to eat crow” in her attitude to Federer. It must have been a difficult post, so to attract that little packet of venom from Von – an erstwhile ally – must have been just too much. We have not heard from her since. I’ll quote a little bit:”Because of those sanctimonious posts from you, we were literally put through a living “hell”.. the “we” is other posters, a characteristic Von ploy ..” I am angry, that is putting it mildly, I am hurt that you could be so vicious to…& myself. I also don’t think you have even a vague idea of what hell you have put us through by your grandstanding for Djokovic”. This is what Jane had to say previous day about Djokovic:”…Djokovic’s fans shouldn’t attack other people for stating a valid comment about Djokovic (e.g. that he has lots of time outs, or whatever, which is true).I like Djoker, but I respect that some people don’t”. Earlier, Jane had shown more enthusiasm for Djokovic, and why not, he is not my cup of tea –but that is not my business and it is not Von’s – that vaunted enthusiast for “free Speech”. But in the above post of Von’s, she also – twice – made the truly ludicrous comment that Jane was trying somehow to sidle up to me.:”I am wondering if this is really a penitent heart…or just a ploy to ingratiate yourself to grendel”. This fatuous rubbish is more or less repeated. Naturally, this nonsense was embarrassing and sort of humiliating for Jane and – this is the beauty of it, the instinctive skill which Von has for attack – it’s virtually impossible to reply to. What can you say? “No, certainly I’m not trying to ingratiate myself etc” – it’s absurd, isn’t it? The victims of this kind of attack find themselves in a bind. Apparently, the only solution is to withdraw. The mugger – and this was essentially a mugging – gets away with it. Just for the record Jane was, as ever, involved in a dispute with me (about whether Federer’s serve was off or if Djokovic was reading it. On balance, I thought Jane had the better of the argument, arguing closely and appealing to the evidence – although I don’t think she was right, I think Fed’s serve was off, I just was unable to summon up a decent argument). It is true, we were more amiable than we were once. I had responded to Jane’s welcome back, so to speak, but not to Von’s – I very much did not want to get involved with her, as I’d come to understand what she was like. In the current argument about Roddick, Jane would have been squarely against me. But hopefully we could have had a rational discussion.

I protest. One of the best posters on this site – a poster I rarely agreed with, our enthusiasms were pretty opposed – has been driven off this site by an act of pure bullying.

It is shameful.

Von Says:

Well Grendel, you have once again demonstrated your venemous distate for me. It’s nothing new. I could go on, and on, about your dissertations on subjects that are TOTALLY IRRELEVANT to tennis, but it is an excercise in futility. You are who you are. You accuse me of having the last word, that’s what you do. Let’s not forget over the last month your exchange with Jane on the AO final for over two (2) weeks, e.g., Djokovic’s serve, hitting deep, lack of errors, and the list goes on. It was pretty boring. You had the podium. And after that, for the next two(2) weeks, your analyst job with Price Waterhouse Coopers, about the Nnadal/Federer ranking points, e.g., if Nadal wins Rotterdam and Federer loses, God knows what, who would be No. 1 and No. 2, back and forth. Do you remember sensationalsafin’s post making a mockery of that exchange, in which you conceded that it was time to eat “some very, very humble pie” and you’ll take a break. Well you didn’t take a break, you got your teeth into the Roddick thread about umpires. Umpires have now become of pivotal importance to you because it concerned Roddick.

You were one of the nasty people who were so very, very unkind to me. Yes I was sad and I did mention it, when you and some others ganged up on me, a new poster. You got into arguments with me for stating my views on Federer and Sampras. I wanted to end this and I was big enough to apologize to you. You were so very, very small, did not acknowledge my apology, instead you expounded that you were right in your remarks and would not concede anything said to me. I was not requesting a concession I just wanted peace and was showing you that I am a bigger person by apologizing for anything I wrote, even though you were the one bullying me. But that’s too much class for someone like you. You’re speaking of abusive behavior, you have earned a degree in that.

You mention Jane, I can ask you why doesn’t Naresh post here anymore. You berated the guy for just encouraging me to keep on posting when I wanted to stop because of your cruelty. He mentioned that I should ignore you and that incensed you. As for Jane, I don’t think you remember the fights you both used to have long before I began posting. Jane posted to me mentioning that I shouldn’t back down because you are a “behemoth”. That incensed you. I don’t expect you to understand my post to Jane because you needed an ally when you began posting here again. I wanted her to see that you were just using her to establish a foothold of favor and then you would do the same to her as you did before. She was being drawn into your little deceitful web, and I didn’t feel she should compromise her opinions just for the sake of being friendly with you. You would just use her and discard her. Yes, I was angry about her grandstanding for Djokovic because her posts made the Djokovic fans more eager to harass myself and three other (3) poszters.

I am not going to address all of your remarks, you can preach, and preach, lie and blow things out of proportion and try to embarass me how much you want, but I am sure that many are also aware of your behavior. Harp on Jane not posting, but remember all of those who have stopped posting because of you, e.g., Haresh, and others. It seems to me that this site is only big enough for one of us because you are incapacitated when it comes to coexistence. The podium is now yours so is Tennis.X. I can survive without posting, you can’t, hence the reason for the departure from Tennis Planet where you were a little ‘guppy’ in a big pond of some very eloquent fish. You were kept on a leash. The extent of one of your posts, viz.,”Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.” Youll that a post. Hilarious.

Von Says:

I would like to ask one question, where’s Sean when you get into your dissertations and your name calling. I suppose you come under the umbrella of ‘privileged’.

Daniel Says:


I thought the same way about you. I also mentioned in a post the absence of Jane.

Since I start posting here, after RG 2007, she was one of the best and most assiduous bloggers. Even not being a Federer fan, as the majority here, she always found a decent way of defending her points of view. Back them this animosity atmosphere wasn’t around.

Von Says:

Bravo for you too Daniel. I knew that you could not resist the urge to take a swipe at me. I was waiting for you to post. I can read you like a book — you’re transparent. You have systematically attacked me with your sick jabs. You are part of the crude welcome gang, I spoke about. If I were to tell you what I think of your behavior as a man, who would’nt be able to stand it — ill-educated people demonstrate your type of behavior. grendel can’t stand competition, he has to be the center of attention. And you are his little stooge on a leash behind him. You too, have conveniently forgotten Naresh, and a host of others, who have stopped posting because of grendel. Some of them returned in grendel’s absence. I am just one of a bunch who has been the object of his sick and abusive behavior. The animosity you speak of was here a long time before I came. I read the posts for over a year before I began to post here. I am aware of his fights with many. and conveniently remember only jane. The posts are interesting when I post. Just remember the same “old country” you speak of when you mentioned Roddick, is where you are glad to be. Get on line and enjoy your anti-American remarks and the benefits the “old Country” has to offer you. Ingrate.

Von Says:

PS: to Daniel. You and grendel are shareholders in Tennis.X, I am not, as a result of this, I WILL NOT BE POSTING HERE ANYMORE. Go out and throw a celebration party. Additionally, I would suggest that you both take some courses in human relations and comprehension. You are both sadly lacking in that department. He is of the opinion that if I brush aside his stupid remarks, it’s because I lack comprehension. I don’t. It’s just because I want peace, a word that’s absent from his vocabulary. You don’t understand when I state that any further posts from you to me is a monologue on your part. You insist on BEING THE ONE TO POST LAST, and then you follow up with your taunts. TENNIS.X IS OWNED BY BOTH OF YOU. The bottom line is, Federer. Anyone who does not like him is spat upon. Keep on posting your unintelligible posts, they’re boring and one needs a compass to navigate through the incoherent nonsens. GOODBYE AND REJOICE!

Polo Says:

Top seed Andy Roddick was upset by No. 8 Robin Soderling 7-6 (6), 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships (February 29)

There, that should give us a good idea where Roddick’s game stands now.

grendel Says:

“He (Naresh) mentioned that I should ignore you and that incensed you.” No. He is welcome to ignore me. I was annoyed that he took seriously all the quotes (all 2 of them, I believe) that you lifted from Tennis Planet, and the conclusions you drew – I put that in perspective at the time, no need to rehash.

“As for Jane, I don’t think you remember the fights you both used to have long before I began posting.” Of course I do. We had some sticky battles. And, yes, I was very annoyed when she leapt in at the tailend of your almost manic attacks on me. I didn’t think that was her most glorious hour – but then I am biased.

“I wanted her (Jane) to see that you were just using her to establish a foothold of favor and then you would do the same to her as you did before. She was being drawn into your little deceitful web” No, Von – this is what you do. For the record, I am always acutely embarrassed when people start compromising their own views. I don’t expect you to either understand or believe that. I was not delighted when Jane suddenly had a change of heart about Federer – I hinted at the time that I doubted it would be permanent. And nor should it be. Although Jane always denied it, imo she had a real distaste for Federer, and these things (speaking from my own experience) are instinctive and cannot just be wished away. I expect you think that’s “preachy”. If so, not much I can do about it.

“You got into arguments with me for stating my views on Federer and Sampras.” That’s such a travesty of what happened that I have to wonder what world you live in. You did not “state” your views on Federer, you put them in the most rancorous language it is possible to imagine.”I wanted to end this and I was big enough to apologize to you. You were so very, very small, did not acknowledge my apology, instead you expounded that you were right in your remarks and would not concede anything said to me.”. You apologised AFTER you’d had your last word, and I had whined about being “sad and bitter” and all that crap. And I conceded that it must have been a difficult post for you to write. Do stop rewriting history, for God’s sake. The business about me being “right” – that was on a different thread, and in response to Jane’s intervention – you’ve conflated seperate events, which is naughty.

“Do you remember sensationalsafin’s post making a mockery of that exchange, in which you conceded that it was time to eat “some very, very humble pie” and you’ll take a break. Well you didn’t take a break.” Well, I took 3 days! Laughable, of course, generally speaking – but pretty significant in your terms, given that you seem to post absolutely endlessly, several times a day, every day. Still, I made a complete fool of myself – let’s agree on that.

“Umpires have now become of pivotal importance to you because it concerned Roddick”. I just don’t think in this way. But you do, which is no doubt why you accuse me of it. Over the years, I have seen Roddick getting into rants against the umpire, and it has always incensed me, because it always seemed to me that he wasn’t making a legitimate complaint – as Bjorkman was in the incident I spoke about – but was taking his frustration out on someone who was not in a position to defend himself. This I found loathsome behaviour, and that is why I jumped in on this thread – at last I had a forum to express that particular view. Naturally, you can argue that I overeacted. You can also mention good points about Roddick, and as I agreed, there are many. But you can’t talk about everything, and on this occasion it was, mostly, Roddick and umpires. On another occasion, it might be Roddick and, say, sportsmanlike behaviour – that’s an interesting one, a real hornets’ nest.

“The bottom line is, Federer. Anyone who does not like him is spat upon”. This thread was about Roddick. Federer had nothing whatever to do with it. It was you who insisted on bringing him in over and over again. As it happens, though I can’t expect someone like you, who has such black and white views on everything,to believe this, my views of Federer have modified considerably over the last year or so – partly as a result of listening to other people. I don’t know, though, it’s complicated. At the end of the day, I’m still certainly a Fed fan; which doesn’t mean I’m not uneasy about certain aspects of him.

I can’t make any sense of your remarks on Tennis Planet. I posted there yesterday, as a matter of fact.

“I just want peace”. That’s not what you said in your 8:01 post. There, you urged me to “Be big enough to confront & be big enough to take the consequences, don’t jab and run”. Well, I have tried to take your advice, Von. You know, you really don’t make any sense. You’ve actually got me feeling a sneaking sympathy for you at the moment, and in the circumstances, that’s just absurd.

“The posts are interesting when I post” whereas “Keep on posting your unintelligible posts, they’re boring and one needs a compass to navigate through the incoherent nonsens.” You may well be right. But I doubt if you and I are the best people to assess this.

“I will not be posting here anymore”. I doubt that, Von, and nor do I think you should stop. You clearly give SOME people a lot of pleasure. But one thing you and I have in common: neither of us has much idea as to when to just SHUT UP.

“remember all of those who have stopped posting because of you”. Is that true? Is there evidence for this? Because if there is, and it is presented to me, believe me, you won’t see me for dust. I have no illusions about myself, and I am perfectly well aware that I rub some people up very much the wrong way.

Zola Says:

Come on ….I suggest we all stick to posts on tennis and everything will be fine. I don’t agree that a poster can be bullied out of posting. There is always a keyboard. We don’t know why Jane is not posting anymore. Maybe she is somewhere on a vacation. Maybe she is too busy to post.

Instead of blaming Von, we can say here how much we miss Jane. I hope she shows up again too.

People act differently. In the same thread or series of thread that grendel mentioned, there were many posters attacking others just for their criticism of Djokovic with harshest words….Yes, it was hurtful at that time but the bottom line was that it was a discussion. everyone said what they wanted.It is up to people to stay and continue or chose not to post again because they might be confronted for their views.

Again, I think everything will be fine if we stick to tennis.

Zola Says:

OK. my tennis comments.

Soderling is my least favorite player, but I was happy to see him take down Roddick. No play to win this time for Roddick.

The Dubai draw is very tough for Rafa. the first match is agains Kohschreiber. then it will be against a WC or qualifier, then it can be Roddick, Djoko…for Federer, the first match is against Murray! After that I think he should be fine.

I feel for Murray. Tsonga for the first round of AO and now Fed for first round of Dubai….that’s very tough!

Von Says:

I came across your post while looking for a response from Sean regarding some info I enquired about on the FSN FL MS question. However, he has not replied.

Yesterday, I let many of your statements go because I had had enough of your preaching for the duration of this week. Like you, I become tired, and it is an exercise in futility. I will answer some of them now.

“As for Jane, I don’t think you remember the fights you both used to have long before I began posting.” Of course I do. We had some sticky battles. And, yes, I was very annoyed when she leapt in at the tailend of your almost manic attacks on me.”

this is why I didn’t feel that Jane should have made her remarks about eating “crow. I felt she was wasting her time and there would be future arguments between the twso of you. That’s why I questioned her motivation coming from a peneitent hert and not being caught up in the whirlwind of her newly found alliance with you. I was cautioning her without going into too many details.

Re: my ‘manic’ attacks on you, it was mutual. I took a stand to let you know that i can butt heads evenly with you, even though it’s not my usual behavior, but they were not manic. Connsidering you mentioned in a previous post on McEnroe that you are somewhat similar to him in his deranged sort of way, how could you know the difference between ‘manic’ and deranged? I’m glad that you have been able to diagnose my arguments with you as ‘manic’. It’s a revelation to me, and I’m sure that those who know me personally would find your statement extremely hilarious.

Your statement: “When she doesn’t understand an argument, or is shown to be so demonstrably wrong that even she can’t help but recognize it, her tactic is to brush it aside as if it were some kind of annoying fly, and then indulge in some flowery invective and completely meaningless abuse.”

There’s nothing wrong with my comprehension skills. I brush things aside because my answer would only prolong an argument, and there are times when ‘the answer causes the problem’. My Dad told me this a long time ago.

As for my use of invectivws,I think you are referring to yourself. Just look back how you finished your last post, referring to me as ‘the local control freak’. You’re very abusive, but you’ll deny it, as you have done many times.

Re: My remark on being big enough to confront and take the consequences, is in no way connected to peace. You made a stupid and childish parting remark. If you don’t understand what I meant I’m sorry, I’m not going to enlighten you. Peace means when something is finished, leave it alone. Making inflammatory parting shots is not seeking peace. By so doing a situation becomes incensed. That childish remark is what is responsible for my answer and your subsequent posts to that answer. I never mentioned that I’m on the ballot to be cannonized as a ‘saint’. I’m a flesh and blood human being and I have limitations. Your insults began with your statement that one needs to see an ‘optician and a psyciatrist’ if they did not perceive Roddick’s behavior as being a ‘pathetic bully’. That remark could have angered many who did not share your views. Your arguments would bave more impact if you were to withhold sarcasm. Hence my statement, be big enough to confront and be big enough to take the consequences.

Your statements about my use of flattery, bullying etc. My compliments to some posters are genuine. There’s no need for me to be complimentary to people I don’t know, but at times I feel that a compliment is justified and I compliment them. Even though you might smirk at this, I have a very bubbly personality which in my life is admired by many. Sometimes it comes out in my writing. As for bullying, I’m sorry to disappoint you again, I’m a rather passive person, that’s why I bruah aside things. I take a lot, but then Ii can give it back, when it’s over. I’m done, no hard feelings, hence my apology to you and my welcome back to you. No bitterness is harbored in my heart

You stated: “But one thing you and I have in common: neither of us has much idea as to when to just SHUT UP.”

So very true. This argument is over between the two of us. As i stated in my foreging remarks, I do not hold onto bitterness or anger. My slate is clean and I hope yours is too, it’s the adult and big-hearted thing to do. As for posting, let’s say for now I’ve had my fill. Perhaps in the future we can both agree to disagree without sarcasm and conflict.

Daniel Says:



When I look at the Dubai draw the feeling there I had was that Fed could loose in the first round. I didn’t felt the confidence of last years. And the other was that I found it strange that the n° 1 player is facing the n° 11 in the first round of a 32 player draw.

Von Says:


“People act differently. In the same thread or series of thread that grendel mentioned, there were many posters attacking others just for their criticism of Djokovic with harshest words….Yes, it was hurtful at that time but the bottom line was that it was a discussion. everyone said what they wanted.

Very true and thanks for clarifying this. It twas a very difficult thread filled with tons of anger, bitterness and animosity.

“..for Federer, the first match is against Murray! After that I think he should be fine.

I feel for Murray. Tsonga for the first round of AO and now Fed for first round of Dubai….that’s very tough!”

I don’t understand Murray’s draw. Oh well, Federer could lose in the first round to Murray. This is certainly a tough tournament.

deb Says:

As a reader who rarely posts I am going to be a little presumptuous now and make an observation.

I think if Grendel, Von, Zola and Daniel all sat down face-to-face they’d have a chance of understanding each other and deciding where to simply agree to disagree. Words are such a small percentage of how we communicate and this type of ‘internet’ exchange doesn’t allow for facial expression or tone to be taken into account.

A little tolerance on all sides maybe?

Sean Randall Says:

I have to say some of you guys are way too into this whole posting thing. And honestly, I’m fine with that. I’m not going to ask you to change your ways or your beliefs, but I will ask again that you simply soften your language. When your interests and opinions carry over into personal attacks against other posters, that doesn’t interest me, at least not here. This is a tennis forum and not a place where you can publicly demonize other people/posters.

You want to have a go at tennis players, tournaments, ballkids, I’m good with that, just don’t take out your case on other posters. I know many of us have different backgrounds and opposing views about the game we love, and arguments will arise. But let’s not take the easy way out and take it to a personal level. Keep it on tennis.

If you feel that I’m asking for too much, then by all means swap email address, phone numbers, library cards, SAT scores, whatever, and you guys can beat on each other over a latte and doughnuts somewhere else or on another forum. Just don’t do it on my threads.

We are discussing tennis here after all, right? TENNIS. Not politics. Not world events. Not Britney’s rehab. Not the crumbling global economy. Not even Amy Winehouse’s hive for hair. Just freakin tennis!

So if you feel yourself getting work up over a post, that is you’re beginning to sweat, heart’s racing, neck hair standing up, blood moving away from your brain in preparation for battle, do yourself a favor, often times it’s best to just to let it go. It’s only tennis.

deb Says:

Von – I just dropped by to say Andy is playing Dubai.

WWIII seems to have broken out here. Somebody has posted as ‘Deb’ but I’m sure you would guess that was too wordy for me.

Von Says:


“Von – I just dropped by to say Andy is playing Dubai.

WWIII seems to have broken out here. Somebody has posted as ‘Deb’ but I’m sure you would guess that was too wordy for me.”

Yes, I saw the draw and he has a tough quarter. The Nos. 1 and 2 seeds have an easy draw. Dubai has not been one of Andy’s tournament picks in the past. If he can do well there he’ll be able to acquire some additional points since he has nothing to defend.

I guess you have a twin. I was smiling reading that post. I thought that was a pretty lengthy post from you, and felt that you contracted a ‘wordy’ virus from me. :) Whoever it was, made good sense.

deb Says:

Von – I know who my ‘twin’ is he works in psychology which is just up the hall from the math department. He will post as ‘alternative deb’ in future.

grendel Says:

Zola, I disagree with you about Jane. There can be no doubt as to why she’s left.

Von, you’re really something else. Self-deception on this scale is barely imaginable – I can’t handle it, anyway.

Bye bye

alternative deb Says:


How can self-deception be imagined? It’s a state of mind that is real to the indivdual at the time.

If I was going to judge ‘states of mind’ I’d have to judge you as being fuelled by hatred. But unlike your statement about the poster Jane I will concede to an element of doubt in my judgement as it’s purely based on what I’ve read here.

Zola Says:

**Zola, I disagree with you about Jane. There can be no doubt as to why she’s left.**

I guess she needs to come and tell us why she has is not posting then!

deb or alternative deb
I have no problem with comments. It is all tennis afterall.When there are personal attacks I don’t even read them. So as I told Von before, those extreme comments don’t bother me at all.So, it is fine with me.

About Dubai,
Von, did you say No 1 and No 2 seeds have an easy dear or am I mistaken? Nadal’s is the draw from hell! Fed’s is a bit easier but he has to get through the first match with Murray and he is ususally rusty at the beginning rounds. He has not played since AO.

There is a chance that Fed can lose, but he knows it too and he knows how inportant it is to make a statement after AO loss to Djoko. I say he will win and will win the whole tournament.
If not, he will be in big trouble.

Von Says:

Zola: “Von, did you say No 1 and No 2 seeds…”

Sorry, typo, Nos. 1 and 4 seeds.

jabberwocky Says:

Wow 82 posts for Andy Roddick. He’s still in the mix. :)

Good luck to Murray in Dubai I hope he can take down that arrogant Federer bully and give him a much needed lesson in humility.

Daniel Says:


I think that too, especially him almost living in Dubai. Other than GS and MS event, Basel and Dubai are the “small” tournaments that Fed is regularly playing.

tennisnakama Says:

I like Roddick personally but I don’t care about him on the court. I saw him many times at US Open. His tennis is too simple and boring. He seems too busy doing other things like bullying 18 yr old kid. He definitely lost Japanese fans by it. He does not have the word of sportsmanship in his dictionary. He behaves like a kitten on the same court against Federer or Nadal, on the other hand he behaves like a frat bully against qualifiers.

I don’t like Johnny Mc but al least he barked at the umpires, not lesser players.

Sean Randall Says:

Von, here’s your FSN Indian Wells schedule:

tennisphan Says:


rogers twin sister Says:

I see the kids have been fighting again. Tsk tsk. Von said she was leaving, but she keeps on posting. I guess she really doesn’t want to leave her home.

Von Says:


“Von, here’s your FSN Indian Wells schedule:”

Thanks Sean. I hope FSN FL will also pick up additional tennis tournaments. They mostly air paid programs. I can only hope.

jack45 Says:

Speaking as an Australian, I think Roddick is the quintessential Ugly American. He’s a bully, no more no less, to those who can’t talk back. Not at all good for the country’s image. I’ll be glad when he’s gone.

just asking Says:

jack45, doesnt australia have enough ugly aussie problems of their own, namely lleyton hewitt?

Kjeftesmelle « Says:

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