ATP LA Preview: Roddick, Fish Look for Rebound Amidst Strong Field
by Richard Vach | August 2nd, 2008, 10:04 pm

Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish are skipping the Beijing Olympics this month to concentrate on collecting some US Open Series titles and making a run at the US Open. Next week in LA the two are the lone American seeds at the Countrywide Classic, where both players hope to rebound from recent misfortunes.
This week Roddick withdrew during the warm-up for his first-round match at the Masters Series-Cincinnati after earlier suffering a muscle spasm in his neck. That followed weeks earlier when the top-ranked American pulled from a World TeamTennis appearance with a shoulder injury, and at the Masters Series-Canada where he exited in the second round to unseeded Marin Cilic.

“I hate not playing and I hate withdrawing from tournaments,” said Roddick, chomping at the bit to take the court and gain some momentum entering Flushing Meadows. “It’s the most hollow feeling every when you have to walk off because you’re hurt and you know people have come to watch you play.”

Roddick started the year on an up note with tournament wins at San Jose and Dubai (where he defeated Rafael Nadal), but has since failed to reach a final. In May and June he displayed some surface versatility with a semifinal on clay at the Masters Series-Rome, and a semifinal on grass at Queen’s before making an uncharacteristic second-round exit at Wimbledon.

Fish seemed on the upswing in March when he rolled over world No. 1 Roger Federer in straight sets en route to a narrow loss in a three-set final to Novak Djokovic at the Masters Series-Indian Wells. Since then the Florida resident has posted a 6-10 win-loss record, losing first round at the Masters Series-Miami, Masters Series-Hamburg, Poertscharch, Wimbledon, Newport, and the Masters Series-Canada.

Roddick will have time to work himself into the event at LA, after a bye opening against either Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu or a qualifer. He will then likely face a tester against former world No. 2 and No. 8 seed Tommy Haas. Fish, the No. 6 seed, opens against Colombia’s Alejandro Falla, and is in No. 2 seed Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco’s section of the draw.

Other seeded players are Juan Martin del Potro at No. 3, No. 4 Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez, former No. 1 Marat Safin, and former No. 1 Carlos Moya.

Haas will open against the struggling “future of American tennis,” Donald Young, who this week in Cincinnati was easily dismissed by an ailing Gael Monfils, who was suffering a reported stomach virus. Other opening-round matches of interest are Safin vs. American serving giant John Isner, and Moya against wildcard Xavier “X-Man” Malisse. Other Americans in the field are (WC) Zack Fleishman, Wayne Odesnik and Bobby Reynolds who face each other first round, and Vince “Ain’t Afraida Ya” Spadea.

Haas (2006,’04) is the lone returning champion in the field, and the Bryan brothers are two-time defending champions. Czech Radek “The Worm” Stepanek last year took a break from dating his multitude of WTA Tour stars to capture the title as an unseeded player, shocking No. 2 seed James Blake in three sets. Blake is missing LA this year in his preparations to represent the U.S. at the Beijing Olympics.

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18 Comments for ATP LA Preview: Roddick, Fish Look for Rebound Amidst Strong Field

YY Says:

No comments or is that nobody really cares about this tournament?

Ryan Says:

In todays semi what has been proved is that nadal is the biggest fighter that tennis has ever seen.If he had fed’s game he woulda won all the grand slams by now. But djokovic comes right after that.Even a hot murray couldnt handle nadal but djokovic just thrashed him.Like sampras said fed, nadal and djok play at a different level compared to the others.

Milos Says:

Did you forget about Cincinnati? Tournament isnt
over just because Nadal lost and Djokovic won.

TalkAboutSport Says:

Well, I think Fish and Roddick are doing the right thing. Most players, if you haven’t noticed, don’t ever try in the Olympics (I guess since they are such money-oriented folks). They are doing the right thing by skipping the Olympics, and training for the US Open. And to you Milos, of course we haven’t – but now Nadal is guaranteed the Number 1 spot in 2 weeks. The finals match will be interesting, I’ve never seen the Russian play in a finals match. I think the Countrywide Classic will be a warmup for the two players in prep for the US Open


Von Says:

Unfortunately for Roddick, he will meet Tommy Haas in the 2nd round, and considering Andy’s present injured state, his lack of match play over the last 3 months, coupled with his H2H against Haas, I don’t foresee Roddick getting past the second round. Haas has always been a difficult opponent for a healthy Roddick and now that problem is compounded by Andy’s back injury. On the bright side, Roddick will be able to get in some much needed practice as a warm-up for the US Open.

Roddick is a donkey Says:

As I said, when the donkey withdrew from Cincinnati, he is itching to play in a tournament where the top players are not playing.

I just hope for donkey and his fans’ sake that he wins a couple of these tournaments. Unfortunately for the donkey, the atp is no WTA – he cant be no.1 just winning a title or two.

Von Says:

According to the draw Roddick opens against the winner of Demic v. Warburg. If Haas wins his match against Donald Young he’ll then face the winner of Gicquel v. Fleishman, and if successful will meet Roddick or his opponent in the QFs.

Andrew Miller Says:

If I only had a few more chances at big titles, I would skip Olympics, especially if I already played Olympics.

It just is not the big prize in tennis. If Capriati only had her gold medal and no slams (no french or Aus open) we would have perceived Capriati as one of the most disappointing tennis players of all time, and the Marcelo Rios of the WTA tour.

Instead, she emerges as one of the great u.s. players who completed a phenomenal comeback, uprooting the #1 player in the world (Hingis) twice and winning an epic french open against the upstart belgian Clijsters. If she pulled out the battle against Henin at Wimbledon, we might be talking about how she gave Venus Williams a tough match during the Wimbledon final that they played

(which never happenned. But if Capriati had beaten Henin in that semifinal in 2001, it wouldnt have been unheard of to discuss and maybe Caps would have given Venus a tough match. Tough to say.)

So in that Roddick skips Olympics for more prep work for the open, I’d say that it is a good choice. I dont know if it will help him – as some of his plan has backfired (the bad Montreal match, the withdrawl from Cincy) – he is going in with limited preparation, and after the early part of this year (through march) Roddick has hardly played.

I dont think it helps, but I dont think it hurts.

As for Mardy Fish – hey if I were him I’d consider not showing up either. He botched that gold medal showdown in ’04 !!! It’s amazing Massu pulled it out, and it’s amazing that Fish didnt win that match.

Von Says:

Roddick’s year has turned out to be a huge disappointment thus far. Can he salvage it by doing well at the USO? I hope so. However, realistically speaking, it’s a question mark. To salvage his drop in the rankings he will need to enter some more tournaments after Davis Cup to rack up some additional points that he doesn’t need to defend from last year. Anything else, will place him out of the top 10.

Fish certainly botched up that match against Massu in “04. He had every opportunity to win, and the only reason I can find for his loss is that of his sloppy play and under estimating Massu’s resilience and smarts to capitlize on the key points. Fish is now at on a huge decline. He has lost in the first and/or second round of every tournament since beating Federer at IW. Maybe his upcoming wedding in September is taking precedence over his tennis career.

Roddick is a donkey Says:

Donkey’s career has ended! His shoulder has finally broken after all the serving. Without a serve, his game is worse than a donkey’s!

Von Says:

After stating Fish is on a decline in my previous post, losing most of his matches; I just read he won his first round match yesterday at LA, per the ATP website as follows:

“Mardy Fish defeated Colombian Alejandro Falla 6-2, 6-2 on Monday at the Countrywide Classic in Los Angeles to notch his first match win since June.”

I hope he can win some more matches and stop the bleeding.

jane Says:


I am hoping for a Roddick vs. Safin quarterfinal in LA; I haven’t seen them play each other since AO 07 and that was a great match.

On the lower half, I’d like to see Del Potro and Fish.

What do you think?

Roddick’s shoulder seemed good last night eh?

jane Says:

Von – so do you think we’ll get that Roddick vs. Safin quarter final?

jane Says:

Oops – Von, if it happens it’ll be a semi-final, not a quarter-final since they’re both already in the the quarters. Anyhow, I hope it does.

Von Says:


I’m not counting any chickens before they’re hatched — I’m holding my breath!! Last night he was cooking, but maybe, just maybe, we’ll see that SF duel. Two big servers duking it out. I love both of them, but you know one has a tiny edge over the other in my heart; nationalistic pride, etc. You can read between the lines and figure out who’s got the edge with my heart strings. There will be some good matches this weekend.

jane Says:


Safin got knocked out – phooey. Well, now I am hoping for a Roddick vs. Del Potro final with Andy winning.

Von Says:


Sorry to see Safin that lost. Roddick will meet Gremelmayr in the SFs. Gremelmayr is a tough customer — he gave Fed some trouble at Estoril. Fish and DelPotro will meet in the other SFs.

jane Says:

So we can still have that Roddick vs. Del Potro final – I am keeping my fingers crossed. Roddick cruised tonight.

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