May 2, 2011 2 Comments
I was expecting this to be a happy post. I had it all planned. But the only thing I could not control escaped. And, well, the worse happened
No, let me rephrase it. I’m still trying to figure what in the name of the American tennis happened.
Losses are part of the game. You win some, you lose some. You shed tears of joy for the winners, and the agony of the defeat and all that common places. But what I saw today was something else.
And I can’t I like it.
I’m beyond the sadness of the upset. I’m beyond that stage where you recognize the mistakes. I’m really pissed.
I know, I know. This is someone else’s life. Someone else’s decisions and technically, I have absolutely nothing to do with it. But as a fan of Andy Roddick, I’m really disappointed.
And don’t come to me saying it’s the clay factor. Because it is not. I have – we all have – seen crappy performances from Mr. Andrew on all surfaces. Recall the US Open? Recall Wimbledon? Recall Indian Wells? Also, even though he’s not a specialist, he never sucked that much on shattered brick so we could possible consider an Italian qualifier ranked no.160 as the favorite.
No. I dare to say there’s something else.
Let’s start with the volleys. I mean, really? Whodahell told him he could volley? Stefunk? Roddick can do many things. He can serve, he can have a massive forehand, he can storm at linesmen, but he can’t damn volley. He is no JMac. He doesn’t have the DNA. That simple. A few people do these days, anyway. Serve and volley is old fashioned, as the courts have become considerably slower. Even more on clay.
I’m starting to think Wade Phillips is doing Andy’s playcalling. Because, really. That’s beyond ridiculous. The revolutionary ‘push and volley’ style. It’s not working, goddamit. Can’t you just swallow your ego a bit and change the gameplan?
Second, his attitude. Roddick hasn’t lost his fire. He’s just unleashing it at the wrong times. I mean, Rodman can’t bear falling behind in the scores anymore? A break is enough to force a meltdown?
Tennis is an individual sport. Hence, mental stability plays a pivotal hole in the damn thing. After forcing his gameplan – and failing – what does he do? Looks nervous. Looks like he just wants to get the hell out of there ASAP. That’s pretty stupid.
I can’t know, no-one can, what’s going through his almost-bald head. I don’t if he’s got problems at home, or physical issues, or if he’s simply aging and losing the will to travel 22 weeks a year.
Maybe he just wants to stay home with Brooke (that’s perfect reasonable, when you think about) and maybe become Papa Roddick. He’s almost 29 with little perspective on the tour, let’s face it.
Maybe tennis has become strictly business. And as the poet once said, “All the work and no joy…”, and I had this impression today, in the third set vs. Cipolla.
He had won the second, saving a match point in the tie-break. Following the logic, the qualifier would fade and he would roll into the second round. But that’s not what happened. Won’t recap it here, but arguing with Mo after breaking his racquet and over stupid line calls is just dull.
I didn’t watch Agassi, but reading his biography, I feel like Roddick is going through the same emotions.
And when he got the break back and went to the mound (can I do this? Call a service game going to the mound? Well, I just did that). That was ridiculous. It was like he was supposed to play, and shouldn’t have broken Flavio. I can imagine Gulbis playing like he did, anxious to hit the night. But not Roddick.
I repeat: it was one of the worst sensations I’ve ever had watching a tennis match.
Dunno what’s going on. Maybe he’s just tired and lost his patience entirely. I also know many articles like this one have already been published by specialists. Not that I care. Roddick is one of the reasons I like tennis. He is my fave – if he weren’t, I wouldn’t bother writing this.
And it deeply saddens me watching him playing like that. Like this. Too painful.
Just follow your heart, Andy, and I say that even though I know you will never read this or anything – and be happy.
If tennis doesn’t make you happy anymore…