January 11, 2012 1 Comment
Hello again! Remember when Daily Scores was the best tennis-related blog on the Interwebs? Hell, no? Well, maybe that’s because it never happened at all.
Anyways, I’m not baaaaaaaaack. Just not yet. As you might now, I’m a working man now, sun-to-sun, and all the hard work is turning my neck red and… no, just kidding. I answer e-mails.
I have this idea that, in order to succeed, you must do something different. Talking about daily tennis is not actually innovative, not the iPad of blogging or something. And I’m not sure I will get to watch as many matches as it takes to make insightful analysis.
So let’s just take it post-by-post. May not be the greatest thing in the whole wide world, but that’s what we have for today (well, that ought to be funnier in Portuguese). Still.
Today’s subject is one of my favorite, tennis-wise. Andrew S. Roddick. Rodman, Rodderino, Roddinator, A-Rod, Andrew Stephen, etc. The bald guy with a Mohawk. You know who I am talking about.
For those of you who already follow me – and I believe it’s the biggest part; I wasn’t followed much after the US Open – you might recall the #600Countdown and #20MillionWatch, two hashtags I implemented while Andy searched for his 600th career win and 20 mil in Prize Money. Well, he surpassed the second in Basel, if I remember well. And is 11 wins away from accomplishing the first.
This is the subject of this post. An stat of how many matches it took for Roddick to reach 11 YTD wins – and since 2001, he is finishing season well above 11 YTD wins. So here we go.
2001: 6 events (Davis Cup, Memphis, San Jose, Delray Beach, Miami, Atlanta). Andy started his 1st full year in the big leagues still playing some CH events, and that’s what caused him to reach his first 11 wins of the season only in the final week of April. The 11th win came against Stefan Koubek, in Atlanta semis. He would go on to claim his 1st ATP title that week. Record: 11-4.
2002: 4 events (Sydney, Australian Open, Davis Cup, Memphis). Already in the top-15, Roddick started 2012 losing to his all-time nemesis Roger Federer in Sydney semis. He would advance to the Australian Open 2nd round and claim two wins in the Davis tie v. Slovakia, entering Memphis with a 6-2. A three set win over Blake in the final in Tennessee would not only give him his 1st title of the season, but also his 11th win. Record: 11-2.
2003: 5 events (Sydney, Australian Open, Memphis, Delray Beach, Indian Wells). Maybe few people had Andy’s best year coming when 03 started. He lost in the second round of Sydney to Lee, but also made his first AO semifinal in the very next event, including that epic v. El Aynaoui. He’d lose to Schuettler in the next match; Roddick also fell in Memphis final to Dent and Delray first round, to Fish, which delayed his 11th win of the season. The “magic” number came in Indian Wells first round, against Thomas Enqvist. Andrew would lose – again – to his Australian Open nemesis in the QF, but we all know what happened in the rest of the year. Record: 11-4.
2004: 4 events (Doha, Australian Open, Davis Cup, San Jose). Starting the year topping the rankings, Roddick opted for a Middle East start instead of Oceania. He lost in the 2nd round of Doha, before playing his first and only Slam as the top-seed, where he would fall to Safin in the quarters. After claiming two wins for Team USA vs. Austria, Roddick entered San Jose bearing an 7-2 record. He didn’t lose a single set that week, claiming his first tournament of the year. The eleventh win came in the semifinals, vs. Kendrick. Record: 11-2.
2005: 3 events (Australian Open, San Jose). Shortest for 11 wins so far. Roddick reached his second career semifinal at the Australian Open, before losing to eventual runner-up Hewitt in four sets. He claimed his first title about three weeks later, in San Jose, against Saulnier. The #11 came only in his 13th match of the season: Memphis opener, against Hyung-Taik Lee. Straight sets win. Roddick would go on until withdrawing in the semis, giving Kenneth Carlson a final pass. Record: 11-1.
2006: 5 events (Australian Open, Davis Cup, San Jose, Memphis, Indian Wells). Roddick was off to a shaky start in the new season. Despite being ranked #3 in the world, he lost to eventual finalist Marcos Baghdatis in the fourth round of the Australian Open. He also fell to Pavel in his first DC match of the year, in five sets, followed by a semifinal run in San Jose (losing to then-#60 Andy Murray in the semis), QFs in Memphis (losing to Le Fantôme) and finally claiming the 11th in Indian Wells third round, beating Fernando Verdasco in straights. He would lose to Igor Andreev in the very next round. Record: 11-4.
2007: 4 events (Australian Open, Davis Cup, San Jose, Memphis). Having finished the year as the world #7, Roddick reached his third Australian Open semifinal in the last five season, losing to (who else?) Federer. He then helped his country with two wins in a tie v. Czech Republic, made it to the semis of San Jose again (losing to Murray another time), claiming the number eleven in the very next event, once again over a Swede: 6/2, 7/5 over Thomas Johansson. Record: 11-2.
2008: 5 events (Australian Open, Davis Cup, San Jose, Memphis, Dubai). After failing to Peppo Kohlschreiber in one of the most memorable matches (at least for me) I have heard about, Roddick beat Jojo Melzer in the only match he played that tie. Andy claimed his first title of the season in San Jose, adding five more wins to the count and another title for the shelf. A loss to Robin Soderling in Memphis quarterfinals and the eleventh only came in his opening match at Dubai – 6/2, 6/4 over Juan Carlos Ferrero, against whom he had won the US Open years earlier. Rodderino would later beat #14 Mathieu, Rafa, Djokovic and Lopez to take the title in the UAE. Record: 11-2.
2009: 3 events (Doha, Australian Open, San Jose). In 2009 – maybe his last great year at the tour to date – Roddick equaled his 2005 record in shortest for 11 wins. He reached that number after semifinals in Doha, Melbourne and San Jose. #11 was a second round triumph over Ernest Gulbis. He would later beat Haas, before being halted by eventual champ Stepanek in the semis. Record: 11-2.
2010: 3 events (Brisbane, Australian Open, San Jose). In 2010, Roddick kept his 2009 Wimbledon-runner up momentum into the early moments of the season, winning his first tournament of the year for the first time, beating Stepanek in the Brisbane final. Roddick then fell to Cilic at the Aussie Open, narrowing missing the full defense of his ’09 semifinal points. Starting the year 8-1, heading into San Jose, Andy reached his second final of the season in three tournaments played so far, claiming the 11th win in the quarterfinals, against Tomas Berdych – whom he would defeat weeks later for his last Masters title to date. Record: 11-1.
2011: 3 events (Brisbane, Australian Open, Memphis). Following a relatively disappointing season hampered by injuries – including mono – Roddick’s 2011 was off to a good start, reaching Brisbane final again, but losing to Soderling this time. For the first time ever in an odd year (he didn’t play in 2001) Roddick missed the semifinals of the first Slam of the year, losing to Wawrinka in a match that, personally, drove me crazy, surfacing his push-and-volley style that so much bothers me. Andy’s redemption – and one of his most remarkable runs of the year, along with the US Open – came in Memphis. He won his only title of the year beating ’10 US Open nemesis Tipsarevic, Del Potro (for the first time), old time rival Hewitt and an up-and-coming Raonic (finishing him off with that epic MP) in a row. Not bad. #11 came in Memphis semifinal, against the resurgent Juan Martin, then ranked #298. Record: 11-2.
Conclusions? If Roddick starts the year with a new momentum (we are all pretty sure about a new hairstyle), we can all expect him to get those damn 11 wins quickly. It depends a lot on his schedule – he will start in Melbourne for the first time since 2008 – but I’d put a buck on the 600th coming in one of the pre-Indian Wells USA events.