June 22, 2011 2 Comments
Very pleased to write this post. That’s because the last time I had seen Roddick in action, he was breaking racquets, imploding, arguing and putting up some stupid play calls. In-between tantrums and disappointed stares, Roddick lost to random qualifier Flavio Cipolla in Madrid, in three sets. That match led me to write the post ‘Tragedy’.
Very well. After that, he lost to Simon in the early hours of the morning (local time) in Rome, then skipped the rest of the clay season, returned in Queen’s, winning three matches which, unfortunately, I could not watch. I’m also glad I didn’t wake up early to watch the semifinal v. Murray, but oh well. Here and now.
It’s Wimbledon, maybe Roddick’s last big goal. I tuned in to watch the last turn on Centre, vs. the big Romanian dude, Victor Hanescu. Not a big threat if you look to their H2H, but with Roddick, you can never know for sure.
And what did I see? Something that filled my eyes with tears of joy. I saw evolution, right before my eyes. I saw a way more focused Andy, a way more smart Roddick. Don’t know who’s the genius who woke him up, but I’m forever grateful – as long as he keeps the changes, that is.
Roddick changed the gameplan. The lovely stubborn probably saw he was making a mistake insisting in such stupid strategy. He finally realized that serving, pushing and forcing UFEs, serving-and-volleying all the time and the backhand slices, followed by lousy net approaches won’t buy him a Ferrari. Or a Dodge. Or whatever pleases the Omaha Kid.
What a saw today was a reminiscent of ‘old’ Roddick: MONSTER serve, followed by a MONSTER forehand, always looking for the winners. Of course, the volleys and variations are still there, as a complement. In other words, he serves and volleys, yes. He uses the backhand slices, yes. But they are the extra sauce, not the stuffing. See my point? He finally realized his old style won’t get him The Championships. And that’s BEYOND AWESOME.
If playing Hanescu – and not a most favored opponent – helped? Maybe. But in the end, he won 6/4, 6/3, 6/4, without getting broken a single time. He next faces Feliciano Lopez – whose serve can be tricky, despite their H2H (favors Rodney 7-nothing). But if Roddick plays just like he did today…
PS: I’ve launched a new hashtag: #600Countdown, a watch for Roddick’s 600 career wins. He is now only 24 away.
PS2: Ahead of Wimbledon, Roddick had 19,590mil in career prize money (US Dollars). By reaching the third round he will earn, at least, 34,300 pounds. I don’t know how much this is in dollars, but he is also close to 20 million in career earnings.