Not pretty. But works.
August 25, 2011 2 Comments
I digress. It’s amazing how, even though there are some players out there who really made me feel for them – in good and bad times – I have realized I only write posts like this one about two of them. Andrew S. Roddick and Kimberly H. Clijsters. What does it mean? Don’t know. Maybe I like them more than I like the others – and sometimes I’m not sure I can self-proclaim as a Roddick fan, with guys like my buddy @cacwhere out there. But the truth is, constant posts like this one, just about them. Make of it what you will.
HE IS BAAAAAAAAAAAACK. That’s a player worth the hyperbole, or whatever you could call this. But my point is, HE IS BAAAAAAAAAACK! For the first time since Wimbledon – and with some glimpses at the Davis Cup and, 37 days later, Cincinnati, with catastrophic results – I can say Andy Roddick is back to business.
Maybe falling out of the top-20 was the last warning he needed. I don’t care, not a bit at ALL, but it IS working.
Making an analysis of his style, it is, in its deepest essence, the 2.011 version of Andy Roddick software. The big serve? Hell, still there, up and running, the beating heart that pump blood through his veins – and brains. The backhand? “404 Error”, Google’d say, but that’s understandable. He is back into flat groundies, instead of the annoying and useless slices (yo, Andy, you are no Petzsche, glad you finally realized it).
Even better, Roddick has finally learned he must MIX IT UP. This means, slices ONLY WHEN NECESSARY. Back in the dark days of the Australian Open and Indian Wells, his revolutionary push-and-volley style only earned him frustrations. Him and his fans, let’s make this clear.
Also another fact is, his game is ugly now, for whatever reasons: a physical decline, injuries, he’s aging. It has mostly come to this: He serves. Most of the times, the return will go out. If it doesn’t, then rally – on his backhand, of course – and he either eats the winner or makes the opponent eat up an UFE.
But hey, I said it before: it IS working. He played so far three guys he should beat. And he did it, easily: 2 and 4 over LL Vasselin, 1 and 3 over Giraldo and 1 and 4 over Monaco. Roddick also didn’t face a single break-point. This means his game is like the ’00 Ravens: No offense, but who cares, since your defense and the special teams are doing the job? Ugly, but successful.
Another point that deserves note, his temper. Roddick has not lost it so far this week. The ease with which he won his matches certainly helps, but we know Roddick. We know how a foot-fault could just unleash the beast inside him and spread mayhem. Instead, he is focused, shouting loud-but-respectful-and-contained ‘Come On’s after winning the big points. And moving on, after missing break-points and wasting opportunity points, like a 0-30.
I have already said it here before, and usually train went off the tracks after I did, but hell, I will buy another ticket and go for it again. I’m truly enjoying Mr. A.S.R. this week. How far can he go? This week, all the way to the title seems a reasonable guess – though it won’t be easy to get past Big John Isner tomorrow. At the US Open? With the positive draw he has – Russell, Sock/Gicquel, Benneteau/Almagro likely in third round – it’s not a distant dream to think he can at least improve from his last year’s performance. In an eventual R16 match up, the highest seed he could face is David Ferrer.
But heee, hold on to your knickers there, peeps. One step at a time, right?