Friday, July 03, 2009

Day 11: Emotional

Andy Roddick of the US gestures after beating Britain's Andy Murray 6-4, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 in a Men's Semi-Final match during the 2009 Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Tennis Club, in southwest London, on July 3, 2009.

A rare few gave him a chance. But Andy Roddick silenced his critics, most of the pundits, and so many of the hoping fans by defeating Andy Murray on Centre Court in four breathtaking sets.

6-4, 4-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(5).

Stat of the match? Roddick won more and a higher percentage of return points than Murray and he converted 2 of 5 break points.

As a fan of tennis and as a fan of Roddick, I haven't been this emotional over a tennis match in 6 years. I really can't write what I want to because it's not fit for this blog. Nothing over-the-top, or anything like that, it's just too personal. Sometimes that's what tennis does to me. I love this sport because it's like life. And so when I see the first player I ever followed closely and the first player of whom I became a true fan overcome so much in his career to make another Slam final, at Wimbledon of all places, I take it personally.

I'll leave you with what a subdued but emotional Andy said after the match and the report of a touching moment I wish I could have witnessed.

“Throughout my career, I've had a lot of shortcomings but trying hard hasn't been one of them.

“I had to play my best tennis out there to win today. I can’t say enough good things about Andy’s game, but I can play some tennis sometimes. Not many people were giving me much of a chance at all. I knew if I could stay the course, I’d have a shot. That’s all you can ask for.

“Make no mistake, Andy's been a much better player than I have for the past year - I was just a bit better than him today.”

Roddick heads up the clubhouse stairs post-interview, sinking to his knees on the staircase, head in hands again. Club members applaud.

I'll drink to that as I shed a few more tears.

Andy Roddick of the U.S. reacts after defeating Andy Murray of Britain in their semi-final match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, July 3, 2009.

Mother of Britains Andy Murray, Judy Murray (L),partner of Britain's Andy Murray, Kim Sears (2L) and  partner of US Andy Roddick, Brooklyn Decker (R) react at the end of the tennis match between Britain's Andy Murray and US Andy Roddick on Day 11 at the 2009 Wimbledon tennis championships at the All England Club on July 3, 2009. The event, the third Grand Slam tournament of 2009, runs from June 22  to  July  5, 2009. Roddick won 6/4,4/6,7/6,7/6.

Andy Roddick of the U.S. reacts after defeating Andy Murray of Britain in their semi-final match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, July 3, 2009.

Andy Roddick of U.S. , right, commiserates with Britain's Andy Murray, after defeating him in their men's singles semifinal on the Centre Court at Wimbledon, Friday, July 3, 2009.

Britain's Andy Murray waves after loosing against  US Andy Roddick during their semi final match on Day 11 at the 2009 Wimbledon tennis championships at the All England Club on July 3, 2009. The event, the third Grand Slam tournament of 2009, runs from June 22  to  July  5, 2009. Roddick won 6/4,4/6,7/6,7/6.

Andy Roddick of U.S.holds his face as he leaves the court after defeating Britain's Andy Murray, in their men's singles semifinal on the Centre Court at Wimbledon, Friday, July 3, 2009.

US Andy Roddick jubilates after winning against  Britain's Andy Murray during their semi final match on Day 11 at the 2009 Wimbledon tennis championships at the All England Club on July 3, 2009. The event, the third Grand Slam tournament of 2009, runs from June 22  to  July  5, 2009. Roddick won 6/4,4/6,7/6,7/6.AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK.

(Thanks, Pamela, for the YouTube link. You got me going all over again...)


oddman said...




anonymous said...

It's touching to see he has a realization that his game has some shortcomings. But he should have improved over those after so many (5+) years. He should learn to hit harder, accurately and finish the point with a winner from the baseline (as he correctly did most of the times today again Murray). Couple that with his excellent serve, improved volleying and you've got a really hard to beat player in Roddick. I was so pleasantly surprised to see he was also returning so well today, at least initially before Murray started hitting all those first-serve aces. And most importantly, Roddick should not just give up on the ball when it's a few yards away (gain some inspiration from Nadal who also has tendinitis), anticipate better and try to return all those shots he lets go by. But today, I must say, Roddick WASN'T all serve and poor game. His new coach has taught him some pretty good volleying and slice.

Karen said...

I dont cry very much, but man, people in my office think I am just a bag of emotion right now. So awesome. This is what a die-hard Fed KAD posted earlier on another message board:
*Controlling tears*
To : Andy Roddick
CC: TWibes
For all the put-downs by Roger, all these years, you never gave up. You did funny pressers. Your repartee was right on. You saw upstarts come and go. You stood your ground. I was constantly hoping for you to fall on the "other" (non Fed) side of the draw in Slams. And when you indeed did last year, some Serbian (no, not that one) nicked you. In Wimbledon. In 2nd round. It doesn't matter now, does it? I always knew, a slam or two or three, given a chance or two or three, if you get on the other side, you would have made it to the finals. And now you have done it.

You lost weight. You changed coaches. You joked about getting old. You quipped about your chances at GS. So you worked out. You PR'd heavily. You tweeter'd. You married some pin-up. You were ridiculed a bit (guilty). You behaved like The Ugly American with line umpires and chair umpires every now and then. You were The Ugly American at times. You were written off. But you looked confident throughout. You looked and stood your ground. Above all, you kept your humor. And, and, we could not bring ourselves to hate you. Nor be indifferent to you.

Andy Roddick, you are genuine. You are honest. And you are a true sportsman. A true sportsman shows his heart more in losses than in wins. And you have shown it the last 3 years - the way you held your respect for your opponents. Now, now, Andy Roddick, pick yourself. Dust yourself off and get ready for Sunday. I am rooting for Federer. It doesn't matter now, does it? Now, now, the way you collapsed on the steps sobbing, I had to fight my tears. On my birthday. Andy Roddick, we like you. We really really like you.

Play well Sunday as I have reserved my best wishes and good lucks for Roger. And knowing you, I am sure you understand.


edma1022 said...

In a way, both Andys bore the weight of the whole nation on their backs.

Bottom line is, unlike AndyM, AndyR does not really need to prove anything to anyone. But by doing this one for his fans and his country is nothing short of amazing.

dapxin said...


Tears just rolled on me as I read your post.

I saw Andy on that stairs, holding his heads in his hands, and I was too ecstatic for him to truly notice the import.

That letter just sums up why we all love sports --Tennis does sorta raises the philosophy a notch
--that you must try to win,
you must recover from your loss,
you must respect your opponent,
and when you win,
you must surely always take it,
all for what it is: entertainment.
fun and finding meaning to life's deepest questions through brutality and conscious exertion...

Roddick, what a glorious day for the American lad.

dylan said...

Hi Craig. It's kind of thrilling to see you, as such a devoted fan, have a much deserved day in the sun. Congrats Andy, what a fine fine win.

Karen said...

I hope ESPN will show this match this evening or even TC.

Matthew said...

Hey there folks - sorry I wasn't around for the game while it was going on, but since I was watching the tape delay TV broadcast, I had to embargo the internet.

A great match. Tighter than a drum. Murray managed to out-ace Roddick (25 to 21) but Roddick out-returned Murray (32% to 30%) even though Murray won a higher percentage of first (83% to 77%) and second serves (53% to 51%). Murray just had to hit a lot more second serves (AndyM's first serve percentage was at 52% to AndyR's 75%). Roddick had fewer winners (64-76) and more unforced errors (24 to 20) but he ended up leading in the only stat that matters: sets, by 3-1.

Really scintillating tennis from both guys. The stats really don't matter that much (as loathe as I am to say it) because they don't show how smart Roddick played to diffuse and derail Murray. Federer's got to be the favorite in the final, but so was AndyM.

Their last two matches have been really tight, and even though their last match at a GS (Aussie O this year) wasn't quite, it still wasn't a blowout like some of their encounters. I'm expecting Andy to do more to stand in the way of Federer's march to history than Soderling did. Regardless of what happens, it should be a fun match.

My favorite stat, actually, is that Roddick hit exactly enough aces to tie him with Karlovic for the total over the course of the tournament (160). If Roddick hits a single ace in the final, and unless Federer hits 84, Roddick will end up on top in that stat, no matter what.

Tennis Vagabond said...

What a match!
That first set was so boring I skipped the 2nd, and what a match I came back to- Murray doing more than moonball each shot, and A-Rod upping his variety. Mary Carrilo had it exactly right: that was the most complete and intelligent match I've seen Andy play.
I've been saying for almost a year that Andy was becoming a legit GS competitor again, and he's just kept on improving at every tournament. His volleying is so improved, his backhand is so improved, and now I see his on-court thinking is so improved. The man actually has options!
For a few years I've been impressed with how Andy has matured as a person from the brash jock who first burst on the scene.
Lord knows its harder to change as a human than a tennis player, and its nice as a fan to see that his tennis has caught up.
Great stuff Andy, and good for you Craig, all your horses have run well!

T. Vag

Michael said...

First the Olympics on tape delay and the wonderful folks from NBC do this to us...of course, here in Central Time Zone land, the match is still on.

Do you suppose that by, the year 2029 we might get to see BOTH semi's live?

Roddick has a real shot on Sunday, IMHO.

rabbit said...

I didn't get to watch much of any of the matches. Only the spectacular ending to the Federer match and the nail-biter of the final tiebreak of the Roddick match. Congrats, Craig and all Roddick fans! Much deserved! I didn't understand from the start why Murray was considered such a force in the draw, since he has consistently been exposed by big hitting over five sets. And Roddick showed what he is made of. In the presser after his last match, the media informed him that according to Hewitt, he was a huge underdog to Murray. I loved Roddick's cool response to it, saying that he understood where Hewitt's answer came from. I think Roddick's mind is his greatest asset. He can keep his cool and humor after the greatest of disasters and successes. Major, major kudos to him.

Karen said...

I did not want to mention it but yesterday in Hewitt's presser, I thought he was a bit condescending in his responses about Andy. One of the telling things that he said was that he did not see anything different in Roddick's game from years ago. I thought that was not a nice thing to say, seeing as how the fellow just kicked your ass in 5 sets. I dont know it is like some players just cannot give even a teensy bit of credit to an opponent. In Murray's presser today he spoke about Roddick's serve, as if that was the only aspect of Roddick's game that was working. I have said it all along, in a best of 3 set scenario, Murray wins hands down, put him up in a 5 setter and he is left gasping for air. He played 1 5 set match and people all over the blogosphere are talking about him being tired. As well I think the heat had a lot to do with it as well. Every match that Murray has played this tournament has been under cool conditions, whilst everyone else has had to play in the British heat. That contributed to him not having the legs to run all day like Andy did. Say what you will about these older guys but they know about fitness and conditioning, something these younger guys could learn from.

rabbit said...

Agreed, Karen.

Also, Murray in today's presser said that Roger doesn't have a great return game. Right, that's why Roger was the only one to break Karlovic this tournament and that's why he can consistently return Roddick's serve.

Craig Hickman said...

Since I've never held Hewitt in much regard, I didn't even bother to read his presser. In is defense, though, he only repeated what most everybody else was saying: Roddick had little chance.

Dinky doo tennis only works against players who allow it to work.

Notice that Murray had to serve harder and bigger and in order to break serve to open the second set, he had to get angry and bash the ball. He didn't break Roddick's serve with "variety", he broke it with his own power. Sure, he used his speed and athleticism to get to those approaches and short volleys, but when he got to them, he crushed the ball. And the second time Roddick lost his serve, he broke himself.

I know I'm a scratched record on this, but unless you're a player who allows him to get into your head, over best-of-five sets, you have a a great chance against him if you have enough weapons and can also outlast him.

For Roddick, Hewitt was perfect preparation for Murray and Roddick executed a great game plan and change tactics as necessary.

I'm still over the moon.

Craig Hickman said...

Where's tangerine and peytonallen and MMT and Helen W?

rabbit said...

Completely agreed, Craig. I've said this before, I think, but looking at the list of players who have recently beaten Murray in slams (Federer, Verdasco, Gonzalez, Roddick), one word comes to mind: big hitter.

rabbit said...

Ha, I should have said one phrase! :p

sG said...

Already posted this up on Savannah's blog. Yes, I'm lazy -- I've got a quiche to make! LOL

Good job, Andy R, good job! I've muttered to myself all day that there is no such thing as "deserving a win". I wish I could think: Andy has never won here, he deserves one. However, I can't. What Andy needs to do at the most basic level is to fix in his mind that he wants the win. That he wants it more than Fed. That he will win. He must fix this in the center of his mind and let his every action flow from this thought.

In his win over Andy M. there were a few concerns -- loose games when up a break; coming in behind the wrong ball (in a panic) when under service pressure. While these nervous tics of his were fewer and farther between this match, he needs to get it down to zero against Federer.

Honestly, I didn't think Andy would find this level. I knew he had it in him but it seemed as if the window of opportunity to up his level had passed him by. I thought he'd make a deep run but the final is more than I believed. Now all I can pray for, hope, is for Andy not to psych himself out before he ever touches the court. That he leaves his usual Roger/mental capitulations in a toilet somewhere on the way to Centre Court.

I want an all American win!

Karen said...

Boy I am telling you it is going to be a humdinger of a match. This morning Craig said that Roger's nerves were at the surface. I think right now Roger is more nervous than Andy. I think for the first couple of games in that final on Sunday we are going to see 2 old guys who are nervous about what they can achieve by winning this coveted trophy. This is one Sunday morning when I will not be going to church. I will be glued to the tv (Lord forgive me in advance).

Mad Professah said...

Wow.... I did think that Roddick would do wel aainst Murray but I didn't expect that!!

I do think that Murray dodn't play his best tennis--he wasn't MOVING as well as he usually does to get under himself to really tee off on balls, but Roddick was EXCELLENT tactically.

It would be nice if Roddick could win on Sunday but I don't see that happening--he has maube a 30% chance.

Federer in 3 sets.

Pamela said...

Pretty hard to not be touched by Roddick's win today, especially if you saw this:

Helen W said...

Craig says:

Where's tangerine and peytonallen and MMT and Helen W?

Nice to be missed. I've just gone live with my first-ever Silverlight website and there have been ... uh ... issues. Never, ever be the very first developer who uses WCF at your large corporate web hosting company (don't ask). Anyone who knows why FireFox 3.5 (released June 30) would break WCF client access policies that worked in previous versions please e-mail me privately.

Nevertheless: Go Andy! Looks like he finally found a coach who can really work with him in Larry Stefanki.

sykotique said...

After all these years.

All the talk early on in their generation about Hewitt's fight...Safin's power...Haas' technique...Ferrero's speed...Nalbandian's strategy...

Apart from Federer, arguably one of the greatest, Andy Roddick is the ONLY one of their generation left, still in the top 10, still playing top tier tennis and still able to keep the younger, stronger and how often do we hear, more talented, generation at bay.

He's undoubtedly the 3rd greatest grasscourter of this era...only Federer and Nadal can claim better achievements on the surface. How quick so many, including myself, were to write him off, to forget his history.

I've often been guilty of deriding his game, but clearly he deserves more respect for his versatility and consistency. Andy Roddick is a Slam champion, a former #1, a Davis Cup winner, and has been a staple of the top 10 for eras.

I'm rooting for Roger - but for once, I can honestly say that I won't be sad to see him lose.

Graf_sampras said...

“Throughout my career, I've had a lot of shortcomings but trying hard hasn't been one of them.

“I had to play my best tennis out there to win today. I can’t say enough good things about Andy’s game, but I can play some tennis sometimes. Not many people were giving me much of a chance at all. I knew if I could stay the course, I’d have a shot. That’s all you can ask for.

“Make no mistake, Andy's been a much better player than I have for the past year - I was just a bit better than him today.”


I made sure to be up for the Andy Match - -and I felt that "whoever wins the 3rd set tie break wins the whole in four".

i am STILL crying from watching Andy R win and say those things. especially the first statement.

I can't say more right now..fancy that, me....short post......i AM in tears!! and Andy Roddick is at FAULT!! but i LOVE IT!!

love that fighter !!

Graf_sampras said...

ANDY RODDICK -- may you win on sunday your very own Wimbledon.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF at all moments and you will win.

tangerine said...

That was one of the most brilliant matches I had ever seen Roddick play. It was stunning. Everybody was stunned, including the BBC and NBC commentators I was listening to.

I was actually in tears when I saw Andy collapse on the staircase and start moaning while the people around him applauded. I cannot get that image out of my head.

Like Craig, I'm finding it difficult to put into words what I'm feeling right now. Too many years, too many heartbreaks, too long a history I guess.

Suffice it to say, I've been a Roddick fan for years and today I was never more proud of him. To Andy I say only "Bravo, champion!"

Graf_sampras said...

I want an all American win!

Fri Jul 03, 05:10:00 PM


for ONCE - let the American JULY FOURTH actuallY MEAN something TRUTHFUL .

I want the WIlliamses and RODDICk to make it an all-american CHAMPIONSHIP day!

tangerine said...

Where's tangerine and peytonallen and MMT and Helen W?

I am here Craig. I was so stunned after the win that I had to leave the house for a bit to do some spontaneous shopping and clear my head.

Karen said...

I have to say the commentators sound so disappointed that AndyR won the match. Listening to Cahill and Fowler now and boy they sound so down. Do they know that AndyR is the American and AndyM is the Scotsman?

gdjoe5 said...

Hey Craig, GREAT blog. I just checked it out, and it's great to see that American tennis fans cannot be silenced!

As for Even though it was a tight 4 set match with 2 tiebreakers, you have to say that Roddick was clearly the better player, in a number of facets. Murray still has the all-around court sense and vision that Roddick lacks, but who would've thought that Roddick's backhand slice, return, and net game would've been as effective as they were?

I remember the time when Roddick's game seemed to be just mindless huge serves and forehands, with little else; seeing him develop his backhand and transition game is really a treat. If only we could see the same kind of commitment from a guy like James Blake....

With that being said, Federer in 4 on Sunday; but Roddick has re-entered his name back into the top echelon of men's tennis.

Again, great blog, keep up the good work!

Graf_sampras said...

the thing that was FINE from roddick today was THIS:

whatever the improvements have been - they were USELESS so long as ANDY HESITATED

but when andy - whether in slice or forehands, or returns or serves or volley or attacking or transitioning or GRABBING short balls ..etc.


an EXAMPLE : towards the end - in the fourth set -

there was a furious exchange of net play - roddick made superb "reaction shots" at the net - a la pingpong FAST - and won those. at least twice .

he STOOD his ground.

Helen W said...

sykotique you are so right when you point out how much Andy's career has been mocked and disdained. He has been consistently in the top ten for years, yet it has become common for tennisheads to dismiss him with a curl of the lip.

I for one am delighted to see him play with the panache he used to exude.

Karen said...

What, he was so disappointed he could not walk off Centre Court with AndyR. Reason No. 1,251,000 why I will never cheer for AndyM

Karen said...

I am going to say something that will perhaps get me crucified here. I just finished watching the match and almost every single approach shot that Andy hit in coming to net was hit to AndyM's forehand. He better not to do that on Sunday against Roger because he is going to be passed consistently. He hardly had any backhand approach shots. I think he was trying to avoid the AndyM backhand but if he gets into that habit on Sunday, and we know that Roger will force Andy to play to the forehand side. Man, I hope they have a gameplan for Sunday.

Craig Hickman said...

Karen, you are so right. Fowler and Cahill seemed disappointed. ESPN had the gall to run a headline that said "Enjoy It While It Lasts".

I haven't a clue why ESPN seems to enjoy rubbing salt in Andy's wounds and can't even publish a praiseworthy headline when he stuns the tennis world and reminds those who've paid little attention who he really is a tennis player and a champion.

I'm still crying.

I'm still praying.

Craig Hickman said...

Karen, why would you be crucified for saying that? I wondered during the match why he kept approaching the forehand but NOT covering the cross court pass, Murray's favorite shot.

But in the final set tiebreak, he only approached the backhand. He won the match on a backhand approach that Murray netted after hitting two clean backhand passes.

I wouldn't doubt for a second they'll have a game plan for Sunday.

And I'll keep praying that Andy will execute it.


Tangerine, good to see you. Helen W, I hope you get your technical issues worked out.

Craig Hickman said...


Welcome. Please stick around. There are fans with faves from all over the globe here.

oddman said...

tangerine said: 'Like Craig, I'm finding it difficult to put into words what I'm feeling right now. Too many years, too many heartbreaks, too long a history I guess.

Suffice it to say, I've been a Roddick fan for years and today I was never more proud of him. To Andy I say only "Bravo, champion!"

Fri Jul 03, 08:14:00 PM'


Thanks tangerine. I've been trying to put into words how I feel today, and your post is pretty much what I would have said. I have so many emotions right now. I've been a huge fan of Andy for years (I heard 'are you an absolute moron?' and I fell in love with that brash kid) - but I got so gutted with some of his matches, I just couldn't watch anymore. Stupid of me, no? But my heart just couldn't take it.

I spoke to Helen W today about trying to quench my hope for Andy in the final, come Sunday, but the heart wants what it wants. I will hope and dream for the outcome I want to see, and believe it CAN happen.

Today is a triumph for this true sportsman, this genuine guy, hard worker, keep your head down and nose to the grindstone standup guy... I'm just revelling in his triumph today.

Sorry for the gush... I could go on and on...

Craig Hickman said...

Don't stop, oddman. We Andy fans don't get too many opportunities to gush.

oddman said...

OK, Craig. I will. (grin)

I wrote this the other day, before the semifinal matches had been played. Was going to write about each guy (Haas, Murray, and Roddick), but words only flowed when I thought about Andy Roddick.

My Dream.

I dream of Andy Roddick winning Wimbledon. The perennial bridesmaid in 03, 04, and 05, who saw his nerve and serve eventually eroded by the hype of his nation. The guy who, countless times, has faced bitter defeat at the hands of his nemesis, yet always picks his ass up off the court, stands up, looks his opponent in the eye, shakes the hand warmly, and goes back to try again. The guy who takes those body blows from the press with utter honesty, self deprecating humor, quick wit, and a little sarcasm, deflecting those punches as best he can, even when he’s devastated. I admire the fight in the man, the desire, the belief in himself to keep trying, challenging, changing, improving – whatever he could do. I admire his words always, how he gives honest praise, skewers himself and no one else, and how he easily he can make the world laugh. I dream of him holding that glittering golden trophy on the green lawn, the tears flowing freely, as he forever casts aside the One Slam Wonder moniker.
Maybe this dream won’t come true. But.
I can still dream.

Graf_sampras said...

Wimbledon - Roddick: Regime helped me to win

Eurosport - Fri, 03 Jul 21:16:00 2009

Andy Roddick earned another chance to cast off the 'one-Slam wonder' tag he feared would live with him forever when steely nerve and a golden serve gave him a Wimbledon semi-final win over Andy Murray.
TENNIS 2009 Wimbledon Roddick - 0
More Stories

* Murray: I'll come back stronger
* Roddick dashes Murray dreams
* Reed: Federer will be dancing with joy

It was as if the Roddick of old was back on Centre Court as the American sixth seed played with the fearless swagger that took him to the US Open title as a 21-year-old in 2003.

His reward for a 6-4 4-6 7-6 7-6 victory over the home favourite and third seed is a third appearance in the final at Wimbledon and once again it will be against Roger Federer, the man who denied him in 2004 and 2005.

Few had expected him to survive against Murray, four years his junior at 22, but the extra hours of fitness work Roddick has put in under new coach Larry Stefanki paid off.

Roddick hired Stefanki, who took Chile's Fernando Gonzalez to the 2007 Australian Open final, after failing to go beyond the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam last season.

At the time he wondered if he had a future at the top end of the game but under Stefanki's guidance he lost around six kilos, to noticeable effect in the way he moves around court.

"This off-season, we said, 'You know what, if you're not gonna be up there, let's at least not wonder. Let's prepare yourself and give yourself every opportunity'," said Roddick.

"I did work real hard and was committed, and have been committed from everything to diet to sleep to everything.

"So I certainly gave myself every opportunity to succeed."

He used his most potent weapon to good effect on Friday, serving a 225kph ace in the first game to draw gasps from the crowd and finishing with a first serve percentage of 75.

At the match's conclusion Roddick sank down, scarcely able to believe he had won, before standing to applaud the crowd and celebrate with a discreet pump of his first.

The performance was all the more remarkable given that he had come through a draining five-setter against Lleyton Hewitt in the quarter-finals and came into the tournament still feeling the effects of an ankle sprain suffered at Queen's.

If he is to become the first American man to win at Wimbledon since Pete Sampras in 2000 he will have to play the match of his life against Federer, the five-times champion who is aiming for a record 15th Grand Slam title.

"I'd love to delay it (Federer's record) for another grand Slam," Roddick said.

Graf_sampras said...

Karen said...

I am going to say something that will perhaps get me crucified here. I just finished watching the match and almost every single approach shot that Andy hit in coming to net was hit to AndyM's forehand. He better not to do that on Sunday against Roger because he is going to be passed consistently. He hardly had any backhand approach shots. I think he was trying to avoid the AndyM backhand but if he gets into that habit on Sunday, and we know that Roger will force Andy to play to the forehand side. Man, I hope they have a gameplan for Sunday.


Karen you are being VERY TENNIS FANlike. absolutely ADMIRABLE!

Andy just has to go out there, play to the hilt, fight hard, never give an inch, be courageous, stay sharp , grab every opportunity, keep the pressure ON and play his heart out but keep his head intact and play WITHIN HIMSELF and believe that he can win.

as Steve Tignor said:

"one thing Andy Roddick is NOT -- a quitter".

now he just has to be also a BELIEVER.

Graf_sampras said...

after he won - and he momentarily knelt and hide his eyes - you just wanted to go out there and give him a BIG HUG! this was someone that played with an Aching Heart for all the years of disappointment and even growing dismissals - but no matter what happens on sunday

Andy Roddick reminds everyone...

there are times when the HEROIC is not about the "great achievements" and "historic records".....far from it, even ....

the heroic is more often as common as the most ordinary of us - but when it is at the lowest points that it BURSTS OUT more brilliantly shining than the "greatest" achievements.

Andy's IS the kind of heroism like he displayed when he was the LAST person to escape a fire in a hotel in italy to allow Rusedski and his pregnant wife to get to safety....

Andy's is the kind that just sucks it up whatever his fate gives him

Andy's is the kind that, as Jim Courier said:
"Every single time I phone Andy for a charity cause - he's THERE, no questions asked".

Andy's is the kind of Heroism like he showed when picking up a small boy being crushed by the crowd for his autograph - over the fence and sending him home for his birthday to maryland telling his auntie:

"I will never forget how andy roddick didn't forget me".

RAFAEL nadal is most heroic as the tennis champion that stood up to a player that andy and others couldn't or wouldn't stand up to. \

Tommy Haas is the player that is Heroic for going on and on and on despite bad luck again and again and again - to reach the wimbledon semis even in the dusk of what is left of his unfortunate career.

Andy Roddick is the PERSON that is Heroic for keeping his advice to himself - that no matter what : "I am not quitting...if i am anything...i am a worker".

he may not be an "elite" among tennis greats in history -- but he is in his own way MORE than that....

as an article said from -

"Andy, the supermodel, and a cabby".....

"ANDY RODDICK is the man of the PEOPLE".

we love you Andy. THANK you for being who you are. all flaws and good things. JUST BE WHO YOU ARE.

Graf_sampras said...

The Evans Report: Roddick Stamps Brilliant Blue Print On Semi By Richard Evans
Friday, July 03, 2009
click to preview
Roddick: To be honest, last couple of years I didn't know if I'd ever get a chance to play for a Grand Slam title. © Action Images/Reuters
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The new Andy Roddick that has been incubating all year burst forth as a Grand Slam finalist re-born here at Wimbledon, breaking a nation’s hearts and proving that he is a lot more than the world’s best bad player.

Roddick did not switch from his natural style as drastically as Arthur Ashe did in slow balling Jimmy Connors to defeat in the 1975 final but the tactical switch was enough to turn the tables on Andy Murray — a player he had lost to six times in eight previous meetings — and carry him through to his third Wimbledon final where he will meet, who else, Roger Federer, to whom he lost in 2004 and 2005.

Federer had served up the starter on a day that offered a feast of tennis — brilliant frequently, nerve-racked often and continuously fascinating — by beating the gallant Tommy Haas 7-6(3), 7-5, 6-3.

Graf_sampras said...

But it was the main course everyone was waiting for and even if it left Scotland feeling sick, it tasted pretty good for those who admire a great fighter and appreciate a well-laid plan working to near perfection.

Roddick won 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(5) by virtue of executing the tactical blue print he and coach Larry Stefanki had worked out beforehand.

"Andy doesn’t like to finish points on the setup shot," Stefanki told me as we chatted on the players’ terrace afterwards. "He doesn’t like the ball coming back at him. But we agreed that he had to go into the match expecting that because of the quality of Murray’s returns. He had to deal with it mentally and he executed brilliantly. His drop shots were terrific and, of course, he was great coming forward."

Later Roddick also spoke about how he handled the fact that the Centre Court crowd were overwhelmingly in favor of his opponent.

"It’s a lot easier to deal with something when you kind of know how it is going to be," he said. "If I had acted like I was surprised — well, you know, he’s their guy. They should support him and go crazy for him and they did. I think playing away Davis Cup matches definitely helps that situation. You know, every time we’re away it’s the same deal."

The fundamentals of the match lay in way Roddick served, which was a given, but, more importantly, how he varied his game, choosing the right moments to come in and volleying brilliantly when he did so; staying solid and patient during some long backcourt rallies and how he kept surprising Murray with the quality of his drop shots — the latter not being a normal weapon in the Roddick armory.

Graf_sampras said...

It was a stunning drop shot that took the American to set point at 5-4 after a closely fought first set. When Murray netted a low bouncing forehand first blood was drawn and Murray needed all his cool to immediately announce his presence in the match by breaking Roddick in the first game of the second to love. When the Scottish Andy promptly served up three consecutive aces to go ahead 2-0, it seemed that he might be putting the horror stat of just 45 percent first serves in during the first set behind him. Roddick had been serving at 85 percent and obviously that gap had to be closed.

As the clouds started to drift away to provide a sun-splashed afternoon that helped Roddick more than his opponent, Murray still maintained his revival and served out for the set without ever having to defend break point. In retrospect, the first game of the third offered a possible turning point that could have changed the outcome.

With the crowd clamorous as ever, Murray sped to 0-40 on the American serve as Roddick put a forehand into the net; got beaten as Murray scored with a cross court forehand that clipped the net and then hit a forehand long. A break there would have put Roddick on the back foot, mentally and physically, but he was not going to allow it to happen. A lovely stop volley and a shot that completely wrong footed his opponent, followed by big forehand winner, earned him five straight points. It was a huge moment.

"You’re probably not going to get out of a love-40 hole too often against a guy who returns like him," Roddick said. "So it was definitely key to get through that."

But if he thoroughly deserved to escape from that predicament, there was no disguising the large slice of luck he enjoyed when Murray reached set point to go two sets to one up at 6-5 in the breaker. The Scot’s 22nd ace had got him to that pivotal moment and Roddick, getting in at the end of a great rally, scored with a totally mishit volley which came off the frame. Murray was already moving to cut off the anticipated cross court volley but he was left stranded as the ball plopped over the net.

"There was nothing I could do," said Murray. "He apologized."

Roddick rubbed salt into the wound by reaching set point himself with an ace but Murray took care of that with a backhand winner. But after the good, Murray skipped bad and went straight to ugly with a completely mishit forehand that flew high in the air, taking his hopes with it. On the next point he netted a routine forehand and the set was Roddick’s by 9 points to 7.

Murray seemed to have strained a leg muscle towards the end of that set but he insisted it was nothing when asked about it and did, indeed, seem to shake it off as the fourth set unfolded. And it was Murray who had the one chance to break in the eighth game when Roddick made a rare volley error on a high backhand that flew long. But Roddick got back to deuce with a great forehand crosscourt winner and two more cracking shots enabled him to level at four all.

Graf_sampras said...

We were witnessing some great tennis but also some nervous tennis from both men as the tension mounted and the enormity of what lay in store for the winner loomed ever larger. But there still seemed to be the possibility that Murray would be the most likely winner, with the crowd behind him, if he could just get the match into a fifth set. The problem lay with another tie break and Roddick’s incredible record of having won 24 breakers this year going into the match and only losing four. Now you can make that 26-4.

No doubt Murray was able to put that stat out of his mind but it is doubtful whether he could banish the occasion from his thoughts and the pressure finally told when, on the fourth point, he made simple error on a backhand that had never functioned quite as well as he would have liked. He netted to go 1-3 down and even though he forced Roddick to net a forehand after a fantastic rally on the next point, the former US Open champion soon had a 5-2 lead after two more huge first serves had doused the crowd’s spirits. Murray got it back to 4-5 but that still left Roddick with two match points and two serves to come. Too late, the Murray backhand flashed across the worn grass and beat a tumbling opponent to save the first. But he couldn’t repeat it and when he netted off his backhand, Roddick fell to his knees, triumphant.

Coming off court Roddick’s instant reactions said a lot about the kind of guy he is.

"I had to play my best," he said, "I can’t say enough about Andy’s game. He has played much better than me over the past year but for all my short comings not trying hard hasn’t been one of them so it’s just a dream."

If he finds himself saying something similar after Sunday’s final then he will be living the dream of his life. Despite the score of the first two sets which merely reflected how well Haas served and struck the ball during some great rallies, Federer cruised through his 21st successive Grand Slam final — a feat that just about transcends anything that anyone else has achieved in the game — and it will be difficult to envisage him failing to add a sixth Wimbledon crown and a 14th Grand Slam title.

If Roddick continues to serve up in the 130 mph range at 75 percent of first serves, then the Swiss is going to have to work at it but, as Andy freely admits, Ivo Karlovic is the best server in the game and looked what happened to him.

In the meantime history beckons and two of the men Federer shares it with, Rod Laver, who won his second Grand Slam forty years ago, and Bjorn Borg who won five straight titles here, will be in the Royal Box to witness what everyone hopes will be a match worth watching. Not, perhaps, the match that Britain and a lot of neutrals were hoping for but Murray will get over that, even if the media choose to pick over the entrails.

Nothing now can prevent this being a memorable Wimbledon with crowds exceeding last year’s total to date by a whopping 32,600 which reflects eleven days of wonderful tennis, played almost exclusively under sunny skies. Thank you roof, you have done your job.

Graf_sampras said...

July 4, 2009
The blonde who inspired Andy Roddick's return to form
Former model Brooklyn talked the American out of quitting the sport and convinced him that he could realise his dream
Brooklyn Decker

(Owen Humphreys/PA)

Roddick is happy to thank Decker for his resurgence
Kevin Eason

For a woman who professes to know little about tennis, she made the best decision of Andy Roddick’s life. The American was on the verge of quitting the sport after being dumped out of Wimbledon a year ago. He fled London for the United States, trying to escape the images of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer fighting over a trophy he had dreamed of lifting all his life.

Then Brooklyn, his wife, intervened.

Graf_sampras said...

She convinced Roddick to keep trying. Tomorrow, Andy Roddick will play in the Wimbledon men’s singles final. “I was probably leaning towards not really playing that well,” Roddick said last night. “She didn’t know much about tennis — she thought I was playing really great. Anyway, she thought I looked cute in shorts.

“Brook has been a calming influence and someone that I can confide in and not have to put on a super-brave front to. And you know, she makes the players’ box better-looking.”

It is one of those heart-warming stories, laced with Roddick’s wry humour, that could be plucked from the pages of a magazine, much as Roddick plucked his wife from the pages of Sports Illustrated. Brooklyn Decker was a swimwear model and, Roddick, lonely and bored and flicking through the magazine to kill time, stopped at her picture — and fell in love at first sight.

* Andy 'fighting for his life and will not quit'

They married in April, part of the life change that has seen Roddick, 26, transformed from an also-ran competing in the shadow of Nadal, Federer and even Andy Murray — the man he vanquished yesterday — to a player on the brink of winning another grand-slam title.

Graf_sampras said...

Nobody would have given him a hope two weeks ago but Roddick’s electrifying performance against Murray has got the pundits wondering whether he could add to his US Open title of six years ago, when he was the world No 1.

But just as big an influence on yesterday’s match was Larry Stefanki, the coach he hired seven months ago. Stefanki ordered a new regime of fitness, diet and concentration that proved its worth on Centre Court as Roddick blocked out the 15,000-strong crowd screaming their support for Murray and played with an astonishing intensity that blew the Scot away.

Murray had won six of their past eight matches; the ninth meeting proved to be the one that counted.

“I knew that getting all hyped-up, especially in an atmosphere that probably wasn’t going to be super favourable to me, wasn’t the way to go,” Roddick said. “I just wanted to stay the course. ”

Despite his defeat at the hands of Nadal in the final last year, Federer will start the match as the red-hot favourite, not least because of his 18-2 record against Roddick.

Yet the American has already proved in the semi-final that records do not count when you walk out on court and Decker has allowed her husband to dream again — specifically that dream he had for years of lifting the historic trophy in front of a packed Centre Court.

“I know how tough it is,” Roddick said. “But I am excited about this one. I didn’t know if I was going to get to play in a final at Wimbledon again. I am certainly thankful to have the opportunity.”

“Brook and I had lots of talks [about whether] I could still play at the top of the game. I openly questioned it.

“[But] I worked real hard and have been committed to everything from diet to sleep. So I gave myself every opportunity to succeed.”

If opportunity knocks tomorrow, Roddick will know who to thank.

Karen said...

Morning All, and a Happy Fourth of July to all my American friends. Well today is the Day. I saw the comments this morning (had gone to bed was tired). When I said crucified in relation to Andy v Roger's match, I thought people would have been upset with me. One of the things that makes Andy not able to beat Roger is the fact that Roger makes Andy play a very uncomfortable game. Yesterday Andy was able to execute his game plan by coming to the net on his terms. He sliced and came in to put away the volleys, he hit very good approach shots and came in behind them, he hit very strong serves and came in behind them. The thing is that each time that Andy came in it was on his terms. At no point did AndyM bring AndyR to the net. Roger is a different kettle of fish because he will be pulling Andy in with that short slice, Andy will have no choice but to take the bait and come in and guess what, he will be passed, whether on the BHDTL or on the forehand cross court. If Andy hopes to win this match he is going to have to try and defuse that backhand slice. In Miami earlier this year he was able to do this, but that was on a hardcourt, on gras it is a whole different kettle of fish.