Saturday, November 05, 2005

No Second Chances

Ljubicic def. Roddick 6-3 7-5

After mounting an incredible come-back win against David Ferrer yesterday, Roddick could not whip up the same magic today and lost in a little over an hour in the semi-finals to Ivan Ljubicic. It was apparent during the match that Roddick's back was still causing him pain. Roddick did not call for an injury time-out during play but instead, he would get medical attention between change-overs. This is just the latest example of Roddick's great sportsmanship and respect for his opponents.

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The bad luck continues but Roddick is still heading in the right direction.

Although it is frustrating to see another great opportunity slip through Andy's fingers again, he has to take away some positives from his performances in this past week: For once, he didn't mentally crap out in his first match against a determined Taylor Dent and suffer another first-round loss. Then he blew Hrbaty away. And in the quarterfinals yesterday, he showed the biggest heart and fight that I've seen from him in a long time. He is definitely on the right track and this all bodes well for 2006. The back injury was simply bad luck and I don't doubt that had Andy been healthy, he would've taken care of business with the Croat as well. He's done good.

Andy's stats from the match:
62% on first serve
10 aces
1 double-fault
14 winners
19 unforced errors
0/0 on break chances

Click here to listen to part of Andy's post-match interview.

From the BNP Paribas website:
Ljubicic too strong for an injured Roddick

A determined Ivan Ljubicic convincingly cruised through his semifinal duel against Andy Roddick, defeating the American 6/3 7/5 in 1h04. Suffering from a back problem Roddick received treatment twice during the match, and didn't look 100% fit to defend his chances. Ljubicic will attempt on Sunday to capure his first ever ATP Masters Series.

When Ivan Ljubicic and Andy Roddick walk out on court, one could expect a lot from the outcome. Possibly two of the hottest players on tour, when Federer and Nadal are not playing! Unfortunately, Andy Roddick suffering from a back injury was never able to produce his best tennis. The result of this injury for the American: very little movement on the court and an extremely weak backhand.

Keeping this in mind, Roddick was far from being the laughing stock of the court. And if you're familiar with the Americans competitiveness, you would know that even on one leg he’d give it his best shot, may it be for personal pride or out of respect for the 14,000 fans that paid to come and cheer on the kid from Nebraska.

Some serving stats to prove just that: 15 aces for Ljubicic versus 10 for Roddick, only 2 breaks in favour of the Croatian and double fault each.

The eighth and last “Master”

The first of the two breaks came at 1-0 Ljubicic in the first set, allowing the resident of  Monte Carlo to move ahead 3-0. Hard enough to break the Croatian as it is, it would be that much harder if you’re suffering from a stiff back. Roddick was not able to catch the slightest glimpse of a break point.

Even worst, from the moment that Roddick lost his serve he was only able to capture a single point on the Ljubicic serve in the first set. That point being a double fault. And aside a trainer on court at 5/2, to help Roddick stretch out his back, there was not much more to be said. The first set was polished by the eighth and last “Master” 6-3 in 26 minutes.

Back to back ATP Masters series finals

In the second set, Roddick seemed to be moving a bit better. But far from being able to worry the Croatian on his serve. He was however serving with what seemed to be a loser back, and none of the two players ever made it past thirty when returning. Up to 5-5.

At that point in time Ljubicic felt an opportunity to go ahead on Roddick’s serve. A double fault, a passing shot and two winner returns put the Croatian in the drivers seat. A seat in which he seems to be extremely comfortable. Losing a total of 3 points on his serve in the second set, Ivan “the great” pumps the fist, shakes a hand, and goes through for what will be back to back ATP Masters series finals.

After losing to Nadal in Madrid two weeks ago, Ljubicic will attempt to win the last major of the year before the Masters Cup. He will wait to see which of the two Czechs (Berdych or Stepanek) will be his opponent. --Eli Weinstein

News:
Ailing Roddick routed by Ljubicic
Injured Roddick in doubt for Masters Cup
Down and Out: Roddick Loses to Ljubicic in Semifinals

5 comments:

Chris Lautischer said...

wow. is this a job for you, or just a career?

Noelle De Guzman said...

it's a labor of love, Chris... as are most of the tennis blogs out there.

J. said...

I love your site. Amusing and informative...

partygirlerer said...

i hate that he played on saturday, tangy the picture section- rocks!!

tangerine said...

thanks everyone, for your comments! partygirl, I'm glad you like the picture section. I'll get it up to speed in a bit when I add the USO and Davis Cup pictures. Thank god we have a week off before the masters cup starts so that I can all this stuff organized!

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