Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Fall Out Boy

Addendum, Friday, January 27, 2006

The Delray Beach Fiasco

FALSE ALARM! Never mind, www.andyroddick.com is reporting that Roddick will not be playing at Delray Beach.

Well. That was fun.


This latest strange development over the Delray Beach tournament has more meat to it than previously thought. Somebody at the tournament goofed big time by opening his fat, greedy mouth about something that was not promised in the first place, making Roddick look like the bad guy.

Here is an update, as reported by the Sun-Sentinel today:
Coach: Roddick felt deceived by tourney director

By Harvey Fialkov
Posted January 29 2006

DELRAY BEACH · Andy Roddick's coach said that his player's change of heart regarding his last-minute request to play in the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships on Friday had little to do with him having to play in this weekend's qualifying rounds.

Because the three allotted wild cards had already been given to Mardy Fish, Andre Agassi and Sargis Sargsian -- Agassi's close friend and hitting partner -- Roddick, who decided Thursday night to enter the $380,000 event to help prepare for the upcoming Davis Cup tie against Romania, was prepared to earn his way into the 32-player draw, a rare route for top-ranked players.

"Why would Andy fly in from Texas at his own expense to play?'' asked Roddick's coach, Dean Goldfine. "Sure, it would've been easier to get a wild card, but it didn't have anything to do about playing qualifiers. Andy couldn't justify being out there playing their tournament when he felt deceived by [tournament director] Mark Baron.''

The only issue of contention that Goldfine would specifically address had to do with Roddick's agreement with the tournament not to publicize his participation in qualifying until he actually was playing.

Goldfine said the "deception" regarded an agreement with Baron that the tournament would not publicize Roddick's participation in the qualifying until he played his first match, but tournament officials had alerted the media by e-mail.

Baron called this a "misunderstanding.''

Baron said earlier in the week when he was aware of Roddick's intentions to play his tournament that he asked the ATP to expand the draw to 48, which would net a fourth wild card. He knew that wasn't a realistic request on such short notice.

"I called Fish's people to see if he was healthy. They said he was ready to play,'' Baron said of Fish, who has undergone two wrist surgeries and has been off the tour for the past five months. "There was nothing else I could do. Andy wanted a wild card, and I had none to offer.''

Fish, who like Roddick is represented by SFX, said he never felt pressure to give up his wild card to his friend, but he suggested that the 300th-ranked Sargsian, 32, who retired after the U.S. Open, should have.

"I think everybody knows the one who should get pressure a lot,'' Fish said. "I didn't get [a wild card] in San Jose, and Sargis got one there as well. It's kind of a bummer for both of us.''

Baron said he would never ask a healthy player to give back a wild card and didn't ask Sargsian.

Good to see you eating your own words, Harvey. This, a day after you painted Roddick as a screaming brat trying to pull rank with officials and whining about how no one would give him a free pass. Roddick Watchers, feel free to e-mail Harvey and tell him where to get off at: hfialkov@sun-sentinel.com.

MEN AT WORK. The unofficial logo of AndyRoddick.com

Unrelated rant: does anyone else get annoyed by the fact that ar.com's bulletin boards are always down whenever something interesting happens in the tennis world (i.e. Justin Henin-Hardenne's bizarre retirement in the women's final, and now this Delray Beach fallout)? For an official website, ar.com's server sure does suck.

BREAKING NEWS! Roddick enters the qualifying draw for Delray Beach!

From the Sun-Sentinel:
In a stunning development, Andy Roddick, the No. 3-ranked player in the world, has accepted a spot in this weekend's qualifying tournament in an attempt to earn one of four spots available for the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships.

The 32-player draw was out of wild cards, so Roddick, who grew up in nearby Boca Raton, will be forced to earn his way in. Roddick was knocked out of the Australian Open in the fourth round 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 by surprising finalist Marcos Baghdatis, the 20-year old from Cyprus.

Roddick has played in the Delray Beach tournament four times with one final appearance in 2002, an upset loss to Italy's Davide Sanguinetti.

Roddick was unable to receive a wild card because Andre Agassi, Mardy Fish and Sargis Sargsian had already been granted direct entry into the draw. Agassi, an eight-time Grand Slam champion, was forced to sit out the Australian Open with an ankle injury.

I have to say that I am stunned by this news. Not in a bad way, per se, but am very curious to know what Team Roddick has in mind right now.

Props to Roddick for having the cojones to "lower himself" by entering a qualifying draw. Let the snickering begin, and who cares? Whatever the purpose of this stunt is, Team Roddick has to do what they feel is best for their man to get him back on track, so I'm all for it. Good luck, Andy!


Fall Out Boy

"I just thought maybe I was a little bit spacey out there. Maybe I just wasn't totally on top of things."

-- ANDY RODDICK, who needs a spacesuit.

Life's little absurdities

Something funny happened today. Just for the heck of it, I did a search on the word "Andy" over at tinypic.com and this image actually came up:

Coincidence? Heh.

Tough medicine to swallow

The fall out from Andy's disappointing match with Marcos Baghdatis continues to pour in. Some particularly harsh-but-needs-to-be-said comments came from Mats Wilander and Jim Courier as quoted in the New York Times (click on link to read the entire article; do it soon because NYT articles expire):
In the halls and courtside seats of Melbourne Park, the debate over the state of his game continued. There were essentially two schools of thought. The first, represented by the former star Jim Courier, is that there is no reason for Roddick to panic and that Roddick is still in the hit-or-miss process of trying to fashion himself into a more complete, attack-minded player.

"The alarm bells shouldn't start ringing, but I think this loss is a wake-up call for Andy to begin thinking about making some midmatch transition," Courier said. "I don't think he coached himself very well in this match. I think he's playing pretty well. He's serving pretty well, but he's not making the adjustments he needs to make. He kept going to the Baghdatis forehand and was burned on it just way too many times, and in the fourth set he tried to come forward too much."

The second school of thought, represented by the former Swedish champion Mats Wilander, is that Roddick is an increasingly lost soul with plummeting confidence and prospects who is gradually giving ground and computer points to the up-and-coming set while the smooth-moving Federer turns into a speck on the horizon.

"He's now gone from being a really great talent or whatever to, in my mind, not a great player anymore," Wilander said of Roddick. "Now it's becoming ordinary, totally ordinary."

Wilander expressed frustration with Roddick's tactics against Baghdatis, particularly his tendency to hit huge forehand returns from way behind the baseline that left too much of the court open for Baghdatis to hit backhand winners. He said he was also mystified by Roddick's decision to hit sliced backhands from positions of strength.

"When he's not in control of the point, he tries to hit a two-hander," Wilander said. "He's got the whole strategy turned around."

Wilander also said Roddick's increasingly frequent forays to the net were too predictable. "He's neutralized his own game and power; he's neutralized himself," Wilander said.

Wilander and Courier expressed the same frustration I had while watching Roddick dissolve in fourth round. Losing to Baghdatis is not what got me so upset but it was the way that he lost: passive, tenative, afraid, and meek. Very UNRoddick-like behavior. Every shot he made was a no-confidence shot. It was disturbing to watch. Roddick broke his promise -- to himself and to his fans -- to be more aggressive. He wasn't playing to win, he was playing not to lose, and that is a loser's mentality, not a Roddick mentality.

I know that a few of you are angry with me for being a tad harsh and critical of Roddick after his loss, but you are wrong when you say that I am not a real fan or that I'm abandoning Roddick. Believe me, I'm not abandoning this kid. I believe very strongly in him and his game, which is why whenever I see him underperform and blow away golden opportunities I tend to come down hard on him. I know -- as we all know -- that he is capable of doing much better; that he is capable of beating the top players and winning multiple slams and masters titles; that he should not be beating himself before his opponent has hit the first serve.

Deconstructing Roddick

As usually happens, concerned fans/non-fans write into Jon Wertheim's SI.com mailbag asking what's wrong with Roddick:
Please select the following true statement(s) regarding Andy Roddick:

1) The whole ATP locker room has figured out how to play him.

Absolutely. Roddick's game has never been particularly nuanced. But the scouting report is, unquestionably, out: Play the backhand, which he seldom drives down the line. Take advantage of his poor court positioning. Don't go for a spectacular pass because you can often pass him off his first volley. Stick around on his service games, and you give yourself a decent chance to win.

2) He needs to punt the revolving brain trust.
There might something here. When Roddick won the U.S. Open it was as though he was relying on muscle memory. You get the feeling that his intelligence is working against him a bit now. He is a rational, thoughtful guy and -- not unlike Todd Martin -- he might be prone to overthinking and overanalyzing his current swoon.

3) He's overcoached in an effort to beat Roger.
Maybe a year ago there was a sense that he was demoralized by his inability to beat Federer, that he wasn't living up to his end of the rivalry bargain. Now that's the least of his concerns.

4) If he'd just listen to P-Mac, he could win more.
In part because Roddick is the Great American Hope, but also because he's done right by a lot people, there's no shortage of advice. Pat Mac, Jim Courier, John McEnroe, Brad Gilbert, Mats Wilander, everyone has thoughts.

5) Everyone plays their best game against Andy.
False. Sure, Marco Baghdatis was playing well, as was Gilles Muller at the U.S. Open. But this goes beyond bad luck. When a speedy player looses a step, his games falls apart (see: Lleyton Hewitt or Michael Chang.) Likewise, when a power player loses 10 percent of his stick, things crumble. I'm not sure why it's the case, but Roddick doesn't seem to have quite the "stick" he once did. Baghdatis out-aced him for heaven's sake, just as Jose Acususo did at the French and Muller, I believe, did at the Open. Before we address court positioning and ill-timed slices, Roddick needs to figure out where that 10 percent in power went.

6) He's suffering physical and/or mental issues.
Possible. As an aside, I have a gripe with the none-of-our-business logic: If you're a public figure -- particularly one who makes money off the court, selling watches and fragrances and starring in a reality series -- by definition you surrendered some of your privacy. Those are just the rules of engagement. If a player's game is crumbling because of an off-court issue, they're not obliged to address it, but the media shouldn't be barred from inquiring.

7) He should go back to Brad and beg forgiveness.
That train's left the station.

8) The credit-card commercials have ceased to be funny.
Were they ever?

9) He'll be lucky to be in the top 10 at the end of the year.
False. Look at last year. Roddick underperformed at three of the four Slams. He didn't do much at the TMS events. By winning smaller events and making a run at Wimbledon, he finished third. Federer hoards so many points that it doesn't take all that much to be a top 10er.

10) The absence of a top American will kill broadcast coverage in the States.
True, true, a million times true.

AMERICAN EXPRESS. Waiting for another prayer to be answered.

I've already gone off on a rant about Roddick so I won't respond to Wertheim's comments except for the one about the credit card ads never being funny. Did somebody remove Jon's funnybone? The first one was cute, but the second Amex ad Roddick did (the one where the trophy fell on his head) was an international hit, and it even won a commercial award. It was also included in the "2005's Funniest Commercials" TV special that had aired on TBS a few weeks ago.

Andy's game may be sucking right now but for the most part the credit card commercials do not. So there.

It's better to be criticized than to be ignored

Every time Roddick drops the ball, the harsh criticism he receives from the media and bloggers like myself should be seen as a positive sign of a healthy career. A lot is expected of Roddick because we know that he can deliver the goods. When he doesn't take care of business like he should, we give him a swat on the behind and tell him to shape up.

Look at it this way: when Roddick lost to the unseeded Baghdatis it was a huge shock. Tennis boards lit up like Christmas; tennis pundits were back to handing out free advice to Roddick; sports pages were actually publishing news and photos about the match. In some ways, the big story was not about Baghdatis winning but about Roddick losing. Rather telling, don't you think?

In contrast, what sort of media frenzy happened when Baghdatis took down Ivan "Davis Cup God" Ljubicic (seeded 7) and David "Federer Killer" Nalbandian (seeded 4)?

That's right. Nothing. Not a peep. Can you hear the crickets chirping? **watches tumbleweeds blow by** Why is that? :-)

I remember the media firestorm that happened last year when Roddick lost to Hewitt in the Aussie Open semifinals. Roddick had his ten-minute meltdown in the bathroom before going on to lose 1-6 in the fourth set. After that, ESPN became the Bash Roddick Network. Even my local news stations were talking about it. The barrage of criticism went on for so long that Roddick had claimed he was completely "sick of it all" and didn't want to hear it anymore. He then went on to win the SAP Open playing some of his best tennis in a while.

He's pretty good at recovering. With this in mind, I fully expect Roddick to wipe out this latest AO nightmare and win the SAP Open title again for a record third year in a row. Good luck to Andy!

READY TO MOVE ON. The San Jose, Calif. SAP Open begins Feb 13–19.

More crap on Roddickpova

You asked for it! More gossip, this time from The Double Agent:
Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick

It looks like Maria Sharapova may have found herself a new man. It has recently been reported that she and fellow tennis player, Andy Roddick, have coupled up after they fell for each other at the Australian Open.

The Sexy Russian tennis star and Roddick have been spotted taking a breather together between games. The couple sparked rumors of a budding romance when Roddick showed up unannounced at the launch of Sharapova's new perfume line in New York. However, at the time, the duo insisted they were nothing more than friends.

Just last year Sharapova was linked romantically to Adam Levine, Maroon 5's frontman. Roddick's last public romance was with singer/actress Mandy Moore.

Best Celebrity Couples in Tennis:
The rumors are flying Down Under that Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova have been spending a lot of time together away from the tennis court. Wow, first singer Mandy Moore, now Sharapova? Not bad, Andy. We'd be lying if we said we weren't a little jealous. Here are the top five all-time tennis couplings:

5 Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova. They would be higher on the list if it weren't just rumors. One report during ESPN2's coverage of the Australian Open had Maria giving Andy a back rub while he played in a high-stakes poker game.

4 Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. The most popular question about this husband-and-wife team is how many Grand Slam titles their children will win.

3 Andre Agassi and Brooke Shields. And you thought Roddick's love life was impressive. Agassi makes his second appearance thanks to his former marriage to the Hollywood actress. Shields was there when Andre finally conquered New York to win his first U.S. Open title in 1994.

2 John McEnroe and Tatum O'Neal. Temper, temper. Johnny Mac found his equal in the hot-headed actress who got her big break opposite Walter Matthau in "The Bad News Bears."

1 Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert. Roddick and Sharapova will be fortunate if their success on the court equals that of Jimmy and Chris during their courtship at Wimbledon in the 1970s. Alas, Chris America's flirtation with Jimbo was short-lived.

from http://www.bradenton.com/

Life in the Fast Lane

If you missed the link I had posted in the previous blog entry, I'm going to post it again, it's that good. Andy's former coach Brad Gilbert writes about Andy for Australia's The Age. Here is just a few interesting paragraphs. I highly recommend clicking on the link to read the entire article.
Vibrant, brash and super-competitive – Andy Roddick likes poker, video games and jumping out of planes. His former coach Brad Gilbert gives the inside story on the A-Rod.

I started coaching him in 2003 at Queen’s, and other than that little Davis Cup experience, I didn’t know him very well. He was 20, he was turning into an adult. It’s different when you start coaching somebody right in the thick of things. It wasn’t like we had three months to get to know each other – I flew over and we had two weeks before Wimbledon – two weeks, then the biggest tournament in the world.

When we started out he told me, "I don’t win any matches on grass, I’m terrible." I said, "You’re going to go 12 and 0. You’re going to win five here at Queen’s and seven at Wimbledon." He went 5 and 0 to win Queen’s, then he lost to Federer in the semis at Wimbledon, so that was 10 and 1 for the three weeks.

I think the loss to Federer opened his eyes. He missed a forehand at set point – 6-5 in the breaker, and he missed a forehand approach, and then all of a sudden the match turned. He was annoyed about that, but he said, "Dude, we’re going to have a great summer." He took an unbelievably positive attitude, and he went out and did it.

He went 27 and 1 that summer – he won Montreal, won Cincinnati, won the US Open. The only match he lost was to Tim Henman in the semis of Washington. He had a couple of match points, and was so upset that he lost it. Sometimes he handles defeat well, sometimes he just wants to bust some racquets and get it out of the system. As a coach in that situation, you just give them the space and say, "I’ll catch you later." Sometimes he’ll be perturbed, sometimes he’ll just say, "The guy played too good."

Andy was becoming a star when we started out. From that Wimbledon and the amazing two months that followed, his star just rocketed. It was different for Andre – he came on the scene when he was 15. By the time he was 18 he was No.3 in the world. His stardom was long. He had the jean shorts, the hair, he had the game. He really became a star right away. Andy was projected to become a star, but he wasn’t that star yet. All of a sudden he won big, and it blew up.

Andre and Andy are completely different guys. Great tennis players both, but different guys. The thing about Andre, people have this perception that when he was young he was this wild and crazy guy. He wasn’t that guy. I played Davis Cup with him when he was 19 and I remember telling my wife, "I can’t believe this guy’s 19. He smart, he’s engaging, he speaks so well, he’s thoughtful, unbelievably well mannered."

Andy’s a little more vibrant and brash. He wants to go to the basketball court and dominate, do engaging sports, play poker, video games; he’s much more a product of the MTV generation. He likes to jump out of planes. When Andre relaxes, jumping out of a plane or crazy stuff like that, it doesn’t enter his mind. Andy went to a really good, private boys’ academy, and he’s a bright guy, no question about it.

Andre’s incredibly smart without going to college, they’re both bright people. Everything Andy does is fast. When he eats, he sits down and eats in five minutes; he’s got no patience to sit down and eat a two-hour meal. He eats huge, but he wants it quick, quick, quick. He likes poker because it’s mentally challenging and there’s different ways to win. What’s really important about poker is how you read somebody, and he likes to think he can do that. He plays aggressively, but unpredictably.

He lives on the lake in Austin, Texas, and if he gets downtime he likes going out in his boat, skiing, whatever. He doesn’t like sitting in front of the TV relaxing. He has a side that he can put away from tennis, and he has a lot of fun, at a fast pace. He’s that generation who are doing stuff all the time.

He used to play a lot of X-Box games, and when he plays someone in that he just wants to crush you. He and I played a lot of ping pong, and I’m pretty darn good. He plays unbelievably right-handed, and he’d play me leftie and beat me. Then he’d taunt me. The guy was tough.

The thing that shocked me more than anything about him is he’s got ridiculous moves. When he was 14 or 15 and he wasn’t sure he was going to be a great tennis player, he went and got all the Michael Jackson moves down. He could dance with the stars.

He’s got sweet moves, but he’s not like, "I’m going to go out there and clear the dance floor." Everything about him is the right time. He’s calculating.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Roddick Breaks His Promise

Baghdatis def. Roddick
6-4 1-6 6-3 6-4

"You're kind of left searching a bit; that's an uneasy feeling. I don't know if it's easy just to shrug off."

-- ANDY RODDICK, in his post-match interview
after losing to Marcos Baghdatis.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comRODDICK BAGGED BY BAGHDATIS. Drawing courtesy of blosson.

So Andy Roddick loses to the tricky Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in four sets. I knew Baghdatis would be a tough test but if Roddick had come out and played with half as much aggression as he did in the first three matches, Baghdatis would not have stood a chance. But Roddick came out flat-footed, and again played too tentatively and too defensively. This gave Baghdatis all the confidence to step up his game and dictate play.

Roddick lost because he reneged on his promise to be more aggressive. With the exception of the second set where he did most everything right, he wasn't aggressive at all in the last two sets. Whether because he was nervous or because he didn't know Baghdatis' game well, Andy was also missing way too many first serves and his forehand was impotent. Baghdatis isn't nearly as fit as Roddick so he could have run Baghdatis around and wore him down, but he did not. And Roddick once again wasted opportunities by standing around waiting around for Baghdatis to make mistakes and lose the match, which of course Baghdatis would not do. Why should he when Roddick was perfectly willing to the lose match himself?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
HEAD SCRATCHER. If Roddick really thinks he didn't play all that bad, then I have a bat here that would love to meet his head and bash some sense into him.

Everybody was fooled by Roddick's ready-to-rumble tough talk and even Jon Wertheim had noted Andy's great playing in his SI.com's midterm grades, giving Andy a grade of "A — The U.S. Open sure seems like a long time ago." These grades came out one day before Andy flamed out to Baghdatis. Suddenly, the US Open seems like it happened only yesterday.

So it looks like it's back to the drawing board for Team Roddick. How about seeing that sports psychologist, Andy? Or maybe try hypnosis. Do something. Anything.

Stat of the day - This loss marks the first time Roddick has lost in the fourth round of a grand slam (10-1). Keep up the awesome new records, Andy.

Video highlights can be found over here at ESPN's site, on the right-hand side.

Photos from the Baghdatis match are now up in my photo gallery. Enjoy.

Countdown (again) to Dean Goldfine's dismissal?

As always happens whenever Roddick suffers a shock loss, the first dumb question the media asks is "Where's Andy's mojo?" After everyone is done laughing over that stale joke, the second dumb question they ask (amongst themselves) is how much longer Dean Goldfine will last as Roddick's coach.

Tennis-x.com had a fun Roddick rant today:
Roddick's exit before the quarterfinals in Melbourne follows on the heels of his first-round upset at his last slam at the 2005 US Open, firing speculation that big changes are on the horizon in the Roddick camp. "Firing" being the key word.....Andy Roddick has now lost to a former junior No. 1 in the last three Slams. He's also won three of his last six slam matches.....With Roddick making no progress in his game, Lleyton Hewitt going backward, and Marat Safin and Rafael Nadal injured, who is going to finish No. 2 behind Federer in 2006? Ivan Ljubicic? David Nalbandian?? Your mom? The field is open.....Andy Roddick has failed to reach the quarterfinals in three of his last four slams. Dean Goldfine, not a lot of job security there.....As the rip-fest on Andy Roddick begins, ponder exactly what coach Dean Goldfine has contributed besides being a low-key replacement for the overbearing Brad Gilbert. Speaking of Brad, has any commentator ever had such a mutant-like ability to make his audience uncomfortable with his irritating fake-smirk-and-hands-on-the-desk awkwardness after each blurting out of a statement? The smooth (at the desk more so than commentating) Chris Fowler needs to get Brad into some media training.....Now that Andy Roddick has nothing to do in Melbourne, he can reciprocate for Maria Sharapova watching him play poker all the time by rooting on the Russian (though not in view of the TV cameras).

And this little nugget from tennisreporters.net:
No surprise here, but the word off the court is that Andy Roddick's coach Dean Goldfine's job is in jeopardy. The Globe and Mail's Tom Tebbutt had a nice scoop after Roddick's loss to Bagdhatis. In a corridor after the match, his brain trust -- agent Ken Myerson, coach Dean Goldfine and trainer Doug Spreen -- were discussing their man, and one could be overheard saying, "He's playing scared."

Look folks, I don't think Dean Goldfine is going anywhere. And the idea of Roddick hiring Gilbert back is ridiculous; Gilbert is now under contract with ESPN so his full-time coaching days are over for now, and a full-time coach is what Roddick needs. A few facts I'd like to present:

a) Roddick's game began to stagnate under Brad Gilbert, the problems did not begin with Goldfine.
b) the one big reason why Roddick dumped Gilbert had nothing to do with Gilbert's coaching ability and everything to do with clashing personalities (it was reported that Roddick's father did not approve of Mr. Gilbert's constant self-promotion and was irritated by Gilbert's nonstop chattering) and questionable priorities on Gilbert's part. Remember, Gilbert spent much of 2004 promoting himself and his new book "I've Got Your Back" while Roddick was playing overseas, coachless.
c) 2005 Cincinnati, Roddick def. Hewitt 6-4 7-6. A troublesome milestone achieved under Golfine.

Roddick is arguably a much better player, a more well-rounded and fitter player, today than he was during the height of his career in 2003. The one big complaint I have with Goldfine is that Roddick's problems now appear to be solely between the ears, and instead of learning from his mistakes he keeps repeating them over and over again (go back and watch Roddick's matches with Joachim Johansson at the 2004 USO quarterfinal, the first-round Gilles Muller 2005 USO match and now the Baghdatis AO match and you will recognize how similarly Roddick went down in flames to all three players).

Confidence and self-belief was Brad Gilbert's specialty that helped Roddick in 2003. Today, sadly, while Roddick's game is heading in the right direction, his confidence and self-belief appears to be headed in the opposite direction. I put the blame squarely on both Roddick's and Goldfine's shoulders. Roddick, because he seems to recognize the problem but doesn't appear to be doing anything about it, and Goldfine, because as coach it is his job to get in Roddick's face and tell him flat-out what's wrong and what they need to do to fix it. I don't know Goldfine personally but I never really got this image of Goldfine being able to light a fire under Roddick's ass the way Gilbert used to do. I hope I'm wrong about that.

And now for something more fun to write about

A profile of tennis photographer Cynthia Lum appeared in Australia's The Age a few days ago, and Ms. Lum shares some great anecdotes about Roddick:
Photographer Cynthia Lum is the eyes of men's tennis. And those eyes have seen a lot. [. . .]

The big gossip this year is that men's No. 2 Andy Roddick is on with Russian Maria Sharapova, women's No.4 seed. "That would surprise me," Lum says. "He likes starlet-type girls, but he wouldn't like a girl that overshadows him."

She met Roddick when he was 19. "I thought to myself, 'this kid has great potential as a player and also as a brat'. He was supposed to be the next Pete Sampras, he's had a lot of pressure put on him, and kids like that have brat potential. He has a temper, but he's a good kid. He's a funny kid. He does funny things. Once he had his people buy him a bed from the W Hotel in Los Angeles for his house in Florida, just because he liked the bed." [. . .]

Roddick is on edge, "like a racehorse". He constantly fidgets with his hat and jiggles a blue rubber bracelet on his right wrist. [. . .]

"I shouldn’t say this but he’s a party boy. He’ll be at the casino playing craps and roulette. He’ll be hanging out in clubs — he went to a party at The Loft this week.’’

Justin Gimelstob to the rumor rescue

Add Mr. Gimelstob to the growing list of people perplexed over the Roddick-Sharapova dating rumors:
The much hyped Roddick/Maria Sharapova love match isn't what the tennis world is craving it to be. They are not together. Sorry, guys. While it makes a great story and gives the gossip magazines something to occupy their pages, they are both in Australia to win a tennis tournament, not engross themselves in some dramatic love affair.

In sticking with the Roddick theme, though, I nominate him for quote of the tournament for his response during Friday's press conference regarding his upcoming encounter with Cyprus native Marcos Baghdatis and his legion of excitable supporters (whom I experienced first-hand in my first-round loss to Baghdatis):

"I have a bunch of half-naked women, and he has a bunch of sweaty men. I know who I'd rather have dinner with."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Roddick Express Rolls On...and On

Clean Up in Aisle Three

"I don't really think I have the luxury of worrying about next week [meeting Federer]. I have to get there first."

-- ANDY RODDICK, refusing to discuss his chances against Roger Federer when he still has three more matches to get through first. Good job, Andy. Tell those media idiots to go read a book in the dark.

Third Round, Roddick def. Benneteau 6-1 6-2 6-2

Roddick should be arrested for such a brutal mugging against a helpless victim. I don't take any glee in Benneteau's destruction but Roddick making good in his promise to be more aggressive this year has made me positively giddy. So complete was Roddick's dominance that ESPN2 didn't even bother showing the match last night.

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HOOK 'EM HORNS. The universal sign for Roddick Is The Devil.

Stat of the day: Roddick has so far won all three of his AO matches in straight sets and under two hours.

Shut Up, Media

Roddick also continues to bristle at reporters who question whether he got a soft draw of if his opponents are just unworthy.

"You know what, I don't really care how you guys take it. I'm not really concerned," Roddick said when asked whether the ease of his victories was due to his good form or poor opponents.

Thank you, Andy, for putting these people in their place. How come nobody asks these stupid questions of Roger Federer, who has been skipping through his early-round matches completely trouble-free and hasn't met up with any challenging, seeded players yet, either? What's with the double standard? Dear media folk: shut the eff up. Thanks.

Next Victim: Marcos Baghdatis

If you've been snoozing through Andy's past three matches, you won't want to blink and miss his next opponent, Marcos Baghdatis. A gifted and charismatic player, Baghdatis' rowdy cheering section is guaranteed to start some trash-talking not only with Roddick (which they had already started doing at the Benneteau match) but with Roddick's now famous Bikini Brigade.

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CHEERING SECTION. Roddick said: "I have half-naked women and [Baghdatis] has a bunch of men. I'd rather have a dinner with my cheering section." Somebody forgot to warn Roddick that his bikini brigade also includes half-naked sweaty fanboys. Yeeha!

Roddick Laughs Off Sharapova Rumors

Andy was interviewed on ESPN2 yesterday after his match with Benneteau and host Chris Fowler was brave enough to mention the Maria thing. You can watch the video here at Andy's official site. Very funny stuff. Chris Fowler: "Andy Roddick, ladies and gentlemen--swatting away Frenchmen, swatting away rumors." LOL.


"For me there is no such thing as an open draw. If there's one thing we've learned by seeds getting knocked out, it proves everybody can play."

-- ANDY RODDICK, on recent comments from some that his draw is too easy. Glad to see that the media has already forgotten the US Open nightmare when Mr. Nobody Gilles Muller dumped Roddick out in the first round. So much for having an easy draw.

Second Round, Roddick def. Moodie 7-5 6-3 6-2

Stat of the day: 17 — the number of points Andy Roddick yielded in 15 service games against Wesley Moodie in their second-round match.

Aahhh, a nice, boring, one-sided, yawner of a match. Reminds me of old days, and that's the way we like it. Well done, Andy.

From ESPN.com:
Second-seeded Andy Roddick advanced to the third round of the Australian Open, beating South Africa's Wesley Moodie 7-6, 6-3, 6-2 in a no-nonsense, 1-hour, 48-minute match.

Roddick had 30 winners and only nine unforced errors against Moodie, the Wimbledon doubles champion. The American got 62 percent of his first serves into play and won 85 percent of those points, allowing Moodie only one chance at a break point in the match.

"I'll take that most days," Roddick said. "I definitely felt Wes was going to come out and play big like he did, I needed to play well today."

Roddick had his own cheering squad that included a group of young women who wore spangled red, blue and silver hats, had letters of Roddick's name painted on their bare stomachs and chanted cheers for him.

With a sprinkling of U.S. flags around Rod Laver Arena, it almost seemed Roddick was playing in the U.S. Open.

When Moddie netted a backhand on match point, Roddick turned to his vocal admirers, pumped his fist and got a ball from the ball boy that he whacked up to them as they chanted, "USA! USA!"

"Would you believe me if I said every one of those is my cousin?" Roddick said jokingly afterward. "It's nice when you have 30-some-odd girls in bikinis cheering for you."

Moodie tried to pressure Roddick, rushing the net behind a serve that was nearly as fast as Roddick's. Despite his deft volleying, Moodie won only 57 percent of his 58 net approaches as Roddick's passing shots left him lunging from side to side.

Roddick broke serve for the first time to take the first set. After Moodie fended off a break point and held for 3-3 in the second set, he didn't have another game point until he already was down 2-0 in the third set.

"I wanted to return well," Roddick said. "I feel like after the first four games of the match, I really started doing that. If I can do that, it will make my serve look that much better to the other guys."

Roddick said he slightly injured his right ankle early in the match, but hoped that the trainers would give it "a little TLC" and make it better.

Roddick, a shock first-round loser in the last U.S. Open, will meet France's Julien Benneteau in the third round.

ESPN also has a video highlight here. Click on the "related video" on the right-hand side.

Andy's post-match interview can be found here.

*** Watermark-free photos from yesterday's match are now available in my photo gallery, including several great photos from Wire Image. Enjoy.***

Andy's third-round opponent will be Julien Benneteau. Check the official Australian Open website for exact time of Roddick's third-round match.

Helpful Australian Open Links
Official 2006 Australian Open website
Live Scores
World Clock

Australian Open TV Schedules
TSN Canada
The Tennis Channel
BBC Sport
Sky Sports
Seven Sport

Andy Roddick vs. PONG Ad Watch

Andy's newest American Express TV advertisement for PONG still has not made it's appearance on any American or European broadcast yet. My guess is that Amex is playing it safe this time and waiting until Roddick makes it to the second week before unveiling the new ad. If you're impatient, you can view the ad online here. Just wait until the page loads, then click on "Watch TVC."

The Rumor That Refuses to Die

Who started this dumb rumor and will it ever end? Even Peter Bodo is talking about tennis' potential newest Power Couple! Egads.

More gossip about Andy and Maria:
Tennis Aces Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick in Love, with Poker?

Both Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova are well-known for their on-court tennis exploits. Each, at some point, has reached the pinnacle of his or her sport, with Roddick having won a Grand Slam tennis title at the U.S. Open and Sharapova winning one at Wimbledon. Recently, the two have been reported as romantically linked. Oddly, however, their romance seems to have flourished away from the tennis courts, in a poker room.

As the Australian Open is currently taking place in Melbourne at the same time as the Aussie Millions poker tournament, Roddick and Sharapova have been seen keeping an eye on each other as well as on each other's cards at the local Crown Casino. With the couple frequenting the casino's poker room to play a few hands of their own, one wonders if they can maintain the mental focus needed to play in the Grand Slam event.

With the Australian Open still in its initial rounds, only time will tell whether Roddick and Sharapova can mentally tear themselves from pontificating about poker, and each other, to emerge victorious on the the courts. One thing's for sure though, a mixed-doubles teaming of this king and queen of tennis makes for an exceptionally good-looking pair.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Andy Roddick Show Arrives in Oz

First Round, Roddick def. Lammer 6-4 6-2 6-2

"It really pissed me off. It put a little bit of a chip on my shoulder, I guess. I don't know if it will end up being a blessing in disguise or not. It's probably the most disappointing loss I've had." -- Andy Roddick, on his first-round loss to Gilles Muller at the 2005 US Open

Andy's Swiss opponent Michael Lammer had joked that he was going to talk to Roger Federer about how to beat Andy. Looks like the phone connection went dead as Andy took out Lammer in straight sets. Well done, Andy!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comTHE ENTERTAINER. Balancing fuzzy balls on his tongue is just one of Andy's many talents.

Although Andy was the heavy favorite in this match, getting past the first round is a significant first step towards erasing the US Open nightmare. He was sloppy in the first set, a bit nervous, he had no aces and his backhand was suspect again, but once he won the first set he managed to settled down and then the famous Roddick personality was able to shine through. He enjoyed himself by making a lot of noise, trash-talking Lammer, and playing it up for the Aussie audience, who ate it up. Roddick is quite popular in Oz, as was apparent from the shots of fanboys with "ARod" painted on their chests, the group of folks wearing the green "Pong" t-shirts, the American flags, the giant "ACE! ACE! Baby!" poster, not to mention the dozens of lovely young women all dolled up. Even Patrick McEnroe remarked: "Andy brings out all the beautiful people!" LOL.

So far, Andy seems to be making good on his promise to be more aggressive as he kept blasting away at Lammer's backhand. His movement looked great. I was quite happy to see the playful and aggressive Andy of years past finally make his reappearance. I am still not thrilled to see that he is still wearing the boring all-white outfit but he did change is shirt twice, first to a gray shirt and then to a black shirt. The backwards cap is back, reminiscient of the young Andy circa 2001-2002. Personally, I prefer the hat flipped back around. He looks more intimidating when he wears the trucker hat, in my opinion. But as long as he's confidence and winning, he can play naked for all I care.

Video highlights from day one can be found here.

Andy's post-match interview can be found here.

Several watermark-free photos from yesterday's match are now available in my photo gallery. Enjoy.

So Andy's next opponent will be South African Wesley Moodie, another big hitter. They have never met before. Check the official Australian Open website for exact time of Roddick's second round match.

Helpful Australian Open Links
Official 2006 Australian Open website
Live Scores
World Clock

Australian Open TV Schedules
TSN Canada
The Tennis Channel
BBC Sport
Sky Sports
Seven Sport

Second seed Andy Roddick buried the disappointment of losing in the first round of last year's U.S. Open with a 6-4 6-2 6-2 victory over Swiss qualifier Michael Lammer at the Australian Open on Monday.

Roddick, who had said losing to Gilles Muller in the first round in New York last year was the biggest disappointment of his career, predictably beat Lammer in straight sets.

The 23-year-old American, who won the invitational Kooyong Classic in Melbourne on Saturday, had not played a competitive ATP tour match since the Paris Masters last November due to a painful back injury.

While Roddick appeared to win comfortably, Lammer was a stubborn opponent, nullifying Roddick's powerful service game with some solid returns, though the American's blistering forehand was put to good use with 15 winners.

"I don't really pay too much attention to aces," said Roddick who only served seven, the last of which sealed the match. "I like to get my first serve percentage up above 60, 65 percent.

"That's the number I look at. I think it was at 58 tonight. That's a little low, but it did get better as the match progressed."

Roddick added he still had plenty to work on heading into his second round match with South Africa's Wesley Moodie.

"I won comfortably but there is room for improvement as well.

"I felt good because, you know, even the points I was losing, I felt like I was losing them on my terms.

"I thought I was hitting the ball big and attacking. It felt clean today."

Roddick said he would work on keeping his concentration throughout his next match after it slipped a few times on Monday.

"I felt like I just maybe lapsed in concentration a couple times. I played the big points pretty well, and then I'd be up 30-love sometimes and kind of miss a couple of shots.

"But I guess you'd rather have it that way than the other. Overall I thought it was a pretty good performance.

"A win is a win in my mind. Tough, easy, you just want to keep advancing."

O! Canada!

A little tidbit from Canada's "Weekly Scoop", page 23:
Hot Tennis star, Andy Roddick, tells "Weekly Scoop" he can't wait to get back to Toronto. Roddick spoke to us exclusivel y at his foundation fundraiser in Florida.

"I am looking forward to coming back to Toronto to play tennis this summer. I always play well there, and the people are friendly," Roddick says, adding that he met his ex-lover, Mandy Moore, in Canada's largest city. But there's hope: so far there's no love match for the tennis star.

"I would be open to meeting someone in Toronto, but I am presently happy as a bachelor,” he said. "I will just wait and see if Toronto is good to me!"

Five-time Grammy winner, Lionel Richie, performed at the Seminole Hard Rock as part of Roddick's charity event.

More gossip about Andy and Maria Sharapova came in. Click on the "Andy's Love Life Updates" link to read more.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

King Kooyong

Roddick def. Haas 6-3 7-6 (6), wins Kooyong exhibition tournament.

I can't think of a more perfect way to start off the new year. Congrats to Andy! Now take your newfound confidence and power game and go forth to conquer the Australian Open.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comKING KOOYONG. Drawing courtesy of blosson.

The BBC reports:

Andy Roddick completed his Australian Open preparations with a morale-boosting victory over Tommy Haas in the Kooyong Classic final.

The American, seeded second at the first Grand Slam of the year, prevailed 6-3 7-6 (8-6) at the exhibition event.

"I'm happy with the way I'm hitting the ball," said Roddick.

"I feel the most prepared that I have been for the Open. I had a legitimate off-season, where I was able to train. I feel fit and I'm really excited."

Haas upset world number one Roger Federer earlier in the tournament and the German came close to taking the final against Roddick into a deciding third set.

However, he squandered a 4-1 lead and four set points in the second set and the big-serving American triumphed in the tiebreak.

In the absence of injured duo Marat Safin and Andre Agassi, Roddick will be expected to be one of Federer's main challengers at the Australian Open, which starts on Monday.

But the American said: "I can promise you right now - I'm thinking about (first-round opponent) Michael Lammer and not Roger Federer."

Image hosted by Photobucket.comFINGERS CROSSED. Let's hope this win is a good omen for the rest of the year.

And from Australia's The Age:

In an ominous forecast for his Australian Open rivals, second seed Andy Roddick has warned he has never been better prepared to tackle the often gruelling conditions of Melbourne Park over the coming fortnight.

Roddick completed his final preparations for the Open by defeating Tommy Haas in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) yesterday to win his first AAMI Kooyong Classic title, the traditional warm-up event for many of the game's leading men.

After an extended off-season break because of a back injury which kept him out of the Masters series final in Shanghai last November, Roddick has had time to prepare for a tilt at his first Australian Open title.

"I definitely feel the most prepared that I have been," he said. "I had a legitimate off-season and I was able to train. I feel fit and I'm really excited. Who knows how the next two weeks is going to play out but right now, I feel as ready as I (ever) have been."

In front of more than 8000 fans at Kooyong — the largest crowd to grace Australian tennis' traditional home since Stefan Edberg defeated Pat Cash in the 1987 men's final of the Australian Open — Roddick gave a glimpse of what many will expect from the big serving American over the coming fortnight.

"We were walking through the tunnel and we saw a sea of faces," said Roddick. "I've never seen so many at Kooyong before.

"This place is humbling for a tennis player as you walk around the club and see all the famous faces on the wall. This is an experience that never wears off."

Although he had travelled through the four-day event with little trouble, the world No. 3 had not been entirely happy with his trademark serve, but yesterday even he had to admit it had "clicked".

Roddick served up 13 aces in the two sets, which took 102 minutes. The American was forced to fight back from four set points in the second set to seal his victory.

Over the past 12 years, nine players who have prepared at the Classic have gone on to win the Australian Open. Roddick hopes the tradition will continue for him but believes the connection is more of a testament to the quality fields Kooyong has attracted.

"If you have the best players in the world at this event, then more often than not you're going to have someone from this event going on and winning in Melbourne but those numbers don't put the tennis ball on the court, unfortunately, so I don't pay too much attention to them," he said.

The American will face Swiss qualifier Michael Lammer in his opening match of the Open. Lammer might be ranked 221st in the world, but Roddick is familiar with his game after both competed on the junior circuit at the same time.

While others look towards an encounter between the 23-year-old and another, more recognisable Swiss player, Roddick said it was Lammer and not Roger Federer who would be in his thoughts today. "I can't worry about Roger until I play Roger and I promise you right now I'm thinking about Michael Lammer and not Roger Federer."

Photos and Videos

33 watermark-free photos from the Kooyong final are now up in my gallery. Enjoy!

More videos. Eurosport has a few videos of Andy available on their website, "Hot Rod Down Under."

Up Next: The Australian Open

Jon Wertheim breaks down the men's seed report.

Andy begins with a night match on Monday and he plays qualifier Michael Lammer. They have never met but Roddick says that he has seen Lammer play before so he will at least go into his first match knowing what his opponent is about.

Helpful Australian Open Links
Official 2006 Australian Open website
Live Scores
World Clock

Australian Open TV Schedules
TSN Canada
The Tennis Channel
BBC Sport
Sky Sports
Seven Sport

January 13, 2006

Injuries Win Again

Roddick def. Kiefer 0-1 ret.

Winning a match by walkover is no way to prepare for the Aussie Open. The injury curse at Kooyong continues as Nicolas Kiefer was forced to retire with a rolled ankle after only the first game. Andy entertained the crowd by goofing off with some fans and playing with the ballboys. Hopefully Nicolas will recover in time for the Australian Open.

Walkovers can actually put a player at a disadvantage if they are still trying to shake off rustiness. Andy's opponent in tomorrow's final, Tommy Haas, has been on fire all week long (he took out Federer in the first round robin) and has always given Andy problems in the past so if Andy's looking for a really good workout before hitting the Rebound Ace, then this match with Tommy will be exactly that. Good luck to Andy!

Kooyong Final - Roddick vs. Haas - Saturday Jan. 14, 3:00 pm Melbourne time. The World Clock is your friend.

HIT ME BABY ONE MORE TIME. Well, maybe not.

His short and sweet post-match press conference:

Q: Not the ideal match you would have liked today, is it, Andy?

A: No, of course not, especially on a week like this, selfishly you want to play that match just to get some form, but the good news is I have another one tomorrow so I'm going to go over and try and get some practice in Melbourne Park now and just try to make the best of it.

Q: Did you think he was in trouble straightaway?

A: Well, the thing about an event like this is obviously your priority is next week and I guess kind of the way it goes if you wouldn't practice on it then you probably wouldn't play out there. I can't speak for him but from what I was told he should be able to go on Monday but obviously you don't want to play on a weak ankle, especially after they iced it to keep the swelling down, it was numb so you can't really feel it, so not the smartest thing to go out and try to push it.

Q: Will you have a long session at Melbourne Park now to try and make up for game time?

A: Whatever they will give me as far as court time.

Q: Just looking ahead to your draw, a qualifier.

A: Let's just keep it at qualifier, let's not work past that, please. That's always different because you don't have a face to put there but all it means is that the person is going to be playing well and will already have won three matches, but that's all right.

Q: Can I ask you if you're pleased that Lleyton is in Roger's half of the draw as opposed to yours?

A: I didn't know that but the thing is, I don't know if I can think that far ahead, you kind of have to take them as they come. I think it would be a little bit arrogant of me to think ahead to the last four already; right know I'm just focused on my first round.

Q: We see a lot of foot and ankle injuries. Does the rebound ace get a bit sticky when it's hot and humid?

A: It's not hot and humid today but it's a rubber surface, it gives a little bit more so maybe your feet go down into it a little bit more; that's just kind of the nature of the surface.

Q: Have you ever slipped over or had your foot stick?

A: I had to pull out of the Australian Open mid match in 2002.

Q: What happened there?

A: It was an ankle. I sprained it in the first round and then I tried to play the second round and I sprained the same ankle again in the second round and had to retire from the match.

Q: Did you roll it or did it stick or was it just

A: Probably both. It stuck and therefore it rolled.

Q: You've got Tommy Haas. You know he has been in good form, is that a good hitout two days before the Open?

A: Absolutely, you want to play against guys who are playing well going into the Open and obviously Tommy has played great this week. Win or lose is fine, I want to get out there and compete and hit some shots in a match type atmosphere, which is good. I feel like I'm in pretty good shape and it would be nice to get out there and just play a couple of sets tomorrow.

Lots of new photos from the American Express Aces program and yesterday's match with Nicolas Kiefer are up in my gallery. No tags, either. Go check it out!

Videos, videos, videos!

Here's a short video that was shown on Eurosport about Andy, Maria Sharapova, and Venus Williams (thanks to Danielafrenchfan for the link!)

Eurosport had also televised something about Andy called "On the Rod" the other night. You can view it here (thanks to Danielafrenchfan for the link!) or you can download the English versions here (part 1), here (part 2), and here (part 3) (thanks to Deb for these links!) [the Megaupload site can be a bit confusing. When you first arrive, you'll see on the top right-hand side that you must wait 45 seconds for a time-out. Then click on "click here to download".]

This one is a video of the players Kooyong press conference and shows Andy practicing shirtless. Click on "Video: Federer talks it up, and more"

This is an old video but if you've never seen it before, check it out. It's a video of that famous point Andy made at the 2002 US Open during his match with Chela where he high-fives the crowd afterward. It had won the Heineken Star Award for Best Point at the US Open. Good, nostalgic stuff of a young and playful Andy.

AO Draw is Out

The other big news today is that the Australian Open draw came out. Andy is seeded No. 2 which puts him on the other side of Roger Federer, so he won't see him until the final. Lleyton Hewitt is seeded No. 3 and has been drawn into Federer's side, so that's one dangerous player out of Andy's way (unless by some miracle Hewitt manages to defeat Federer in the semis, then Roddick could possibly meet Hewitt in the final. Drool.).

In the bottom half of Andy's draw there are many potential landmines that could show up in the form of Taylor Dent, Thomas Johansson, Robby Ginepri, Tomas Berdych, and Ivan Ljubicic. Possible dangerous floaters in the top half of the draw that Roddick could do battle with in the semifinals are Rainer Schuettler, Mario Ancic, James Blake, David Ferrer, David Nalbandian, Tim Henman, and Vincent Spadea.

Redemption Does Not Hit the Zzzzz

Roddick is the sports' page cover story on the USA Today site. A great article titled "Roddick Ready to Redeem Himself." Among lots of interesting tidbits, Roddick says that he's entering the 2006 season with a chip on his shoulder and has a lot to prove since crashing out at the US Open last year. "It gave me something to prove . . . Maybe it was a blessing in disguise", he says. go here to read it.

Speaking of great articles, this one may have gotten lost in my last blog entry, but I highly recommend you read Tom A. McFerson' "Who Misses the Old Andy Roddick?" over here at TennisReporters.net. I don't agree with some points he makes but I do understand and appreciate the general gist of the direction he feels Roddick is heading in and should head towards.

More SI.com Fan Mail

More questions and comments about Roddick poured into Jon Wertheim's Mailbag this week:
As thrilling as Roger Federer has been over the past two years, does anyone else feel cheated out of the Federer-Roddick-Ferrero rivalry that seemed inevitable in 2003? Each won a Slam that year and each had a shot at No. 1 at the year-end championships. I know Juan Carlos was brought down by chicken pox, but what really happened to this three-way rivalry? -- Steve, St. Louis

Roddick's flaws and missing dimensions were exposed. Ferrero suffered a prodigious stretch of bad luck and is barely on the radar screen (consider: He lost last week to little-known Chris Guccione). Marat Safin has been, characteristically, crazily erratic. Lleyton Hewitt lacks the weapons to inflict much damage. But ultimately, the "culprit" is Federer. He is so above the rest of the field that he has a nosebleed.

Here's an excerpt from a news article:

"Hopefully next time I will take a set or the match," Frenchman [Monfils] said [of Federer], although he remained stoically non-committal when asked if he saw any weaknesses in Federer's game.

"Don't say anything," Federer shot back.

"No, speak up," replied Roddick to loud laughter.

Makes you wish Andy has a better year in 2006. What's your opinion?
-- Nestor Cotiyam, Quezon City, Philippines

Absolutely. I think some of Roddick's wit, irony and comic timing sometimes gets lost in translation and, filtered through another language, his remarks are misinterpreted as arrogant and disrespectful.

It's Official: ESPN Sucks.

Bad news for American Davis Cup fans: ESPN has decided to drop Davis Cup. The first-round tie will be televised by The Tennis Channel. Booo, ESPN! Boo!

I get the feeling that ESPN would be begging to get the Davis Cup rights back should Andre Agassi decide to give DC another shot.

Spadea Ain't Afraida the Top Ten

A new website dedicated to Vince Spadea has just come to fruition and if you enjoy a good laugh, go check it out.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Dating Game

I am dedicating this particular page to Andy's Love Life. It seems that the interest in who he's dating/seeing/doing will never wane and so I will use this page to post and update any gossip items that I come across about his dating and mating habits.

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Originally posted March 31, 2008

Confirmed: Andy and Brooklyn Are Engaged

"I think I lost half my fan base today."
—Andy, on his engagement.

Read all about the news here.

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Posted January 8, 2008

This is an ad Brooklyn Decker did for H&M stores a few years ago. (right-click for larger image)

A lot of people seem to have suddenly discovered Brooklyn and are blogging about her and Andy. (related article: Andy Roddick is all about Brooklyn...Decker).

Here's an interview with Brooklyn in Lucire magazine.

Brooklyn's profile on AskMen.com.

Here are Brooklyn's photo galleries for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues:


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Posted December 12, 2007

Finally, A Broddick Sighting

The celebrity gossip blog JustJared.com has published several nice photos of Andy and Brooklyn holding hands while walking around New York City's Union Square. They make a nice looking couple. My only complaint is that ripped jeans have not been in vogue since the early 90s so I'm hoping Brooklyn's fashion sense will rub off on Andy and those awful jeans will disappear from his wardrobe.

Brooklyn Video
I found this video profile of Brooklyn where she talks about herself, how she likes living in New York City, and her favorite band is the same as Andy's: The Dave Matthews Band.

Why was Andy in New York Anyway?
The NYPost says:
WE HEAR: That after he helped the US win the Davis Cup for the first time in 12 years, Andy Roddick flew to New York for a routine checkup of his fast feet with Dr. Josh Dines and Dr. Rock Positano of the Hospital for Special Surgery.

A lot of fans seem to have already formed an opinion about Ms. Decker. Here's mine: there are only two things that concern me, One. Does she make him happy? Going by just the few photos I have seen of them together the answer appears to be yes. So far so good. Two. Does she inspire him? In other words, will Decker be one of those suck-the-life-energy-out-of-him type of parasitic trophy girlfriends or will she inspire him to be the best that he can be, both as an athlete and as a human being? Judging by his recent results on the court, and his relaxed attitude and behavior, I am inclined to believe that she has had a positive influence on him. Anything else about Andy's girlfriends I could not care less about. I don't care what she looks like, how old she is, if she's a model or a former frumpy "Survivor" contestant, or whether their relationship will "last", none of these things matter to me as a fan of Andy Roddick. I only want to see him happy and to succeed in his dreams. Should Andy win another slam on her watch, I will be the first to demand that Brooklyn Decker be cloned.

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Posted October 9, 2007

More on Andy and Brooklyn Decker

From the Charlotte Observer. (factoid: Brooklyn is a native of Charlotte):
Could score be love-love?

Could Andy Roddick be nursing his foot injury in the company of rumored girlfriend Brooklyn Decker?

The pair have reportedly been spotted around Matthews, where Decker grew up.

Sources tell me the couple were spotted running at Colonel Francis Beatty Park and have been seen working out together at the Siskey/Hemby YMCA.

A person who answered the phone at the YMCA Monday night would not confirm the sightings.

However, the timing sounds right for them. Sports Illustrated -- for which Decker has modeled -- typically wraps shooting of its top-secret swimsuit issue in September and Roddick has been resting before his "Champions for Charity" event in Austin this week.

The couple were first spotted together in August during the U.S. Open.

More photos and videos of Brooklyn can be found here.

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Posted September 5, 2007

Andy Roddick falls for Sports Illustrated swimsuit model

From the New York Daily News:
Tennis star Andy Roddick was reportedly seen enjoying dinner in the company of American fashion model Brooklyn Decker at Nobu on Wednesday.

Roddick's coach and eight-time Grand Slam winner Jimmy Connors, Dave Matthews Band electric violinist Boyd Tinsley and Plum media's Tom Scott were also at the eclectic table.

An onlooker has revealed that Roddick had completely devoted his concentration to Brooklyn, a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.

"Andy may be playing in Queens, but at Nobu he seemed to have his mind on Brooklyn," the New York Daily News quoted a source as saying.

The newspaper report says that Roddick is known for setting tongues wagging every year during the US Open, as people wait to see who will be on his arm.

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Posted August 28, 2007

Andy Roddick is Looking for Love

Andy talks about what he looks for in a woman. Download the HQ .mp4 file here.

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Posted July 3, 2007

From The Scotsman:
Love-all in the court of A-Rod

It was a telling moment. A glimpse of Andy Roddick the man, rather than the tennis player. Ashley Harkleroad, the childhood sweetheart of the big-hitting American, was asked why they had split. "He couldn't keep it in his pants," was the brutally succinct reply.

A player for whom the 'love-all' tennis pun was invented, Roddick has since been linked with a string of beauties.

A lads' lad, he likes sports, poker and women.

Roddick is an amalgam of supremely aggressive tennis player, American jock, joker, philanthropist and flirt. He exploded onto the tennis scene as a precociously powerful and aggressive 18-year-old. His athletic good looks got him pigeonholed as 'the male Kournikova', an unfair comparison considering his undoubted prowess on the tennis court.

In an image-obsessed America, he had the looks to make sponsors, adoring females and gay men sit up and take more interest in the sport. Appearances on MTV and in magazines were commonplace in those early days. He halted the traffic in Times Square in 2003 as he appeared on the television show TRL and fans spilled over onto the street as he posed for photos outside the studios.

Roddick, who is rarely seen on court without a baseball cap pulled tight down on his head, has an articulacy and intelligence that has escaped many professional sportsmen, but it his love life that has fascinated the celebrity magazines and internet chatrooms.

He appeared settled during his lengthy relationship with the beautiful actress and singer, Mandy Moore. A glamorous couple, they traversed the showbiz-sport divide, and the media loved them. But his souring success and her career commitments made their diaries harder to synchronise, and it is suggested Roddick's eye again began to rove. In 2005, a year after the pair split, Moore penned an album of songs that she claimed chronicled her life over the previous 18 months. "It's a lot to do with love and heartbreak," she said. When asked if Roddick would therefore be entitled to a share of the royalties, she declared that "if you listen to the songs you will realise that he is owed nothing".

One of the songs on Wild Hope, 'Nothing That You Are', includes a line about a paramour she hopes will "burn in hell". Despite the apparent animosity, the pair have recently been seen enjoying intimate dinners.

There was no doubting that Moore has a place in Roddick's heart but what is less certain is whether he is happy to restrict that number to one.

When together, the pair talked of their normal life of movies, popcorn and quiet nights in playing board games or chilling. Perhaps the party animal in him was feeling too caged because when he did finally break from that union, it was into the arms of the more reckless and feckless 'it girl', Paris Hilton. If Moore was an American sweetheart who had mainstream movie appearances on her CV, Hilton was the spoilt bitch who had 'starred' in a film of her own.

Roddick, as he has been since the split with Moore, has remained coy on their relationship, but when Hilton's phone was stolen, he was one of those 'outed' as being listed among her list of contacts. By then, the lad who had been born in Omaha, Nebraska, to a businessman father Jerry and schoolteacher mother Blanche, had won the US Open and much was expected.

That was at the end of 2003. He was hailed as the new face of US tennis as Jim Courier, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi prepared for retirement. It was a huge burden to place on a youngster's shoulders, and being catapulted into the major league of sporting stars in his homeland appeared to undermine his potential.

Roddick holds the record for the fastest serve recorded in professional tennis (155mph) and he was proving he could work his way through relationships almost as quickly. The model and star of US reality show 8th & Ocean, Sabrina Aldridge, was linked to him, as was another model, Lauren Bedford, but it was when he was spotted attending events with Maria Sharapova that the gossip writers and paparazzi really started to take notice.

But Roddick is showing no signs of wanting to settle down. At tournaments, he is regularly seen out on town basking in the glow of gathering groupies.

While some former lovers may not be so keen to offer character references, the fact that Moore was still willing to be a guest at his first annual Celebrity Poker Tournament suggests that if he was the subject of her rage, she no longer wishes him a firey aftermath.

Those who have met Roddick know he can be charming and intelligent company, something he sometimes carries onto the court.

He is often heard laughing and interacting with the crowd. The press have not escaped his practical joking: Roddick spent one Wimbledon winding a up journalist after she used a post-match press conference to ask him about the relevance of an elastic band round his wrist. He instantly told her it had been a lucky charm and kept the joke alive match after match before eventually coming clean and admitting he had taken it off a racquet and hadn't even realised it he was wearing it at that original press conference.

Roddick could certainly do with a good luck charm when he steps on court to play his nemesis - and arguably the finest tennis player to have picked up a racket - Roger Federer.

Roddick has appeared many times on television talk shows, hosted Saturday Night Live and was named "Sexiest Athlete" by People magazine in 2003. But there is also substance behind the man called "A-Rod" or "Kid Roddick".

In 2001 he set up the Andy Roddick Foundation to benefit aid organisations dealing with children who have been abused, abandoned and neglected.

"At the time I started it I was practically a child myself. A big part of me still is," he said recently. "And selfishly, I loved the idea. The gala nights are about glitz and raising the money but I love going somewhere three months later and seeing a child we have helped, using a computer we got them or clothing or whatever. I like that feeling. Then in a small way I feel like I am able to change the course of someone's life. We have been able to provide opportunities in the last six years and that's the real reward." That was recognised in when he was given the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award in 2005.

Roddick has reaped the celebrity and financial rewards of life on the tennis circuit. But he would love to add another trophy to his collection, rather than just another trophy girlfriend. The grass courts of Wimbledon should suit his explosive serve-dominated game and he might already have been a champion had it not been for the majestic Federer.

Raised in Florida, Andy Roddick was a star basketball player at Boca Raton Preparatory School before concentrating on tennis.

• Roddick was born into a sporting family: his brother John was an All-American tennis player at the University of Georgia, while oldest sibling Lawrence excelled in springboard diving.

• In 2002, Roddick guest-starred on the television show Sabrina, The Teenage Witch as himself. In the episode, Sabrina, above, summoned him so he could give her tennis lessons. Roddick has also been a guest host on cult comedy series Saturday Night Live.

• He was hailed a hero in 2004 after helping to rescue guests from a blazing hotel. Roddick was staying at the Grand Hotel Parco dei Principi in Rome while playing in the Italian Open when a blaze broke out. Roddick helped several tourists climb from their balconies to safety as the fire, which killed three and injured five others, ripped through the hotel.


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Posted May 30, 2007

This is a video purportedly of Andy's hometown girlfriend, "Jenny" (taken from Poertschach, Austria. Thanks to lisebeth2 for the original video)

EDIT Aug 14: after being disabled, this video is now live again.


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Posted July 15, 2006

Gossip: The Tennis A-List

This is an e-mail that's been making the rounds for ages. It's written in much the same fashion as the legendary celebrity gossip list, The A-List. It has been compiled from information gathered over the last half decade by a band of women - ATP groupies - who have made it there business to seduce, suck and fuck the brains out of the world's most famous tennis players.

WARNING: This is an uncensored gossip list that describes the sexual peccadillos of many tennis players. If you are offended by coarse language that objectifies people, don't read further. Remember: it's only gossip. It provides nothing but an entertaining, fantasy read which is not to be taken seriously.

I mean, I've read this list over dozens of times and I still can't stop laughing. It's just so....dirty. LOL. I feel bad for one guy who might come across this list. Imagine him and his big ego wondering what his legions of minions are saying about him, and after reading through some rather titilating descriptions of the other guys he then comes to his entry and it says only "Dud lay." ROTFL! How can you not laugh at that?

I like this nasty list so much I think I'll update it whenever new dirt comes in. *evil smile* So, Attention athletic supporters, groupies, rentboys, and other assorted whores: Please e-mail me your dirty tennis laundry so that I can keep this list updated. Thank you.

Agassi, Andre – Neurotic. Has never gotten into groupies because he finds them dirty. Found one girl who said she fucked him in the early nineties and he used two rubbers. Average lay with a really small dick (one locker room attendant reports they could barely see it for all the hair). Rarely showers at tournaments anymore. Moody. Some reports of his friendliness, others that his on court ‘classiness’ is all an act.

Ancic, Mario – Whore. Probably been through the most groupies of any guy on tour. Average cock (about 6 inch), but makes the most of it. Not afraid to lick cunt. Will go bareback.

Blake, James – One of the most beautiful men on tour has a suprisingly small dick (about 5 inch erect) and is nothing to write home about in the sack.

Clement, Arnaud – Petite Frenchman packs a big dick at 7 inches and knows how to use it. Always uses condoms.

Corretja, Alex – Mr Nice Guy, surprisingly wild in bed. Loves to give anal and into threesomes, including with fellow Spaniards. One groupie reports being the meat in a Corretja-Moya Sandwich. Well hung at 7 inches and “the thickest I’ve seen”. Likes to go bareback.

Coria, Guillermo – Prickly little customer who has few friends on tour. Was kicked out of house by his wife Carla after he admitted to several affairs; wife has since taken him back. Likes to keep himself hairless (including downstairs). Small dick.

Dent, Taylor – Loud mouth. Average endowment and ability.

Enqvist, Thomas – Slut. Average cock, average lay.

Federer, Roger – Super nice guy on an off the court, though can appear aloof at times. Super committed to girlfriend, Miroslava. Would be a huge scalp for any groupie, but seems groupie proof. Word from the locker room; small (even shriveled by some reports), uncut dick, unmaintained bush. A shame.

Ferrer, David – Dud lay.

Ferrero, Juan Carlos – Horny as hell with a taste for groupies. Nice uncut 7 inch dick (though not very thick) and a real latino lover with heaps of stamina. Long term girlfriend Patricia has to keep him on a tight leash to keep him from straying. Otherwise quite a nice guy. Practices safe sex.

Gasquet, Richard – Nadal’s contemporary, and one groupie who has had the company of both insists that the Frenchman has a distinct edge in the sack. Obsessed with blowjobs.

Gaudio, Gaston – Slut. Mild mannered but horny as hell. Very well hung, about 8 inch, uncut and fat. Excellent in the sack. Loves doing it doggie style. Will go bareback, but happy to wear a rubber if you ask.

Ginepri, Robby – Minnie Driver’s former squeeze, whose average endowment hasn’t stopped him making his way trough a fair share of ladies. Only an average lay and fairly unadventurous.

Gonzalez, Fernando – A good solid fuck.

Grosjean, Sebastien – Happily married with children. Buzz from the locker room says that his wife is no size queen – small cock.

Haas, Tommy – Horndog. Pretty boy. Arrogant at times. Uses his 6 inches to advantage but can be selfish. Practices safe sex.

Henman, Tim – Nice guy, if moody at times. Small dick, but happily married so no worry to us.

Hewitt, Lleyton – Massively endowed. Long, thick and cut. A 6-7 inch flaccid cock grows to 9-10 inch when hard. His size is well-known to other pros, one telling a groupie that “Lleyton is easily the biggest on tour”. Despite being a complete prick on court, generally a nice guy off it, and even a little shy. Moved from one high profile romance to the next and cant find a groupie who has slept with him. Pity.

Hrbaty, Dominik – Suprisingly good in bed. No Mr Big but gives everything he’s got.

Johansson, Joachim – One of the biggest cocks on tour at 8 inches.. Likes it hard and fast but can struggle with stamina. Been banging Lleyton Hewitt’s little sister and not very promiscuous.

Johansson, Thomas – Well hung (bout 7 inch hard), straight talking Swede. Conventional, but gets the job done. Very faithful to his long term partner.

Kiefer, Nicolas – Hewitt’s rival as the biggest man on tour. Estimated at a whopping 9 inch erect. An exhibitionist who was once picked up urinating in public after a night out. Horndog. Likes it rough and while he is good at what he does is something of a one trick pony. Won’t give head and insists that his conquests swallow his cum.

Lapentti, Nicolas – Fat 8 inch wad, but a dud lay who thinks his cock will do it all for him. Likes it bareback.

Malisse, Xavier – Jen Capriati’s ex-lover is competent in the sack. Likes to be ridden on top. Average cock.

Moya, Carlos – Whore. Poorly hung (wouldn’t get beyond 5 inches erect) but an excellent fuck by all accounts. Proving that size doesn’t matter. Will go bareback if you let him.

Nadal, Rafael – Generally pleasant, but has an arrogant streak. Using his muscular physique and new found fame to add as many notches as possible to his belt (and what hot blooded 19yo wouldn’t?). Only averagely endowed (around 6 inch) and despite his stamina on court has a bad habit of coming too quickly off it. Will ask to go bareback.

Philippoussis, Mark – Total Slut. Any hole will do. Average 6 inch cock and has admitted to being envious of compatriot Hewitt’s endowment. He is good in the sack though; surprisingly unselfish.

Rafter, Patrick – Surprisingly a dud. Less than a 5 inch dick and has few moves. Premature ejaculator. Obsessive condom user.

Robredo, Tommy – Boringly conventional in the sack. Only an average dick.

Roddick, Andy – Despite his horndog aura, is quite picky about his women and doesn’t buy big into groupies. Those who have had the experience have said that although he is only modestly endowed (between 5-6 inch hard) is explosive in the sack with stamina to burn. One groupie said he gave it to her four times in one night. Can be a little selfish. Loves getting head, but very reluctant to give it. Uses a condom everytime. Refers to uncircumcised dicks as "Turtle dicks".

Safin, Marat – Horndog. Will fuck anything in a skirt, including groupies. While his dick is above average (about 7 inch hard), it’s his willingness to try anything that makes him a beast in bed. Loves giving it to a girl up the back passage and gives great head. One groupie reports having a threesome with Safin and another Russian sports star. Likes to give facials after receiving blow jobs. Endless stamina. Suprisingly vigilant in practicing safe sex.

Spadea, Vincent – Sleazy slut who uses his pro status to lure chicks completely out of his league (and is often rejected). Adequately endowed (6 inches) and ok in the sack.

Youzhny, Mikhail – A B-grade Safin. 7 inch cock. Skirt Chaser. Wild in the sack.


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Originally posted June 24, 2006

Who's that girl?

Word on the street is that Andy has been seeing somebody from back home for several weeks now. Not surprisingly, it's been a very hush-hush relationship and personally I am glad for it because I can't stand it when I'm watching a Roddick tennis match and just as he's about to make a fantastic get, the horny cameramen keep cutting away to his girlfriend watching in the stands.

No name on the mystery girl but she is apparently 18 years old (not confirmed) and attends/attended the high school where Roddick trains. This photo of her is taken from Tennis Photo Library, copyright Ron C. Angle. She is listed in TPL only as "Andy Roddick's girlfriend." The only reason I would believe this source is because that the photo was taken by Andy's semi-official photographer, Ron Angle; spending so much time around Roddick I'm sure that Mr. Angle would know what Andy's girlfriend looks like, and the omission of her name could be intentional.

Then again, the photo itself could just be a ruse.

Also curious is the fact that ar.com now censors/moves/closes/deletes any threads that have anything to do with Andy's dating or girlfriends. Andy clearly wants to keep a very tight lid on his relationships, and I don't blame him, but deleting threads about it won't make people stop talking or wondering about it.

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Originally posted April 12, 2006

Mandy Watch

The lovely Mandy Moore graces the cover of the May issue of Cosmopolitan and once again she is still answering questions about her break-up with Andy:
Is it true some of the songs you're writing are inspired by your split with Andy Roddick?
Some of the songs that were first created were about that, but they won't end up on the record. I was bummed out, and it was really therapeutic to write it all down and get it all out. No one has to hear that stuff but me one day, if I want to.

What did you learn from that relationship?
Maybe to not talk about it. When you're happy, you want to spread the word that "I'm in love." But when it doesn't end up working out, it's such a bummer. Having people [I didn't know] ask, "What happened?" was so personal. I wish I had never said anything because then maybe it wouldn't have been so awful for me when it didn't work out.

Are you and Andy still friends?
We talk occasionally. I think it's healthy to be friendly with people who you shared a special part of your life with. I'm still good friends with Wilmer [Valderrama], who was my first boyfriend. I adore Wilmer. He's a great guy.

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Originally posted April 1, 2006

It's Official: Roddick and Sharapova Still Not Dating

Tennis star Andy Roddick plays love game
It was a love match in the making at the Don't Tell My Booker kickoff party at Mansion, thrown by Las Vegas clubs Jet and Light Wednesday night. Tennis golden boy Andy Roddick lived it up in the VIP section with fellow pro James Blake, but made a special trip back to Mansion's crowded entrance to pull in a special someone -- 8th and Ocean's ''breakout'' star, Sabrina. Once inside, the two were the epitome of a new crush, circling each other, whispering to their friends, and then eventually flirting. The ritual went on until Sabrina's booker-chaperon looked at her watch and escorted the starry-eyed model home. Roddick was seen flirting with models at the official NASDAQ-100 kickoff earlier that night. According to a spy, "Maria Sharapova came but was very much on the DL -- if she is seeing Andy, you couldn't tell.''

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Originally posted February 5, 2006

Hark! A Rumor That's Actually Worse than Roddickpova!

Someone posted this on a tennis board but when I tried to search for the actual article on Tennis Life magazine's website, I came up empty. Take it at it's entertainment value only.

From (allegedly) Tennis Life magazine:
Now that she has got the day job sorted for the forseeable future, Martina HIngis is working on her hobbies-and that means boys. In her pomp, La Hingis was seen on the arm of many a young hopeful chap but, alas, every player she dated was never heard of again.

From the up-and-comers such as Ivo Heuberger and Julian Alonso to the established champions like Magnus Norman (who was pushing for the World No. 1 ranking in the summer of 2000 as he followed Hingis around like a puppy), Hingis has had her wicked way with them and left them on the scrap heap. Anyone heard of Messrs Heuberger, Alonso or Norman of late? No, thought not.

Now the Swiss Miss has her eyes on Andy Roddick. The two were spotted gazing longingly, if secretively, at each other during Elton John's Smash Hits Aids fundraiser in Hershey, Pennsylvania, back in November. The gig raised $850,000 for the cause, even if Hingis could not get a win on the board, She was beaten by Samantha Stosur.

Still, Roddick's newfound love interest could explain his current lack of form. And if he doesn't get anywehere with Hingis, he could always ask her friend out for a date. Hingis teamed up with her old sparring partner, Anna Kournikova, for the doubles, only to lose to Stosur and Lisa Raymond.

TRUE LOVE AT LAST. Look into his eyes, Martina! You cannot deny your love for the A-Rod. The only thing that's separating you two from consummating your secret love affair are the two middle-age gay people standing between you!

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Originally posted February 2, 2006

Mandy Moore to Marry Zack Braff?

From the Post-Chronicle:
Zach Braff and singer/actress Mandy Moore are reportedly heading for a wedding after the "Scrubs" star was said to have quietly asked her to marry him late last month, according to a published report.

The couple are staying tight lipped about their plans, but Braff, 30, supposedly popped the question and presented Moore -- his girlfriend for the past year and a half -- with a $450,000, 4-carat princess-cut diamond-and-platinum Neil Lane engagement ring.

Moore's past boyfriends have included tennis ace ANDY RODDICK and actor WILMER VALDERRAMA.

Insiders tells America's In Touch magazine that the wedding is being scheduled for next April (07), when both stars celebrate their birthdays.

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Originally posted January 25, 2006

Mandy Moore was on the cover of the February issue of Glamour magazine. Here's part of her interview where she talks about her breakup with Roddick:

Glamour: A lot of your boyfriends have been older too. Aren't there any eligible 21-year-old guys in Hollywood?

MANDY MOORE: Actually my ex-boyfriend [Roddick] was only a year or two older than me, but generally, I'm just not attracted to guys my own age. Maybe it's because girls mature faster than guys. I don't think I could date someone that young again. I've found a perfect match now, in terms of the age thing.

Glamour: Your mom introduced you to your last boyfriend. Would you let her set you up again?

MANDY MOORE: No! (laughs) She didn't really set us up. I was working on a movie in Toronto, and my mom was going to a tennis tournament there. I said, "Hey, if you happen to meet that guy Andy Roddick, invite him to the set." Lo and behold, she ended up meeting him, and it turned out he had a crush on me too. He came to the set that night, and of course I was shooting a scene in an outfit I hated. I thought I could book it back to my trailer and change, but when I ran into my dressing room, he was already sitting there!

Glamour: Your eventual breakup was covered everywhere. It must be incredibly difficult to go through that so publicly.

MANDY MOORE: It was the worst thing ever. I was in New York shooting a movie alongside Susan Sarandon and Kate Winslet. It should have been the most exciting time of my life, but I was just so depressed, and nobody could take away that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. Now I'm happy I went through it because as a result, I have an amazing record of songs about love and relationsh ips. Healing from a broken heart opened me up to all kinds of new ideas.

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Originally posted January 22, 2006

Justin Gimelstob to the rumor rescue

Add Mr. Gimelstob to the growing list of people perplexed over the Roddick-Sharapova dating rumors:
The much hyped Roddick/Maria Sharapova love match isn't what the tennis world is craving it to be. They are not together. Sorry, guys. While it makes a great story and gives the gossip magazines something to occupy their pages, they are both in Australia to win a tennis tournament, not engross themselves in some dramatic love affair.

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Originally posted January 18, 2006

Roddick Laughs Off Sharapova Rumors

Andy was interviewed on ESPN2 yesterday after his match with Benneteau and host Chris Fowler was brave enough to mention the Maria thing. You can watch the video here at Andy's official site. Very funny stuff. Chris Fowler: "Andy Roddick, ladies and gentlemen--swatting away Frenchmen, swatting away rumors." LOL.

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Originally posted January 18, 2006

The Rumor That Refuses to Die

Who started this dumb rumor and will it ever end? Even Peter Bodo is talking about tennis' potential newest Power Couple! Egads.

More gossip about Andy and Maria:

Tennis Aces Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick in Love, with Poker?
Both Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova are well-known for their on-court tennis exploits. Each, at some point, has reached the pinnacle of his or her sport, with Roddick having won a Grand Slam tennis title at the U.S. Open and Sharapova winning one at Wimbledon. Recently, the two have been reported as romantically linked. Oddly, however, their romance seems to have flourished away from the tennis courts, in a poker room.

As the Australian Open is currently taking place in Melbourne at the same time as the Aussie Millions poker tournament, Roddick and Sharapova have been seen keeping an eye on each other as well as on each other's cards at the local Crown Casino. With the couple frequenting the casino's poker room to play a few hands of their own, one wonders if they can maintain the mental focus needed to play in the Grand Slam event.

With the Australian Open still in its initial rounds, only time will tell whether Roddick and Sharapova can mentally tear themselves from pontificating about poker, and each other, to emerge victorious on the the courts. One thing's for sure though, a mixed-doubles teaming of this king and queen of tennis makes for an exceptionally good-looking pair.

Andy and Maria at the Playboy Mansion,
July 2005.

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Originally posted January 16, 2006

The Herald Sun reports "Sharapova and Roddick love match?":
Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick could have more in common than just tennis.

The glamorous Russian spent two hours watching Roddick play poker at Crown casino on Wednesday night, before they left together, sources said.

Reports the two were a couple first surfaced at the US Open last year, when he turned up unexpectedly to the launch of her fragrance.

Sharapova, 18, was at Crown not to play poker, but to keenly watch Roddick, 23, who knows his way around a poker table.

Roddick has had high-profile girlfriends in the past, including Hollywood actor and singer Mandy Moore.

Sharapova has been linked with Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine, and always refuses to comment on her personal life.

At Crown yesterday Roddick was back on the poker tables, taking part in the Australian Poker Charity Cup.

He joined footballers such as Nathan Buckley, Peter Everitt, Anthony Rocca and Dermott Brereton in the tournament.

Sipping on a cafe latte, the tennis champ did well from the start.

Finishing a respectable third, Roddick finally fell to Lillian Frank's husband Richard after three hours of play.

Mr Frank chose the Royal Children's Hospital as the recipient of the $5000 winnings.

At 18, as well as becoming a Wimbledon champion, Sharapova has matured into a savvy businesswoman but tennis and health remain her top priority.

Her 2005 year was hampered by injury and at one stage Australian Open organisers were doubtful she would come.

And yet more gossip about Andy and Maria from the UK's Daily Mail and also Fox Sports, "Match point for Maria and The Rocket?":
It is news that will break the hearts of male and female tennis fans everywhere.

For Russian sex symbol and model Maria Sharapova, conqueror of Wimbledon and the entire British male population, is being romantical ly linked with American star Andy Roddick, once voted one of the planet's most desirable men.

Rumours are rife that romance is in the air at the Australian Open in Melbourne after the pair have been sighted spending a great deal of time together.

Glamorous Sharapova, 18, spent two hours watching Roddick playing poker in the city's Crown Casino this week. The pair left together fuelling speculatio n that their friendship has become extremely close.

"They are not the types to go in for public displays of affection, but they appeared to be an item" said one observer. Four months ago, 23-year-old Roddick - Wibledon runner up to world No 1 Roger Federer for the past two years - unexpected ly turned up when Sharapova launched her own brand of perfume at the US Open in New York.

"There has been a lot of speculatio n over the strength of the frienship between Maria and Andy ever since," said BBC pundit John Lloyd.

Sharapova, who famously called her mother on her mobile phone from the Centre Court after winning the Wimbledon crown 2004 is recognised as the world's most glamourous sportswoman.

Before Christmas, she was guest of Sir Richard Branson at his luxurious home on the Caribbean island of Necker.

"Richard invited me for a week," she revealed last week as she prepared for her first-round match against Germany's Sandra Kloesel tomorrow. "It was like having your own island to yourself. It was fun."

Sharapova is estimated to earn ₤10.5 million a year from sponsorshi p and endorsemen t deals - light years away from her lowly upbringing in Siberia.

Roddick - dubbed The Rocket because of his bullet-like serve, clocked at up to 152mph - has previously dated Hollywood actress Mandy Moore. Even TV presenter Anne Robinson flirted outrageous ly with him on a Wimbledon edition of The Weakest Link.

He has not won a major championship since he captured the US Open in September 2003 but is second favourite for the Australian Open, where he plays Swiss qualifier Michael Lammer tomorrow night (who he won against) giving Sharapova the opportunit y to be courtside.

Last night she did nothing to dampen speculatio n about their relationsh ip, saying "I'm sorry, but I don't comment on my personal life."

More gossip still hot on Maria and Andy, from Fox Sports, January 17, 2006:
Maria Sharapova left the IMG player party at Breezes in Crown early on Sunday night, about 7.30pm, so just where did she go?

Sources said Sharapova once again ducked off to watch Andy Roddick play poker in one of the casino's exclusive gambling rooms on the 29th floor.

Sharapova also saw him play cards on Saturday and Wednesday nights, more evidence that the couple are more than just friends.

As for the No.3-ranked Roddick, he obviously has a thing for poker as well as Sharapova.

He was still at Crown at 10.30pm on Sunday and playing hard.

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Originally posted December 7, 2005

Andy and Mel from "The Real World"

If you are looking for information about Andy hooking up with Mel from "The Real World" click here.

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Originally posted November 13, 2005

Gossip! Gossip! We've got gossip!

Well, we don't got the gossip, but we found it. Somebody over at LiveJournal had the chance to party with the US Davis Cup team in Belgium. So what does she think of Marat Safin's best buddy? "He's an alright guy. A little too cocky for me but nice enough." Here's her scintillating account of the whole sordid affair including photos.

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Originally posted July 18, 2005

From ESPN's Page 3:
Sharapova, Roddick play doubles

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- They would form one unbeatable doubles team, not to mention the type of photo-ready uber-couple that would drive the paparazzi into convulsions.

Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova, the crown prince and current "It Girl" of the tennis world, formed an inseparable tandem the night before the 13th annual ESPY Awards.

As Sharapova arrived on the red carpet for one of the pre-event parties Tuesday night at the Playboy Mansion, the statuesque Russian was asked to take a few photos with Roddick.

"Are you wearing heels?" Roddick blared from across the carpet. "I'm not taking a photo with you if you're taller than me."

Vaulting on his tiptoes, Roddick made his way over to snap a few shots with the 18-year-old superstar. The two spent much of the evening together, chatting each other up and watching the bouts for ESPN2's "Tuesday Night Fights." Roddick displayed plenty of enthusiasm and grew very animated when big blows were landed.

After the party, the two retired to the Tropicana Bar at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and were still lounging together poolside into the wee hours of the morning.

A blooming love match or just two champions from the same sport bonding? Don't ask us. This is Page 3, not The Star.

Other scenes from the night at Hugh Hefner's pad:
- Donovon McNabb took time away from eating to quickly introduce himself to Sharapova, who, along with Roddick, might have been the most popular athletes in the house.

- Amare Stoudemire spotted Roddick across the bar by the pool and yelled "Yo, Roddick!" Roddick smiled and gestured back his way.

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Masha! Masha! Masha!

First up on his To Do list is Maria Sharapova, of which rumors of their secret dating is heating up again, thanks in part to the Australian press who are doing their job of trying to drum up interest in the Australian Open by writing gossip items about two hot players.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comANDY AND MARIA KEEPING IT COOL AT THE 2005 ESPY AWARDS. Hiding behind pimp aviator glasses and a housewive's sundress did not throw the media off their tail, however.

Maria Sharapova Links
http://www.maria-sharapova.org/ Maria Sharapova - Tennis Princess

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Mandy! Mandy! Mandy!

Up next is B-rated singer/actress Mandy Moore. The last I heard, she was supposedly going to write a song about her breakup with Andy. This was back in September of 2005 as reported by MandyMoore.net:
ContactMusic.com reports that Mandy Moore is set to sing about her split from tennis ace Andy Roddick on her forthcoming album. "I've co-written the whole thing and I spent the last year writing. I think it's gonna surprise people," Moore said. "It's a very sophisticated, cool, singer-songwriter-y like organic pop record... It's sort of just chronicling what's happened in my life over the last year or so. A lot to do with love and heartbreak and stuff. But it's my first kind of venture into like sitting down and actually writing. It's been like the most cathartic thing I ever, ever could've done. And it's so fun to sort of put something (on paper) that you're not feeling not too great about and turn it into a positive thing."

Image hosted by Photobucket.comHAPPIER DAYS. Andy and Mandy attend the premiere of her movie, "How to Deal."

I remember an interview she did with TV Guide back in October 2004, when she was asked this question:

Q: How hard was your breakup with Andy Roddick?

MOORE: I've got a great album because of it. I feel like I have something to say. Without the sour, the sweet is never as sweet.

They had broken up in March of 2004. Mandy has said it was because Andy "doesn't like Los Angeles very much and he doesn't care about the industry." Andy has said the split happened because the long distance relationship was starting to take his concentration off his tennis game. That excuse didn't stop him from immediately jumping into the arms of model Lauren Bedford, however.

I haven't checked to see if Mandy's song about Andy has been released yet or even what the lyrics might say. But I'm all for listening to another bitter bitch song on the radio. Listen, if I had to downgrade from someone like Roddick to a bloke like Zack Braff I'd be bitter, too.

Mandy Moore Links
http://www.mandymoore.com/ (official site)
http://www.mandymoorenet.com/ Mandy Moore Net (best fan site)

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Lauren! Lauren! Lauren!

MYSTERY WOMAN. Andy and Lauren at a basketball game: the only time we had seen them out and about off the tennis court.

Don't know much about Lauren. She showed up for a few matches in 2005 and then she disappeared. Apparently, she used to date Tiger Woods and is known as being an "athletic supporter" (i.e. a girl who serial dates professional athletes). She's also a professional model.

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