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."

19 comments:

tangerine said...

I'm still steaming over this loss. I'm so disgusted with Andy right now. All that big talk about being more aggressive and wanting to prove himself after that USO loss...all for naught.

Oh, and we never saw the Amex ad campaign on TV either. Now we probably never will. *&^%$ Roddick.

Jerk.

Qatar Cat said...

LOL!
Well hey, we NEVER get any ahtletic fame! EVER! So it was about time! Go Marcos :^)

=^..^=

Noelle De Guzman said...

All I can say is...
WTF, Andy.

*sigh* How am I gonna write about this?

tennisfan90 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tennisfan90 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tennisfan90 said...

A jerk? Really? Isn't this the site that is constantly showing what a great humanitarian Andy is? Does Andy owe you something? Did he make a promise to you personally? Give me a break. I guess growing up as a Cleveland Indians fan taught me a few things about losing gracefully, and one of those things is to stick with your team, through thick and thin. What kind of sense does it make to call Andy Roddick a jerk because he lost this match? His paycheck will reflect his shortcomings today, which is a lesson that athletes in other sports could benefit from. You lose, you don't get paid. That coupled with the fact that Andy hates to lose is probably enough punishment without his fans calling him a jerk

Blosson said...

Andy, stand in the corner again! :(

LoL some people don't get the jig jig jerk joke.

Andy, keep still in the corner!

Noelle De Guzman said...

Hey tennisfan90... did you even read the post? I don't think Tangy ever called Andy a jerk in it. I might call YOU a jerk, though, but we reserve "jerk" for humanitarians like Andy. :)

Anonymous said...

noelle de guzman...tangerine ended off saying jerk..so its obviously to andy...

omg..so wot if he lost a game..he woz probably..pis.sed of as it is ..without everywun else baggin him out..so y dont u all just giv him a break..we shud be sayin encouragin stuff..

love----andys biggest fan

Adam said...

is this supposed to be a fansite? because with all this blaming and finger pointing you'd never know it.

when did fans stop showing support and encouragement and start being more brutal than someone's detractors?

i think many of you have a lot to learn about what it means to really be a fan. it doesn't mean only standing by someone through wins and glory, but also standing by them through loss and struggle.

with so-called fans and fansites like this, who needs haters.

tennisfan90 said...

well said. thank you.

danielle said...

Calm down everyone. At least this blog doesn't just fawn over Andy and pretend everything is okay. Andy sucked last night, and his fans have a right to be upset and critical and whatever else, as Andy should be of himself.

Love ya Tangy, and I love your blog. :)

Carito (from MTF) said...

Number one: There's one person here that's hurting my eyes with his/her writing. Please take English classes. Thank you.

Second: The fact that we do not think everything is okay with his game and he blew that match out there and didn't do what he said he would do, and that we actually point it out doesn't mean we're not fans. We are, and very loyal fans actually.

Andy did not play his heart out there like he used to, he looked like he wasn't even trying. That's why we don't feel sorry for him and are actually pissed off. Hell, it'd be easier for Tangy to just say "OMG Andy lost! It's okay, he'll do better next time. We love you anyway!" instead of analyzing his game and trying to find the things he did wrong.

Besides, we're harsh on him when he loses, and sometimes even when he wins. We just are. If you don't like it well... go to ar.com and you might have a better time there. ;)

Tangy, keep up the good work with the blog! I love it. *hugs*

Caro.

Anonymous said...

great blog entry and i completely agree with everything you mentioned tangerine! Andy just seemed so flat against Baghdatis and so did his game. the aggressivenes that was obvious in the first three matches just wasnt there. its just disappointing to see a player who you know is capable of better fizzle in a match like that. Baghdatis played a better match so won deservingly so, but if only Roddick had stepped up and not looked so lost out on the court atleast one could say 'u know what, he put up a good fight and left everything out there. he did his best but it wasnt his day. good luck for next time!' but that just didnt seem to be the case, or atleast thats not the feeling i got when i saw the match.
and personally i dont think theres anything wrong in being disappointed when ure fav player/team loses. its kinda natural when one follows and supports a player, i think one develops an emotional investment. And i also dont think that there is any need to place them on a pedestal and turn a blind eye to any weaknesses that u see, that doesnt equate to being supportive and/or a true fan. anyways, thats just my opinion perhaps some people might not agree...to each their own!

-Z

Carito (MTF) said...

Hey, I loved that last comment. I thought it pretty much summed everything we all wanted to say up! Great stuff. :)

Caro.

La_La said...

well said tangerine...andy really makes me soo mad sumtimes....

if u want to hear all the bs about how andy played good against the other dude go to ar.com

here ppl like to be are real about it....andy sucked and everyone knows it

i still love him...but he seems to always say one thing and do another

i really ahte him alwyas trying to be a celeb when his tennis is sufferring....

Anonymous said...

First of all I resent the implication that if Roddick had his head together he would've blown Baghdatis off the court. The problems aren't mental, as you claim, they largely have to do with what Roddick can and can't do. His whole game is predicated around a big serve: he has no backhand to speak of, he is slow as molasses on the tennis court and his volleys are piss-poor. In addition he lacks that innate court sense and strategy that makes players like Baghdatis, Federer and Nalbandian such forces to contend with. Roddick has been weighed, measured and found wanting; he'll be lucky to win another Masters Series, let alone a Slam.

tangerine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert said...

Roddick Hires Brother as Fulltime Coach

Andy Roddick has hired his brother John to become his full-time traveling coach. John Roddick, a former all-American college player, will replace Dean Goldfine, who has traveled with Roddick since December 2004.
John's duties begin this weekend as Andy's coach for the United States' Davis Cup tie against Romania in La Jolla, California.

A statement on Roddick's official web site said: After heartfelt deliberations last Thursday with Dean Goldfine, Andy has decided to bring his older brother, John Roddick, on the road as his traveling coach

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