Tuesday, March 13, 2007

March Mayhem


SF: Nadal def Roddick 6-4 6-3
QF: Roddick def Ljubicic 7-6(9-7) 7-6(10-8)
R16: Roddick def Gasquet 7-6(3) 6-3
R32: Roddick def Rochus 6-3, 7-6(5)
R64: Roddick def Lopez 7-6(5), 6-4
R128: Bye



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Updated March 16, 2007

Tennis Survives Without Federer

Roddick is 14-3 in tiebreaks for the year now. Woot! This is almost as good as his 2003 year. He still needs to learn how to break so that he can avoid these TBs in the first place. Better yet: Roddick has yet to face a break point or lose a set in the entire tournament so far.

Fans have noticed that Andy's white hat is as dirty as if he had been playing on the clay. Personally, I don't care that Andy's hat is dirty but I do care which way he wears it and I wish he'd flip that hat back around to the front position. Wearing it backwards makes him look like a 17 year old again and I don't like it. I want macho, intimidating Andy with the baseball hat facing forward.

What was with Andy and Ivan acting like those two exceedingly polite chipmunks from the Bugs Bunny cartoons in the first game? "I beg your pardon but that was your point not mine." "Oh, you're too kind, are you sure it wasn't my error?" "I insist, that point was yours." "Oh, you shouldn't have. Thank you!" Bring back the stare downs and trash talking.

I like that John Roddick pronounces Ivan's name as "Avon". I immediately thought of the Avon Lady when I heard him say that. I'm going to call Ljubicic the Avon Lady from now on.

Very good, edge-of-your-seat match last night. Ljubicic was playing better than Andy for the most part and Andy blew way too many easy shots and worst of all, break points. It all basically came down to who played the bigger points better and of course that was Andy. One example was when he whipped out his best shot of the night, a wicked backhand passing shot to win the first set TB. It was brilliant but those brilliant moments are too far in between. Obviously, he's going to have to step it up versus, drum roll, Rafael Nadal! The dream SF that I and many fans have mooning over for years. It has finally come to fruition and I can't wait. I really hope the match lives up to its hype (unlike the SF disaster at the Australian Open).

I had said before that I didn't fear Nadal as much as I do Tommy Haas or Andy Murray but now that the day will arrive soon enough, I'm more anxious about the match-up. I think I am more worried that it will be a disappointment in terms of competitiveness. Nothing's worse than one guy playing out of his mind while the other guy is practically feeble. One-sided matches just aren't exciting to me. But if Andy's going to lose in this tournament then I'd rather it be to Nadal. Why? Because I don't want Andy to lose to Haas in a second final in a row, and I definitely don't want him to lose to Murray because of 1) Brad "the mouth" Gilbert, and 2) the ridiculously biased British media will be crowing for months over it. Yuck.

In any case, it will be interesting to see how Roddick responds to Nadal's super-slow style of playing. I don't think he'll pull up a chair to wait for Nadal to serve the way Andre Agassi did at last year's Wimbledon. LOL.

Steve Tignor over at Tennis.com offers up a good Roddick-Nadal preview here.


Watch the Roddick-Ljubicic highlights here.

Download the .mov file of the match highlights here.


Quick Fangirl Report

Funny tidbit from Steve Tignor's blog:
The Gang. I see a crowd surrounding a court where two kids are playing. I eventually discover why: Arranged at the edge of the court waiting to get on are Andy Roddick, Jimmy Connors, and John Roddick. They look like they're posing for a gang portrait: Connors is bent over, lolling menacingly on the fence railing; Roddick is standing up spinning his racquet; John looks a little dangerous behind his sunglasses. No one is saying anything. How long do you think you would keep these guys waiting for a court? The kids last about 30 seconds.


COACHING RODDICK IS A GROUP EFFORT. We are all here for you, Andy, willing you on to play your best and win.

Speaking of fans, Deb over at MTF gave this terrific eye witness account while watching one of Roddick's practices:
So the highlight of Sunday for me (and maybe the whole weekend) was seeing Andy's practice. He practiced about 20 min with Ginepri preparing him for his match, then about 45 min on his own with his brother and Jimmy. I had seen him warm up before matches a lot, but never actually watched a full practice session where he worked on things. Seeing him work with Jimmy made it all the more special, just to see their interaction. Andy was particularly unhappy with his forehand and worked on it a good 15 minutes. he was so intense and got mad every single time he netted one, until he finally cracked and broke his racquet. It was also fun to see Jimmy hit a few balls. He kept asking his trainer Doug for updates on the Texas basketball score and wasn't pleased when Doug told him it went to over time HAHA

But the most impressive and surprising part for me as a fan was that Andy was on one of the less protected practice courts. So when he was done, we were expecting a little golf cart to come up on this grassy part behind the court and whisk him away to safety. But no. After signing autographs on both sides, he walked right up by everyone and kept signing as he walked. Instead of cutting across other practice courts, he walked on the path, continuing to sign as he walked. He took the long way, all around the other practice courts, continuing to sign the whole way. No security, no running away, no nothing. Pretty ballsy to do that without security on the busiest day session the tournament has ever had. I don't wanna sound silly, but we didn't see any other player (of the ones who actually had people crowding and asking for autographs anyway) do that the whole weekend, and it just really really really impressed me (and reminded me to ignore everything I read on here about what he is actually like as a person hahahaha).

This was very impressive (and brave!) for someone as popular as Roddick to do. He really goes out of his way for the fans.

And for basketball fans who will know what the heck Andy's talking about here:

Roddick's Final Four Picks
Andy Roddick, who resides in Austin, Texas, has picked the home team to win the NCAA tournament, despite the fact the Longhorns start four talented freshman, including player of the year candidate Kevin Durant.

"We won't see them next year, so let's enjoy this one," Roddick said.

Roddick, who is in the ATP pool, which has 300 participants, also picked Kansas, Florida and Ohio State to reach the final four.

"I think I'm probably gonna lose bad, but my strategy actually is to go with Texas to win it, which is a suspect pick probably," Roddick said. "(But) some guy picked Florida last year when they were a three or four seed. They got through. I figured they had to take a winger to try to win that one."

Roddick isn't the only one to pick Texas to get to the Final Four.

Desert Sun tennis writer Leighton Ginn picked Texas to reach the finals. So when Roddick walked into his press conference after his 7-6, 6-3 victory over Richard Gasquet on Tuesday night, he commended Ginn.

"I did that thing in two minutes, I don't even remember who I picked," Ginn said.

"You picked Texas. Take credit for it, please," Roddick said. "He doesn't remember it. I do. I read it yesterday. I can show you the article."

Random Photo of the Day: Andy Has A Nice Rack

Cheers to the creative Photoshopper, Alien47 over at MTF, who created this hilarious picture of the new Spice Girls:



"Duh" Moment of the Week: Tennis Magazine

And lastly, a big thank-you to good fan Adam over at AR.com for scanning and posting this terrific Bodo article on Roddick in the April edition of Tennis magazine. Guess who's on the cover: a tennis racket. That's right, a tennis racket. Whodathunk that the charismatic tennis racket would sell more single-issue copies than Andy Roddick's face. Marketing geniuses at work.
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Indian Wells News Archive

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Originally posted March 13, 2007

"It's got more holes than Swiss cheese."

— ANDY RODDICK, giving the thumbs-down
to the round robin format for Tier II
tournaments like Las Vegas.




Roddick is now 11-3 in tiebreaks this year. Woot!

Highlights from the Gasquet match can be found here and here.

Interesting quote from Richard Gasquet after the match (translated from French interview): "I find him [Roddick] impressive, he's intimidating. He's the only one with Federer. That's the difference between being no 3 in the world and me. I felt like a little boy. To make things worse he serves at 140 mph."

* * *

Oh great, here comes the media jumping on the Roddick bandwagon again. This makes me nervous.

Nadal, Roddick Have Best Shot At Title
To the men, which I'll go heavier on Wednesday. Right now it looks like Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick's tournaments to lose. That is, until we see Andy Murray face Nik Davydenko. Nadal crushed Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-1, 6-1 while Roddick played a wiser match than France's Richard Gasquet in a 7-6(3), 6-3 win. Roddick will Ivan Ljubicic, who overcame David Nalbandian 2-6, 6-4, 6-2. Nadal has J-I Chela. After that performance by Ferrero, why bother to consider him for the Spanish DC team? … Acapulco champ Chela has beaten Nadal before but that was long ago and the Spaniard's forehand is looking very fierce. … Many folks around SoCal remember Roddick's loss to Lubicic in Davis Cup, but Roddick is 6-3 against him and beat him in Shanghai.


Holy Crap, King Federer Lost in the First Round to a Dirtballer Formerly Accused of Doping Do You Know What This Means!??

It doesn't mean squat. It was a total fluke match in the vein of Gilles Muller's win over Roddick at 2005 USO (Giant-killa Willy CaƱas went on to lose to Carlos Moya in straight sets in the very next round, just as Muller did at the USO that year). Roger was on schedule to lose and was mailing in one of his 3-losses-a-year quota to get ready for his next 41-match winning streak. Expect Federer to take Miami by storm.

I'm not celebrating just yet. Tennis isn't all about Federer and there are far too many dangerous players left who could trouble Andy (Murray and Haas worry me most). What shocked me more was seeing so many other top players go crashing out right after Federer did. Safin, Hewitt, Berdych, Tursunov, Baghdatis, and Blake all gone within hours or the next day. The domino effect made me anxious for Roddick who, during his 2004-2005 slump, had the frustrating habit of losing as soon as Federer went out of a tournament. I don't want another golden opportunity to slip away from him so my superstitious side says to wait for the other shoe to drop.

On the other hand, we are one match away from the Roddick-Nadal that I and many other fans have been dreaming about for years. It's been too long. We need this rematch. With Federer gone, Indian Wells needs it most.

Up next for Andy in the QFs: Ivan Ljubicic. Here's what Ljubicic said about Roddick during his post-match interview yesterday:
Q. You lost to Federer the last two years. Now you might face Roddick. Do you like your chances are better this time around?

IVAN LJUBICIC: Well, I mean, Roger being out doesn't help me much, unless I get to the final. But the draw, it's very difficult, Nalbandian, probably Andy, and then Rafa in semis is possible. So it's not -- it's not any easier. But of course, I would prefer Andy to Roger, I mean, anyone than Roger.

But Andy is playing great tennis. He's playing as good or maybe better than 2003 when he was the best player in the world, so it's going to be real interesting to see if he's going to manage to win tonight's match. And if yes, then how he's gonna play against me. I'm curious to see, because at Master Cup, he was playing real, real well. He was serving unbelievable, and I want to see if he can -- if he's still playing that well or it's just, you know, maybe just using his confidence.

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