Tuesday, January 20, 2009

AO 2009: Roddick Opens With Win

R128: Roddick def Rehnquist
6-0 6-2 6-2

Good win but it's hard to read how Andy's game really is when he faced one of the worst players I'd ever seen. Up next is Andy's pigeon, Xavier Malisse. Hard to believe they haven't played a match since 2003 (!). Unfortunately, their match is scheduled last on Hisense Arena so U.S. residents probably won't see it until around 1:00 in the morning.

The only point worth watching in that atrocious match was this one (number two on the list):

Video here of Andy speaking with Chris Fowler in the ESPN studio after his first round match. You can clearly see how much weight he's lost, his face is much thinner now. He almost looks like a teenager again.

Quote of the Day
"Andy Roddick is a practicing pagan who drinks the blood of newborn babies." Jon Wertheim, SI.com

Roddick Still a Fan Favorite But No Longer a Favorite to Win

Q. We've seen in the last 18 months a bracket of younger players emerging to challenge Roger. People talk about the big four, and you're not in that. Do you feel you still belong in that top group?

ANDY RODDICK: Not until I earn my spot back. They absolutely deserve to be the four that get talked about right now. My results last year, especially in slams, don't warrant me being talked about.

The thing about sports is no one really remembers yesterday, and that's fair. You have to go out and prove yourself on a daily basis. I have no problem with that.

For the first time I can ever remember, Andy Roddick is no longer being talked about as one of the favorites, a contender, or even as a "dangerous floater", for a grand slam that's on one of his better surfaces. Surprisingly, Andy Murray, who hasn't won a slam yet, is considered the favorite, even moreso than Federer (Roger had a few choice words to say about that, lol), then there's the Federer/Nadal dynamic duo, and even defending champion Novak Djokovic isn't being a labeled a favorite, either. Guys like Gilles Simon and Juan Martin Del Potro are being named ahead of Roddick. Will this get Andy's dander up? Intellectually, he gives a good answer and you can't argue with it because his slam results this past year have been terrible. But emotionally, I'm hoping a bit of his pride is wounded enough to get the claws sharpened and engine roaring. He has made the AO semis in every off-year for the past few years now (2003, 2005, 2007). I'd like to see that continue in 2009.

Related News Items:
• "Can Roddick Slam Again?" [Yahoo Sports]
• "Roddick Loses Weight of Expectations" [Herald Sun]
• "Slimmer Roddick Weighs His Chances" [Australian Open.com]
• "Regimented Roddick Ready for Change" [ESPN]
• "Roddick Soars, Eagles Have Landed" [Tennis.com blog]
• "A-Rod Aces Aussie Rules" [Australian Open.com]

Watching athletes try their hand at other sporting pursuits is always an entertaining prospect, and such was the case this morning when Andy Roddick played kick-to-kick with several AFL footballers on Court 4.

The world No. 8 from the United States met with the Richmond Football Club’s Nathan Brown, Jack Riewoldt and Adam Thomson, and took a brief lesson from the trio on how to kick and handball. Roddick certainly did not disgrace himself, handling the Sherrin well before sprinting down one end of the court to take a running mark – narrowly missing the courtside fence in the process.

The four then took part in a friendly hit followed by a tie-break, during which the boys from Tigerland revealed that they were all surprisingly handy tennis players. Brown was especially impressive, managing to rifle back a bullet serve by Roddick with a textbook double-handed backhand.

Roddick admitted the footballers were better at tennis than he was at Aussie Rules, and said he was impressed by their standard.

“I asked them [if they’d played before], I was expecting to be teaching guys who had never played before, and they came out and he [Brown] serves at about 120 mph on the first one. I was like, ‘Alright, we’re going to have to play here’,” he said.

Brown claimed that while he used to play in his younger days, he had not hit for 10 years. “I think I got lucky with the [serve] I got back, it certainly came down quick,” he said.

“It was fantastic [to hit with Roddick], he’s obviously one of the best players in the world and very recognisable. We taught him a few things, but I think he [preferred] the NFL-style ball. It was a great thrill for us and something we’ll remember.”

Riewoldt relished the opportunity to team up with the American during the tie-break.

“Are there any wildcards left in the tournament?” he joked.

“I reckon in the doubles tournament we might be a chance. Maybe we’ll have to get onto Tennis Australia about that and see if we can get a gig in the doubles tournament.”

Roddick said it was a great experience to learn about a different sport.

“I’ve never been shown how to really do it much [play Aussie Rules], so it was cool to learn,” he said.

“I might have to get out there again and practice with my coach and stuff, but this was a good time, it was a fun little event.”

1 comment:

Richmond Footy Club said...

It's a shame that the Richmond Footy players aren't better at Footy.

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