Friday, April 04, 2008

Fed Express -- it's taking the scenic route

Yeah, it's going to be a bad year for Roger Federer. Maybe only one or two Grand Slam titles this year.
Andy Roddick should hope for such a sucky year.
Yes, Roddick finally got the monkey off the back, and beat Federer yesterday in Florida. And Roddick has had a nice run of late. He's already beaten Nadal and Djokovic this season, too, and he'll probably winn the Sony Ericsson. But Roddick's been here before. He's beaten the good players during the season, only to flame out in majors. As Roddick's most recent hanger-on, Jimmy Connors, must have told him, "It's the majors that count, dawg."
So, has Roddick turned a corner? Yes, if putting a few more mph in your serve is turning a corner. Come on. I already can't stand watching Roddick play. To watch him ace solid tennis players, and beat them on brute strength is just not fair. And boring. Hey, while we're at it, why don't Roddick, Ivo Karlovic, Sam Querrey and Kevin Anderson just have a serving contest for world number 1?
OK, a bit of a rant, I admit. The real question here, I guess, is Federer, because I don't think Roddick's consistent enough to be a serious consideration for top 3 by the end of the season. He looked a bit slow last night, and maybe it's the mono. Maybe he's bored. Maybe he's not quite in tip-top shape yet. Really, he and Nadal are both looking a bit rusty to start the year. But I don't see this as a countdown to the end of Federer's career. Players are becoming more versatile and less intimidated by the top two in the world these days. No more 3-0 mental advantage to start the match. I think, instead, that this is going to be the beginning of an unbelievably competitive men's tennis season. Damn. All we need now are rabid fans who'd care.
Now, I know I get a lot of "Don't Hate on Roddick" comments. So you guys (and anyone else who cares to) tell me: Has Roddick reached another level? If so, how?


Mashimaro said...

I missed how Andy beat Nadal and Djoker in Dubai, only caught his match with Federer. To me, match result depended more on Fed than Andy. About Andy reaching another level, I am not so sure (just yet). If someone could return his serves well, I don’t think he has other options. But we shall see more. I wouldn’t say ever, though. Look at Davydenko, who would have thought he would be serving like he did in Miami.

BTW, I enjoy your blog.

Naf said...

Thanks for reading!
I agree with you about the Fed/Andy match. Federer did look a little slower and flat. The only real difference I've seen with Roddick is that his serve seems faster. Backhand's a little better, but he still looks unnatural hitting it. With the serve, it's only a matter of time before guys start blocking it again, and then Roddick's at square one again.
Davydenko. I didn't see that one coming. I've never been big on him, just because I thought he was top 5 only through sheer volume of matches. He's the one I'm not sure of yet.