Fed, Rafa, and even Sampras have their own threads. Thought I start one for my man.
Great athletes who hit walls in one place tend to figure out where the daylight is. Roddick has determined just how much this event suits him. He has a terrifically hard time sitting still for anything, yet his rapt attention to this hasn't wavered for a minute. That's enough for his teammates and his captain. Maybe it should be enough for everyone watching to give him some space to take a bow, and stop asking what he's done for us lately. ~ Bonnie Ford, ESPN.com
Q. So who is the best dancer?
BOB BRYAN: Andy's pretty good. I guess his maid had some rhythm when he was growing up and she taught him a lot of good moves. He's got like Jackson 5 moves down. Yeah, he was dancing. I was dancing. Mike was dancing. It was a full dance floor. A lot of people were out of their mind last night.
Roddick was asked a couple of times during the week whether he remembered anything about the Cold War. He said no, except, of course, for Drago vs. Rocky. At the end of that answer, as another reporter began a new question, Roddick looked up with a mock-concerned look: “That was a movie, right?” The guy loves playing dumb.
Mardy Fish and Robby Ginepri were also in the house. They came along as high-level practice partners, though Ginepri also seemed to have been drafted as a figure of fun for Blake and Roddick. In the buzzy post-clinch presser, the two begged us to “ask Robby Ginepri a question!” Roddick said, “Ask him to multiply something!”
Someone finally went to Fish instead, who excitedly pulled the mike up to his face and said, “Bring it!” He was asked how it felt to watch the victory on the sidelines. Fish gave a warm answer about how everyone from the trainers to the practice players were made to feel like they were part of this team.
"It's a different feeling," Roddick says of Davis Cup play. "It's something that gets inside you. You're not just playing for selfish motives."
ISNER'S ROOKIE SPEECH: The US Davis Cup team forced practice partner and rookie John Isner to deliver the team speech during the banquet. In a classic frat boy move, the veterans forced Isner to introduce himself as "Jisner" leading to raucous laughter by his teammates and stunned silence by much of those in attendance. Ewww.. how gross!!
Don’t put a line under Roddick’s career just yet
by Tom Perrotta
If Andy Roddick doesn’t win another match, he’ll still have a spot in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Roddick’s Davis Cup performances this year, and especially last weekend, when the United States defeated Russia 4-1 for its first Cup in 12 years, were that significant. But did anyone else find it odd that much of what was written about Roddick these past few days assumed or implied that this Davis Cup tie will be remembered as the pinnacle of Roddick’s career?
No doubt that Roddick faces increasingly stiff competition at the four majors. Rafael Nadal has adjusted his defensive game for the sport’s faster surfaces and is now the second-best player in the world on grass. Novak Djokovic can play well on anything. Andy Murray has already shown that he knows how to read Roddick’s serve and keep the American off-balance. Of course, there’s always that Federer character to contend with. Do you think Roddick ever lost to a single player, even his older brother, 11 times in a row before he met Federer?
No question, the challenges are many. But there are a lot of reasons to believe Roddick can win at least one more major, and perhaps two or three. Here are the three biggest:
1) Big serves age well (see Sampras, Pete and Ivanisevic, Goran)
2) He’s only 25 years old
3) Roddick is an underrated fighter.
Roddick is often derided for his racquet skills off the ground and at the net: “Without that serve…” are the words often spoken before someone tears Roddick’s game to shreds. People tend to look at serving like they do singing—a natural talent, something you can do or can’t do, practice aside. Certainly Roddick has an incredible serving talent, but he’s worked hard to maximize it, too. There’s no need for him to apologize for having the best single shot in tennis, especially when that shot is the most important stroke in the game.
Perhaps Sampras and Ivanisevic had slightly more deceptive serves, but once you consider all their statistics—and the fact that both Sampras and Ivanisevic, a terrific athlete, had better secondary weapons—it’s hard to argue that men’s tennis has ever known a more effective server than Roddick. He maintains a ridiculously high first-serve percentage (64% or thereabouts year in and year out), routinely holds 90% of his service games, and usually leads the tour in break points saved.
When Roddick first came on the tour, his violent motion fooled a lot of observers into thinking he would suffer a serious shoulder injury. Further study, with the aid of high-speed video, has shown Roddick to have sound, if unique, technique. I don’t see his serve, and the free points that come with it, slowing down anytime in the near future.
And that future is long, at least another five or six years, and maybe seven or eight. Ask yourself, who has been the steadiest player on the tour since 2003, after Roger Federer? Probably Roddick. If Federer were not as dominant—and no one has ever won as consistently or easily over such a long period—Roddick might have six major titles to his name: two at the U.S. Open (he won in 2003 and lost to Federer in the 2006 final); three at Wimbledon (he lost to Federer twice in the final and once in the semifinal); and one at the Australian Open (he lost to Federer in the semifinal last year). He’s always in contention and he’s point-for-point as feisty as Nadal, just not nearly as fast afoot. If someone else could take care of Federer along the way, or Federer had to miss a slam, which is bound to happen sometime, Roddick should be in position to challenge for the title, unless it’s at Roland Garros.
There’s little chance that Roddick will ever match Andre Agassi (eight majors) or regain the No. 1 ranking that he held briefly in 2003. But if Sampras could serve his way to a U.S. Open title in 2002 and Ivanisevic could win Wimbledon at age 29 when Sampras was in his prime (he had won the previous four), Roddick can win another major. The timing and draw has to be right, but the good thing about Roddick is you can count on him to be around when good fortune comes his way. The Davis Cup is a perfect example of that—after plugging away for seven years, Roddick performed when the draw (no match against Argentina on the road and a home final) broke in his favor. There’s no reason why it couldn’t happen for him a major, too.
Tom Perrotta is a senior editor at Tennis magazine. http://tennis.com/features/general/f...aspx?id=108700
Biofile: The Andy Roddick Interview By Scoop Malinowski
Monday, December 03, 2007
Childhood Heroes: "When I first got into tennis - Edberg, Becker and McEnroe. Then when I first started playing all the time, I looked up to the whole group of Americans - Agassi, Sampras, Chang, Courier, Todd Martin, David Wheaton - I loved all those guys." He didn't like Jimbo growing up?
Hobbies/Interests: "Go out with friends on my boat. Jet ski. Poker. I love playing golf and basketball. Hang out with friends. Pool. Photography. And I'm really into music too. Burn CD's."
Funny Tennis Memory: "When I was growing up, we had this rebound net in our garage that I played on. And I used to pretend I was playing McEnroe, Pete Sampras, Lendl - three out of five sets. My mom would come out and ask me the score. And I'd be like, I'm winning. She'd be like, Oh, that's impressive. So that was my big thing when I was little. Playing with that rebound net and being in my own little world [smiles]."
Pre-Match Feeling: ""'m pretty relaxed before. I don't try to get too up or down before 'em. Just kind of hang out with my coach, just kind of us two. He will feed me - remind me of this and that. I try to put the same amount of effort into any tournament I play. Just try to focus on winning one match at a time."
Favorite Movies: "American Pie
, Austin Powers II."
Favorite TV Shows: "Lost
. My Name Is Earl. I love My Name Is Earl. Don't know if it's because I get the trailer park humor since my parents lived in one before they got married, but I think the show is hilarious."
Musical Tastes: "I have everything from country to rap to heavy metal to everything. I'm into everything...Nelly, Dixie Chicks, Tupac, Coldplay, Dr. Dre, Eminem
, Metallica, Maroon 5
, Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer."
Favorite Meal: "Meat and potatoes
=why I like Andy more after reading this.
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: "Cocoa Puffs."
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: "Cookie dough."
First Car: "1996 red Chevy Blazer."
First Job: "Tennis."
Greatest Sports Moment: "Tough one. I'll say winning the U.S. Open was a really good feeling. Match point, when I looked over to my family and coach and I realized it was over and I had done it. Any time you win a Grand Slam, it's something to be proud of."
Most Painful Tennis Moment: "Yeah, I got tagged in doubles with an overhead in the place where it hurts a little more than the other places [smiles]. I was like 14, at a local tournament in Florida. I had to go sit down for like five minutes."
Closest Tennis Friends: "A lot of the Americans - James Blake, Mardy Fish, The Bryan brothers."
Funniest Player(s): "Mardy Fish is a pretty funny guy."
Toughest Competitor(s) Encountered: "I'm 1-15 against that guy Federer."
Early Tennis Memory: "The one match that really got me really into tennis, where I actually sat down as a little kid for three, four hours without wanting to get up and do something else, was when Chang beat Lendl in the 1989 French Open quarters. He was cramping, hitting underhand serves, all types of stuff. After watching that match, you sometimes got the feeling (that) all you want to do is go out and hit tennis balls."
Childhood Dream: "When I decided I was going to turn pro my goals were - win the U.S. Open, be No. 1 in the world, win Wimbledon and be a part of a winning Davis Cup team. I've gotten a couple, I've come close to a couple."
People Qualities Most Admired: "People that start with little in life and achieve something. People like that. My parents were like that. They didn't start out with much when they got married. They didn't have a lot financially or socially. They worked their way up. When they first got married, they lived in a trailer home. My dad was in the military. They ended up owning about 25 Jiffy Lube stores in Nebraska and Texas."