View Full Version : Roddick vs Safin

03-15-2004, 08:11 PM
Kudos to Roddick on a well-played victory. Who knew Roddick could play real serve and volley tennis? Roddick has always been a one-dimensional player. If he develops his serve and volley, he becomes much more dangerous.

I'm really impressed with Roddick's mobility in the Safin match. That's the best I've ever seen Roddick scramble. Having watched Roddick play live several times in the last 2 years, his movement has improved considerably. Two years ago, Roddick tended to spray balls he had to hit on the run - his defense was the weakest part of his game.

As for Safin, his performance in the second set was a borderline tank job. He gave up after that first break. What a shame - Safin has as much talent as anyone out there. I wish he had the mentality to match up to his enormous physical gifts.

03-15-2004, 08:24 PM
I agree. I'm no Roddick fan, but I'll be first in line to say he has improved his volleying and backcourt defense a hell of a lot over the past 6 months. He looks like another player out there. I was dissappointed that Marat lost in such a lackluster 2nd set. He is capable of much more than that, but I guess he didn't feel like fighting today...

03-16-2004, 12:44 AM
IMHO, Roddick was never a one-dimensional player. He had two weapons he could routinely rely on for wins, and it generally worked. But he's been developing an S&V game for a long time, realizing that his two weapons won't do it in all circumstances.

Sometimes it's hard to remember Andy, Roger, J-C and others are very young, and are still learning and developing. Andre is more than 10 years older than Andy. I expect that we are going to see all these guys' games evolve more in coming years. If there's one constant, it's change, and these guys continually have to adapt their games.


03-16-2004, 01:25 AM
When I describe Andy Roddick as a being one-dimensional, I'm saying that he really only has one strategy - to take control of the point with his serve or his forehand. When that fails, he hasn't had a plan B to fall back on.

Consider last years Wimbledon semi-finals. Federer consistently blocked back Roddick's serve, preventing Andy from establishing control of the point. In that match, Roddick didn't change strategy to say...serve and volley, which could have been very effective against Federer's blocked returns.

Similarly, a top notch counter-puncher like Hewitt robs Andy of using his forehand to take control of the point.

Susan, you make a good point that Roddick is still developing. That's why I find his credible serve and volley play today intriguing. Once upon a time I wondered if Roddick would be another Mark Phillapousis, or Fernando Gonzales, or even Venus Williams - players who eschews strategy, living or dying by there ability to hit winners and steam roll their oponents.

Obviously, by hiring Brad Gilbert and working on his serve and volley game, Roddick is showing that he wants to develop in to a more rounded player. Good for him.

03-16-2004, 01:51 AM
I agree Lemons, It was evident Rod work out a new tactic, using his most "kick" serve on the Tour, to make net approach, that was the real improvment on his game yesterday...
And whether he is not a "gifted" volley players, with such second serve quality, most of the second shots should be played above the net.
I was also angry agst Marat, who failed mentally after the Tie break what a disappointment he was so strong on the 1 st set... leading 3-0. As a defense for him, I ve watched the whole game and there were a couple of overrules forgotten on important point : at 5-4 for him during the Tiebreak, a 2 long chip from Rod wasn't announced... That's pretty little thing with big consequences!

03-16-2004, 06:04 AM
It was interesting in that this was a matchup of the two players Gilbert was allegedly "waiting on" during his post-Agassi lag, and the difference kind of showed, today.

I've never seen Roddick look so much like his teacher's student. The "never give up on any ball" attitude was so prevalent in his game today. He kept chugging after everything, and got to some balls he never would have before. He floated back, lobbed back, or junked back at least a half-dozen balls that Safin clearly didn't expect him to reach.

And that's the flip side of the coin. There were at LEAST a handful of points where Safin was clearly completely unprepared to have to make "one more shot." The one where Roddick ran down Safin's BH volley, and with a lunging stab, poked it over the net (ticking the tape on the way). Safin had clearly given up on that, and moved for the reply WAY too late, barely making a token stab toward the ball. And when Safin hit a brilliant REALLY wide, short, slice return off a Roddick serve, he clearly didn't expect the ball to come back. Roddick floated it into the corner, and Safin's reply was a weak floater...doom with the other guy standing at the net.

Anyway, Roddick busted his balls to get to everything, and Safin obviously took a much less diligent approach. I think if both those guys go 100% all the time, Safin's talent gives him a clear edge. But the mental part of the game is a huge part of the game, and Roddick obviously deserved to win this one. That game he broke Safin in the 2nd, he just kept getting one more ball back, let Safin make a couple mistakes, and Safin went in the tank afterwards. I think we're starting to see some returns on Roddick's investment in Gilbert on that front.

This is the most impressed I've been by Roddick, his US Open run included.

Bhagi Katbamna
03-16-2004, 07:01 AM
This is one of the reasons I like Roddick, he doesn't pull a Safin and give up. Even when he was being pounded by Fed at W'don, he didn't give up, he kept fighting. He lost but still kept fighting until the end. I remember P'Mac upbraiding Cliff Drysdale for comparing Safin to J'Mac during the Aus Open final when Johannson won for this very reason.

03-16-2004, 10:37 AM
Wait I think I'm on the wrong board -- no wait, it is Tennis Warehouse. :wink:

I wish I had seen the match, but I was out watching Calleri/Nadal. Thanks for the info about it. It's nice to hear some details about the match.

Here's some gossip re Marat. He hasn't given up smoking. He was spotted smoking at the hotel, and so was Grosjean. I can't help but think it affects their games.

Anyway, the guy sitting next to me, Bruce Schonfeld, is writing an article about Marat for Tennis Magazine. Should be out soon. He has some interesting theories on Marat's career. I think you'll find the article interesting.

03-16-2004, 11:45 AM
i was so disgusted with safin not just for tanking the second. roddick couldn't hit the ball in the court the first part of the first set and safin couldn't bury him. roddick was clearly nervous at first and thinking about the aussie and safin just let him get right back in it.
almost as unforgivable as the tank job is that safin hits every second ball the same, kicker to teh backhand. once roddick established that he would attack that and come in, it's up to safin to either mix it up or get motivated enough to move and make the pass. he did neither.
this match was as important for safin as for roddick, and he just wasn't there. how many times will we hear about the "new and improved" marat?
i'm sick of it

03-17-2004, 12:22 AM
You re right Dander, When I'd been watching the match, I was telling myself the same thing : each Marat's second serve was on Roddick backhand!!! i ve been thinking of it... and I believe we got a pride point here : "My (Marat) Kick is better than anyone else, HUH! :evil: And no one can kick and charge on it :!: :!: " For sure Marat got a insanely big ego that sometimes play against himself... But that's the way we like him, don't we. :roll:

03-17-2004, 12:53 AM
sseemiller, Can you tell us who had spotted the smoking facts ? ? If it's true it doesn't surprise me from Bigjohn who never hide his lack of physical conditions and his lazyness with training efforts...
By the way you must have heard about the marat's habits : having several beers after a 5 sets match...

03-19-2004, 10:23 AM
Kudos to Roddick on a well-played victory. Who knew Roddick could play real serve and volley tennis?

Those of us who have been watching his game for a while, and also the fact that he's determined to improve and change up his game.

Because of these changes, Roddick effectively smoked Safin. Boo hoo Safin. Andy beat you up. Run home to mommy.

03-22-2004, 12:40 AM
Come down Free-martha! Don't forget Marat leads 3 to 1 in the duals vs Andy... With one victory in a 5 sets matchs.
Moreover I believe Marat is far more gifted than Andy, and the day he could keep focus on tennis (Training instead of night clubs, trainer instead of playmates...) Well this day no one but a good Fed will be able to stop him.

03-22-2004, 09:22 AM
"Gifted" or not, Marat's going no where until he puts the beer down and starts committing himself 100% to improving his fitness, and bettering his game. That's exactly what Roddick did over the break and we're seeing some good results because of that committment.

And Federer is good but an in-form Agassi or Henman (who still has a lock on him, regardless of Roger's IW win) can still take him down. (not that I don't think Roger is talented, he certainly is, I'm just not buying into the "he's as great as or greater than Sampras" hype, which is wholly premature at this stage in his career).

03-22-2004, 09:45 AM
I can agree with the Marat point.
About FED, I just would like to say, he certainly won't have a palmares as good as Pete cause i believe ATP tennis level comes harder and harder through the years... But I 've seen both player in action and there is something evident they both got the same extremly released attitude on some parts of their own games. Pete got it more in the serve and volley part whereas Fed got it in each part of his game...