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View Full Version : An actual thread about a pro player's game


Gugafan_Redux
02-11-2005, 07:47 AM
I don't want to get too crazy, but I thought I'd start a thread about a Pro Player and his game.

I watched Roddick/Lee at the SAP, and Roddick's game was a mess. First set, he seemed to be trying to get creative with the serve and twist it every which way. I saw him leave one groundstroke go by him.

Second set, he hit three routine backhands in a row into the net. Next point, a backhand way long over the baseline. Then he seemed to adjust his position to play more forehands, and naturally Lee played wide to the open court. Roddick was late getting there, and had to go for a winner from out wide on the FH side. Missed it, smashed his racket.

Essentially his serve saved him. He was talking to himself. Confidence seemed very low, nothing like the summer hardcourt seasons in 2003. Strategy or game plan was non-existent. Sliced a lot of backhands, but not really as part of a game plan. Didn't come to net once that I saw.

Goldfine was taking notes, but does Roddick need a taskmater? He seemed better off with Gilbert keeping it simple. Play your strengths, get a break, close the set.

Thoughtful replies based on what you've seen at the SAP, other than standard Haterade, that is?

Gugafan_Redux
02-11-2005, 11:12 AM
Just what I thought.

Vlad
02-11-2005, 11:27 AM
Roddick's game is not based on strategy or tactics. His whole game is basically, hit that first serve then rip forehand. When he returns, he plays too passive and just put the ball in the court, waiting for his opponent to crack. The thing is, good players don't usually succumb to the pressure as lesser players do. There is a huge gap on his record against let's say top 10 or even top 5 and say the rest of the field or just top 50.

What I would suggest is to not go for the serve but to try and win points from the baseline. When he returns, he needs to take a lot more risks than he does.

Andy Hewitt
02-11-2005, 11:35 AM
Stupid Comcast, i wanna see that match.

Anyway, from what I've seen, Roddick seems to be getting worse and worse. There is no reason he should be losing to Hewitt (even though I want Hewitt to win :) ) I do see him slicing backhands alot which do NOTHING, i guess from the TV viewpoint i cant tell if its a defensive shot or what, but man he needs a better backhand. First serve HAS TO GET IN MORE OFTEN! I just remembered that, his first serve is his whole game man. I just dont get it... how could he lose to Yokeeeem!

drakulie
02-11-2005, 12:40 PM
I saw the first set of the that match. Roddick did not look cmfortable at all. he seemed very slugish-sort of like he did not know what he wanted to do, or could not make up his mind. Funny thing is that Lee was not really doing much where one might say that he was confusing Roddick.

Agassi actually looked horrible in the first set of his match as well.

I love the Tennis Channel! Can't wait to see the rest of the matches this weekend.

Gugafan_Redux
02-11-2005, 01:47 PM
Some good points, posters. Roddick's movement was odd. Many times he moved two strides to a forehand and seemed late, rushed, unsure, defensive. Just rolled it back, then seem confused that he hadn't created any open court of opportunities, or hadn't drawn an error from Lee.

He was using the slice from the center of the baseline, with plenty of time to prepare a two-hander. Which tells you his confidence in that show was low.

As the recent Roddick/Hewitt and JRoddick/J. Johansenn losess, I think he earned them both by not doing anything outstanding. That seemed in evidence last night, too, for example, when he had a sitter to his forehand. Two years ago he would have bludgeoned it inside out for a winner. Ultimately, seems to be a confidence issue.

The Franchise
02-11-2005, 03:05 PM
Bring back Brad Gilbert.

pound cat
02-11-2005, 03:19 PM
I don't mind Brad as a commentator (couldn't stand him as Roddick's coach) & he may have ditched coaching in favour of the big screen.

Richie Rich
02-11-2005, 03:31 PM
Roddick is a top notch competitor but looks like the other pro's have gotten used to his game and are starting to pick on his weaknesses.

As others have said here before, a little more variety in his game wouldn't hurt.

VictorS.
02-11-2005, 09:20 PM
I'm honestly not sure what the exact problem is with roddick currently. Perhaps it's confidence, burn-out, etc. Tennis is a mentally and physically grueling game. I think he might do well to maybe take some time off and relax a little.

One thing I noticed during the first set which I watched was the smoothness and ease with which Hyung Taik-Lee played. I was just surprised at the talent this guy possessed. I think a lot of times we forget just how good these pros are. Lee is like a marginal top 50. But I was just surprised at his skills as a player. He moved really well on the court....very smooth with his strokes. Nice serve. I'm surprised this guy hasn't had better results.

bertrevert
02-12-2005, 04:03 AM
It must be unnerving to have your opponent, having studied your game, let's say move that split-second early because yeah they know you're going to hit that inside-out forehand, or you see them concentrating on their return of your big serve. I can only imagine that Roddick is facing opponent's who really know what to expect. His game: if one-dimensional - then they're going to second-guess that.

Another example, in 2002 US Open Final - Agassi seemed somewhat depressed after Sampras just knew when he would probably go cross-court or go up the line - he just knew ahead of the shot. If Andy Roddick is struggling with his game then he's chafing within its constraints for a reason: his own game neither surprises his opponents, nor himself.

AndrewD
02-12-2005, 04:57 AM
There could be a number of reasons for Roddick's average performance (he did win after all). Might be that he still hasn't regained confidence after the Aus Open or it might be that he's trying to implement changes into his game and they just dont feel natural yet. I remember Tony Roche saying that when he started coaching Ivan Lendl it wasn't a case of getting him to hit harder but to hit softer (mix up the pace, throw in some slice) and get some variety into his game. Could be that's what is happening with Roddick and, so far, it just doesn't 'feel' right. If that is the case then I give him credit for trying those things out in a match.

Unlike a lot I think Roddick needs to increase his fitness more than he needs to revamp his game (although some tactics couldnt hurt). He's fit at the moment but not super fit. I think he needs to take that up to a level similar to the one Lendl had or even the one Hewitt has now. He's not the same quality athlete as either of those guys but there's no reason he still can't strive for his absolute level. Id have a feeling that if he was in that kind of shape there'd be a marked improvement in his consistancy and his ability to win by just hitting out (he'd sure get to a lot more balls a lot earlier).

alienhamster
02-12-2005, 07:54 AM
Great thread, guys.

Can some of you comment on Roddick's performance against Enqvist? (I echo the "Stupid Comcast!" comment someone made on this or some other thread.)

I also think Roddick's game is fine but it's just his confidence in his shots that's lacking. And yes, absolutely: if he were better fit, I think his confidence would remain higher in the latter sets of the big matches he's been losing.

Can anyone tell what--specifically--Goldfine is having him do more or less of on the court? I couldn't really tell anything from his Aussie Open performance.

nkhera1
02-12-2005, 06:25 PM
hello everyone, this is my first post to these boards and i probably don't know as much about tennis as most of you guys but i would like to offer my opinions.

As for Roddick there are a few problems with him

1. As mentioned above players are starting to know him better. I think they are more equipped to handle his serve better than before meaning they can return it a little better which sets up rallies, and in rallies you never know what your going to get with roddick. If the rally keeps going on there isa good chance that Roddick may mess up or something like that.
2. All the top players have gotten better with Federer already being better than Roddick, Hewitt getting bigger, Safin fixing his mental problems a little and i don't think roddick has gotten better, in fact it seems like hes regressed.
3. His bachand is still horrible for a top 10 player. Too much slicing which is not good.
4 His forehand has too much topspin on it, so players can always catch up to the ball. I've noticed this the few times i've watched. Players like federer and agassi hit the ball relatively flat but roddick puts a lot of top spin on it which makes it bounce high and allow the opponent to get a chance to return it back.
5. Also as mentioned above players are starting to learn Roddicks tendencies
6. His serve has gotten faster, but i also think it has become less accurate. So basically he is sacraficing his accuracy for his power. Like before Roddick would hit fast serves but they would be placed pretty well, and back then his top speed would be about 140 max. Now his serve has gotten faster, but i don't think the placement is as good. Placement is pretty important, just look at Federer. He gets a lot of free points from his serve because he can place it pretty well.
7. He is with a new coach and he doesn't have confidence in his game.
8. Roddick doesn't move as well as most of his opponents and i think he needs to become ulta-fit. I'm not saying he is bad now, but too be good he has to be fitter than his opponents in order to win.

Vlad
02-13-2005, 02:13 AM
I would also few things:

a. He is way too passive on return games. He waits until his opponent will break himself and it happens regularly when he plays players below top 20 or top 10. During AO, his opponents before Hewitt all succumb to pressure and had at least one bad game during each, which is enough for Roddick to win it 6-4.

b. He doesn't serve and volley at all or very rare. He needs to add this element just for variety. WIth his serve that he be 120mph kicker, he can have time to get to the net and put away easy volley.

c. He needs to develop better dtl backhand. He doesn't have this shot right now. His opponents know where exactly he is going to go with his 2 hander.

VamosRafa
02-14-2005, 04:51 PM
I agree. Interesting discussions.

My question:

Why was he able to beat Haas and win the tourney? Haas has given him tons of problems in the past.

I was busy watching Buenos Aires this weekend. (Courtesy of The Tennis Channel).

BTW, Gaudio may have been last year's fluke RG winner, but he's going to have another terrific claycourt season this year.