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View Full Version : Rafa is so underated - Roddick


miyagi
03-26-2009, 01:14 PM
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/26032009/58/atp-tour-roddick-nadal-underrated.html

World number one Rafael Nadal is even better than most people appreciate having become a more complete player, according to his American rival Andy Roddick.

Roddick, ranked sixth, believes Spaniard Nadal's reputation as a powerful baseline player camouflages his improved skills around the court.

"He has developed a chip that gets him out of trouble a lot that no one ever really talks about. They talk about the running and heaviness, but he volleys well.

"He's able to play returns, as evidenced by Wimbledon last year," said Roddick, who like left-hander Nadal is preparing for a second round start in this week's Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

"They talk about how he stands back, but he's able to mix it up. I don't really think he gets credit for how complete of a tennis player he is.

"I think he kind of gets pigeon holed into what people remember from five years ago," added the 26-year-old.

"The thing about Rafa's game, and the type of ball he hits coming from the left side is that, maybe more so than other players, he's able to kind of say, 'This is what I do. You're going to have to deal with it.'

"But that being said, the guy knows what he's doing on a tennis court. He knows his way around," Roddick said.

Nadal currently holds three of the four Grand Slam titles and his win at Indian Wells last week gave him his 13th Masters victory.

The Spaniard beat Andy Murray in the final, ending the Briton's good run of form in match-ups between the pair.

Murray said the key to taking on Nadal was not trying to beat him with every shot.

"He's so consistent and really fast. You know, he has obviously one of the heaviest forehands the game has ever seen.

"It's easy to think, you have to play unbelievably all the time. That's not always the case.

"You have to pick the right shots to go for the lines and play aggressive against him, and then you've got a chance.

"It is obviously very difficult, because when you get more tired in the tight situations, you know he's not going to give the points to you.

"That's where you have to be very strong mentally to win against him, especially in the big match tight situations," Murray said.

tudwell
03-26-2009, 01:39 PM
Last Wimbledon, all I heard was how much Nadal had improved his backhand and his serve. Sure, there are trolls here on this board that say Nadal is one-dimensional and a clay-courter, but I think most of the world has gotten the memo that he's the real deal. I agree with Roddick that Nadal is a very complete player, but I don't agree that that's gone unrecognized.

VictorS.
03-26-2009, 01:39 PM
http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/26032009/58/atp-tour-roddick-nadal-underrated.html

World number one Rafael Nadal is even better than most people appreciate having become a more complete player, according to his American rival Andy Roddick.

Roddick, ranked sixth, believes Spaniard Nadal's reputation as a powerful baseline player camouflages his improved skills around the court.

"He has developed a chip that gets him out of trouble a lot that no one ever really talks about. They talk about the running and heaviness, but he volleys well.

"He's able to play returns, as evidenced by Wimbledon last year," said Roddick, who like left-hander Nadal is preparing for a second round start in this week's Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

"They talk about how he stands back, but he's able to mix it up. I don't really think he gets credit for how complete of a tennis player he is.

"I think he kind of gets pigeon holed into what people remember from five years ago," added the 26-year-old.

"The thing about Rafa's game, and the type of ball he hits coming from the left side is that, maybe more so than other players, he's able to kind of say, 'This is what I do. You're going to have to deal with it.'

"But that being said, the guy knows what he's doing on a tennis court. He knows his way around," Roddick said.

Nadal currently holds three of the four Grand Slam titles and his win at Indian Wells last week gave him his 13th Masters victory.

The Spaniard beat Andy Murray in the final, ending the Briton's good run of form in match-ups between the pair.

Murray said the key to taking on Nadal was not trying to beat him with every shot.

"He's so consistent and really fast. You know, he has obviously one of the heaviest forehands the game has ever seen.

"It's easy to think, you have to play unbelievably all the time. That's not always the case.

"You have to pick the right shots to go for the lines and play aggressive against him, and then you've got a chance.

"It is obviously very difficult, because when you get more tired in the tight situations, you know he's not going to give the points to you.

"That's where you have to be very strong mentally to win against him, especially in the big match tight situations," Murray said.

I think Roddick makes an excellent point. You don't become #1 in the world playing a solely defensive grinding game. Just like Guga Kuerten almost ten years before him, Nadal has proven that a clay court specialist can retool his game to become more of an all-courter.

icedevil0289
03-26-2009, 01:40 PM
seems everyone hates the dude on this forum.. some days it feels like your fighting the wind

its most likely because of his oncourt attitude. I personally find it entertaining. Anyways, nice words from roddick.

deltox
03-26-2009, 01:42 PM
its most likely because of his oncourt attitude. I personally find it entertaining. Anyways, nice words from roddick.

maybe ive just been to the wrong matches, but ive always found Roddick to be funny and in a good mood on court unelss a bad call or in his eyes a bad call was made. but we would all get upset over a seemingly bad call.

i think Roddick usually says the truth and speaks whats on his mind. If he says Nadal is the best in the world then there is no argument from me about the topic, as i said, Roddick doesnt play around with what he says.

icedevil0289
03-26-2009, 01:45 PM
maybe ive just been to the wrong matches, but ive always found Roddick to be funny and in a good mood on court unelss a bad call or in his eyes a bad call was made. but we would all get upset over a seemingly bad call.

i think Roddick usually says the truth and speaks whats on his mind. If he says Nadal is the best in the world then there is no argument from me about the topic, as i said, Roddick doesnt play around with what he says.

I like that about him. Although, he does tend to be a bit disrespectful to umpires and linesman. I think there was a match, forgot which one, where he was really rude to the linesman and the linesman was wrong. Usually, as far as I've seen ,the umpires have been right on their calls, but its still pretty entertaining to see him go at it with the umpires. Although based on his arguing, he would make a terrible lawyer. lol

batz
03-26-2009, 01:46 PM
actually, rafa fans get on well with roddick fans. its just everyone else that h8's roddick.

I'm a Murray fan and I like Roddick. Quite a lot actually.

deltox
03-26-2009, 01:47 PM
I like that about him. Although, he does tend to be a bit disrespectful to umpires and linesman. I think there was a match, forgot which one, where he was really rude to the linesman and the linesman was wrong. Usually, as far as I've seen ,the umpires have been right on their calls, but its still pretty entertaining to see him go at it with the umpires. Although based on his arguing, he would make a terrible lawyer. lol

i agree, but look who he grew up watching.. conners and mac. you gotta expect some fallout =p

Cesc Fabregas
03-26-2009, 01:52 PM
I'm a Murray fan and I like Roddick. Quite a lot actually.


Don't Murray and Roddick dislike each other?

grafselesfan
03-26-2009, 01:55 PM
Don't Murray and Roddick dislike each other?

Well Graf and Seles hate each other and it doesnt deter me. :)

Frankauc
03-26-2009, 02:43 PM
Agree with Roddick, this guy is more intelligent than people tend to say he is here

i said that a couple of months ago, that the backhand chip shot of Nadal is so much improved. This is one of the best shots on the circuit and it will deadly at wimby this year

kungfusmkim
03-26-2009, 05:23 PM
Wow never expected so much heart from roddick. I knew his was a guy that wouldn't ever beat around the bush. All his conferences prove it. "i suck, it was miserable." He didn't say, "o i think i played okay, I think maybe if i tried harder i could have beaten Federer" cause he knows it and the viewers know that would be cokmplete bs. good for roddick.

Morrissey
03-26-2009, 06:00 PM
Either way the haters in here will find a way to downplay the interview and praise as being politically correct.

Joseph L. Barrow
03-26-2009, 06:08 PM
i agree, but look who he grew up watching.. conners and mac. you gotta expect some fallout =p
Not to mention, Roddick grew up playing basketball and baseball and the like. Being an American with experience in those sports myself, I think I can empathize with Roddick's perspective a little better than most here. Now, I agree that this is a bad thing and reflects poorly on our society, but it's almost a cultural tradition in these sports for competitors to be rowdy and mouth off to officials and what have you- when I played basketball in my public schooling days, the coaches ran try-outs like a boot camp, frequently yelling at and being aggressive towards the kids, and often threw absolute fits about it when calls weren't going their way during games. Likewise, in predominantly American sports like baseball and football, it isn't uncommon to see players engaging in trash-talk or berating officials.
The attitude of American culture towards sporting competitions isn't nearly as gentlemanlike as what you see in European sports like tennis, and so a guy like Roddick who was raised in the tradition of American sports and didn't really become a serious tennis player until he was is likely to have had a much different ethic instilled in him by his upbringing than someone who grew up entirely within the culture of a sport like tennis- and even a lot of other American tennis players are guys who've been immersed in tennis since they were four years old, again something which does not apply to Roddick. None of this is to say that Roddick is therefore justified in his on-court rudeness, but it is to say that it is understandable in his situation, much the way, for example, that I don't think holding racist views would reflect as badly on a person's general nature if that person grew up in the 19th century South as it does for someone who holds them in the modern-day first world.

MarrratSafin
03-26-2009, 11:22 PM
Roddick is right. Hate to say it as I don't like Nadal's game too much but Rafa's really the best one out there at the moment.

Sentinel
03-27-2009, 12:35 AM
Roddic is right.

nadal_freak has been saying this all along for years, but no one took NF seriously !

Dilettante
03-27-2009, 01:55 AM
The best thing about Nadal is his ability to evolve quickly in various aspects.

Some things that he has improved (which is very hard to do, can't think in another player that improved so many different things in so few years):

-He can play closer to the baseline, sometimes even ON the baseline. Time ago he seemed uncapable to adjust to that. Now he does it more often and seems to feel, if not completely natural (which he isn't to baseline) more comfortable.
-Aggresive backhand. It was good, but now it's often even more dangerous than his forehand.
-Slice backhand. Now he uses it a lot and very smartly.
-Serve, improved A LOT: he's not a big server, but remember how weak he served at the beginning. Now he even takes some free points every match.
-He runs a lot less. He always was technically capable to dictate points, but he didn't seem to realize. Now he dictates much more than before and therefore he runs less. He also moves in a more smart way, although nowhere near Federer (and he never will I think).
-He is slowly improving his net approaches. He's good at volley, BUT he doen't always make the best shot selection when charging. He fixed it a bit, does it better.

I agree with Roddick about how Nadal is a different player now than he was some years ago. Not an opposite player (that would be nonsense) but he changed his game enough to become a superpower, but didin't change too much to ruin his previous (and working) style.

If you think about it, it's a fascinating case of evolution. Those skills were there before, but how hard is to adapt your game to new circunstances. More hard for a naturally defensive player.

aldeayeah
03-27-2009, 02:03 AM
I agree with all of that. I was going to create a thread to discuss the evolution of several players' styles, and I was going to start with Nadal.

About his serve, I think the critical improvement has been his serve on the deuce side. It used to be really attackable and gave lots of breakpoints. I saw it dozens of times when he was serving; he'd lose a point on the deuce side and win it back on the ad side. Not anymore.

Harry_Wild
03-27-2009, 02:04 AM
Just the fact that he has won three different grand slams on three different type of surfaces tell you that he - Rafa is a complete player. And it is in a time where the players are tougher - stronger, faster, etc...) too.

ruerooo
03-27-2009, 03:15 AM
Agree with Roddick, this guy is more intelligent than people tend to say he is here

i said that a couple of months ago, that the backhand chip shot of Nadal is so much improved. This is one of the best shots on the circuit and it will deadly at wimby this year

I am surprised that people aren't talking about it more. I figured he was practicing it so that it would be second nature by Wimbledon.

But maybe, like Andy says, people are just missing it. Not that I think Rafa minds that - I think it's part of his mental game to capitalize on being underestimated.

Hope he's not ticked at A-Rod for blowing his cover. :???: :D

aldeayeah
03-27-2009, 03:32 AM
It's a very effective weapon too (BH slice). Both in his return game, and to mess up the rythm of other players. He used it a lot in the second set against Nalby in IW, but I think that shot is his answer to the Murray/Simon matches where he was outground with similar shots.

The way he uses it is really similar to Roger's, by the way. He's copying his enemies' weapons :shock:

Josherer
03-27-2009, 04:10 AM
Very Well said by Roddick

Casey10s
03-27-2009, 09:31 AM
I mentioned this very same thing to a teaching pro I work out with and he never thought of Roddick's attitude from this viewpoint before, but he agreed with me. Roddick's attitude is what you see from more baseball and non-inner city basketball background that someone from a tennis background. Football attitude is probably a more militaristic tone rather than baseball where baseball can get a little disrespectful and offensive but not really to a point of 'let's rumble.' A pitched baseball keeps things in some perspective.

I can see people brought up in a tennis background not able to get accustommed to this because Rodick's mentality is from a team perspective, not an individual. Maybe this is why Roddick is an avid Davis Cup participant.


Not to mention, Roddick grew up playing basketball and baseball and the like. Being an American with experience in those sports myself, I think I can empathize with Roddick's perspective a little better than most here. Now, I agree that this is a bad thing and reflects poorly on our society, but it's almost a cultural tradition in these sports for competitors to be rowdy and mouth off to officials and what have you- when I played basketball in my public schooling days, the coaches ran try-outs like a boot camp, frequently yelling at and being aggressive towards the kids, and often threw absolute fits about it when calls weren't going their way during games. Likewise, in predominantly American sports like baseball and football, it isn't uncommon to see players engaging in trash-talk or berating officials.
The attitude of American culture towards sporting competitions isn't nearly as gentlemanlike as what you see in European sports like tennis, and so a guy like Roddick who was raised in the tradition of American sports and didn't really become a serious tennis player until he was is likely to have had a much different ethic instilled in him by his upbringing than someone who grew up entirely within the culture of a sport like tennis- and even a lot of other American tennis players are guys who've been immersed in tennis since they were four years old, again something which does not apply to Roddick. None of this is to say that Roddick is therefore justified in his on-court rudeness, but it is to say that it is understandable in his situation, much the way, for example, that I don't think holding racist views would reflect as badly on a person's general nature if that person grew up in the 19th century South as it does for someone who holds them in the modern-day first world.

danb
03-27-2009, 09:35 AM
Roddick ALWAYS praised the #1, whoever that was. I also find the article very articulate - pretty standard from Roddick who is a smart guy. One more reason to like both Rafa and Roddick.

tahiti
03-27-2009, 10:16 AM
Thanks for the article. Roddick can be pretty entertaining at press conferences sometimes, with sharp replies to stupid journalist questions.

His description of Rafa is quite accurate. Roddick gains points in my book again, hmm he might be running a surplus if he keeps showing his good side. :) He should take some "cool down, chill lessons" from Rafa, he'd probably improve his game.

kingbishop
03-27-2009, 10:22 AM
And pretty soon we will see the beautiful grinding tennis that rafa is so famous for ....I cant wait till clay season, but this time i hope he goes undefeated...which will be tough if you remember last year when he was so pooped out form back to back weeks of tennis

King of Aces
03-27-2009, 10:37 AM
Last Wimbledon, all I heard was how much Nadal had improved his backhand and his serve. Sure, there are trolls here on this board that say Nadal is one-dimensional and a clay-courter, but I think most of the world has gotten the memo that he's the real deal. I agree with Roddick that Nadal is a very complete player, but I don't agree that that's gone unrecognized.

Which world? The real one or TW.

I just had a debate with breakpoint who just yesterday called Nadal one dimensional. :shock::

Why do you think that Nadal is one dimensional?

Because he hits the same shots over and over until his opponents miss. He just bludgeons people without ever really changing his strategy. He camps out 10 feet behind the baseline and doesn't really have a whole lot of variety nor is he always looking to attack the net.

How often have you seen Nadal serve and volley or chip and charge off of returns?

tintin
03-27-2009, 11:22 AM
Nadal's slice is tricky because of his lefty sidespin and he has good approach shots(doesn't leave the middle of the court or one side or the other wide open for players to hit passing shots) and better net game not just drive volleys but conventional volleys unlike the guy talking about him ;)

it's going to be interesting to see players copy what Federer has been doing for years against Roddick and now what Nadal and Murray are doing on the grass.Block it back;feed him a short reply and wait til he approaches and BAM! a passing shot:lol:

tahiti
03-27-2009, 11:23 AM
Which world? The real one or TW.

I just had a debate with breakpoint who just yesterday called Nadal one dimensional. :shock::


I'd listen to Andy Roddick if I were you, he's played Rafa. I don't think Breakpoint has :) Roddick doesn't feel it's one dimensional.

Morrissey
03-27-2009, 11:25 AM
I'd listen to Andy Roddick if I were you, he's played Rafa. I don't think Breakpoint has :) Roddick doesn't feel it's one dimensional.

BP is from another planet, the planet of no reason or sense.

tahiti
03-27-2009, 11:26 AM
BP is from another planet, the planet of no reason or sense.

thanks :) I was beginning to think it was me :)

King of Aces
03-27-2009, 12:16 PM
Because he hits the same shots over and over until his opponents miss. He just bludgeons people without ever really changing his strategy. He camps out 10 feet behind the baseline and doesn't really have a whole lot of variety nor is he always looking to attack the net.

How often have you seen Nadal serve and volley or chip and charge off of returns?

About as often as Federer no?

Dont you think Nadal has good hands at the net?

What do you think of Nadals drop volleys?:


http://www.tennis.com/uploadedImages/Your_Game/Instruction_Articles/Net_Game/2008_03_27_nadal_volley_1.jpg
http://www.tennis.com/uploadedImages/Your_Game/Instruction_Articles/Net_Game/2008_03_27_nadal_volley_2.jpg

aldeayeah
03-29-2009, 02:29 AM
That the fact that he uses such a big movement to strike such a subtle shot is very representative of his overall playstyle.

Cfidave
03-29-2009, 05:25 AM
Funny, I never thought of Nadal as underrated. Probably the most gifted athelete the game has ever seen.

AprilFool
03-29-2009, 05:37 AM
Either way the haters in here will find a way to downplay the interview and praise as being politically correct.

Your avatar. That's my favorite all-time Barrett photo. :)
RIP Syd

Nadal_Freak
03-29-2009, 07:37 AM
Roddic is right.

nadal_freak has been saying this all along for years, but no one took NF seriously !
Yep I was. People just brushed it off and called me a *******. Boy these comments blew up in their face. :D

GameSampras
03-29-2009, 07:53 AM
Nadal underrated? Roddick OVERRATED.