Roddick practicing in Santa Barbara this Weekend!!

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by GRANITECHIEF, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    Very interesting tennis in Santa Barbara.

    "Did Jimmy Connors decide to work with Roddick?"

    Yes he did. Jimmy Connors lives in Montecito CA, along with Oprah, Lowe, Costner, Martin, etc..., which is basically Santa Barbara. Jimmy, Andy Roddick along with his brother John were practicing at some public courts, Muni - Municiple Tennis Stadium, on Saturday. The also had Wayne Ferreira there as a hitting partner.

    Unfortunately i wasn't there and didn't get to see them, but i got first hand account from some good tennis buddies while watching the finals of the Santa Barbara Open at Tennis Club of Santa Barbara.

    They were doing two on one drills with Jimmy trying to teach Andy to make a decent approach shot. I was told he kept trying to come in on crappy approach shots like a topspin forehand cross court to the forehand and a slice backhand cross court, both not very deep or particularly forcing for a pro, and kept getting passed and was getting all pissy, complaining, etc...So Jimmy was really working to try to get him to come in on better shots, more up the line, keeping the ball in front, not giving a big lane to pass, and about where to expect the pass to go, cover the line, etc..

    Also, they said Wayne was whooping Roddick in the baseline drills and Jimmy was able to keep up with him too. They said Jimmy has the sweet strokes, straight through the ball, super efficient and clean. Said Roddick has a super heavy forehand with mega topspin, didn't say much about serving or backhand. Said that the winner of SBOpen, Paul Warkentin, would give Roddick a wicked match, and that as far as game style, it would be like playing a mirror, or twin, almost exactly the same type of game.

    Also interesting is this. Pearl Jam played at the SB Bowl on Thursday night. John Macenroe is a big time PJ fan and went to the show. Macenroe was wearing a black sleeveless tank top that said "F**K You!" on it, but without the **. On Saturday, he and Jimmy were at the same public courts, battling it out.

    My friends suck, why the heck did'nt they call me to tell me, because i would have been down there in an instant to check that out!!!!! But it seems that Jimmy will be a good influence for him. Sure as hell couln't hurt and you can't beat training in SB, staying at the Bacara Hotel right on the ocean with perfect weather all weekend.
     
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  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Interesting. Are you quoting somebody or is that you in "I"?

    A side discussion comes up - Connors hitting clean strokes. Is it the case that players in the wood era had better technique and precision?
     
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  3. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    I am quoting somebody as i wasn't there and didn't get to see any of it. I will however try to get ahold of some digi pics that my friends son took.
     
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  4. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    Connors was working with Roddick on his approach shots? That's perfect. Roddick might make a comeback just yet.

    But they should be spending a LOT more time working on that return of serve.
     
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  5. Dan007

    Dan007 Hall of Fame

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    Seems like Connors could help Roddick play better.
     
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  6. callitout

    callitout Professional

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    Sounds cool. Thanks for the account. There are lots of flaws in your friends opinions. Cant say just how badly Roddick played, but for the most part he plays like a guy ranked between #30-40 these days (not on clay, he's worse on that).
    We know pretty well that guys who were very good, but retire probably dont get better. When Courier retired he was about 50 in the world despite resonable conditioning and no serious injuries. McEnroe also had trouble keeping up with the young guns in the early 90's. The guy who won the SB open is probably not better than 500 in the world.

    There's a pretty wide gap between #500 and #30. Obviously I wasnt there, and cant comment on how badly Roddick practiced. But people love to give too much credit to the old guys on this board. Roddick is way off his peak but he'd be losing 0-6 pretty regularly if he were playing like #500 in the world.
     
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  7. Rob_C

    Rob_C Hall of Fame

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    I really doubt that Warkentin would give Roddick a match.
     
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  8. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    ^You are correct, he wouldn't give him a match, he'd make him work for it. Not my opinion but i'd love to see it attempted. I'd love to see Roddick return warky's 130-mph serve and try to approach the net to warky's forehand.

    I clearly realize that there are several levels between a top player and a solid DI Pac 10'r. But my buddy who was watching mentioned that he thought Warky could battle him, make him work, and probably get a couple game per set.
     
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  9. TacoBellBorderBowl1946

    TacoBellBorderBowl1946 Professional

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    good, Jimbo will do nothing but improve A-Rod's game

    -k-
     
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  10. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    From what i was told, Jimbo was very intense, no screwing around and he just had this intense energy that had everyone on their toes. Very focused and specific at tackling and conquering details.
     
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  11. nickybol

    nickybol Semi-Pro

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    The difference in terms of tennis between 30 and 500 is not that big you know. You would probably not notice the difference.
     
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  12. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    Well he was like that when he was playing. I went to the US Open a lot in the 80s/90s. I've never seen any other player so intense during practice. He'd only hit for 30 or 40 minutes but it was 100% non stop, no messing around, no breaks.

    I wonder if Roddick will embrace that mentality or be turned off by it.
     
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  13. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    Roddick fired Brad Gilbert because BG mostly helped with the mental aspect of the game and Roddick wanted to improve technically. If what he wants is less talk and more action, Connors is the coach for him. I think Roddick is a hard worker, contrary to popular belief, and if he sticks with Connors he should get back into the top 10. Just having Connors in his box should help him mentally.
     
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  14. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    If he wants better results, he will embrace it, which i think he will.
     
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  15. callitout

    callitout Professional

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    Its the difference between futures and ATP masters events, Ive seen both and its a huge gap. Dont get me wrong both types of players would double bagel my sorry 4.5 ass. But when they play each other, or even when you watch them play you can see a big gap. DY is probably around 500 in the world. Grosjean is 30 in the world he'd make DY look like a schoolgirl (with apologies to schoolgirls).
     
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  16. SB

    SB Rookie

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    This is so true, what he does. It's frustrating to watch. I honestly don't think his head is wired to understand when to approach the net. After several years of trying it, you'd think he'd figure something out, but every time I watch him play, the above scenario plays out.
     
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  17. Rob_C

    Rob_C Hall of Fame

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    Warkentin was on ok jr, I think top 10 SoCal, and an ok college player, but he wasnt even #1 on his team, he mostly played 3-4. The guy has only made main draw once in about 8-10 futures tourneys. I think it's safe to say Roddick would kick his ass.
     
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  18. MonkeyPox

    MonkeyPox Semi-Pro

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    Frankly I'm a little suspicious of that whole McEnroe/Connors out playing each other at some public court. Sounds very unlikely they be playing each other anywhere, not least in a public park.
     
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  19. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    Actually, Jimmy has been a regular at muni (Santa Barbara Municipal Tennis Facility). I even met him there and he was pretty nice. 3 years ago he was there during the SB Open, supporting one of the players.

    Go ahead and be suspicious and in the mean time, i'll try to get some pics.
     
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  20. alienhamster

    alienhamster Hall of Fame

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    great thread. thanks for the info.

    If Jimmy can help Roddick play smarter--which this session (described above) sounds like--he can be a real force again.

    Did anyone see Roddick play against Gonzalez at Stella? He was great--like REALLY good. And it had everything to do with hitting the right shots at the right times. I thought he was finally getting his game back together, but he just faded AGAIN at Wimbledon (though Murray did play well like every single break point).

    Maybe Jimmy can knock some sense into him about general court positioning--not just being so far behind the baseline, but also where better to put himself after inside-out forehands, mid-court balls, returns of serve, etc.
     
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  21. arosen

    arosen Hall of Fame

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    Although Jimmy is about technique ( from what it sounds like, according to Granite), Roddick could still pick up Jimmy's burning desire to win. That guy cared for nothing else. If Roddick could stop goofing about and focus on one thing only - winning- he could get back to the top with Jimmy's help, no doubt.
     
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  22. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    I dont think so. I dont think Jimmy is really going to change Roddicks game for the better. Roddick needs to play within himself, and i dont see him changing his style on the court.
     
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  23. sandiegotennisboy

    sandiegotennisboy Banned

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    he is done. stick a fork in him.
     
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  24. Lee

    Lee Guest

    Granitechief, thanks for the great report. I haven't read a quality post like yours in a while.
     
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  25. Volly master

    Volly master Semi-Pro

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    i hope Roddick bounces back, America needs him IMO
     
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  26. UnforcedError

    UnforcedError Rookie

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    I live 2 blocks away from the Muni courts in Santa Barbara and I've seen Jimmy there hitting against the wall. I heard the rumours of Andy being in town and a few days ago as I drove down the street that looks down on the stadium court I could see Andy hitting through the green screen. His forehand is easily recognizable. I got out to have a look through the locked gate in the back but just then they took a break so I didn't get a good look at Andy hitting but saw Jimmy there.
     
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  27. Spindarella

    Spindarella Rookie

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    Don't get too excited about Jimmy helping out Roddick's game just yet. So far they have worked together for one weekend just to see how things go. If both Jimmy and Andy like working with one another, then it will progress from there. Initially the plan was to work on Roddick's backhand and approach for a few days. I guess Andy is kind of demo-ing Connors as a coach. But more importantly, Jimmy is testing Andy, his work ethic, and his willingness to make changes in his game. I will find out later this week how it went. Hopefully they see eye to eye. It sure would benefit Andy.
     
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  28. nickybol

    nickybol Semi-Pro

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    You can see a gap, but they would not be bageled. The difference has to do with the mental aspect, top30 players use all the chances to score, 500 players ruin quite much of them.

    A guy that was top3 in the nation in the 16`s in the Netherlands and trained with me once played Grosjean at Evert Academy, just a few practice games. He could keep up quite well, while he didn`t even have a world ranking.
     
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  29. Mr.Groundstroke

    Mr.Groundstroke New User

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    Who's that guy?
     
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  30. chiru

    chiru Professional

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    interesting, since i think most, including jimmy, think roddick needs to improve his mentality.
     
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  31. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

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    I don't think A-Rod's issue is a lack of understanding or knowledge of what he needs to do, but when, coupled with a lack of believing, embracing and committing to it under the pressure of match conditions.

    The ability to come forward, like baselining is part nature part nurture. A part is how the player is wired, but a greater part is developing a particular skill early enough so it becomes automatic, like walking does to a toddler. The longer one waits, the less likely it is to ever become, instinctive or "thoughtless". When pressure is applied in match conditions, those thoughts about when and where and shape of shot along with those doubts begin to creep in, or may come in a flood and the urge to "go back to the comfort of the womb", for Andy the baseline, becomes intense. Those millisecond distractors and delays result in lack of committment to the moment and shot at hand. That is enough, even more amplified when attacking the net do to it's "bang-bang" change of rhythm, to make a player look and be totally out of his element.

    For Andy's sake I hope this training evolution with Connors contains mechanical and strategic corrections in his return game. Fed has shown the way to beat A-Rod is to just get into the point and then expose his relatively weaker movement and bh. If A-Rod could apply more consistent pressure to the opponent's service games, it would likely lessen the pressure applied to his own holds. More importantly even though his bent seems to be a deeper understanding and committment to transitioning, these sessions should emphasize what was his strength, 1-2 tennis, big serve and ending the point with the fh from mid to 3/4 court and better identifying the difference between that and opportunities to transition forward. Again, once he understands the difference between a point-ending opportunity and an approach, committing to the approach IMO will be A-Rod's biggest hurdle.

    We'll see.
     
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  32. SB

    SB Rookie

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    That's basically what I mean -- of course he understands intellectually what to do. But on the court, his muscle memory just doesn't go that way.

    How many players can really change their games once they are at the pro level, though? Has anyone done it? Seles always used to talk about closing the net, but she never did. Graf could come over her backhand, but she never did.

    Seems to me that once you've made it that far doing it one way, it's extremely difficult to change. My opinion on Roddick is that he tried to change to beat Federer, and in the process lost the game that made him the US Open champion. Now he's swinging in between, thinking too much, not reacting.
     
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  33. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    ^ Hey SB, does your username SB stand for Santa Barbara?
     
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  34. MaxT

    MaxT Rookie

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    Jimmy against the wall. Thanks. That is the motivation I need to keep practicing against the wall. I think it is great!
     
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  35. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    After the loss at Wimbledon, the second-seeded Roddick worked to turn his season around, including a week of lessons from Jimmy Connors.

    "Jimmy had some real good ideas, which I think I'll keep to myself. The workouts were fun. They were intense," Roddick said. "I was a lot more prepared this time. I'm more physically and mentally ready for this than I have been in some time."

    http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/news;_y...A4v7YF?slug=ap-indianapolis&prov=ap&type=lgns
     
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  36. dukemunson

    dukemunson Rookie

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    Played Warkentin a bunch in the juniors and he was always top 5 Socal top 25nation...that being said Roddick on his worst, most hung-over day would still dust a guy like that without much of an effort...its just a completely differant level
     
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  37. tennisboy87

    tennisboy87 Guest

    Interesting. Thanks for the report.
     
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  38. SB

    SB Rookie

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    No, but I wish it did!
     
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