Andy Roddick - why was he so successfull?

lud

Hall of Fame
Ok, don't attack me with what 'successful career' is. Because - 32 titles,1 GS,5 Masters,1 YER as No.1 + 4 more GS finals is one prestigous career.

But, when you think he didn't have a lots of weapons. His serve is def. in top 10 ever, power forehand was much better before 2005. Even with all power he had, both his serve and forehand were quite predictable when player figured it.
I give him fighting spirit. Except for Roger, he pretty much owned everyone else in his generation.

Still, it's quite mystery how he managed to win so much with tehnically not great shots.
 

ReeceSachs

Hall of Fame
Roddick and Hewitt were evenly matched the H2H was 7-7 so equal.
Roddick FH and serve made him great as well as how aggressive he was on the ground off clay were he was not very good.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
Roddick and Hewitt were evenly matched the H2H was 7-7 so equal.
Roddick FH and serve made him great as well as how aggressive he was on the ground off clay were he was not very good.
I know. But it was 6-1 to Hewitt at one point. Once when Rod figured it out, it became nightmare matchup for Hewitt.
More like once Hewitt started having surgery every other week the rivalry turned around.

On the rest...

At his best Roddick had a big forehand, huge serve and was a great athlete and competitor. That tends to win a lot of matches. The serve +1 is pretty much the blueprint for modern tennis.
 

ReeceSachs

Hall of Fame
More like once Hewitt started having surgery every other week the rivalry turned around.

On the rest...

At his best Roddick had a big forehand, huge serve and was a great athlete and competitor. That tends to win a lot of matches. The serve +1 is pretty much the blueprint for modern tennis.
I wouldn’t call Roddick a super athlete and he suffered on clay but he was good. Defence movement was good enough but not among the best. He worked hard and managed his body though.
Hewitt was damaged after 2005 that was a good point.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
I wouldn’t call Roddick a super athlete and he suffered on clay but he was good. Defence movement was good enough but not among the best. He worked hard and managed his body though.
Hewitt was damaged after 2005 that was a good point.
Roddick basically grew into his body TOO much and got slowed down as a result. At his peak he had the biggest serve and forehand in the game while also having decent movement.

The real question isn't why Roddick wasn't so succesful. The better question is why he didn't win more than he did. And of all the players of who I've closely looked at stats, Roddick was by far the most unclutch player in big matches.
 

ReeceSachs

Hall of Fame
Roddick basically grew into his body TOO much and got slowed down as a result. At his peak he had the biggest serve and forehand in the game while also having decent movement.

The real question isn't why Roddick wasn't so succesful. The better question is why he didn't win more than he did. And of all the players of who I've closely looked at stats, Roddick was by far the most unclutch player in big matches.
Losing Wimbeldon 2004 final took a hit to his confidence in these matches. I think he lost a match in USO 04 which he won like 20+more points.
I heard he had a shoulder injury to and his serving speed post peak drop.
 

snr

Semi-Pro
Because Andy Roddick was incredibly UNDERRATED.

IMO two things lead to this; the first was that he wasn't exactly the most natural looking player. The second was, he came up often against Prime Fed. If he was sitting with another 3-4 GS titles, we wouldn't be asking this question. And whether or not Prime Fed was actually that good or not is another argument altogether.

Roddick was solid. He was a hard worker, he had a lethal forehand in his younger days (2003), and even after he started making it loopy which annoyed his fans to to an unbelievable degree, it was relatively consistent and did enough damage. IMO, it still did more damage than Murray's because Roddick was an offensive minded player. He's just kind of using a safe shot for that purpose.

Roddick had a bad backhand, but he hid it well and used it to setup the FH which was reliable. He also had good sense around the net. No this does not mean transition, that was a pretty bad aspect of his game which is why he was often passed but I think people don't give him credit for having some decent volleys.

I haven't mentioned his serve up until now because that part is obvious, one of the best serves in his era and he had a decent ground game at that.

You put a pretty solid package together (ground strokes, volleys) an amazing serve, with a bad transition game, average returns you'll still get a good player. Federer had a pretty bad backhand for years as well... so many shanks off that thing, and people are frustrated NOW with it. HIs FH/serve made up for that though.. Roddick's kind of the same though not on the same level.
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
I don't think Roddick would be sitting at 4 or 5 slams in most eras. I do think he probably would be sitting on something like that in his era without Federer, but that is kind of a flawed metric, since even if Federer is the GOAT, pretty much most or any eras the better 1 or 2 slam winners would often have several slams if you remove someone. Chang probably gains at minimum 2 U.S Opens without Sampras, but that doesn't mean I think he is a should be 4 slam winner either. Wilander without Lendl is probably an 11 slam winner, but he sure as f-ck is not someone who should be in double digit slams, not for me anyway.

There are some eras he might win up to 3 slams, I think that is his max in almost any era unless he got some real luck or absolutely perfect timing with when he hit his absolute peak form and some Kafelnikov type luck with slam draws, and there are others he might still win only 1 (I think he would have to be very unlucky to not win atleast 1 in anytime). In the eras of much faster courts, he doesn't return serve well enough to win a lot of majors. His biggest weakness of all is probably his return of serve and inability to return well enough to manufacture enough breaks even in the slower conditions he played in; sometimes vs non stellar servers. Despite that his return game, outside of the return of serve itself, was solid enough. No disrespect to Federer who has a very fine serve, but he should not be clean acing anyone 50 times as he did to Roddick in the 2009 Wimbledon final. And in the era of slow courts, well his problems with people like Nadal, Djokovic, and even Murrray in those conditions are fairly obvious. And he would always have atleast a couple people he is a big underdog to on the whole- 90s Sampras, Agassi, Becker. 80s Borg, Lendl, Connors, McEnroe, and even Wilander although I do think despite his way greater career Roddick would match up fairly well against him on non clay surfaces. Early 2000s Hewitt (a bad match up for Roddick in general, even if peak Roddick holds his own), Agassi (another bad match up for Roddick), and possibly Safin, along with an old Sampras popping up and hitting runs of near unbeatable form here and there.

I do think born at the right time he could easily be atleast as good as someone like Wawrinka, and Wawrinka somehow got up to 3 slams, so in the right circumstance that could also be possible for Roddick I suppose.
I think this fair for what we saw Roddick do in 03-09. He had probably 14+ good to really great runs at the slams, losing 8 (?) of them to Federer. In another era he'd still be coming up against at least another prime ATG, aside from a couple of pockets here and there, and he's not a lock to beat the field 100% of the time either. His problem historically is that Wimbledon and the USO have often been where the best ATG's aim to play their best tennis, so even if he's relatively better there than a player like Chang it may not be enough to sneak through a win more.

I do think he's better than Wawrinka tbh, I'd also say that his game development was stunted by confidence issues that stem from losing to Federer - so I'm not sure he maxed out his potential, which he may have done in a different era and achieved more than seems likely.
 

Linelicker

New User
Underrated by some. Gets a lot of credit by others. A bit like Murray in someways.
Roddick was a tough oppenent for Djokovic and Nadal off clay in big matches.
True. Tough luck to face a top Federer in three Wimbledon finals... and he got as close as you can get in the last one.

I thought he was fun to watch. Offensive tennis has become rare.
 

ReeceSachs

Hall of Fame
True. Tough luck to face a top Federer in three Wimbledon finals... and he got as close as you can get in the last one.

I thought he was fun to watch. Offensive tennis has become rare.
And of Federer in the 2003 SF as well he could have beaten Scud if he got him in the final.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Ok, don't attack me with what 'successful career' is. Because - 32 titles,1 GS,5 Masters,1 YER as No.1 + 4 more GS finals is one prestigous career.

But, when you think he didn't have a lots of weapons. His serve is def. in top 10 ever, power forehand was much better before 2005. Even with all power he had, both his serve and forehand were quite predictable when player figured it.
I give him fighting spirit. Except for Roger, he pretty much owned everyone else in his generation.

Still, it's quite mystery how he managed to win so much with tehnically not great shots.
Because the weapons he did possess were simply better than everybody else's individually and collectively.

He had a TERRIBLE mentality when he became a top player and had a pressure on himself. Lousy 5-set record. Lousy from behind. Propensity to self destruct and go against his own game when things weren't going his way (S&V way too much against elite counter punchers like Federer, with weak approach shots).
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
True. Tough luck to face a top Federer in three Wimbledon finals... and he got as close as you can get in the last one.
Not exactly tough luck since anybody that was gonna win Wimbledon had to face Federer at some point. Federer won Wimbledon from 03-07.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
When you have serving stats like this on GS HC in your serving prime..and can move ok and hit a big forehand, you will go far


Ace % 19.6%

Double Fault 2.4%

1st Serve % 66.3%

1st Serve Won 82.9%

2nd Serve Won 58.8%

Break Points Saved 81.8%

Service Games Won 94.5%
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
Roddick is one of my favorite players ever. I was really happy when he beat Federer in 2003 in Montreal. That late-Sunmer hard court season was incredible for Andy and enjoyed it a lot. Shortly afterwards, Andy started showing up in commercials.

Of course, Federer grew on me later. But Andy’s wins over Roger were sweet.

With all of that being said, I think that Roddick was quite unlucky. Unfortunately for him, Federer had the perfect game to counter Roddick’s game. This was simply a case of Roddick being unlucky.

People forget that Andy held the record for the fastest serve for many years until racket technology allowed a few others to break it. Andy’s forehand was devastating back in the day. Roddick was a beast in his prime and I think 2004 Andy would destroy 2019 Federer. I don’t see grandpa Fed dealing well with Roddick’s 145-150 mph serves.


 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
People forget that Andy held the record for the fastest serve for many years until racket technology allowed a few others to break it.
He still holds a joint record for hardest serve ever struck at the AU - 232 khm/h. And he did that back in 2005 against Lleyton Hewitt.
 

ReeceSachs

Hall of Fame
Yeah it isn't a popular opinion but I also agree he is better than Wawrinka. The fact Roddick can play like a top player 12 months a year in his prime while Wawrinka purposely avoids doing this to focus on peaking for slams to stand any chance, is sufficient to show this to me. Of course Wawrinka's 3 slams forever makes him greater and statistically speaking better, but it is all about timing. In another time he could have 0 or 1 slams just like Roddick, in another time Roddick could have atleast 3 as mentioned.

Good point on Roddick losing confidence due to his string of losses to Federer. He might have become a better player in general otherwise, so I guess it is hard to guage what his true limits are. I am basing on what we know about Roddick, but that is a very good point.

A big problem he would have in winning a whole bunch of majors, particularly in the era of faster courts though, would be his return of serve like I mentioned. It isn't terrible, it is probably better than say Krajicek when Krajicek was not playing Sampras, but it the biggest weakness of his game IMO. He would need to improve that shot, particularly facing big servers (and there were many more big servers in the top 10 and top 15 in the eras of faster courts than today, not surprising given players usually follow conditions and situations) to stand a realistic shot of any more than 2 or 3 majors.
You think Stan loses on purpose to peak for slams?
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
Ok, don't attack me with what 'successful career' is. Because - 32 titles,1 GS,5 Masters,1 YER as No.1 + 4 more GS finals is one prestigous career.

But, when you think he didn't have a lots of weapons. His serve is def. in top 10 ever, power forehand was much better before 2005. Even with all power he had, both his serve and forehand were quite predictable when player figured it.
I give him fighting spirit. Except for Roger, he pretty much owned everyone else in his generation.

Still, it's quite mystery how he managed to win so much with tehnically not great shots.
Definition of one trick pony - lots of power and nothing else. For real. Looked like someone tied sandbags to his feet when moving across ANY court, bought his backhand secondhand from the retailer that sold Lopez his, and couldn't hit a volley or cover net to save his life. Even forehand lacked variety, and then went the way of lacking power.

Roddick needed the ball to be in his strike zone and with the right spin in order to be effective with his power and unfortunately pro tennis ain't like hitting with the ball machine
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
When you have serving stats like this on GS HC in your serving prime..and can move ok and hit a big forehand, you will go far


Ace % 19.6%

Double Fault 2.4%

1st Serve % 66.3%

1st Serve Won 82.9%

2nd Serve Won 58.8%

Break Points Saved 81.8%

Service Games Won 94.5%
he couldn't move ok though, an elephant on skates moved with more grace than ARod
 
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Lotus_Island

New User
Definition of one trick pony - lots of power and nothing else. For real. Looked like someone tied sandbags to his feet when moving across ANY court, bought his backhand secondhand from the retailer that sold Lopez his, and couldn't hit a volley or cover net to save his life. Even forehand lacked variety, and then went the way of lacking power.

Roddick needed the ball to be in his strike zone and with the right spin in order to be effective with his power and unfortunately pro tennis ain't like hitting with the ball machine
I can just tell this guy has never even touched a racket. Just a standard American idiot. Lol.
 

Lotus_Island

New User
I highly doubt Fish was more gifted. Black probably was athletically, but overall, not so sure. Roddick's serve for one thing is an amazing talent, and one Blake never had.
They both had the tools to have an all court game. Roddick did not.

And no, Roddick didn't need to be in this magical 'stike zone's and use 'the right amount of spin for his power to be effective'. This is simply senile ramblings from a madman stuck in the 90's. This is my analysis of Roddick.

A very good player who in his prime generally lost to players who were technically superior to him. Let us take a look at 03-04.

AO 03 - was tired after that SF, I highly doubt he beats AA anyway.
W03 - lost to a better player but also had bad luck with delays
AO04 - lost to a better player
US04 - lost to a player who many people could lose too, not a bad loss, pim was sick.
AO05 - lost to a slightly better player
W05 - lost to a better player


And no, Roddick was not a poor mover. Maybe if you have an iq of 45 then I guess you would think so. However, for the life of me, I cannot understand why this was missed. Roddick's greatest weakness was his return of serve. If he had a better ROS, his record over Federer would be quite a bit better. I cannot believe people haven't even mentioned that this was his downfall when it came to his biggest losses. It was one of the worst, perhaps the worst return from anyone who has had the success Roddick had.



@Sabrina, unless you have had the impact on your 'specialty' that Roddick had, please do not talk about lack of succes. Roddick can say that he was the best in the world for a brief period of time in his profession.


I get the sense that people really didn't watch much of Roddick. Most people who watched Roddick would know that his BH became his strongest stroke after 06 aside from a couple of tournaments at Dubai and Miami where he had some 03/04 moments.

Could he have done better? Yes. However he played an extremely defensive game which does generally not yield great results. Djokovic and Nadal get thrown crap, but they were far more offensive than Roddick of 06+.



That Sampras fan is a tool. Saying Roddick's serve was easy to read. Guy hasn't even played at 3.0 level and he is talking smack about 140mph serves. Idiot.
 

Lotus_Island

New User
I agree with almost everything you said, just not sure if I see this potential to be an all court player in either Blake or Fish, or really anymore than marginally more than Roddick. Neither looked that comfortable at the net to me even when they did come in, nor like they have some natural mastery of the transitional game. Fish pushed himself to go forward more briefly but it was more a conscious attempt and brave idea than anything natural. For the most part if anything Roddick came forward more than them, even with his awkward but surprisingly effective volleying technique, and ill fated approach shots at times and all.
Fish had a good serve, good net play and was good for the ground and had a much better BH.

Blake had everything you would want in a player. Never hired a great coach and played dumb tennis. Choked sometimes too.


Both of them had more all court game than Roddick. Roddick had 2 massive weapons, good footwork, good fight and fitness. Not much else.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
Fish had a good serve, good net play and was good for the ground and had a much better BH.

Blake had everything you would want in a player. Never hired a great coach and played dumb tennis. Choked sometimes too.


Both of them had more all court game than Roddick. Roddick had 2 massive weapons, good footwork, good fight and fitness. Not much else.
Fish had an even lousier return of serve game than Roddick and his BH wasn't that much better. How good is volley was is pretty irrelevant in the modern game.
 

Heuristic

Hall of Fame
And no, Roddick was not a poor mover. Maybe if you have an iq of 45 then I guess you would think so. However, for the life of me, I cannot understand why this was missed.
Roddick was a poor mover by any tennis standard, let alone top 10. He could make a good sprint but there was zero grace to it and his shots weren't as effective when stretched to the sides, which is exactly why his return of serve even on the FH was lacking. Just put the serves in the corners and Roddick is struggling to time them with his grip.
 

SaintPetros

Hall of Fame
Roddick was a poor mover by any tennis standard, let alone top 10. He could make a good sprint but there was zero grace to it and his shots weren't as effective when stretched to the sides, which is exactly why his return of serve even on the FH was lacking. Just put the serves in the corners and Roddick is struggling to time them with his grip.
Shocking he could give Fed trouble with all those weaknesses
 
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