What could have helped Andy Roddick win more slams?

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DeathStrike

Guest
I know he ran straight into peak Fed but surely he could have bagged ONE Wimbledon title with that serve. One of my favourite players sad he couldn't win more slams, anything you guys think he could/ should have done in those times.
 

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
I've thought it too much, and I think there's like a few major things he could've done differently, and a load of minor things he could've done differently

Big things
1. Don't fire Brad Gilbert
2. Never abandon that forehand
3. For the love of god stop running to the net like you're an obsolete 90s relic.
4. Work on backhand. Yeah everyone says this, but I don't know what work he did specifically on it. In any case there was a lot more wrong with it than just the technical bit. It was tactically terrible too. A bit more aggression, placement on the cross court, and more conviction and backhands down the line alone would have done wonders imo. The fact that his backhand was a free point reset and couldn't construct points at all was the main reason he was easy to play against apart from returning.

Small things
1. More body serves
2. 2nd serve patterns, more slice 2nd serves, maybe even deliberately slower 2nd serves
3. More aggro footwork when attacking. Taking 1, 2 steps more forward
4. Split steps width and knee angle. Very little of that and it makes the first step horrendous, also hurts the return a lot
5. More aggression on crosscourt and inside in forehands
6. More work on running forehands.
7. Less self deprecating interviews. That inferiority complex was showing man.
8. Probably some specific things on returning patterns when guessing, running around 2nd serve returns and those timings etc. His 2nd return was really underwhelming.
 
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MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
Not much. Even if he'd kept his old forehand and given himself more of a punchers chance, Federer was still going to solve his game 9/10 times. Prime Roger pretty much always still had another gear he could go up if he was truly pushed.

The one time everything was going perfectly at Wim 09 (rock solid backhand, no kamikaze net rushes, virtually unbreakable serve) and actually managed to push Roger, Fed was still able to dig deep into his bag of tricks and out-clutch him over 5 sets.
 

Fridge

Professional
he would often loop in a forehand and or backhand, rush the net, and get passed. I don't think his BH was that bad. I think his weaknesses are shot selection and not really having a gameplan other than try to outserve his opponent
 
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DeathStrike

Guest
If he had the right coach? Lendl maybe or did he have Lendl :laughing:
 
D

DeathStrike

Guest
I've thought it too much, and I think there's like 2 major things he could've done differently, and a load of minor things he could've done differently
This is your time let's hear it :D
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
I know he ran straight into peak Fed but surely he could have bagged ONE Wimbledon title with that serve. One of my favourite players sad he couldn't win more slams, anything you guys think he could/ should have done in those times.
Marrying a swimsuit model reduced his motivation, otherwise he could have snagged a Wimbledon title at the end of career like Goran did after Sampras started to fade.
 
D

DeathStrike

Guest
I've thought it too much, and I think there's like a few major things he could've done differently, and a load of minor things he could've done differently

Big things
1. Don't fire Brad Gilbert
2. Never abandon that forehand
3. For the love of god stop running to the net like you're an obsolete 90s relic.
4. Work on backhand. Yeah everyone says this, but I don't know what work he did specifically on it. In any case there was a lot more wrong with it than just the technical bit. It was tactically terrible too. A bit more aggression, placement on the cross court, and more conviction and backhands down the line alone would have done wonders imo. The fact that his backhand was a free point reset and couldn't construct points at all was the main reason he was easy to play against apart from returning.

Small things
1. More body serves
2. 2nd serve patterns, more slice 2nd serves, maybe even deliberately slower 2nd serves
3. More aggro footwork when attacking. Taking 1, 2 steps more forward
4. Split steps width and knee angle. Very little of that and it makes the first step horrendous, also hurts the return a lot
5. More aggression on crosscourt and inside in forehands
6. More work on running forehands.
7. Less self deprecating interviews. That inferiority complex was showing man.
Hmmm you clearly have thought about this and made some great points. Sad he didn't work on the backhand side, maybe he did and just couldn't make the breakthrough
 

citybert

Hall of Fame
I've thought it too much, and I think there's like a few major things he could've done differently, and a load of minor things he could've done differently

Big things
1. Don't fire Brad Gilbert
2. Never abandon that forehand
3. For the love of god stop running to the net like you're an obsolete 90s relic.
4. Work on backhand. Yeah everyone says this, but I don't know what work he did specifically on it. In any case there was a lot more wrong with it than just the technical bit. It was tactically terrible too. A bit more aggression, placement on the cross court, and more conviction and backhands down the line alone would have done wonders imo. The fact that his backhand was a free point reset and couldn't construct points at all was the main reason he was easy to play against apart from returning.

Small things
1. More body serves
2. 2nd serve patterns, more slice 2nd serves, maybe even deliberately slower 2nd serves
3. More aggro footwork when attacking. Taking 1, 2 steps more forward
4. Split steps width and knee angle. Very little of that and it makes the first step horrendous, also hurts the return a lot
5. More aggression on crosscourt and inside in forehands
6. More work on running forehands.
7. Less self deprecating interviews. That inferiority complex was showing man.
He did work a ton on the backhand. seen many videos of them including one where he hits a left FH for a while. But everything else you said on the BH is 100% true.

There have also been practice sessions where people said Djokovic hit only overheads for an hour. sometimes its just all mental
 

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
He did work a ton on the backhand. seen many videos of them including one where he hits a left FH for a while. But everything else you said on the BH is 100% true.

There have also been practice sessions where people said Djokovic hit only overheads for an hour. sometimes its just all mental
It's very hard to say often because I don't really know what they specifically try to do apart from repetitions. And that matters a lot. Roddick's backhand was primarely left-driven with a weak left hand at that. I think any training to make it more right hand driven would've helped more.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
It's very hard to say often because I don't really know what they specifically try to do apart from repetitions. And that matters a lot. Roddick's backhand was primarely left-driven with a weak left hand at that. I think any training to make it more right hand driven would've helped more.
I am not a fan of using such a weak right hand grip. It limits how much you can extend the left arm forward into your shot. I’ve seen many top juniors stunt their potential by stubbornly sticking to that grip. There have been many pros with serviceable backhands that used such a weak grip (Michael Chang comes to mind), but I can’t think of a single one who had an “elite” backhand that was a major weapon.
 

Red Rick

Bionic Poster
I am not a fan of using such a weak right hand grip. It limits how much you can extend the left arm forward into your shot. I’ve seen many top juniors stunt their potential by stubbornly sticking to that grip. There have been many pros with serviceable backhands that used such a weak grip (Michael Chang comes to mind), but I can’t think of a single one who had an “elite” backhand that was a major weapon.
Not sure how to interpret the grip?
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Not sure how to interpret the grip?
Andy’s right palm is further around to the front side of the racquet compared to those with elite backhands like Nalbandian, Safin, and Agassi, who use more of a continental that doesn’t limit forward extension.
 
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DeathStrike

Guest
This grip thing is super interesting but I can't see it! I'm gonna have to watch some Safin hits
 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
Fed wasn't able to "dig deep" Roddick just let him come back time and again.
Go back to the 2nd set tiebreak. The only point Andy played poorly was the famous botched volley. Fed hits an insane back court half volley winner to save the first SP, then comes up with 2 first serves to even get to that point. Then on break point at 8-8 in the 5th he hits a swinging volley out of the air to save it.

They were dead even all day but Fed came up with just enough of the Federer special sauce to get out of jams. One of the clutchest serving days he's ever had too.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.


Can't see much of a difference here unless I'm blind :oops:
Compare the direction that the back of the hand is facing at contact.

On Roddick’s 2hb, the back of his hand is facing forward, indicating it is in an eastern forehand grip (weak grip). The wrist is mostly limp and can’t do much to help stabilize the racquet when his hand is all the way around to the front side.

On Safin’s 2hb, the back of the hand is facing a lot more upward, as his right hand is in a continental grip. The continental grip doesn’t limit the extension of his left arm, and it allows his right hand to participate more in stabilizing the racquetface angle through the contact zone.
 
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D

DeathStrike

Guest
Compare the direction that the back of the hand is facing at contact.

On Roddick’s 2hb, the back of his hand is facing forward, indicating it is in an eastern forehand grip (weak grip). The wrist is mostly limp and can’t do much to help stabilize the racquet when his hand is all the way around to the front side.

On Safin’s 2hb, the back of the hand is facing a lot more upward, as his right hand is in a continental grip. The continental grip doesn’t limit the extension of his left arm, and it allows his right hand to participate more in stabilizing the racquetface angle through the contact zone.
Thanks gonna make sure I've been hitting it Safin style now on my two hander :-D
 

Crazy Finn

Hall of Fame
I know he ran straight into peak Fed but surely he could have bagged ONE Wimbledon title with that serve. One of my favourite players sad he couldn't win more slams, anything you guys think he could/ should have done in those times.
Be able to do more than serve.
 
Your BOAT has only one Wim (2015) were he set himself above Roddick peak wise on grass haha.
No. He set himself above Roddick by not pissing his pants in 2014 ,2019 finals and by making grown men cry in 2015.

Atleast he doesn't charge the net like a driverless SUV.
 

WilPro

Semi-Pro
If you were Andy Roddick:

Walk on your knees in front of Roger Federer and beg him. Promise you will do whatever he wants just to let you win once.
 

Nordung

New User
Nothing would and could help him win more slams. Only thing that could help him is if there was no Federer playing in the 2000s. In that case he would win at least 5-6 slams, same as Goran if there were no Sampras and Agassi in 90s.
 

Crazy Finn

Hall of Fame
Nothing would and could help him win more slams. Only thing that could help him is if there was no Federer playing in the 2000s. In that case he would win at least 5-6 slams, same as Goran if there were no Sampras and Agassi in 90s.
No. Where do these theoretical 5-6 slams come from?

Frankly, this is kind of a exercise fraught with difficulty, because removing Roger from these draws would change everything. The other puzzle pieces would move around, there wouldn't just be a void in the draw. But, for the purposes of this exercise, I'll do just that. I'm only including slams were Roddick made it to at least the QF.

2003 AO - lost to Schuttler in QF. No slam.
2003 Wim - lost to Fed in SF. This one is interesting. It's pretty wide open without Fed. Feliciano Lopez, Sjeng Schalken were possible alternative matchups in the SF with Flipper in the Finals. Roddick win - very possible.
2003 USO - Won. I forgot Agassi lost to Ferrero. Huh. Damn.
2004 AO - lost to Safin in QF. No slam.
2004 Wim - lost to Fed in F. Karlovic, Grosjean, or Hewitt would have been the alternates. Frankly, this is peak Hewitt, pre-injuries who had only lost to Roddick once (on grass at this year's Queens). Pretty even in my book. Hewitt gets the slight nod from me, but it's 6/10.
2004 USO - lost to Johannson in QF. No slam.
2005 AO - lost to Hewitt in SF. No slam.
2005 Wim - lost to Fed in F. Alternatives would be Ferraro, Fernando Gonzales, or Hewitt. Again, peak Hewitt, so again pretty close. To be honest they probably split these 2 Wimbledons. Eh.
2006 USO - lost to Fed in F. Alternatives would be Marc Gicquel (who?), James Blake, Davydenko. Beast mode Blake (see Agassi v Blake) could beat peak Roddick, I think, but otherwise this probably goes Andy's way. Slam.
2007 AO - lost to Fed in SF. Alternatives would be Fernando Gonzales, Robredo, or the 14 seed who lost to Fed in 4th round, 19 year old Novak Djokovic. Maybe Andy, maybe Gonzales, maybe Robredo, but I think teenage Novak wins an early slam.
2007 Wim - lost to Gasquet in QF. No slam.
2007 USO - lost to Fed in QF. Alternatives are Feliciano Lopez, Davydenko, or Novak. Novak took peak Roger to 2 tiebreaks (lost both) in the final. Can young Novak handle the NY crowd? Maybe, looks like Novak's picking up some slams.
2008 USO - lost to Novak in QF. No slam.
2009 AO - lost to Fed in SF (beating Novak in QF. Huh). Would face Rafa in Finals. Nadal would still win his first Australian. No slam.
2009 Wim - lost to Fed in F. Alternatives would be Haas, Karlovic, or Robin Soderling (huh, good year for him). If it's Karlovic, it's the real servebot festival, no groundstokes allowed. Does peak Soderling have what it takes? I'll give this to Andy.

Andy's real slam count - 1. Andy's Federer-less slam count in my estimation - possibly 4.
 

1stVolley

Professional
Roddick's groundstrokes were just not up to what he needed. If he had Federer's forehand or Djokovic's backhand his career would have been entirely different.
 

Crazy Finn

Hall of Fame
In theory evaluating things in a bubble I think Roddick probably only wins about 4 slams without Federer. He gains 2 of Wimbledon 2003, Wimbledon 2004, Wimbledon 2009 if I had to guess, and probably (but not for sure) U.S Open 2006. Might have a shot at U.S Open 2007 but probably does not win. So adding to the U.S Open he already has that is about 4 slams.
I think all that seems reasonable, and pretty much in line with what I came up with.

However the X factor is if he does not fire Gilbert anymore, and I don't believe he does, how much does his career arc change, and how much is his confidence and momentum bolstered without Federer. In that scenario it isn't even impossible, as absurdly crazy as it sounds, that he might even win as much as 8 majors. Roddick IMO would be easily the worst and least talented player to win that much, but I could see a scenario that happens. I don't think he is ever truly dominant, but with the bolstered confidence and momentum he could win a slam each year from 2003-2009, maybe missing out in only 1 somewhere, and the odd year get 2 slams (maybe a Wimbledon- U.S Open double type thing) which could bring him to 8.
That's too much of a rabbit hole for me. Basically, that's supposing that Roddick improves to some degree rather than somewhat regressing during this period. That's a pretty big "if" regardless of who his coach is. This is along the lines of "what if Agassi got serious earlier" or "what if Capriati didn't have her issues" or "what if Sampras doesn't retire" or "what if Seles didn't get attacked." That's simply too big a leap for me with fantasy unknowns. After all, maybe if Andre gets serious earlier and plays with the mentality of veteran Andre, he wins 10-12 titles. It's easy to say, because it's constructed from amorphous ideas, there's no firm rationale to attack, no firm rationale to support it, either. Roddick's supposed Fed-less improvement with Gilbert that results in lots of slams apparently raises his tennis IQ, improves his backhand, causes him to volley and approach better and he's apparently more confident and has momentum. I'm not buying a ticket to this fantasy. Sorry. I bet a lot of players would win 8 or more slams if they had that magic makeover.

Frankly, lots of players regress from a brief peak, it's far more common that this happens than there is an improvement after a fairly high level - which is what 2003 was for Andy. Also common is when a good player has peaks and dips in his form and results over the course of years - you see this from players as good as Agassi and Becker, for example. Basically, Andy had this too, it's just that his peak level wasn't as high as those players. I'm not sure how much worse Andy was in 2004, it's just that Roger was improving and dominating to a degree that wasn't seen before.

However, removing Federer from the scene doesn't magically make Roddick a better player (aside from some Andy fantasy scenario) - he still has the same game with the strengths and weaknesses as before. It simply removes one of the greatest players ever from his competition. This doesn't just benefit Andy though, it opens the field for everyone during this period. Let's take a look and speculate a bit. I'm not employing any magical thinking, taking players pretty much at the level they actually played at. I'm also just looking at the field as a whole, not the specific draws at tournaments, since they wouldn't be the same minus Federer.

2003 - Minus Fed, Roddick is still in a bin with some others at the same approximate level, maybe a bit above. Agassi, Ferrero, Coria rounded out the top 5 with Moya and Nalbandian around as well. Hewitt seemed to have a down year in 2003, so I'm taking that into account even without Fed. Agassi's pretty good on the Hard Courts, winning AO, so obviously he's a contender at both the Australian and USO, as he was. Ferrero had quite a good year as well. Andy's not contending at the French anyway. Wimbledon is interesting, because while Roddick serve obviously plays well there, I think the speed of the court and the low bounce also expose some of the limitations of his game, aside from the serve. I think the hard courts are not quite as good for his serve (but close) but are slightly more forgiving of his weaknesses. So, while obviously Roddick has a good shot at Wimbledon in 2003, I think the absence of Fed also opens it up for the likes of Philippoussis, Henman, as well as the baseliners like Andre, Nalbandian, and even Ferrero in his best year. Those same guys, plus Hewitt and Moya and other baseliners would give Roddick competition at the USO. He's good in 2003, but Andy's not next level even in one of his best years. 1-2 slams is possible, I think 3 is pushing it.

2004 - Pretty similar story to 2004, but with Safin and Hewitt pushing their level up to Roddick's. This is a tougher field he's got to deal with this year with the addition of those two, particularly on the hard courts. Hewitt's a serious challenge at Wimbledon along the cast from 2003. I think the Andy has a shot at the AO but it's more likely to go to Andre, Safin, or Hewitt than him with Ferrero still playing well at this point and Nalbandian being a solid contender. Hewitt is an underrated grass court player and will provide better competition at Wimbledon this year than last. Roddick lost to Joachim Johansson in actual USO 04, hard to say about this alternate universe tournament. Andre and Hewitt would be serious contenders. I think Andy wins a slam, maybe 2, but not more.

2005 - Again similar to 2004. I think peak Safin wins at AO either in 2004 or this year (or both). Wimbledon is the same cast, with Hewitt contending with Roddick. Does Thomas Johansson, Gonzales, Nalbandian have an opening this year? Hmm... I think Andre wins the USO without peak Fed to tangle with, a fitting slam win to book end his career. Minus Fed, I think Andre get 1-2 more slams (maybe a 3rd, maybe). It's not just Roddick that would benefit, I think Hewitt gets to 3 or maybe 4, Safin to 3 or 4. These slams would get sprinkled among these players, as none of them are dominant - though all are good or great. Frankly, it's pretty likely that someone somewhat random would pick up a their only slam win, maybe Nalbandian or Henman or Philippoussis during this period, somewhere. Maybe 1 slam for Andy.

2006 - Things start to change here. Safin disappears and Hewitt is injured. Things might look rosy for Roddick, except this Spanish kid has started to emerge. Andy didn't fare well in AO this year, so no love there. Wimbledon is always good for him, but there's this Nadal guy. He's not great on the grass, yet, but pretty good. Maybe a Nadal win, maybe someone else like Nieminen, or Bjorkman or Baghdatis or Hewitt or even Stepanek for you serve and volleyers. Andy has a shot, but I'll take the field over him, here. At the USO, beast-mode Blake could win or Hewitt, or Rafa, or even Davydenko, but Roddick's got a good shot. I'll take him slightly over the field. Slightly. Maybe 1 slam for Andy.

2007 - Now there are more issues. This Nadal guy keeps getting better. This Novak teenager shows up. Roddick has a decent shot at what is likely his first AO. Maybe Rafa, gets on the board there, early, though. Nobody is beating Rafa at either Wimbledon or the French. Novak probably wins the USO.

2008 - There's this Murray guy that starts winning more. Novak wins the AO. Rafa the grass and clay. Maybe Murray wins the USO (or Novak or Rafa). Now Andy's got 3 guys who are better than him to contend with regularly. Uh oh.

2009 - AO - Rafa (or Novak). Roddick's not winning in Roland Garros, so even if Rafa falls to Soderling in this alternate universe, he doesn't benefit. If Rafa's hurt at Wimbledon, the Andy could win it - or Murray or Novak. If Rafa's healthy I think it's 3 in a row. USO is Delpo, Murray, Novak, (or Rafa or someone random)

It doesn't get better from here.

So, while Andy obviously benefits from the absence of Roger, I think lots of people do. I think Agassi, Hewitt, Safin, and someone else all pick (random) all pick up slams in Fed's absence in the early years 2003-2005. From 2006 on, Rafa, Novak and Murray pick up most of those slams. Frankly, they are all better players, more complete players. As I mention before, while Wimbledon gives Roddick's serve a boost, it also exposes his tactics, his mediocre approaches and volleys and movement. There are people that think that Andy can serve his way to many Wimbledon titles minus Roger. I don't think so. I think it's likely he wins at least one. However, nobody's beating Rafa at Wimbledon in 2007 or 2008 except peak Roger.

There's no magic way to get Andy to 8 or more slams (maybe some kind of fairy magic) because during his peak, there were players essentially at the same level as him. Then, starting around 2006 there are players that are flat out better than him (like Roger was).
 
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