Andy Roddick vs Roger Federer at the 2007 Australian Open

26 01 2007

I feel sorry for Andy Roddick, the American tennis player.  He spent the last few months working with former tennis great Jimmy Connors to improve his game, yet his game was dismantled by world number one Roger Federer at this year’s Australian Open.  Roddick has improved his backhand significantly, he has improved his net game, and he has become more aggressive.  And it has shown in recent matches.  I think he has “closed the gap” somewhat.  He had match points against Federer at the Masters Cup last year, and he beat him at an exhibition match just a few weeks ago.  But in this semifinal match, Federer “threw the smack down” on Roddick.  I wanted Roddick to play really well and to have a degree of success (although I was still rooting for Federer because he’s my favorite player).  I wanted Roddick to at least take a set and make it tough for Federer.  But Roger obviously had other plans, as evidenced by the 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 score.

Roddick won just six games in the whole match — the fewest of his career in a match at any Grand Slam event.  And he took a bagel (zero) in the second set.  You rarely see top players get shutout, particularly someone who usually dominates their service games as Roddick does.  It was only the third time in 476 career matches that Roddick has been bageled for a set.  But Federer kicked in his “surreal” gear (as I call it), where he can hit about any shot he can dream of, and there’s just nothing the opposing player can do when he does that.  It’s amazing to watch, but sometimes you start to feel sorry for the other player, particularly someone who has worked as hard as Roddick to beat Federer.

Roddick is now 1-13 in his career against Federer, losing the last 9 matches (excluding matches that don’t count).

If you want to read more on the match, Luke Jensen wrote a good recap : “Roddick again has no answers for Federer“, and Jon Wertheim also gave an interesting point-of-view : “An entertaining rout“.

In closing, here’s a couple of quotes about that match :

It was difficult to witness Andy Roddick, who has put in so much time, effort and money just to get to this stage, be completely overmatched. It only proves just how far Federer is ahead of everyone else. Roddick was overwhelmed, no question about it, but there are a couple positives that came out of this match, despite the lopsided result. Roddick never threw in the towel, and that’s hard to do, especially when you’re feeling helpless and have virtually no answers. It looked ugly out there, but we learned a lot about Roddick’s character. He knew he wasn’t going to win, but even until the bitter end, he played as if he was in the fifth and final set. There are a lot of players out there who wouldn’t be able to say the same thing. ~ Luke Jensen

You do your best not to get discouraged. I caught an absolute beating tonight, no two ways about it. You deal with it and you go back to the drawing board. ~ Andy Roddick

I hope Roddick stays motivated to keep working hard to improve.  He still has a lot of game, and he can continue to get better.




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