tennis videos and a story of integrity

15 10 2007

Here’s a few tennis videos, along with a story of Andy Roddick showing integrity even when it cost him a lot.

Andy Roddick is known in tennis as the hardest server ever, with a serve up to 155 mph.  On the point in this video, he was playing on clay, and he was upset over a bad call, and he hit what has to be considered the best ace ever.  (Yeah, it was probably just a commercial, but it’s still amusing.)

Now on to something that really happened.  Marcelo Rios, a pro tennis player, went to the net in preparation for the next shot, fell down, and hit the overhead smash while sitting on the court.  This is phenomenal, one of the most unique overhead shots you’ll ever see.

Here’s another unique forehand/overhead winner, where Andy Roddick had hit what looked like a winner, but Roger Federer came up with an incredible shot for a winner.  (Yeah, I know, he hits incredible shots in almost every match, but this one is special even for him.)  Roddick was so impressive that he threw his racket at Federer’s feet.  If I was in Roddick’s place, I couldn’t feel too bad about losing that point, because Federer deserved to win it after hitting that shot.

Here’s a video of Roger Federer hitting a no-look shot for a winner.  This is so amazing…

Someone has compiled a video of super slow-motion replays of Roger Federer swinging.  It is so neat to watch.  After you’ve seen a couple of them, notice the spin on the ball.  On the reply at 2:21, you can see how demanding tennis is on your ankles and knees.  I play tennis in a league, and it can be tough (especially when you’re not in optimal shape).  At 2:48, it shows Federer lining up one of his one-handed backhands.  As John McEnroe said about it (on 7/4/04), “When Federer lines up that backhand, it is a thing of beauty.”  I concur.  I wish my backhand worked half that well!  (His backhand in that shot looks like some kind of super-power with it being in slow-motion like that.)  You can also notice in the replays how well Federer keeps his balance, even on a full run; that is how he can be on the defensive and still hit a great offensive shot.

If you were playing a professional tennis match with thousands of dollars on the line, in addition to all the media scrutiny if you lose, would you tell the chair umpire if he or she missed a call that should be in your opponent’s favor?  Andy Roddick did that in a match in 2005.  I just heard about it (where have I been?), and it’s a big deal because the missed call would’ve given him the victory, but after his opponent got a second chance, he came back to defeat Roddick.  This would cause a lot of second guessing on Roddick’s part, I’m sure.  But I’m glad he did the right thing.  We hear plenty about how some professional athletes cheat with steroids and such, and I’ve seen numerous occasions where a call was wrong yet the player on the “lucky” side of the call said nothing; I think acts of integrity like what Roddick did should receive more publicity.  So spread the word if you know someone who would be interested.  And remember that some athletes have integrity and values even during competition, that it’s not always about the money and fame.

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