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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Could this be A-Rod's time?

As the Fourth of July approaches for someone raised as I was in a very sports conscious household the holiday weekend means one thing. WIMBLEDON! Growing up watching American Tennis since the very beginning of the McEnroe-Connors rivalry which then gave way to a brief time of American's in the wilderness. Pete Sampras helped correct that with his six Wimbledon wins and a record 14 Grand Slam Championships.

For four years now since his remarkable run at the 2001 Wimbledon Championships, Andy Roddick has been the great American hope. Roddick has a rock star quality. He's brash, young, excitable on the court, and parlays his celebrity status well off the court. Roddick has a monster serve and has ranked as high as #1 in the world at one time. He also has never won Wimbledon and has only one Grand Slam title to boot, and as he approaches his 23rd birthday, Roddick is seen more and more as a chronic underachiever by the masses of American fans including myself that wantr a winner badly.

Roddick, currently the only American male ranked in the world top 20 has always been seen as a bit of a brat according to those close to American youth tennis scene. Roddick as pro has shown a propensity to blow up after a controversial call and allow his emotions to override his tennis. Unlike John McEnroe who used his bratisness and emotional nature to feed his play, Roddick often times allows his behavior to undermine his chances at winning matches in the most critical settings against the best players in the world.

In 2003 Roddick hired former US Davis Cup player and coach of Andre Aggasi, Brad Gilbert. Gilbert worked extensively on Roddick's practice routine and having him channel his emotions into improved play and motivation. Gilbert also wanted Roddick to focus less on his monster serve and more at winning points and cutting his unforced errors. Gilbert's work showed dividends in several Super 9 and ATP tour events over the past two years, but has yet to make win Wimbledon, despite a nice run to the finals last year.

Roddick has played very well in advancing to the quarters at this years Wimbledon Championships. The next few days will tell us whether Andy Roddick really has grown up and is ready for the big time.


Anonymous said...

Roddick has been over hyped since day one. Give the guy a break. He's a good player that never should have been dubbed "the savior of American Tennis" by the media and fans alike.

Gregg said...

I'll certainly be rooting for Roddick but I'm not sure he'll be playing on Sunday. He hasn't played his best tennis yet. Hopefully, this will come out and we can see a Roddick-Federer final.

Joe said...

Good win for Roddick today. He's still in the draw, so let's keep our fingers crossed!

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I am the host of the Major League Soccer Talk and EPL Talk Podcasts and am frequent guest on other (world) football shows. I am also the publisher of various other websites including this one. I work in public/government relations in addition to my soccer work and have a keen interest in history, politics, aviation, travel,and the world around us.