Friday, March 07, 2008

Roddick Jacks Up Djokovic

Andy Roddick put on another gutsy performance to knock out world No. 3 and Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic 7-6(5), 6-3 in an electric semifinal in Dubai.

With his victory over Rafael Nadal yesterday, this becomes the first time in Andy's career that he's defeated the No. 2 and No. 3 players in the same event. And neither of them could break Andy's serve.

I guess Jimmy Connors' resignation from Andy's camp has proven to be a positive thing. After the 2006 US Open final, I thought Connors' mere presence put too much pressure on Roddick.

Clearly, I'm over the moon. But the tennis from both sides of the net was outstanding. And I'll give credit where credit is due: the sportsmanship from both of them was top notch, especially with the political strain between America and Serbia over Kosovo's independence.

When sports figures can rise above politics, it's a beautiful thing.

(Yeah, this victory deserves another picture.)


oddman said...

Yeehaw! Great stuff from Andy - and yes, the sportsmanship they both showed was really nice. Perhaps Nole is becoming aware of how he might be seen? IAC, it was a good win for Andy, well played. Some great forehands, great serving, and playing relaxed and happy. No tension. Did I ever enjoy seeing that. The only bobble was that double fault on his first match point - the 2003 Andy stepped up to the line and banged away aces to put the match away. Understandable that he might have had a tiny bit of nerves there. He really should have no trouble with Lopez, but Feli likes this tourney and could be tough to beat.
Go Andy!

Karen said...

Did you hear the story about the boy that they found in the cellar. He had been in the cellar since 2003 when some dude named Roger Federer locked him in the box and threw away the key. This fellow from Mallorca, Spain found this key in Dubai, opened it and out jumped Andy Roddick, feeling fresh and fit after having not played tennis in over 5 years. He went on to beat the guy who let him out of the box and thereafter went on to whip the so-called heir apparent in a thrilling semi-final match. Now Andy who has been locked in a cellar for the past 5 years is sorry that the No. 1 player exited the tournament early, because by jove he would have given him a whup ass for locking him in that cellar for so long. Go Andy. Never was a big fan of yours, but glad to see that you are finally winning against the so-called big dogs. Congrats to all Andy fans. Whoo Hoo.

Kim said...

I haven't seen the games, but the results are positive. We all know Andy is feeling good about all this right now.

Helen W said...

gjmyedtkCongrats to Andy! I hope he wins the title.

On another note, this article may shed some light on Federer's situation.

tangerine said...

I am in seventh heaven. Andy knocks off not just one top three player but two in row. *does backflips in the office* Oh he badly needed this. You can see it on his face, these wins mean so much more than being stuck playing in US tournaments where he beats up on teenagers. You gotta go where the big boys play, and the pay off has already been immense.

About Jimmy, it's curious that Andy would finally start playing the tennis we've known him capable of playing only after Jimmy has left the building. That's a curious one. Maybe playing in front of a legend like him did put too much pressure on Andy, and made him focus on the negatives instead of the positives.

That's one reason why Brad Gilbert makes such a great coach, he always focused on a player's strengths, not their weaknesses. When Jimmy was tweaking and honing Andy's backhand, his once powerful forehand mysteriously went away. But now it's back again. Is it back for good??

Please win the title now, Andy. Don't go losing to Lopez, of all people.

On a side note to Craig, I remember your comment about feeling disillusioned after Andy's crash out from the AO. I felt the same way. In fact I haven't updated my blog since then. But his performance at Dubai has got the fires blazing again, hasn't it? I'm happy that Andy is playing so inspired again. :)

Michael said...

This is definitely Andy's biggest win... since last round!!!

Great to see some really good news for him. I wonder if the Davis Cup Championship did something for lifting burdens on his shoulders? Combined with losing pressure he felt from Connors, it's doing some great things.

Karen, I think it's great that Fed isn't in the tournament anymore, though. When a guy is 15-1 over you, you don't want to see him against you, no matter how high you are flying, even if he has mono (thanks for that link, helen w).

Craig Hickman said...

Mononucleosis is determined by a quick and easy test. Federer was reportedly in the hospital a week or two before Melbourne and the doctor didn't discover his mono then?

Um. Okay.

And now he thinks Andy Murray is a better player than Novak Djokovic?

Um. Okay.


tangy, yes, I'm thrilled by Andy's performance of late. If this Andy hangs around for the year, it's going to be quite a year on the ATP.

I don't want to look to far ahead, but this kind of tennis could bring Andy the Big Prize that he so covets.

Karen said...

Craig, apparently diagnosing mono is quite complicated as it comes disguised as many things, especially if the doctors are not looking for it specifically. The symptoms apparently are similar to the flu, food poisoning or other viral borne illnesses. I did not get to see many of his matches during the AO as he really did not seem to be on top of his game. I had put it down to players stepping up and stuff but to see him sweat and stuff was just so unFederlike.

As to his comments regarding Andy and Novak, the fact of the matter is that Fed does not like Novak. He thinks he is a cheating pretentious prick and that it does not bode well for tennis if he should take the No. 1 spot. Love him or hate him, Fed has been a true ambassador for our sport. He has grown into a gentleman and someone who carries himself and represents the sport well. Not many sports can say the same about their top athletes. He has never been accused of cheating or using gamesmanship to get ahead. Arrogant he is, no doubt about that one, but he backs it up by being the best at what he does and no one can take that away from him. He speaks in the player's interests and the powers that be listen to him, unlike on the WTA tour where the No. 1 player seems to not have the ear of the head of the organisation when it comes to certain things - but another post for another time.

He seems to have apologised to all and sundry regarding his comments about Andy's game, but I guess if the British media did not have their collective heads up their arses, they would have seen that he was speaking the truth about Andy's game. As to Tim Henman, the least said about him and his comments the better. End of Rant.

Craig, did you get the email that I sent to you earlier with the article?

Coach Christensen said...

What cheating allegations have been leveled against Djokovic? I hadn't heard...