Saturday, May 30, 2009

Breaking Water

US player Andy Roddick returns a ball to French player Marc Gicquel  during their French Open tennis third round match on May 30, 2009 at Roland Garros stadium in Paris. The event, the second Grand Slam tournament of 2009, runs from May 24 to June 7, 2009. Roddick won 6/1,6/4,6/4.

I'm weeping about as much as I was in that stadium in Portland, Oregon, when we won the Davis Cup over Russia.

Andre Roddique has advanced to the second week of Roland Garros for the first time in his long-ish career without dropping a set, without dropping his serve.

I knew he had it in him. I've seen him play beautiful clay court tennis. But today was like nothing I've ever seen. Marc Gicquel had no chance.

7 aces. No double faults. 27 winners. 11 unforced errors. 3 break points saved. 4 of 7 (57%) break points converted. 17 of 24 (71%) at net. 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.

"I played very well," Roddick said. "I knew the crowd would not be for me but they were very respectful.

"It's a lot better than I have done here before but it's only three matches."

He served like a genius and slid like a Frenchman.

I'm absolutely snotty.

Karen put it this way:

Did you guys hear about the possession at Roland Garros? Apparently, this guy has been possessed by Gustavo Kuerten (even though he is still alive). His name is Andy Roddick and he is an American with a fear of red clay. He is about to beat a Frenchman, on clay, in Roland Garros. People are speculating that he may have been possessed. I was watching the match and saw Andy do a couple of drop shots, but the shot of the match for me was the sliced backhand dropper. Federesque actually.

Christopher Clarey, Larry Stefanki, and Gicquel put it like this:

His play has not always been flashy or even particularly overpowering, but it has been consistently efficient, intense and intelligent, which is the only way someone like Roddick can roll through three straight matches on clay without losing a set.

“It’s not about power,” his coach Larry Stefanki said. “It’s about hitting spots and getting guys out of position and then it may take two or three more balls after that, which he’s not accustomed to. And for him to be doing that is a big, big improvement and accomplishment.”


“If I’d played on Court 2 or Court 3, I might have played better,” Gicquel said. “But who wouldn’t want to be on a big court? Hey, he played well. He didn’t give away points. When he gave me some, it was at 30-0 or 40-15 on his serve at stages that are not necessarily so important.”

Even against an edgy opponent, Roddick’s tactical and technical progress were on impressive display.


On Sunday, he will get a day off in Paris. On Monday, for a change, it will be back to work on clay and against Monfils.



Beth said...

I am SO thrilled for Andy! Watched the match and you're right, Giquel had no chance. I hope Andy's on a tear!! Be snotty, be very snotty Craig!!

sG said...

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god... ANDY!!!! No excuses. No excuses for any commentator to hide behind; he beat a clay-courter to do it. In straight sets no less!!! I've got to watch this match; I was asleep (7:24 AM here). By now I should know sleep is for the weak. I can't believe I've missed the craziest ish. I mean I thought he'd go deep but how clean his game has been thus far surprises me. Straight sets?! I thought he'd fight it out a lot more to get this far. This is the story of the tournament!

Yay, Andy! Yay!!!!

oddman said...

Heh heh! Yes he can! Yes he can! Andy *can* play claycourt tennis. What a guy - and beating un homme fil too!

Awwww... gotta go blow my nose.

Allez, Andre Roddique!

dylan said...

Roddique indeed. Congragulations Craig, how satisfying. I watched the last set and Andy was really playing wonderfully. He had complete control of that slice backhand to set up points, and his forehand had all sorts of movement on it. He was sticking his volleys. Thats about as pretty as I've seen Roddick play. Bravo.

Karen said...

Craig, I also had tears in my eyes. Like I said, I hope there is somebody comes from nowhere on both the men's and women's sides and wins this dang thing, and who better than Andy Roddick. Even though I would love for Roger to win this, 3 years of constant beatdowns by Nadal is more than I can take. Dont think I could take another year of it. Andy for the win. The dropshots were just plain awesome.

oddman said...

Uh, 4 years. (chuckle)

Me, I'd love to see Andy win it too. Wouldn't that be awesome? Hey, a girl can dream, no?

Part of my heart would be broken though.

Let's just sit tight and see what happens next. LONG way to go till the final.

Craig Hickman said...

It feels to me like Andy already won this tournament to me.

Anything else is gravy.

Ed said...

Can you say Confidence?! Go Andy!

Karen said...

I am going to say what everyone else here is afraid to say - contender for Wimbledon - Andy Roddick

Graf_sampras said...

from the beginning of the tournament -- because i LIKE also to see others have their great days:

I had lined up players who i would be HAPPY to see defeat EVEN nadal in the finals....

they are :

Andy Roddick, Tommy Haas, jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

each because of highly NEEDED stories that UPSET ALL expectations and "desires" of SUPPOSED "destiny".

Andy Roddick =- because he has been vilified as an american on clay and as a player

Tommy Haas - because the guy HAS one of the most elegantly beautiful power/finesse games around but has been SO UNFORTUNATE in what life handed him

Jo Wilfried - because he too has spent too much time wasted in setbacks rather than because of his lack of talent AND because he represents currently what I think is the HOME COUNTRY's greatest and most beautiful opportunity to be proud of their tradition of this major AND their players.

I ROOT FOR RAFAEL to maintain his Dominance on clay ...simply , i confess to SPITE all those that don't want him to do so .

but if Rafael has to fall -- i would like it to be in the finals against any of the three i mentioned above. ....

as REMINDER -- that there is MORE than just RAFA and "roger".

this is way the sport TRULY becomes ENRICHED.

Graf_sampras said...

amazing litte tidbit:

as andy roddick has been trying to improve his tennis as stefanki shows him....

did you know that BOTH Tsonga and Monfils - as practice partners (and we can assume also Ouanna) -

had as their inspiration to improve THEIR games...

ANDY RODDICK's serves?

Tsonga said last year when he "came out" in AO over nadal - crediting the solidity of the REST of his game with the consistency of his serves - :

"Gael and I - when we were out of the game and to spend our times properly . we decided to learn how to serve like Andy Roddick..we would tell each other to serve like andy and it really helped ."