Sunday, August 16, 2009

Forgetting How To Win

Andy Roddick of the U.S. waves to the crowd after his loss to Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina during their semi-final play at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal August 15, 2009.

Three consecutive events, three consecutive ultimate set losses.

It's nice to see so many new and renewed fans so firmly in Andy Roddick's corner when he's locked in a dogfight, but to see those dear-in-headlight eyes and the chin on the sternum after every point he loses tells me that Roddick doesn't have the confidence and belief in himself he needs to add another big title to his trophy case.

For the second time in seven days, Juan Martín del Potro played to win against Roddick. He took the biggest risks on the biggest points and won the match. For the second time in seven days, Roddick played not to lose against del Potro. This time he even held a match point. Got his racket on a first serve, actually got a good, solid swing on the ball, but mishit it and sent it wide. Two games later, collapsing under the pressure of all that cautious tennis, he lost the match and walked off the court crestfallen.

If someone had told me a year ago that del Potro would succeed Roger Federer as the player most capable of tormenting Andy on a tennis court, I'd have said you were crazy. When Andy dropped serve to open the second set it was clear he was going to lose the match and del Potro knew he was going to win it.

For those who think Andy's Wimbledon run sets him up as a lead contender at the US Open, I say think again. Had he actually won Wimbledon, then of course he'd be the favorite to win the Open.

But, despite the improvements in his attitude and outlook and tennis, all of which we've seen throughout his career when he takes on a new coach, Andy has forgotten how to win. And it's killing him.


Dapxin said...

forgotten howto win?

I think you should have said unlearnt how to win. He is a bagful of a pain palyer to follow really but with his attitude, one learns to suffer him on.

whatever happened to mama Serena, was she in cici?

Craig Hickman said...

Forgetting. Unlearning. Same difference.

oddman said...

I hate this post. I feel the truth in it, and it makes me sad. Not dissing your writing at all, Craig. Just that I don't want to admit to myself that this rings true to me.


Let's just see, one more kick at the cat (figure of speech, H)
in Cincy. I can still be an optimist.

Have little rooting interest in the Montreal final. Go Murray...

Pamela said...

I'm one of those people who have been firmly in Roddick's corner in his last few deep matches. I was never particularly a fan, but he seems to have lost a bit of confidence.

Unlike you, I don't think that it's a sign of things to come. What I do like about Andy is that he's a hard worker and he works to correct whatever deficiency he may have (or thinks he has). This, will be no different.

Give him some time, I don't care what anyone says - the lost to Roger at Wimbledon took a lot out of him. That's one hurdle that will take time to get over and it's crossed over into his matches with Del Po.

I think he'll be ok and regain his confidence to just slam down an ace or forehand when matches are there for the taking.

Karen said...

I am in whaever mode right now. Could care less who wins today's matches. Getting to the point where I may only watch tennis when my faves are playing

joji said...

painful; i stopped reading and following up tennis for a day; because it was painful. I have the same thougt that you have ;Craig and I do not know if he is still a contender for slams.