Roddick's future dim without some changes
No. 2 seed's Aussie loss exposes how one-dimensional his game is
By Bud Collins
Updated: 12:15 p.m. ET Jan. 22, 2006
MELBOURNE, Australia - Andy Roddick’s loss to Marcos Baghdatis at the Australian Open was tremendously disappointing because it revealed limitations in the Roddick’s game, which need to be addressed quickly.
In a way, the four-set defeat shows that Roddick, the No. 2 seed Down Under, has been found out. The rest of the world has begun to figure out how to play him.
When Roddick started on the Tour, he had a huge forehand and a huge serve. But opponents such as Baghdatis have figured out how to handle his 150 mph serves, and Roddick appears (at times) to be holding back on his velocity. Why? Because he realizes his opponents have learned how to return even his fastest offerings, and he is thinking more about its placement ? and conserving energy.
Roddick’s opponents have finally begun to realize, too, that he loves to move around and hit a big inside-out forehand. Baghdatis, however, was equal to the challenge as he hit blistering returns while a shocked Roddick watched shots fly past him.
Roddick is like a one-dimensional show pony in need of new tricks!
That said, Roddick needs to work on a Plan B. I’ve always felt that he has been very tactically naive, relying too much on power and overwhelming serves to win matches.
“The shots he was able to come up with were very good,” Roddick told reporters. “Maybe I was a bit spacey out there. I wasn’t totally on top of things.”
Could Roddick regress if he fails to improve as an all-around player? I think so.
But keep in mind that, at age 23, there is still plenty of time for Roddick to adjust his game.
Many will question whether Roddick is getting good coaching. I know he’s very happy with Dean Goldfine, but we really haven’t seen him make any progress in the last year or so. Roddick did reach the Wimbledon final (where he lost to Roger Federer), but he’s had some bad losses: to Gilles Muller in the first round of the U.S. Open; Fernando Verdasco in Miami and Jose Acasuso in Cincinnati.
Those defeats have whittled away at Roddick’s confidence. Many felt the Aussie Open would be a chance for tennis’ A-Rod to shine. Now, it seems likely that he will drop out of the top 10.
As for Roddick’s immediate future, I’m hardly thrilled. Why? A player of his stature must do well in Grand Slam tournaments. He has failed miserably in his past two Slams. Roddick’s next shot will come at the French Open, where he always has struggled.
Before hitting the clay at Roland Garros, Roddick will play Davis Cup for the U.S. against Romania. It will be important for him to perform well. Hopefully, some of his confidence can be restored.
Don't forget that the 20-year-old Baghdatis, ranked No. 54 in the world, deserves credit. In the end, he was much smarter (on the court) than Roddick and that made a huge difference. Roddick seemed to have trouble figuring out how to play his opponent from Cyprus, and was regularly beaten by Baghdatis’ backhand down the line.
Baghdatis also did a fine job returning Roddick’s rocket-like serve. He would block it; he would chip it; he would slice it and he slowed the pace down.
This happened while Baghdatis’ wonderful Greek chorus of fans noisily chanted for him up in their own Mount Olympus at Rod Laver Arena.
元の記事：Roddick's future dim without some changes