two-time U.S. Open winner Patrick Rafter of Australia have offered to coach him.
Roddick fires Goldfine; brother to coach
By Charles Bricker
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted February 9 2006
Most players in professional tennis would be satisfied with 81 percent victories over the past 13 months and a No. 3 ranking in the world.
But after failing to win a second Grand Slam in the past two years and not satisfied with his progress, Andy Roddick has dismissed his coach, Dean Goldfine, it was announced Wednesday. He has turned the job over to his older brother, John Roddick.
Roddick, in San Diego to play Davis Cup for the United States vs. Romania, could not be immediately reached for comment. But his brother made it clear this is no interim coaching job.
"It's something Andy and I are looking at keeping in place for awhile, as long as it's moving in the right direction," said John Roddick, who will be coaching a professional player for the first time. He is the owner and director of the Roddick-Moros International Tennis Academy in San Antonio, where he tutors several promising junior players.
"It's a fair question," Roddick replied when asked if he had the credentials to step up to the ATP Tour. "The important thing is I know Andy's game and the trust he has in me. I've been looking forward to this opportunity, if it happened. We have a bond, an understanding. He knows I'm here looking out for his best interests, just having been around him his whole life."
Goldfine, the Aventura-based coach who was with perennial top-10 Todd Martin for seven years, called the split completely amicable.
"When we talked it was a mutual decision. Obviously, I was disappointed, but we both want what he sees as best for him," Goldfine said.
"Andy felt that basically I wasn't able to help him play his best tennis." He added: "I think, in general, coaches a lot of times get too much credit and too much of the blame. We can't hit the balls for them."
After 18 months with the high-profile, high-octane Brad Gilbert, who had formerly coached Andre Agassi, Roddick sought out the quieter but very experienced Goldfine, who then held a senior coaching position with the USTA. It seemed like a solid coupling.
In his first major with Goldfine, Roddick reached the semifinals of the Australian Open, and he would, in July, lose to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final. In between, however, he lost in the second round of the French after being up two sets and a break in the third to Jose Acasuso.
And at the U.S. Open, he was stunned in the first round by erratic Luxembourgian Gilles Muller. He then won 10 of his final 12 matches to end the year, with losses to Ivo Karlovic and Ivan Ljubicic and declined to play the Masters Cup in Shanghai because of an injured lower back.
He began this year 3-1, losing in the fourth round at Australia to Marcos Baghdatis, bringing his record under Goldfine to 62-15 with five titles.
There's no question that Goldfine raised Roddick's fitness to a significantly higher level and increased his confidence in his backhand down the line, a critical addition to his shot repertoire. But that didn't translate into any major titles in 2005.
"Unfortunately, the U.S. Open loss was very tough. For Andy, the Grand Slams are really at this point what matters," Goldfine said. Roddick was the U.S. Open winner in 2003 at age 21, but he's found Federer standing in his way since, and particularly at Wimbledon, where his powerful game does very well on grass.
John Roddick doesn't plan many tactical changes of significance. "It's not about changing Andy's game. It's about taking on a new mentality. He's one of the few players who can assert his dominance over anyone with his power and spin, and his movement is very good for someone 6 feet 3," Roddick said.
One thing he will emphasize is getting his brother to move closer to the baseline, instead of playing way back, where he got a longer look at the ball but had farther to hit it.
There has been no lack of suitors for Andy Roddick over the past couple of years. Former Wimbledon champion Michael Stich of Germany and two-time U.S. Open winner Patrick Rafter of Australia have offered to coach him.
Goldfine said he's keeping his job options open. That could involve taking on another pro or going back to the USTA to work with the best young talent in the United States.
John Roddick becomes his brother's fourth coach since he turned pro in 2000. Roddick began with Tarik Benhabiles, the former French Davis Cup doubles player, before hiring Gilbert.