Friday, January 30, 2009
Once Roddick sees Federer line up on the opposite side of the court, the result is painfully obvious. The two have played 18 total times in their careers and only twice has Roddick come away with a victory (once last year during Federer's ugly start). The two have met 7 times in Grand Slams now, and only two of those 7 times has Roddick even managed to take a set from the master.
Coming into the Thursday night semi-final match, Roddick arguably might have been in the best shape of his life. He may have been playing the best tennis of his life as well, having breezed to the semifinals which included a beat down of Novak in the quarters. But all that great play and great conditioning are futile as soon as a rally starts against Federer. Federer out classes Roddick and out smarts him on almost every rally. He darts to the net to put away points, where as Roddick often tentatively charges unable to commit to his shots due to fear. Roddick's serve which puzzles and dominates the remainder of the ATP, seemingly resembles a fastball down the pipe to Federer.
Thursday night it was obvious just how much Federer is in Roddick's head. In the first set, the first damn set, Roddick was already flustered and down. He lashed out against the umpire over something that truly didn't matter considering he was down two break points in the set. Instead of maintaing focus, and concentrating on holding his serve throughout the 2nd set, and beyond, he was wasting energy yelling at the ref.
Sometimes battles are won before they even start, and in the case of Federer vs. Roddick they are won when the draw is laid out. It certainly sucks for Roddick and American Tennis, but I think he'll survive. Probably cause he gets to come home to this...