Federer def. Roddick 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-2

In Sports by Brock Bourgase

Reminiscent of that Sampras-Agassi match in the 2001 – which was also regrettably scheduled for the quarter-finals due to a poor draw – Roger Federer ousted Andy Roddick from the U.S. Open in straight sets last night.

Like the classic match half a dozen years ago, the first two sets were played without any breaks of service. However, Roddick could not match Federer’s relentless play. At key times, it seemed that Roddick made poor judgments or tried for too much; Federer remained focused and played his (superb) game.

In the 2001 match, Pete Sampras prevailed because he possessed a more well-rounded game, which proved more consistent in the tie-breakers. Likewise, Roger Federer won because of his shot-making and determination. Not only is he the best tennis player in the world, he knows he limits, and plays within them.

Federer always gets the ball back and makes his adversary hit and extra shot. There is something to say about consistency throughout an entire game, race, or match and letting the opponent make mistakes. Federer was aggressive at times (during his service games, tie-breakers and break points, and when Roddick came to the net) but he was always in control.

Andre Agassi provided a number of salient points on commentary; it was certainly enjoyable to listen to insightful sport announcers (a rare occurrence).

  1. One comment concerned Andy Roddick, who has yet to match the Grand Slam success that he achieved at the 2003 U.S. Open. During that time, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Marat Safin have won all of the Grand Slams. While it may be reasonable for Roddick to have a mental block against Federer, Agassi insisted that he should focus on leaving it all on the court. Playing a game with no regrets and losing wouldn’t contribute to his mental and physical struggles with the world’s top player but playing tentative and losing would.
  2. “When you get around a weakness by avoiding it, it just adds to your struggles when you have to face it. The best thing to do is to tackle it head on.” – Andre Agassi
  3. Agassi also suggested that Jimmy Connors’ biggest accomplishment since he began coaching Roddick last year was convincing Roddick that he had improve, irrespective of what actually happened.

P.S.: Why do athletes grimace or grunt while playing or lifting weights? It consumes energy which could possibly be a factor in longer matches. Does the psychological feeling of comfort and security enhance performance? In the end, the quiet player won last night.