Player Assessment #6 & #5

Andy Roddick #6
I feel sorry in many ways for Roddick. This guy suffers most playing in the Federer era it seems. Remember that this is the guy who last had the #1 spot before Federer started his dictatorship. 2007 has been once again mixed for Roddick. He started out playing very well; actually beating Federer in the Kooyong exhibition tournament. He wanted to do that again in the AO Semifinal, but Federer does not lose grand slams semifinals. Arguably best serve in business got bageled and humiliated.
I haven’t mentionded Davis Cup for the other players, but Roddick’s record is impressive and needs to highlighted. He played and beat Berdych ON CZECH CLAY and took the DC squad to QF.

Roddick played both San Jose and Memphis before IW and Miami and lost to the players who won the tournaments in the semi of San Jose and final of Memphis. At Indian Wells I was certain that he would go all the way and win the whole thing after Federer was out. Nadal did not allow him and taught him a thing or two about how to play on hard courts.
Miami looked even more convining for Roddick, getting some easy wins until the QF against Murray where he had to retire. That injury slowed Roddick down all the way to the grass season. He played, still injured, the Davis Cup tie against Spain and won his only match.

The only impressive performance on clay was 1st round of Rome, where he beat former RG champ Gaudio 6-1, 7-6. He also played well against Andreev in Paris, but Roddick just doesn’t seem to catch a break on clay.
Roddick finally got his first title at Queen’s club, not playing great but effective tennis. Same thing in Wimbledon. I’ve seen Roddick better there before but got quite easily to QF and was only a few points away from another SF encounter with Federer. Gasquet made sure that didn’t happen by taking 3 sets in a row and shattering Roddick’s confidence.
US Open series period was probably THE biggest dissapointment for him, even with the title in Washington. Once again, only two matches stood out this whole summer. US open 3rd round against Johansson and QF against Federer. Could not have played any better in my opinion.
The rest of the season Roddick healed from another injury, but still managed to reach his only big goal for 2007, reaching the finals of DC and being able to play it at home. I’m pretty sure he won’t let this opportunity slip. Overall, including the ups and down of TMC, Roddick could have done better in 3 of the 4 slams and probably in every single tournament on hard court.
In 2008, if Roddick wants to get motivation to continue at all he need to stay injury-free and MUST BEAT FEDERER! If not, end of the road I’m afraid
Ranking: 6 to 6, topping at #3 for quite some time
Titles: 2 (only!) but 5 SF, 5 QF and 1 F shows he is close
W-L: 53-16 (76.8%)
Grade: B

David Ferrer #5
No doubt that this guy has really shown what he’s capable of on a tennis court. His potential is clearly higher than shown all these years, but this time around he has shown more consistency of great play over a longer period of time. He started out the year with a great win in Auckland and followed up with a 4R at Aussie Open. He should have won against Fish in Melbourne, but Fish was just a little better than he usually is. Then the Ferrer spotlight break was long and lasted into Indian Wells where he got taken out by Djokovic in straight sets. In Miami, Roddick took him out comfortably in R16.

Ferrer really started his confidence build-up on clay. Quarters in Monaco, Semi in Barcelona, Quarters in Hamburg are a few OK consistent performances. He also got 3 straight wins in WTC in Germany before going down against Verdasco at Roland Garros.
Clay might still be Ferrer’s best surface based on his ability to stay more consistent in clay tournaments than other types. He got his 2nd title on clay in Bastad and ended clay season in Umag with a QF. His clay record for 2007 is 22-7 which for a #16 player is not too bad.

The first highlight was actually beating defending champ Roddick in Cincy on his favorite surface. That was probably a good confidence boost after a 50-50 1st part of the season still trying to break top 10. Little did he know that he would actually do it a few weeks later after beating Nalbandian, Nadal and Chela to reach the semi-final of US Open. That gave him enought confidence to go to Tokyo (without d.champ Federer) and win the whole thing.
The problem still though is the inability to stay consistent, even though he was just that for parts of 2007. Before heading to Shanghai and destorying everybody in RR, he had 2-3 the whole indoor season! Why? No clue…
For 2008, if he wants to stay where he is today, as I don’t see him moving too many spots UP the rankings, he really needs to start beating players he knows he is better than and run on momentum like most other top players do rather than KILL it completely.
Ranking: 14 to 5!! (lowest on 16th as late as mid-August!)
Titles: 3
W-L: 72.62%
Grade: C+ (Did you just call me crazy? Fact is US Open, Tokyo and TMC were the only tournaments where he performed above expectation, that’s the +… C is for average)


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