Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Roundup: What the Miami Masters Means For … 3

Posted on April 06, 2010 by Rob York
Andy Roddick: When the No. 1 American won his first and only slam at the 2003 US Open, he did it by serving big, cranking forehands and just generally believing he could stay with anyone.
Sports News - April 05, 2010

Andy Roddick topped the towering Tomas Berdych on Sunday in Miami.

In the years since then tennis has seen forehand power become commonplace, and Roddick’s faith in himself has at times been shaken because of the lopsided nature of his “rivalry” with Roger Federer, having won just two of 21 matches they’ve played.
All the while, Roddick has sought to add depth to his game, coming to net more frequently, relying more on a slice backhand, and attempting to force mistakes from opponents through a greater reliance on defense.

Through all the disappointments and the changes in coaching, it has been easy for commentators (this one included) to decry that change in his approach, as Roddick’s speed cannot be confused with that of Rafael Nadal’s, and he has never been known for having hands like John McEnroe’s.

As of this week Roddick may have proved us wrong. The American ace machine’s serve remains deadly as ever, but faced with players with superior back court games, his net rushing proved the difference against Nadal and his choice to take the speed off the ball left Tomas Berdych completely flustered. In doing so, he won his first Masters shield in nearly four years.

After a lackluster season post-Wimbledon last year, Roddick has now won two titles in 2010 and reached the finals of two Masters Series events in a row. Now, how does he approach clay, having made measurable progress on the surface last year? He could do as he did then, and skip the first few events, but in ’09 he was getting married; he probably doesn’t have such a good excuse this time.

Tomas Berdych: The lanky Czech is one of those to make the term “big forehand” passé in recent years, as he is unquestionably one of the game’s biggest hitters, yet has had middling results, peaking at No. 4 and never getting past the quarters of a major.

Anyone who hates to see human potential wasted has to hope that this result will be a breakthrough. For one, Berdych beat Roger Federer for the first time in nearly six years. For another, he could easily have suffered a letdown from that result, but managed to overcome Fernando Verdasco in the following round. Meanwhile, Robin Soderling is probably still smarting from the beating Berdych administered on him on the semis. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Follow Us Online

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Iron Man Randy Smith
      February 2, 2019 | 5:58 pm

      Randy Smith-BravesThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month may have had a pretty common name, but his iron man streak as an NBA player was anything but ordinary.

      In a streak that lasted more than a decade, Randy Smith played in 906 consecutive NBA games to establish an NBA iron man record that lasted more than a decade.

      That Smith made it to the NBA at all was somewhat of an underdog story.

      A three-sport standout at Bellsport High School in Long Island (basketball, soccer and track), Smith also was a three-sport All-American at Division II Buffalo State College. He helped lead the Bengals to three straight basketball conference championships and a spot in the 1970 Division II Final Four.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Sign up for Email Updates

    Sign-up to get daily updates of all the great articles and information on Sports Then and Now.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Affordable Satellite TV Great prices on Dish network packages.

  • Gear up for your next trip with new North Face Backpacks from SportsUnlimited.com. Shop great Field Hockey Sticks from Grays & Gryphon.

    Football Jerseys

    8mm film to digital
  • Current Poll

    Should All Major League Baseball Games Include the Designated Hitter?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top