You know what? I really feel bummed Andy Roddick had to drop out of the tournament with an ankle injury. I didn't mention this before in my Shanghai preview, as I like to present the image of impartiality (sometimes!), but I was really hoping he could make some kind of statement there.
He had as tough a task as one could possibly imagine after dropping his first match: beat Roger Federer to have a shot at advancing in the tournament. I think the idea of those two going head-to-head in a match that was pretty important would've been a great one to watch. But now, to quote that narrator from the Tootsie Roll pops commercial: "The world will never know."
I think my disappointment kind of goes beyond this match, too. This season for him, obviously, is a wrap. And it was alright, but not a great one, especially by his standards. What does next season hold for him? What's going to be different? These whipper-snappers that made big gains this year, such as Andy Murray, Juan del Potro and Jo Tsonga, are only going to get better. Novak Djokovic (a Shanghai semifinalist despite my earlier prediction!) and the injured Rafael Nadal, both who are already great, are only going to keep improving, too. Roger's Roger.
So where does that leave A-Rod? Winning San Joses and Bangkoks till the cows come home? Correct me if I'm wrong, but Roddick hasn't even made a Masters FINAL since 2006. In his presser after dropping out of Shanghai, he mentions that his coaching sitch will be addressed (you can see it here at Down the Line!), which is a good thing.
I'm not going to get into being critical of his game, as I've done in the past. I just hope that something changes and he can get on even grounds with these young guns. He's too good for that not to be the case.
An old friend of mine and I used to talk tennis for hours, whether it was our own games or what was happening in the pros. I've started Tennis Talk, Anyone? to, well, talk tennis with an even broader crowd! My name is Van Sias and I've been playing for 20 years now, and not only am I player, I'm a huge fan of the game as well: pro, amateur, you name it. I'll post links to news items related to the sport, and offer my own personal opinion, predictions and hopefully get some of yours as well.