Daily Archives: January 26, 2010

“Down Goes Roddick”

Andy Roddick was defeated in the Australian Open quarterfinals earlier today by up and coming Marin Cilic in a great 5 setter.  Andy fought all the way back after dropping the first two sets, but unfortunately did not have enough left in the tank to gut this one out and earn a birth in the semifinals.  The common tennis fan will say there goes Roddick choking again.  Many believe that Andy does not work hard and is just a talented pretty boy who gets by on his natural talent and looks. This is the not case my friends.

Roddick’s game has progressively improved over the past five years.  He has developed more of a mental game, not to mention a consistent backhand.  He even has improved dramatically in his ability to conduct court at the net.  When Roddick became the world’s number 1 during a hot streak in the summer of 2003, Roddick was a player with a big forehand, and an even bigger serve.  He just hit the crap out of the ball basically.  Due to his rise to number 1 seven years ago, many set the bar way to high for the guy and had impossible expectations. Not only has Roddick raised his game from a mental standpoint, but also he has even improved his physical conditioning and quickness over the years.  The man has really worked at it.   Andy has added little elements to his game and become a better all around player year by year.

It just happens that the level of the competition on the tour has progressively improved as he has raised the level of his game.  Not to mention that there have been two guys that are the best players of our generation in Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer that have been a mainstay in the draws.

So give A-Rod some love.  I felt bad for the guy as he lost for a third time in a Wimbledon final to arguably the greatest player of all time in Roger Federer last summer.  Andy lost the match 16-14 in the 5th set.  He left everything on the court in that match and was still beaten.   This was probably his best shot at capturing another Grand Slam title before his career comes to a conclusion. 

If Andy would have worked harder when he first hit the tour in 2000, maybe he could have nabbed another Grand Slam or two before the arrival of Roger Federer as the player he is now.  It takes players time to realize their potential in this funny game.  Federer did not become Federer until after a few years of tough luck on the tour.

But please do not say that Roddick choked again.  The man has worked his butt off and developed over the years.  He is continuing to progress and may never win another Grand Slam title due to the amazing competition on tour these days.  But the man is not choking.  He is just getting beat.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.

-Kraze

“Dual of Superstars”

Were you a witness to the dual of superstars last evening in Miami?

Last evening Lebron James got the better of fellow stud Dwayne Wade.  Lebron’s Cavs escaped by the slimmest of margins 92 to 91 and continue to play great basketball.  It was a very entertaining game that once again proved the importance of free throws.

Wade missed two crucial free throws with a little over 40 seconds left in the game.  Lebron hit two big time free throws with 4 seconds left in the game.  Game over Cavs win.  Well not exactly.  Following Lebron’s free throws, Wade still had a chance to give his team the victory in a one on one iso situation with the King.  The King told Coach Brown that he did not want to double on Wade and that he would check the guy himself. 

Wade got a decent look, but it is never easy to hit a shot with the King staring you down and in your face.  The shot bricked off the iron and the Cavs left Miami as victors.  Now without question people think a guy like Lebron is head and shoulders better than D Wade.  In my opinion, that is not the case.  Dwayne Wade is a phenomenal player who just happens to have played for a team with a weak supporting cast since he captured the title with Shaq Diesel years ago.  Not to mention he has dealt with many injuries due to his very up tempo and intense style of play.

I mean look at the stat line last evening.  Dwayne Wade had 32 points, 10 rebounds,  5 assists, 3 steals, and a block.  The King had 32 points, 9 assists, 4 assists, and a steal.  That is pretty darn close.

If Wade would have hit his free throws last evening, his team probably would have won the game and he would have won the dual with the King.  Unfortunately for him, both free throws went in and out, and his team lost by one.  It is never easy to beat the King.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.

-Kraze