• Isner, Roddick collide in Atlanta semifinals

    7/21/12 7:29 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Isner, Roddick collide in Atlanta semifinals It will be a battle between fellow Americans and Olympic doubles partners when John Isner and Andy Roddick meet on Saturday in Atlanta. A place in the title match is at stake.

    John Isner and Andy Roddick will be squaring off for the sixth time in their careers (all on hard courts) when they clash in a blockbuster semifinal at the BB&T Atlanta Open on Saturday night.

    Roddick leads the head-to-head series 3-2 despite losing in last year's Washington, D.C. semis 7-6(7), 6-4. Their two most memorable encounters have been split; Roddick ended Isner's miracle 2007 Washington, D.C. run with a 6-4, 7-6(4) victory in the final while Isner upset Roddick 7-6(3), 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 7-6(5) in the third round of the 2009 U.S. Open.

    This one could be similarly entertaining, because both players are in outstanding form after slumps in the earlier parts of the summer. Roddick started turning his season around with a title on the grass courts of Eastbourne. The 29-year-old American advanced two rounds at Wimbledon before losing to eventual quarterfinalist David Ferrer in four sets. So far in Atlanta, Roddick has taken out Nicolas Mahut and Michael Russell without dropping a set.

    Isner, runner-up each of the last two seasons at this tournament, is once again coming off a title on the grass courts of Newport. The 11th-ranked American has maintained his momentum with victories over Ruben Bemelmans and Jack Sock. Isner is now a stellar 30-12 for his 2012 campaign.

    "It's going to be a very tough match," assured Isner. "(Roddick) has won nine of his last 10 matches dating back to London and I've won seven in a row. So we're both playing pretty well. Neither one of us wants to lose, that's for sure."

    With two huge servers on the court, this showdown is likely to come down to a few crucial points here and there--just as there previous encounters have done. Isner is coming off a tough, physical Friday night battle with Sock while Roddick has mostly cruised this week. Look for Roddick to advance in three sets.

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Foot fault!

ts38 , 7/22/12 4:18 AM

Racket throw!

RickyDimon , 7/22/12 5:17 AM

It looks like Roddick is finally finding his mojo in time for the Olympcs. I'm a bit disappointed that tomorrow won't be an all-American final, coz the crowd would have loved that scenario. I also hope that Roddick has some fuel left in the tank coz the match ended late and Mueller has an extra 6 hours recovery time. Anyway, hopefully A-Rod can pull out the win.

I wonder if Roddick remembers that USO match he lost to Mueller whenever they play. I hope so, coz that could give him the fuel he needs today and get the adrenaline going..

scoretracker , 7/22/12 6:38 AM

BTW Ricky, congrats. Your prediction was bang on!!

scoretracker , 7/22/12 6:40 AM

^^^^ i made sure he does by asking him about it in the press conference.

RickyDimon , 7/22/12 7:07 AM

Wow Ricky, am surprised you're not in hospital....or r u?.....;)

deuce , 7/22/12 8:03 AM

don't worry, it's safe to say that i prefaced it by saying "you have beaten him three times since...."


RickyDimon , 7/22/12 8:19 AM

@Ricky, you're quite the diplomat aren't you? LOL. Good of you to remind Roddick though, coz that could keep him inspired, albeit he's avenged that huge loss 3 times already. That match devastated Roddick and cost him some huge endorsements, e.g., to name a few, Amex and Rolex. I think after a first round loss like that, there must be some kind of fear going forth when playing first round in a major. Fed always says that the first round is the most critical match.

Anyway, I hope Roddick wins tomorrow, coz he needs tons of confidence going into the Olympics. Friday night he showed his Olympic shoes to Gilbert/Arias/Gore. Did you see them? They are very colorful.

BTW Ricky, are you in Atlanta?

scoretracker , 7/22/12 8:37 AM

Ricky, Phew! Had me worried there for a moment.....:)

deuce , 7/22/12 9:19 AM

Wow, great to see Roddick back in good nick. Hope he can up this with a title win! All the best!

abhirf , 7/22/12 10:30 AM

scoretracker - of course I'm in Atlanta. I live here.

by the way, nice "Roddick is finding his mojo" pun in the first comment. I assume you meant that on purpose?

RickyDimon , 7/22/12 2:03 PM

LOL, Ricky, what do you think?

scoretracker , 7/22/12 5:27 PM

Nice one Andy.

ed251137 , 7/22/12 11:27 PM

check out article I contributed to on SI regarding American tennis -

lo ts of good discussion and am interested in TT's thoughts

RickyDimon , 12/7/12 3:39 AM


I liked reading your comments on the women players. We don't discuss the women on this site and it was nice to get your thoughts.

I agree with you about Querrey. You placed him where I think he should be in the rankings. I don't see him as a top ten player. As far as Isner, you had higher hopes for him than I did. If he is to do better I think he has to work on his fitness and conditioning. He has improved his groundstrokes immensely and that has made him a more complete player. He is not just a big guy with a monster serve. Well, he still is but I am saying that he has more weapons.

I was really hoping that Harrison would make some noise this past year. He has so much potential and the game to do well. You don't have a problem with his temperament, in fact you seem to think it is an advantage. I don't know who is in his camp, who he is working with, what's going on with him behind the scenes. I had some real hopes for him, but now I don't quite know what to expect.

It was a great read! Thanks for posting the link!

Nativenewyorker , 12/7/12 4:24 AM

thanks NNY, and good comments.

I don't necessarily think it is an advantage for Harrison, I just think it is relatively good for the game (to a point). I at least don't think it's a negative for him, like many do.

RickyDimon , 12/7/12 5:10 AM

"This is tough to say, but the Roddick-Fish-James Blake era is over."


#ThereW asABlakeEra?

Conspirator , 12/7/12 3:17 PM

"My homer, Georgia Bulldog-inspired pick at the start of 2012 was Isner?s making the World Tour Finals at No. 8. But I?m willing to admit that was not one of my brightest moments.)"


Conspirator , 12/7/12 3:23 PM

"Enter Harrison. Now it?s time (at 20 years old) to back up his attitude with results."

Very true.


Conspirator , 12/7/12 3:26 PM

I kid, I kid.


Conspirator , 12/7/12 3:27 PM

there was never a James Blake era, which is exactly why I didn't say there was!


RickyDimon , 12/7/12 4:08 PM

A very good interview Ricky. thanks for sharing.

American women's tennis and women's tennis on the whole, can be summed up as, Serena Williams. Ithink l she has carried Venus at the Olympics and at the other tournaments they've won doubles together over the past two years. Serena has been doing that ever since Venus was diagnosed with Sjoren's Syndrome.

We do have a few young women who could morph into top players, e.g., Sloane Stevens, Christina Mchale, Taylor Townsend., and maybe Coco Vanderwighe. Oudin, is no more. However, they are a work in progress and it will be about 2 or more years before they can even attempt to fill Serena's shoes. I had hopes for Vania King, but she has disappointed.

With the announcement of Andy Roddicks retirement, American tennis entered into a stage of semi-retirement also..

Isner, Querrey, Harrison and possibly Jack Sock are our hopes for the future.

John's problem is his return game , and albeit his serve is powerful, when he gets into rallies, he loses to the better returners. That's the reason he has these overly long matches and endless tie-breaks. Probably, with the emergence of the new coach, John will be able to get back on track. He's stated he needs a new voice in his ears.

Additionally, I think John is still struggling with spats of exhaustion, a side effect of the mono he contracted not too long ago. The exhaustion is highlighted when he plays longer than usual matches. He does well at home, but he's not a good traveller. John's serve will only take so far, but it's his return and ground game that he needs to hone.

Querrey, is at a good position presently in the rankings. I think with his huge serve and excellent FH, he will begin to climb up higher. He tends to exhibit an attitude of defeat, or negativity, whenever he's gotten broken, and it empowers his opponent. If Sam can conquer his mind-set he will rise to possibly top ten in the rankings, because he's got the tools to take him there. His ground game has improved, and over-all, he's in a much better position than he was a year ago. If Sam doesn't get better in 2013, then I doubt things will ever turn around for him, because injuries and age will begin to creep into his game, and he could fall instead of climb higher in the rankings.

I have not given up on Harrison. He says he wants to win slams, which is the right attitude for any young player, and I believe him. He's eager to win. I don't think his fiery temper is a negative, I like it, as it lends a certain amount of electricity to his game. Some players need to let off steam, and if Harrison does this and it helps him, then that can prove to be a plus. His serve and ground game is sound, but his skills do need to be honed finer. Going forward, I think we'll see a more focused player, who hopefully, will win a GS title for America.

Baker, albeit he's had a good comeback, I doubt he'll get further in the rankings. he's 27+, and I'm sure he struggles with pain on a daily basis, hence, I doubt there's much more that we can expect from him.

Perhaps, this year, or next, Sock will be our rising star, but only time will tell.

I see no mention was made of The Donald.

scoretracker , 12/8/12 2:29 AM

I think Querrey has a good game and can do well, but I have a hard time warming to him. He admitted tanking his FO match against Ginepri and after that I can't take him seriously. I wish he didn't have that attitude given what he's capable of.

I think the media crucified The Donald long before he ever had a chance of reaching his potential.

And I hate to say it, but I've already written off Harrison as a top star. I hope I'm wrong, but looking at his game I don't see that kid winning slams.

ts38 , 12/8/12 4:02 AM

I see the Harrison kid winning slams in the future. He has an all round game, he just needs to hone his skills further and keeps his temper in check. When playing well, he's good emough to beat Raonic, and Raonic wasn't playing badly then; not forgetting Raonic was the one being tipped as the next star of tennis among the youngsters, until when Jerzy boy comes along.

luckystar , 12/8/12 4:14 AM

I don't think the media crucified Donald Young and wasn't responsible for him realizing his potential. There have been a lot of problems surrounding this young man. I don't see him being a real factor in American men's tennis. Winning slams is not even on the radar with him at this point.

Harrison has the talent and the game to win a slam. While Ricky indicated that his temper and outbursts aren't a negative, I am not so sure. It seems when Harrison gets upset and angry that he tends to lose focus. Sometimes outbursts can help and sometimes they don't.

I also think that Harrison needs to slow down at times in a match. I see him going for the same shots even when they aren't working. I also see him rushing his shots. He needs to learn to take his time and also to regroup and have a plan "B". His shot selection also needs some work. But I do believe that he has the potential to win a slam. Whether or not he reaches it, that's the real question.

Nativenewyorker , 12/8/12 4:31 AM

As I mentioned, Sam's problem is his defeatist attitude. When he's behind in a set, he starts looking dejected, shoulders are slumped and looking lost. I think he could have a little more oomph to his personality. He never seems to celebrate winning a point. He needs some of Roddick's electricity, and swagger. That guy knew how to strut his stuff, even when he's down BP.

Roddick criticized Querrey for being an after school tennis player. Andy stated that Sam didn't want to put out the hard work needed to be a top player.

Harrison, played a good match against Fed a while back, and I thought that would ignite something in him to do better, but since then, he's been out to lunch.

I agree, the media was too harsh on The Donald. They felt he had all that was necessary to win, especially being a lefty. They crucified Roddick, who took the brunt of the negativity for years. People talk of Murray's pressure, look at what Roddick had to do. He had to fill Sampras' shoes. Fish, Blake and isner all got let off the hook because Roddick was the face of America, and he got pounded for everything after winning his GS.

Young is too laid back, and is also a victim of his parent's mind-set. The guy was torn by being pulled in too many directions, and when it was too much for him he vented at the wrong people, instead of acknowledging the source of is problems..

scoretracker , 12/8/12 5:02 AM

scoretracker - there was mention of the Donald...that part got taken out!

RickyDimon , 12/8/12 5:48 AM

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