When we talk about Roger Federer's consistency as a top class tennis player, then we have to give an almost equal credit to an American called Andy Roddick. He has held his spot among the top 10 for the past seven years now second only to the Swiss.
These days, sporting a lean- mean look and playing probably some of the best tennis of his career he demands a salute to his effort.
Under the coaching of Larry Stefanki, A- Rod has not only lost those "pounds" but also improved his overall playing skill as well.
Where he was dependent on his service aces: He has a world record for serving 42 aces [sadly he lost the match] coupled with the record for serving the fastest; he now has an armoury almost complete with the arsenal.
He moves around the court well, volleys hard, hits the net shots, serves as beautiful as he used to before and the difference is visible to the naked eye.
Change is always for the better and Roddick seems to have changed beyond anyone's expectation and his fans love it. They love to see him play this charged and pumped up without giving any loose point: Just like that.
And given the fact that he always tries to cross the maximum distance in any tournament that he enters and almost makes the cut with his "Cannon Serve" artillery, his new toned version could help him delete the "almost" part and thrust him forward.
I have always liked Roddick for his serves more than anything else and whatever I have seen of him in 2009 makes me feel I should change my perception about his so- called "One- Sided" ability and appreciate the advancement in addition.
This is not to say that I had a critical eye about his serve; I single out his serves and they are as good as they can be but after a while, I have got to admit I tend to miss on the long and hard rallies and it makes me pine for a Federer or a Rafa or for that matter any player who can not only serve at a good percentage but who can run too!
Although for the past few months, the pining has visible reduced, his matches do stretch a bit and the game doesn't get settled on a 40- 0 or a 0- 40 basis. I can do my errands in peace without guilt that by the time I get home: Its Game, Set and Match Roddick! [at least in the early rounds this is what used to happen]
So as a parting shot, kudos to the modified and the shining polished transformation of Andy Roddick who made us shout "Oohs" and "Ahas" with his serve speed then, and who makes us whoop with his sprinting diversity now.