When: Mid-2006 to Early-2008
The Problem: Following Gilbert’s departure, Roddick failed to add further luster to his career. He won a few events in 2005, but in his only trip to a Grand Slam final he was beaten comprehensively by Federer, a result he followed with a first-round loss at the US Open.
By mid-2006 he was in a full-fledged slump, unable to win a title or get past the fourth round of the AO or Wimbledon.
Immediate Bump: After starting to work with Connors, Roddick used an immediate confidence boost (plus a tweaked backhand) to win Cincinnati, his first Master’s Shield in more than two years. He then advanced to only his second US Open final before falling to Federer.
The Disappointment: At the tail-end of 2006, Federer’s best season, Roddick very nearly handed the Swiss only his sixth loss of the year (and first to a guy not named Nadal or Murray) in the Master’s Cup round robin.
After Roddick won the first set and had a match point in the second, however, the Swiss escaped to win in three. A deflated Roddick proceeded to fall to David Nalbandian and failed to qualify for the main draw.
The Shock: After defeating the Swiss in an exhibition to start the year and reaching the Australian Open semifinals, Roddick was widely believed to have a chance to dethrone Federer a the first major of the year.
But in possibly the most amazing performance of his career, the Swiss broke Roddick seven of 12 times for a 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 whitewashing.
Stagnation: Though he won two titles in ’07, Roddick was largely a non-factor in majors and Masters Series events, falling in the first round of the RG for the fourth time and suffering a shock fifth-set loss against Richard Gasquet at Wimbledon. When he lost in the third round of the Australian Open to start 2008, Connors was all but done.
The Split: Connors left in late winter of 2008, and Roddick was coached for the remainder of the year by his brother John.