Andy Roddick romped to a first round win at Wimbledon as he easily over came Frenchman, Jeremy Chardy, 6-3, 7-6, 4-6, 6-3. It was an encouraging performance for all Roddick fans as there were no signs of the ankle injury that forced him to retire from his semi-final at the Queen’s Club.
The immensely powerful first serve was in full showing and Roddick proved that he has come a long way from previous Wimbledon events with an array of ground strokes and volleys there were quite admirable. The American just had too much power for Chardy to handle and the fitness in a warm heat was also a factor as Roddick progressed easily to the next round.
He said: “I felt like I was playing better than he was for the majority of the match. You know, sometimes you just got to stick those out. He was missing a lot of first serves early on. He really upped his percentages from that point forward, so it became a lot tighter.”
There were glimpses that were brief reminders of the kind of tennis that Roddick was playing when he won the US Open a few years ago and it was nice to see him back on form. If he plays this well again then he should not have a problem progressing to the later stages.
His critics will always say that his game is all about the big powerful serve and the powerful forehand from the baseline but he does have it in him to adapt and get better. He was clearly moving well and it would have been a good work out for him ahead of the later rounds. As he said himself after the game, there is no point in trying to pin point precise players and rounds in the mind because at this stage in his career he is just happy to still be competing against a lot of young players who are flying out of the traps in tournaments all over the world.
In all of the first round matches the top seeds have all looked solid and efficient. It is just a shame that Rafael Nadal is not there to line up along side them all as he would have been on a quest to become one of the very few players to have won back-to-back Wimbledon titles.
Roddick has a long way to go if he wants to hit title-winning form. He is not getting any younger which will not work to his advantage if he has to play again in the sweltering heat like he did yesterday. It will take a lot out of him and put a big strain on his body. It is important to remember that his ankle injury could rear its ugly head again at any point and turn the smiles we saw yesterday into frowns as Roddick fans feel disappointment all over again.
Good spirits and a positive nature will only get you so far in a grand slam event, Roddick will have to raise his level in the next round but it was quite obvious that he is only in second gear at the moment.
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