Thursday, February 2, 2012

Andy Roddick Gave Memphis His Best Shot

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 8:14 PM

How do you top a diving forehand winner on match point in the third set of a championship final?

You don't. Andy Roddick still says his layout last February was the best shot he has ever hit under the circumstances. Roddick, who is rehabilitating a hamstring injury but is scheduled to play in the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis later this month, talked with Memphis reporters by conference call Thursday.

"Listen, there's probably about 10% skill and 90% luck on that one," he said. "I used all 90% of that luck. But it was a shot I certainly couldn't believe at the time."

It was voted the second best tennis shot of 2011, behind a Novak Djokovic forehand on match point against Roger Federer in the U.S. Open.

"If that's not the number one shot for the year, I'll never get it," Roddick said.

He has played Memphis 12 years in a row, but this year is a little dicey.

"I haven't hit a ball since Australia. We've just been working on different types of treatments trying to get it right. The MRI came back probably not as good as we were hoping. But I'm hoping to be hitting balls for the first time next Monday."

Roddick said he didn't watch all of the nearly six-hour Australian Open final last week but was as amazed as any fan by the quality of the tennis between Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

"It almost looked like kind of the tennis you see when you play XBOX, where the guys really don't get tired and they just hit whatever shot they want."

In a separate call, John McEnroe talked about his upcoming exhibition doubles match in Memphis on February 20th. He's over 50 but said that's not that much older than the 30-somethings who dominate the men's doubles tour.
McEnroe plays for keeps, as anyone who saw his angry outbursts during an exhibition at the Racquet Club a few years ago knows.

"People love tennis in Memphis. There is something about it that's nice when you're real close to people where you literally can everything, I mean, as long as they're not hurling insults at you like I would get — not, of course, from the people of Memphis. Of course not. But they can really hear what I'm saying or what players are saying, and it's sort of nice to have that sometimes, you know, for some of the players when they're playing with some of these huge courts. I think Roddick's only tournament win was there last year. I bet you some of it had to do with the rush from having the crowd close and them appreciating that he's playing there."

Playing, yes. Cursing and cutting up, no. Big difference.

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