This is how Andy Roddick could have used OnCourt Advantage’s basic formula for winning:
If Roddick would have used the 4-step process at least for the 2 points in which he was serving at set point in the 2nd set tie-break, he would have had the best chance to take a 2 sets to love lead on Roger Federer. This would clearly be at a pivotal time and on the big points (step 4).
Using this situation as an example, Roddick needed to use his 1st serve (Roddick’s strength) by taking some pace off his serve and placing it in the court to set up the point. To successfully complete step 1 Roddick must aim for a high percentage of his 1st serves to be in during these points even if they are not as fast. Otherwise his is not playing these points out with his strength. In the final he tried to go for the 130+ miles per hour ace in this situation and on both occasions he served a fault with his 1st serve.
To successfully complete step 2 Roddick needed to go for accuracy and place his 1st serve (Roddick’s strength) to Federer’s backhand return of serve (Federer’s weakness).
Federer can have a devastating return of serve. However, he mostly chooses not to use it. Instead Federer prefers to play a safe block or chip return to achieve a high percentage of returns in, because he aims to neutralise the opponent’s 1st serve and work his way into the point. By doing this, he always gives himself a chance.
To successfully complete step 3 Roddick would then need to press home his advantage immediately off Federer’s blocked backhand return of serve. One way this could have been achieved would have been to use a surprise serve and volley play. This tactic normally presents you with a relatively easy opportunity to volley into the open court.
By using the surprise serve and volley tactic with at least 1 of his turns to serve in the 2nd set tie-break situation outlined above, Roddick would have been at the net intercepting a safe, high, floating ball, therefore creating a relatively easy opportunity to volley. THEN the American would have had a high percentage chance to take a 2 sets to love lead.
Federer’s safe high floating backhand return of serve is the easiest shot you will receive from Roger. Andy would have most probably won the match, from 2 sets to love up. Especially, given how Federer only broke one of Roddick’s service games for the entire match and not until the 30th game of the 5th set.
In this situation in the final however, Roddick hung back at the baseline and squandered 4 consecutive set points and the rest is history.
© OnCourtAdvantage.com 2009
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