In his first column as Betway’s global tennis ambassador, Andy Roddick reflects on Wimbledon and calls for the introduction of more technology.
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I’m delighted to be joining Betway as a global tennis ambassador. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on all the biggest tournaments throughout the year on the Betway Insider.
It’s been an incredible tennis season so far, with Wimbledon throwing up some brilliant stories for both the men and women.
Alcaraz is built different
I was shocked by the result of the men’s Wimbledon final.
Two months ago, I don’t think anyone would have predicted Novak being beaten on grass. His dominance on the surface over the last 10 years has actually been underreported, in my opinion.
Grass is one of those surfaces that, as a young player, it normally takes a couple of seasons to grasp, but Alcaraz is a different type of dude.
He struggled in the first round of Queen’s, didn’t look completely natural on the surface, but by the end of the tournament he looked like he’d been playing on it for 10 years.
That fifth set was the first time in a long time that I’ve seen Djokovic on his heels. The way that Alcaraz is able to create speed, open up his shoulders and push his opponent around is so impressive.
We’re coming to the tail end of the Big Three era, and we thought we might not see anything like that again, but Alcaraz has come in and thrown that logic out the window. I didn’t expect to have a new force who plays as dominantly as those great champions present himself this quickly.
This kid is the real deal. Not only do I think he’ll win double digit Slams, but I’ve had as much fun watching him as I have anyone since I started playing.
Djokovic’s unbelievable transformation
Novak’s progression, just on the physical side, has been unlike anything I’ve seen in pro sports.
When I used to match up against Djokovic – and I had a solid record against him – I wanted to keep him out there, I wanted to extend rallies. Now, that’s a surefire way to lose.
The way that he’s taken care of his body, not just from a training standpoint, but from a dietary standpoint, has left no stone unturned. He’s been such a professional throughout the years.
He took a weakness and turned it into one of the biggest strengths that we’ve seen in professional tennis. I give him so much credit for that.
It will be weird for the tennis universe when Novak moves on. We’ve become almost entitled to watching the greatness of these players for so long now.
My message to Jabeur
I was sad for Ons after Wimbledon.
On top of being a great player and a great person, her story is incredible. Coming from Tunisia, trailblazing for that part of the world, being so dynamic and comfortable in that role – she has a lot to be proud of.
I actually sent her a message after the final and said, “Listen, if you ever want to chat, I’ve been where you are right now. But I have more faith in you winning Wimbledon than I ever had in myself winning Wimbledon.”
I just hope she doesn’t feel the need to rush back. Take a breath, take a minute, make sure you prepare, keep your fitness going. There are still a few weeks leading up to the US Open.
She’s someone I really hope wins a Grand Slam title at some point.
It’s time for technology
I never used to feel strongly about introducing new technology into tennis, but there were too many obvious mistakes made at Wimbledon.
It shouldn’t be on the player to have to do the umpire’s job while also trying to navigate a match. It’s not something you should have to worry about.
In Andy Murray’s match against Stefanos Tsitsipas, had he challenged one on a break point, it could have completely changed the dynamic of the contest. That’s not something he should be thinking about when getting ready to return serve.
I know a lot of people are like, “It’s tradition. That’s the way it’s always been.” Well, we used to rent video tapes from Blockbuster. Things move on, we have better technology now.
I just don’t feel like anything’s missed when we get the calls correct every time.