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Andy Roddick: Murray deserves Wimbledon send-off

28 Jun | BY Andy Roddick | MIN READ TIME |
Andy Roddick: Murray deserves Wimbledon send-off

The Betway ambassador previews the third Grand Slam of the year at SW19, picking out the players to watch in both the men’s and women’s singles.

Alcaraz and Sinner the two to beat 

I’m not too concerned about Carlos Alcaraz not winning Queen’s. In the vacuum of winning Roland Garros, he probably took a week off, showed up at Queen’s to get a couple of matches and got served off the court by Jack Draper, who’s certainly capable. I don’t think less of his chances because of that. 

I was really impressed with Sinner in Halle, especially with the way he was able to move. You have to be a little bit more careful, traditionally, on grass, run through some shots. You don’t see people playing an open stance and stopping and starting as much. He was making moves, cutting in and out, recovery shots, sliding into some shots. I was very impressed. 

Amazing Djokovic might play 

If Novak Djokovic is fully fit and ready, he’s probably the favourite on grass, but obviously we just don’t know where he’s at. He might not even know where he’s at. I do think there’s a difference between practice and being ready to play five-set matches. 

He said he’s not really interested in playing if he doesn’t think he can win the tournament. I would be shocked if he was at full fitness, but I guess you bet against the greats at your own peril.  

Murray is a legend. I hope he gets the proper send off 

I’m just so impressed with Andy Murray on so many different levels. He would probably tell you that he perhaps didn’t have the obvious skillset at his disposal like Rafa Nadal or Roger Federer, or even the flexibility and movement of Djokovic. But I’ll be damned if he didn’t work as hard as anyone in the game, and his tennis IQ is through the roof. 

He’s just gone about it the right way. He’s simultaneously a superstar and someone who also goes about every practice as if he’s never won anything. I hope he gets the proper send off. 

Draper one for the future 

Wins against players like Alcaraz excite people, but you make a career by beating people you’re supposed to beat, making good decisions and making sure that your fitness is there all the time. Draper’s potential is easy to see, when you can serve 135mph at spots, as a lefty, that’s half the battle. 

I don’t want to analyse his chances in a slam without worrying if his body holds up, especially in extreme conditions. I hope it’s there now. In the past, I don’t think it has been, but his upside is tremendous.   

Paul and Fritz can lead the American challenge 

Tommy Paul and Taylor Fritz are both really competent on grass. My favourite thing about Tommy is how he has acquired discipline and learned how to be a professional. He has a well-rounded game he plays on every surface. This year he’s made semis of Indian Wells and Rome and won Queen’s – three different surfaces. I’m just really happy for Tommy and I hope he gets to the top 10. 

Hurkacz one of the big dangers 

Hubert Hurkacz is probably one of the five or six best grasscourt players in the world. There are some guys who are very good on the surface – someone like Jan-Lennard Struff, Christopher Eubanks or even Daniil Medvedev, who played well last year. Matteo Berrettini’s another one that nobody wants to face in the first round. 

Swiatek vulnerable on grass 

Iga Swiatek is going to be one of the best women’s players of all time. If you put her numbers up against the greats, she’s entering some pretty rarefied air. But as well as her game fits the clay, the challenges are obvious on grass. Couple that with the fact that her elite contemporaries all like the grass, I don’t think she’s a big favourite. 

Aryna Sabalenka pulled out last week but it sounded more like fatigue. Jess Pegula’s game is phenomenal for grass. Coco Gauff is certainly in the conversation. Elena Rybakina is dominant on serve, as we saw a couple of years ago. Sabalenka is probably the one I’d want to bet on, given all the question marks around the others. 

Jabeur has to deal with the scar tissue 

There is such a thing as almost wanting it too badly. Ons Jabeur is such a great person and champion, but it’s going to be interesting to see how she deals with the scar tissue of losing in the final. I made my first two finals and didn’t make another one until four years later. Nothing’s guaranteed, everything earned. The simplest thing to do is acknowledge that there probably is some scar tissue, deal with it and go one day at a time, on to the next one.  

Raducanu still an unknown quantity  

Emma Raducanu not playing the French Open was a surprise to me. I’m a massive defender of Emma, I can speak very easily to the challenges that she’s gone through in the last couple of years. but you have to put yourself out there in the hardest moments.  

It’s hard to get a feel for where she’s at with her game, just because there’s an inconsistency – two or three weeks on and then three weeks off, not playing in a major. We’ve seen the upside but there are just some inconsistencies.  

Tennis and the Olympics a tough combination 

It’s horrendous for your body to play on grass court, maybe some hard, maybe some more clay, and then hard again. It’s borderline irresponsible, honestly. Now you can overcome that, and the Olympics are special to play in, but I’m not going to blame anyone for deciding that the schedule is not great for their body. 

Is it more important to play two or three events on a more native surface, get those ranking points and launch yourself into the US Open? Or to try to win a match or two on a surface that you don’t like? If you take our own entitlement to participation as fans out of it, it’s a pretty logical decision in my mind. 

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Andy Roddick

Andy Roddick

A US Open champion and former world No. 1 who won 32 ATP Tour titles.

Andy Roddick

Andy Roddick

A US Open champion and former world No. 1 who won 32 ATP Tour titles.

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