Andy Roddick – Game Analysis

Watching the pro’s in action is a great way of picking up some tips about technique and technical parts of your game.

Andy Roddick is a true professional and studying his game with your tennis coach is a good idea.

Andy finished his junior career as number 1 in the world in 2000. That year he won the US and Australian junior championships. In 2003 he won the US Open, reached the semis in the Australian Open four times, and the Wimbledon finals three times.


Technical

  • Forehand

Andy creates a lot of topspin on his forehand inside the baseline by rotating the forearm over a lot. When he plays a forearm shot he swings inside-out and uses his body to generate the power.
The good swing comes with an extreme forehand grip, which sometimes proves a problem when he wants to flatten the ball out. This occasionally makes him loop the ball too much and does not allow him to close off quick points. A less severe forehand grip would probably suit him better.

  • Backhand

Andy has not got a particularly good backhand, the root cause seems to be that he swings outside-in rather than inside-out.
It does means he does not swing away from the body and therefore cannot generate enough pace. If you look how Andy plays this shot pay attention how far his arms are away from his body when he starts to swing forward to the ball.
His grip is part of the problem here, and his right hand is too far over towards a forehand grip. Andy is not being fluid in his play, he is trying to use his muscles to play the shot.

  • Slice

Technically his slice has issues, he often starts too high with his racket and his grip is once again too far over towards a forehand grip. This forces him to swing down too much and the slice will float rather than have direction.

  • Volleys

Andy’s backhand volley is very similar to his slice, the racket face is too open and he swings down too much. This makes it difficult to stabilise the racket head when hitting the ball.

  • Serve

This is Andy’s best asset, he has one of the biggest serves in the history of the game. His serve is regularly over 140 mph and that has helped him dominate many matches.
One of the reasons Andy can serve so big is that he has a great flexibility of the shoulder. And this results in a deeper racket drop position than most players. A deeper racket drop aids acceleration and therefore power.
Andy looks as though he halts half way through his serve but this is not the case, essentially he starts his swing way out to the side.


Tactical

The the tactical part of Andy’s game is also not a strong point. The combination of having the biggest serve in tennis and a relatively weak backhand makes it necessary for him to be aggressive with his forehand, come forward and keep points short.

The miniscule faults in Andy’s game give his opponents a tactical advantage and a way to get around his big serve. It is without doubt Andy is a top player and his advantages definitely outweigh his faults.