New York: Andy Roddick has dominated men’s tennis since Brad Gilbert took over as his coach. He has risen to the top of the ATP Champions Race and almost matched Gilbert’s former pupil, world No.1 Andre Agassi. Roddick, who turns 21 on Saturday, dumped French coach Tarik Benhabiles in June after four years together.
“The key is communication,” Gilbert said. “It’s not my way or the highway.”
Gilbert’s guidance and Roddick’s power have been a formidable combination at the US Open, where the fourth-seeded American will face Croatian Ivan Ljubicic on Friday for a berth in the third round at the year’s last event.
“Obviously he is a huge part of it,” Roddick said. “He came on board, we clicked. I started playing confidently. Who knows what would have happened if Tarik had stayed. He’s a great coach and took me very far.” Roddick made the coaching switch after a lacklustre loss to Armenia’s Sargis Sargsian in Round I of the French Open.
“We became pretty tight quickly, which is nice,” Roddick said. “It wasn’t uncomfortable getting to know each other. He and Andre are pretty good friends and they were together a long time.”
Roddick matched his best Grand Slam showing by reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals, where he lost to eventual winner Roger Federer, and he could have a showdown with Agassi in the US Open final.