Brad Gilbert believes there wasn't much separating Andy Roddick and Roger Federer during the 2003/04 seasons. In 2003, Roddick became a Grand Slam champion after winning the US Open. The following year, Roddick - who at the time was coached by Gilbert - made his second Grand Slam final at Wimbledon.
Roddick made a good start to the 2004 Wimbledon final before Federer recovered to win 4-6 7-5 7-6 (3) 6-4. Reflecting on the 2004 Wimbledon final, Gilbert definitely thinks that Roddick was "a little bit unlucky" with the several rain delays that disrupted his rhythm.
Gilbert: Roddick was every bit as good as Federer in 2003, 2004
"During 2003/2004 the gap wasn't like this, I mean they played four times and Fed won three. I felt Roddick was as good as Federer at that moment. Two-three rain delays in that match where Roddick had the momentum and he was a little bit unlucky.
It's not about how great this player is, it's about executing your game plan. As a coach when you know your player is up against it a little bit you might design a game plan a little bit out of your comfort level. 2003/2004, the gap was very small and if you'd asked me then I felt Roddick was every bit as good," Gilbert said on The Craig Shapiro Tennis Podcast, per Sportskeeda.
After winning his first Grand Slam title at the 2003 US Open, Roddick was tipped to achieve more Grand Slam success. In the next couple of years, Roddick did have several really strong Grand Slam runs but he never again won a Major title - and Federer was to blame.
In the seasons after 2003, Roddick made four more Grand Slam finals - three at Wimbledon and one at the US Open. In every of those four Grand Slam finals, Roddick was beaten by Federer. Since Roddick, there hasn't been an American male Grand Slam champion.