Andy Roddick shares why Roger Federer annoyed him & his wrong Rafael Nadal prediction

Roddick's most heartbreaking and devastating losses came against Federer.

by Dzevad Mesic
Andy Roddick shares why Roger Federer annoyed him & his wrong Rafael Nadal prediction
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Andy Roddick admits that watching Roger Federer being pretty much stress-free and always looking relaxed was "annoying" him because he was always working hard on finding a way to beat the Swiss and stressing himself but the outcome would almost always be the same. 

On the latest episode of his podcast, Roddick recounted how Federer used to practice 20 minutes before matches and look completely calm and relaxed. On the other side, Rafael Nadal - Federer's biggest rival - looked pretty tense during those pre-match practices and he would spend two to three hours on the practice court preparing for the match. 

Roddick, who became a Grand Slam champion at the 2003 US Open just days after turning 21, never again won a Grand Slam in his career and Federer was the main reason why. After his 2003 US Open win, Roddick made four more Grand Slam finals and he was beaten by Federer in each of those four finals - Wimbledon (2004, 2005, 2009) and the US Open (2006).

In the end, the American tennis legend finished with just three wins over the Swiss in their 24 matches. 

"It drove me crazy. There's nothing more frustrating than consistently losing to someone and then watching them practice and not actually be concerned with the form in practice," Roddick said on the Served with Andy Roddick

"And this is a side tangent, but then be like, 'It'll be there on Monday when it needs to be.' Him and Pete Sampras, the only two people that I've seen that have removed that stress mechanism, so annoying."

Andy Roddick and Roger Federer
Andy Roddick and Roger Federer© Getty Images Sport - Al Bello

Roddick on his totally wrong Nadal predictions

In 2005, Nadal introduced himself to the tennis world big time when he won the French Open in his debut. That year, Nadal's run to the French Open title included a semifinal win over Federer and the Spaniard's first Grand Slam trophy came just days after he celebrated his 19th birthday. 

Roddick, who was one of the top players at the time and lost in the French Open second round that year, reveals his former athletic training Doug Spreen predicted at the time that Nadal would win eight titles at Roland Garros. Recalling that, the 2003 US Open champion admits he wasn't really high on that prediction. 

Today, Nadal has 14 French Open titles and that's one of the most impressive records in the all sports. 

"The first time he wins the French Open, my old trainer, Doug Spreen, who I spent 250 nights with a year for a decade, he wins the first one, and he goes, 'This kid's going to win eight French Opens,' and I said, 'Wait a minute, that's an unrealistic prediction, that's a disservice to everyone else on Earth; you're automatically just going to give this 17-year-old who at that point is serving 106, you're going to give him eight French Opens?'" Roddick recounted.

"I was right; he didn't win eight French Opens; he won 14. It's just amazing to see."

Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal
Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal© Getty Images Sport - Al Bello

Roddick: I also didn't think Nadal would last this long in tennis

From his early tennis days, Nadal was battling constant injuries, especially with his knee and many were pointing fingers at his extremely demanding and physical style of paly as the reason for that. At the time, there were even fears that the Spaniard's career may come to an end very early. 

But Nadal, who will be turning 38 in early June, is still active. Although the last couple of years have been very hard on Nadal injury-wise, he still managed to win two Grand Slams in 2022 and get to 22 Majors. 

After admitting that he got Nadal's French Open title number prediction wrong, Roddick also admits he wrongly predicted how long the Spaniard would play. 

"Also, I was one of the dummies. He's 37. I thought he would have a hard time getting to 28 with the way that he plays," Roddick said.

"If we're real tennis fans, I say that we should all choose to deal in gratitude for what he has given us for the time that we have had him, which is frankly longer than any of us dummies thought that he would be able to last."

Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal
Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal© Getty Images Sport - Al Bello

During the same episode, Roddick also praised Federer, Nadal and Novak Djokovic for always treating tournament workers and staff with the deepest respect. When dropping the praise on the Big Three, Roddick noted that there were some players who wouldn't really treat others politely or respectfully in the locker room. 

"It's been nice in tennis that two of your top three stewards, including Novak, Novak actually, he doesn't get enough credit for how friendly he is with people in and around the locker room," Roddick said.

Andy Roddick Roger Federer Rafael Nadal