I don't know who you were expecting to be the best performer of US hardcourt season mk 1 - hell, I don't know who I was expecting it to be. But I certainly wasn't expecting it to be Andy Roddick. Though, I have to say, I am quite glad that it is.
I am very glad that he pulled out this victory - actually, 'pulled out' is the wrong phrase to use. He dominated T-Berd from beginning to end in the match today. He absolutely owned this match - and, indeed, this tournament. Only two tiebreakers kept him from winning the Indian Wells/Miami double. And if he had done that one, well...
I think Roddick has been due for this excellent little spell - he's deserved it, if nothing else, and he needed it, if he was ever going to come back from Wimbledon last year. That loss at the very end hurt him worse than any early round exit could have done, because it got him square in the mind. But today, he thought his way to this victory.
It's really the mind that makes or breaks Andy Roddick. His game is excellent - the fact that he's been solidly at the top of the game for the better part of a decade shows this perfectly. But the moment when he transcends that line and goes from being a good player to a great one is when he thinks. That's the Roddick that turned up at Wimbledon last year and that's the Roddick it seemed, for a little while, that that Wimbledon killed.
But that's the Roddick that turned up here this week, and he is definitely coming away with the tennis equivalent of Man of the Match for these few post-Australia months. How will this translate onto clay...? Let's wait and see.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago