Number 4-seeded Andy Roddick was defeated in the first round of the US Open by the number 68-ranked Gilles Muller. It was an upset of epic proportions. Here is what Roddick said referring to his training: "I put more work in mentally and physically in every which way. I never cared so much as I care now, which makes it tough."
However, the year before, he was way more successful. Why? Let's hear it from Andy himself: "Last year I didn't work hard. I didn't even step up. I wasn't training hardly and somehow sneaking out big points."
Hard work failed. Not working hard succeeded.
Now let's go to the other side of the court and hear from Gilles Muller. Asked how he managed to dismantle Roddick, Muller replied sheepishly, "I have no idea. I told myself to enjoy it -- and I did, every minute.''
Andy worked and failed. Gilles played and succeeded hugely.
When Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon two years ago, she was asked how she beat Serena Williams, the most dominant woman in tennis. She also said, "I have no idea."
Funny how powerful "no idea" really is.
Roger Federer, the Number One tennis player in the world, is the master of playing with "no idea." He says that when he is in a point, he doesn't even like to think that he is in a point.
"Everything comes very automatic now," he said. "I don't need to think anymore where I'm going to hit the balls. They just go automatically. That's very important in my game, because I need to play with the flow."
If Andy Roddick wants to win, he needs to abandon his "work ethic" and adopt a "play ethic," one that embraces "no idea."