January 26, 2005
THE MODERATOR: First question, please.
Q. When did you first realize he had a problem? Obviously, it's hard to play when you know somebody does have a problem.
ANDY RODDICK: He actually talked about it the other day after his match. I probably would have taken that information to the grave with me. But he said he was a little short of breath at the end of the match yesterday. Then obviously it was pretty toasty out there. Early on in the second set, we played a couple really long points and then he made a couple easy errors afterwards, after those long points. I didn't know if it was coincidence or if he was actually feeling it. When he called the trainer, I figured he had to be struggling a little bit, especially when I saw him with the inhaler. It looked pretty serious.
Q. How was the Goldfine scouting report?
ANDY RODDICK: It was good. Actually I played him three times before. We kind of just threw some ideas around. And he went out and watched the other day. So, you know, I think our combined game plan was pretty good.
Q. Looked like you were trying to pick on his backhand a bit, too.
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. I think my biggest thing was trying to mix up paces. You know, he's pretty good when you get into, you know, just a hard, flat rally. So I was trying to get the ball up, kind of mix up the paces, mix in the slice a little bit, maybe make him think about his shots and generate some of his own pace a little bit.
Q. Does it actually feel like you're in a Grand Slam semifinal?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. What else would it feel like?
Q. It seems to have been relatively straightforward, quiet for you, no dramas.
ANDY RODDICK: Not quite as dramatic as I normally am, I guess. Yeah, you know, it's been pretty smooth sailing so far. Yeah, I mean, as much so as I've ever had being in this position in a Grand Slam. You know, you're absolutely right about that. But at the same time, you know, that could end up being a good thing. I don't have many miles on me so far this tournament.
Q. Lleyton made all this thing about the court being too slow. Are you a little surprised by that? Wouldn't you rather play him on a faster court if you do play him?
ANDY RODDICK: I think that's a common misconception. You know, I think Lleyton's won Wimbledon, he's won at The Open, he's won, you know, a lot of places where the courts are pretty quick, you know, because he can pick it up. That's why he's such a good grass court player. You wouldn't think, you know, baseliner, grass court. But, you know, he picks the ball up so well. When it's in his groove zone, you know, he's not going to miss. So I'm going to have to disagree with you a little bit there.
Q. What about your serve on a slower court? Maybe it's not going to do as much damage.
ANDY RODDICK: Maybe. But maybe it's not going to bounce as high either.
Q. When you say you haven't got as many miles on you this time, you've spent a dramatically less amount of time on court than Lleyton or David have, and that's before their match tonight. How much does it feel like it really gives you something left in the tank?
ANDY RODDICK: I think a lot of it depends on tonight. The one thing about those guys is they can run forever. That's their game. If they're in a match, they're in the trenches, they're running all over the place, they feel comfortable doing that. You know, my game is more attacking. If I can get through, I'd prefer to do so.
Q. This is the first time you got this far at the Australian Open without feeling that you're sort of limping around on one leg.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, the only other time I got this far at the Australian Open, I felt like I was about to fall over walking out to my semifinal match. So, yeah (laughter).
Q. What's your normal procedure? Will you watch tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I will. I will. They actually have a TV right next to the blackjack table, so that will be good (smiling). I'll watch in between hits.
Q. If Lleyton were to win, what would it be like going out against a crowd that would be so rabidly for him?
ANDY RODDICK: The way I see that now is that I've been through probably the worst crowd I'll ever be through with what we did in Spain. So I'm sure it will be rowdy. But, like I said, it's not going to be surprising to me if it's rowdy. I don't expect anybody to be cheering for me. So it's a little bit easier when you know going in what the circumstances might be. You know, I've played a semifinal away in France and a final away in Spain. So, you know, I'll know what to expect a little bit.
Q. How about Nalbandian, your US Open match.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, he's just a good player. You know, I don't know if he gets the respect that he deserves. You know, his record in Grand Slams speaks for itself. You know, he might struggle with some players, but he's going to get through matches. He gets up for the big matches. You know, the other night I thought he played good, really good stuff, and really took it to Coria. I thought that would be a little bit tougher for him. But he pretty much handled him after the first set.
Q. You were watching him at 2:00 AM?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't watch the whole thing. But the channels here, they replay matches about 86 times a day, so I caught one of those.
Q. Can you tell how well you're playing? Can you tell how well you're playing maybe without really having had a real barn-burner, coming this far?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, you'd like to think so. I felt like I was hitting the ball pretty well, even in the Kooyong week. I don't feel like I've gone backwards at all. I still feel like I'm playing pretty well. I'm putting a high percentage of first serves in, which makes my life a lot easier, when I know I'm getting through service games pretty handily.
Q. What was your take on last night? I assume you watched some of that.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, you can't be much more impressed with Roger. I mean, okay, he played another great match. I mean, you know, I don't feel like Andre played his best stuff. But still, you know, Roger's playing great. It's not really surprising.
Q. Do you guys get tired of talking about Roger?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I mean, you can't because he deserves it. You know, we go through the same questions, but they're extremely relevant questions. You know, he deserves to be talked about the way he's playing right now. We might not like it, but I can definitely respect the people asking the questions. That's for sure. I don't think they're stupid questions. I think they're extremely relevant to what's going on in the game right now.
Q. How have the blackjack tables been treating you?
ANDY RODDICK: I actually won five grand the other night. Thank you for asking. I've been waiting for somebody to ask.
Q. What's the total count now?
ANDY RODDICK: 5600.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, thanks for that. Just burst my bubble.
Q. Same dealer?
ANDY RODDICK: No. Actually, I was doing well then I started doing badly. We kicked the dealer off, brought in another one. I worked them pretty good, so that was nice.
Q. Is that gross or just your winnings? Gamblers never tell us what they lose.
ANDY RODDICK: No, that's my winnings. That's just my winnings.
Q. Did you have a chance to talk Andre about playing maybe Davis Cup alongside with you?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I said earlier in the week, we talked very briefly. I just basically -- you know, the only thing that I can do is let him know that I would love him on the team. You know, we would welcome him with open arms. Beyond that, you know, I feel like it's between him and our captain. You know, as kind of the -- you know, as scary as it is to say, the veteran of our team, the guy who has played the most ties, I feel like I just wanted to kind of extend that olive branch and really let him know that we would love to have him. And, like I said, anything past that is out of my hands.
Q. Any advice from Coach Jackson?
ANDY RODDICK: Not on tennis, no. We just chatted a little bit. But we didn't really get too in-depth about anything.
Q. Do you remember how excited you were when you got to your first Grand Slam semi? Is this a big thrill or are you thinking about the final thing?
ANDY RODDICK: I think the first time you do something, it's always the most exciting. You know, obviously with the adrenaline that I was feeling after that match and the way I got to my first semi, it was something that I'll always remember. But, you know, now I'm here and I kind of just want to focus more on trying to take care of business.
Q. Before what you were saying about the run you've had through, that you haven't been stuck in any long matches, is there a part of you now that you are in the semifinals that you're sort of itching for a bit of a stoush?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I would love to have no competition throughout all tournaments. I promise you that (laughter). But I don't think that's going to happen.
Q. You don't put any sort of merit in -- you sort of need the hardening on the way?
ANDY RODDICK: That's two different questions there. The first said, "Do you want?" I said, "No, I would love to go through and win 2, 2 and 2 for the rest of my life." It's weird. If I had gone through long matches, I'd be sitting here telling you I'm glad I had gotten through the long matches because I know I'm ready. Since I haven't, I'm going to sit here and say I'm glad I'm fresh, my body's feeling good. So either way I'm a liar. And you guys will never know what I'm actually thinking.
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