February 8, 2002
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
Q. You have hit with this guy before. You knew a little bit about his game. Did you expect him to come out playing that well?
ANDY RODDICK: I hit with him maybe a couple of years ago at Washington which was one of my first pro tournaments, but I knew he could play. I wasn't expecting him to serve 75% first serves and be hitting-- be serving -- I mean, he served great. That caught me a little bit by surprise.
Q. Sort of take us through what you were doing during Pete's match; how anxious were you waiting for it to be over?
ANDY RODDICK: I wasn't actually too anxious. I was kind of hanging out with some of the guys in the locker room, you know, just watching the match. I wasn't stirring around. Last year in Switzerland when I thought I might play the fifth match I was kind of a little more up and down, but surprise, surprise I am learning a little bit, so.. (Laughs).
Q. Talk about the tiebreaker. You are up 5-1...
ANDY RODDICK: I think I lost focus at the task at hand at that point. And before I knew it was 5-All; then he came up with a couple of good shots at 5-All, so, you know, it's all right. I am glad I recovered well and just got through it, Davis Cup, a win is a win.
Q. What did Pat say to you between those two sets?
ANDY RODDICK: Pretty much I think anybody would say is that the set is over, don't try to dwell on it too much. You got another set of tennis play; possibly another two sets, so get your head straight back into the game; don't dwell on it.
Q. How is it for you practicing with Pete?
ANDY RODDICK: It is great. I mean, Mardy I were talking about it the other day, it is kind of weird growing up. We see Pete's service, the little habits that he has on the court. Then all of a sudden, you know we are looking across the net and our opponent is doing that and it is him. So it is kind of surreal.
Q. Fourth tiebreak, the game before that when you were broken, seemed like you rushed a couple of forehands, seemed the tiebreak you were a little more patient looking for the openings ---
ANDY RODDICK: I am -- I might have returned one; then the other one I missed the top of the tape I think it would have gone for a clean winner. I hit it the way I wanted to hit it, just didn't get it. So then he came up with, you know, hit a clean winner off my first serve - I can't do much about that. I thought I might have hit one bad shot there.
Q. Tiebreak ---
ANDY RODDICK: Tiebreak I had no complaints. I probably couldn't have played it much better.
Q. Did you learn anything from Pete's match in that he kind of had a little lapse that led his opponent back into the match; then had to recompose himself; seemed line the matches were a little bit of mirroring in a certain way?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes and no. I knew you know, going into your Davis Cup matches it's a dogfight from the first point and it's never really over. You hear people say it but in Davis Cup especially, no one is going to throw in the towel when they are playing for their country. So it's not a surprise when the momentum is your way; then it swings; that tends to happen a lot in these matches.
Q. Pete's way of characterizing the team like off the court is he and Todd Martin are out there watching On Golden Pond and you guys are playing ping-pong in your underwear?
ANDY RODDICK: (Laughs) I haven't, you know, stripped down in my underwear this week. But it's not over yet, I guess, but -- maybe I have something to look forward to. I don't know. Yeah, I mean, I think it is normal, you know, they are a little, you know, a lot more mature than we are. (Laughs) you know, we are still battling for 20 bucks a game in ping-pong like it's our livelihood, so, you know, it's a contrast in personalities and stuff like that. But I think it makes for a pretty entertaining mix.
Q. Who is the best ping pong player?
ANDY RODDICK: Me. Stupid question. (Laughs)
Q. You mentioned Pete's like little habits that you noticed over the years. Which ones like?
ANDY RODDICK: The wiping of the brow. The antic before he serves. Just little shots he hits like, you know, you are on the run; then the forehand; then you are just watching it go by. You know it is coming. Just little things like that. You guys know him as well as I do.
Q. The ball thing?
ANDY RODDICK: Exactly. If it was a shadow playing or -- and you saw the little habits you'd pick out Pete like that. Just stuff like that.
Q. You guys talked about wanting a pretty raucous crowd out there. Do you think these Oklahoma fans are getting the hang of being Davis Cup fans?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, Davis Cup, you know, good point yell as loud as you can, go nuts. And they brought it today. That's a fun atmosphere to play in. That's what Davis Cup is all about. I don't think Davis would be much fun if they were golf clapping after every shot.
Q. With this whole cross generational, with the experienced players and you young guys, is this in a way almost bigger than a normal Davis Cup match in that it is kind of the future of American tennis?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know about a bigger, I mean, every match is pretty big. I think maybe a little different than a lot of the Davis Cup matches. For that aspect because it is pretty split up. Captain, Todd and Pete they all played together then. They haven't known our names for more than a year, so. (Laughs) and all of a sudden we come along we have been playing in juniors for a while together, so yeah it's just a little different, but it is fun all the same.
Q. Do you guys feel coemptive with the older guys in practice at all?
ANDY RODDICK: I want to win every time I step on the court no matter when. I am pretty competitive. I will compete in anything, so but yeah, it's not like us versus you and when we are on the practice court if that's what you are asking.
Q. Are you doing anything differently for the ankle in terms of either brace or just ---
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I am playing with two braces on right now. I think that's the safe play until I feel it's physically feeling good, but it's always in the back of your mind, so the ankle brace definitely is a help and there's no reason not wear them.
Q. Difficult getting used to in terms of mobility?
ANDY RODDICK: A little bit. But I am getting worn in now and I used to tape, but I would find it kind of the same feeling, but that I found that the tape after three sets of sweating in it would kind of fall apart a little bit. So I find these are the better solution for me.
Q. On a day-to-day basis you are used to hearing Tarik's advice. Is it kind of interesting to get a different person than him?
ANDY RODDICK: Patrick is almost -- every Super 9 or Grand Slam, we are talking, me and him and Tarik are having lunch or doing dinner. He's at our practices, so maybe besides Tarik he knows my game maybe as well as anybody. It's not too different because I definitely have faith that he knows my game and him and Tarik have a lot of the same ideas, so, you know, it is definitely -- it's fine by me.
Q. Pete was saying today how mature you were for your age; how much do you think you have matured since you've come out of juniors?
ANDY RODDICK: A lot. Last year I had to grow up pretty fast. I went from, you know, playing sugar bowl in New Orleans in September to playing center court Ericsson in March which is a pretty short span in handling things like media and responsibilities and appearances, autographs signings and stuff like that. I never had to do that before last year, so I think that helped me grow up on and off the court and, you know, but it was a welcome. It was welcome.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.