March 11, 2003
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.
Q. Do you sneak peeks at the speed gun once in a while?
ANDY RODDICK: I did tonight after I hit the big one. The ball was flying. It actually surprised me a little bit. I heard that I guess the thin air helps serving here a little bit. I didn't feel like my arm was totally alive tonight and it was still getting up there pretty high. I use it a lot early to kind of gauge my serves. If I'm hitting my wide serve buck 13, buck 14 on the deuce side, I know it's kind of hard to return. I kind of use it as a gauge.
Q. The record is Rusedski here at the other court. The 149 record was set in this air.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. What are your impressions about playing here? This is your first time at this tournament.
ANDY RODDICK: It's nice. I hadn't been out to Stadium Court to watch or play or practice or anything. I went out there, it's pretty big. It still has a pretty intimate environment. I think the crowd support was really good tonight.
Q. You said you were surprised the ball was flying in Stadium Court.
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't say on Stadium Court, just at this tournament in general. I think the air is pretty thin as opposed to coming from the heavy humidity of Florida.
Q. Did you get a gauge during practice?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes.
Q. How is your health? The tendonitis is all right?
ANDY RODDICK: It's good.
Q. Ankle is all right?
ANDY RODDICK: It's a little swollen (laughter). We're going to try to get that down tonight (pointing to a golf ball stuck inside his sock). I'm okay to play tomorrow. I think that's one of my tendons or a couple rolled up (laughter). It's killing me.
Q. Just hope you don't pull a groin.
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not going to comment further on that one. I don't know if it's possible to sprain a groin, so I'm okay.
Q. There were a couple times when you hit a bunch of big serves, had a couple of those 43-second games, then you had to hold, serve it out, backed off a bit.
ANDY RODDICK: The last game?
Q. You served and volleyed the last game, hit 110 on the outside. Are you thinking more about that? Are you working more on that, change your pace a little bit?
ANDY RODDICK: I think I did a decent job of that all night. It's tough to play aggressive all the time against a guy like Thomas, who is pretty much cranking out on every shot. You have to mix it up and pick your spots. I think I did a pretty decent job of that tonight.
Q. Every sport has its records, key accomplishments. Obviously in tennis it's all about the majors, becoming No. 1, Davis Cup. Would you like to be the first guy to break the 150 mark?
ANDY RODDICK: Would I like to? ? It's not a goal of mine. If it happens, that's pretty cool, I guess.
Q. What about your next opponent? Have you ever played him?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I've never played him. I've never practiced with him. Big lefty, big serve, pretty big forehand. You can pretty much count on the Spanish guys having pretty good feel around the court. He's been coming along in the last year or so. I think it will be a pretty good match. I'm going to have to play well.
Q. Obviously you played well at the US Open at night. Do you think you'll have the same sort of feeling out here playing at night?
ANDY RODDICK: It feels pretty similar, to be honest. The stadium's kind of a similar color, kind of a similar -- it's built similarly, it feels like from the court. There's a lot of similarities.
Q. There are fewer drunken stockbrokers than in New York.
ANDY RODDICK: Is that fact?
Q. Surveyed it, it's true.
ANDY RODDICK: They're drinking O'Douls?
Q. Have you reflected on your match a fair amount with Younes at the Australian? It was exceptional. Didn't get much coverage here because of the time.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I have. You know, I've been asked about it a bunch since then. You know, when I got back from Australia, I was pretty excited to watch it. I watched it from about 8-All. It took me about five hours to watch the rest of it from there (smiling). I was proud when I watched it. I think we both played very well. It was exceptional. I thought when I was out there that it was pretty good tennis, but you never really know until you watch it back. You're too busy focusing on the next point.
Q. That inside out cross-court on match point down was huge. Was that the biggest shot you ever prepared to hit at crunch time?
ANDY RODDICK: Probably. I watch it and I still cringe at it thinking I'm going to miss it half the time.
Q. Do you think you were crazy to go all out for it?
ANDY RODDICK: No. Because Younes is a player, you know, if you give him time, he's going to crank. If I was going to lose a match after being out there for that long, I wanted to lose it kind of on my terms. I can live with going for a shot and missing it, rather than saying I pulled up on it and didn't hit it as well as I wanted, and he cranked on it.
Q. Younes had good things to say about your fair play and the mood, but he also said when you jokingly handed your racquet to the ball boy that it might have affected his concentration, without any mean-spiritedness. Do you think that little break in the rhythm of the match could have affected him because he played a loose game after that?
ANDY RODDICK: I have no idea. I think we had talked to each other across the net a couple times throughout the match, kind of traded smiles. You know, I think that was more along the lines of it hadn't affected anything up to that point. It's not like he was stalling. He went along with it and handed his racquet to the kid, as well. If it did, it wasn't intentional. I think we both know that. I think it's pretty insignificant.
Q. Had you played Enqvist before?
ANDY RODDICK: I lost to him in Stuttgart 2001.
Q. Sampras not here, Chang out, tomorrow you play in Stadium 2. Any comments on that?
ANDY RODDICK: No.
Q. You had the wrist problem after Australia, then in Delray the ankle. People talk about your physical well-being. I'm sure you're tired of hearing that. Could you comment on that?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, if I am, there's not much I can do about it. I've done about as much as I can as far as fitness in the off-season. I have a full-time trainer with me. There are some things that you just don't really have control over. I can't change the way I play; I've been doing it for too long. That's pretty much the way it is. I'm doing everything I can.
Q. I saw you practice today. You kind of threw a couple balls out of the court. Was that for the crowd?
ANDY RODDICK: No, it's because I was hitting like crap. We were playing fetch. I would hit it, they would bring it back (smiling).
Q. Have you spoken to your brother before the Harrick situation?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I actually haven't. I meant to give him a call. I feel bad for the players. I probably shouldn't go on about this. I was watching one of the sports shows today. One of them made a decent point. All the innocent parties involved, the kids, why not take an assistant coach from the women's team and let them play, let them play. They played the toughest schedule out of any team in the country, but they're still there. They deserve to play. I mean, if some people made some bone-head moves, it shouldn't be taken out on the innocent people.
Q. Davis Cup, Pat has been reluctant to choose the Bryans. They've had some pretty good doubles results. What would be your thoughts on choosing them as a doubles team?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, it's a double-edged sword, I think. I don't know. I'm lucky that's not my call. I'm going to do whatever I can. I'll play singles, I'll play doubles, I'll do whatever. At the end of the day, I'm not the captain. I can just worry about what I can do to help the team.
Q. In this tournament, you're on the side where Agassi was, and now he's gone, if I looked at the draw correctly. Have you looked at that as an opportunity?
ANDY RODDICK: Maybe if you get that far. Right now it's insignificant because I wouldn't be playing Andre in the second round.
Q. You obviously had a tough match with Pete at Flushing early last year. Are you hoping he comes back so you can get another shot at him?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I hope he comes back maybe to have a proper farewell. I don't know. I don't want him coming back just so I can try to beat him, if that's the question. If he does come back and I play him, I'd want to beat him. No, that thought hasn't crossed my mind before.
Q. Do you sense any kind of changing of the guard here? I sense in the crowd tonight you're the new young American, they're starting to understand Sampras isn't here, Agassi is hurt, they're with you much more. Do you feel that or is that my imagination?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, I can just speak on tonight. I mean, I can't speak of whatever. There's definitely a lot of crowd support there for me, and it was nice. I think maybe they realize there's not a lot of Americans in this tournament, with Pete and Andre and Chang gone, Todd gone. They need to cheer so we have some people hanging out later in the week.
Q. Do you think Taylor, a Southern Californian, should have gotten a wildcard here?
ANDY RODDICK: I think there is a very legitimate case for it. Once again, it's not my call.
Q. Who is going to win the NCAA hoops?
ANDY RODDICK: Kentucky.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.