August 5, 2004
THE MODERATOR: Andy's won 24 of his last 26 matches going back to June. He'll take on the winner of Haas-Soderling in tomorrow's quarterfinal. Questions.
Q. After Dominik Hrbaty beat Federer in the first round, he said that he was glad he played him in the first round because if he saw him in the later rounds Federer would have been playing too well for him by then. Is there anything to that for you as you progress in the tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I think it's separate circumstances. I think maybe what Roger was referring to was the difference in conditions between Toronto and here in Cincinnati. It's a lot faster here. The ball's flying around a lot more. I think I've gotten more used to it as the rounds have progressed, but that doesn't mean anything. You know, I'm still -- I can still lose next round. But hopefully I won't.
Q. Talk a little bit about today's match, how you feel you played.
ANDY RODDICK: I felt I played okay, but I just thought Paradorn didn't play as well as he's capable of. He definitely had one of those off-days. He had a lot of errors. And I'm sure if you talk to him, he probably wouldn't be too happy with how he played today.
Q. He said that after he lost his serve that first time, he basically felt he was out of it.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, that's surprising. But, you know, he didn't have his normal spark today out there, you know, so I just tried to kind of play a solid match and not make too many errors. I could tell he was feeling a little bit like that, so I wanted to make it as painful as possible as far as trying to come back. I didn't want to give him, you know, easy errors.
Q. Does that make it difficult to assess where your game's at when the other guy is really not in it?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. I feel like I'm playing well. I've been winning matches the last three weeks, so there is something there. I think there is some room for improvement, but, you know, you don't get much out of today as far as gauging where you're at.
Q. Presumably, you don't want to make too many big tweaks with all the stuff you've got coming up in the next few weeks?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, I'm just trying to get through each round. You know, that's basically it. People are talking, "You tired?" Yeah, that's part of tennis. You know, that's part of it. Now we'll just try to kind of reset the mind and try to get through tomorrow. That's kind of how I'm looking at it.
Q. Looking ahead to tomorrow you play Tommy Haas or Soderling. I think you're 0-4 against Haas. Anything particular about him?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. We've played a bunch on clay, which isn't my favorite surface. But, no, I mean, not really. I mean, I think it's a deceiving stat. You know, we played a couple times. He's just beaten me, plain out. You know, I would definitely love to get a chance at him, that's for sure.
Q. He's got a great comeback story, hasn't he?
ANDY RODDICK: It's great. I mean, you see all the guys that missed, you know, a significant chunk of time with Thomas Johansson and Pavel and Haas, you know, even Guga when he was out with his hip. I mean, it's pretty impressive to see these guys out for a year, come back, and work their way back up. It definitely shows, you know, how determined and motivated they are. It's good for them.
Q. How much time will you have between here and when you go to Athens? Do you think you're going to kind of chill out or...?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. Hopefully I'll only have a day or two (smiling). But we'll see how this plays out. I think we're scheduled to leave next Tuesday as a team, get over there. But I don't think I'll be hitting many balls from the end of this to, you know, Wednesday or Thursday of next week.
Q. Have you been to Greece before, Athens?
ANDY RODDICK: Never been.
Q. There's a little bit of a situation going on in the men's and more so in the women's with a couple of players who are being kept out of the Olympics by their federation. Carlos said with Sluiter they're talking about it here. I know the women are talking about a possible boycott or whatever. What's your feeling on the situation?
ANDY RODDICK: Those players don't have -- I mean, if people want to boycott, that's fine with me. I'm closer to the Gold (smiling). My issue isn't with someone else's federation. That seems like it has nothing to do with me. You know, I don't know who -- what the players are, who they are. It's not my federation. You know, that's not really my issue. That sounds like someone's personal battle.
Q. I don't think you've lost a service game in this tournament. Can you characterize your confidence level when you go back there to serve?
ANDY RODDICK: I feel pretty confident right now. I feel like I'm playing a lot better after the serve. I don't feel like I've been serving amazingly well this tournament, but I feel like I've been playing well besides the serve, on my service games. So, you know, hopefully we can keep it up.
Q. Is that something that you feel like just in this tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I only got broken I think once before I played Roger last week also. So, you know, the last couple weeks I feel like I've been playing pretty well on my service games.
Q. What's the biggest improvement in your game from two years ago? What have you learned the most, and is it physical or is it mental or is it both?
ANDY RODDICK: It's both. I mean, I don't think there's one thing that is amazing. My backhand's become a lot better. Two years ago I got it exposed pretty badly when I played Greg at Wimbledon and Pete again at the Open. I knew it was something I had to go work on. It's become a lot better, especially on service returns. And I just think it's confidence. And, you know, two years ago I'd only been -- I'd still only been on tour for about a year and a half. It's just that whole learning process and learning curve.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.