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March 18, 2005

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Ladies and Gentlemen, Andy Roddick. We'll open it up for questions.

Q. Can you talk about how you overcame that controversial call?

ANDY RODDICK: Well, I think a lot of overcoming it has to do with how you felt you were playing. I mean, I felt like I was playing well in the first set and hitting the ball well. You know, it doesn't wear on you as much when you still feel you're in control of what you're doing. I was able to bounce back.

Q. Did your racquet tick that ball?

ANDY RODDICK: If I would have known for sure, I wouldn't have been arguing it. I didn't feel it.

Q. Can you walk us through it? What happened? It looked to us like the ball was called out.

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I lunged. I tried to hit it. I absolutely a hundred percent tried to hit. I mean, I was busy trying not to fall over in the process, as well. I went for it. I mean, I didn't feel like I made contact with it. It went out. You know, I can't say a hundred percent either way. But my question to Lars was, you know, You're up there, and you can tell me a hundred percent either way? That was my question to him. He seemed very confident in himself. You know, so that was that.

Q. Weren't you talking about his creativity?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, it's creative. He finds ways to get involved in matches. It's good. It's creative.

Q. Billie Jean King announced the WTT is going to start using instant replay challenges. Do you think that would work on the ATP Tour?

ANDY RODDICK: I've said in the past I support it. Not only would it, you know, take away a lot of these so-called controversies, but I think it would just be fun for viewers to see. Can you imagine, you know, 3-All in the fifth set, something happens and someone challenges a call? I mean, how exciting would that be. I think it would just be great for viewing. It would add something to TV telecasts, for sure.

Q. After the tiebreaker, you're up 4-1. Next two sets, you're in control all the way, hitting the forehand, volleying great. You must have felt pretty good coming off the breaker into the last two sets?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. The thing was, I was down a set, but I felt like I had been playing well. I don't feel that way, you know, often. You know, even in the breaker, I felt like I constructed good points. He was lunging. It's not like I gave it away. I felt like I made him work for it. I felt like I was in the match for the long haul still. I didn't feel like I was trying, you know, to just hang on today.

Q. At what point did you try to get more aggressive? Seems like you were successful coming to the net, coming in.

ANDY RODDICK: It really wasn't a conscious decision. I think that's just the way the flow of the match went. You know, I think he was pulling me off the court, forehand to my forehand. You know, just another way of defending. I was trying to push up the line, make look for something. It's just kind of the way a watch develops sometimes, different patterns, trying to figure things out.

Q. You hadn't lost to Carlos on hard court. It's obviously not an expected victory. Tomorrow you go up against a guy you've had a whole bunch of problems against. Talk about what kind of mentality and strategy and different things you'll have to play against Lleyton.

ANDY RODDICK: Well, I felt like I was doing okay in Australia, and then I went for the quick fix too many times, and it caught up to me. You know, you can only throw in so many haymakers before one misses and you get knocked out. You know, I think I'm going to have to really, you know, work hard at constructing points and being a little bit more patient this time.

Q. Is that somewhat I don't want to say playing into his hands, but Lleyton doesn't mind grinding out points either?

ANDY RODDICK: I'm not talking about not being aggressive. You know, I'm talking about, you know, in Australia, first all, I was just going for broke. Obviously, that's Lleyton's game. He makes you think about how to construct points, how to win points, and he makes you win points. One way or another, if I say I'm just going to go out and try to blow the ball past him and it fails, you guys are going to say, You should have been more patient. And if I'm patient, you guys are going to say, Well, that plays right into it, blah, blah, blah. So you tell me.

Q. It's a no-win situation unless you win?

ANDY RODDICK: Pretty much, yeah. That's what I'm faced with daily.

Q. Can you beat up a guy like that physically? Can you make him hit enough balls and enough heavy balls or is that off the table because he's such a good athlete?

ANDY RODDICK: I don't think you can -- you know, I don't know if I've ever seen anybody wear Lleyton down physically, especially in a two out of three set match. You know, with kind of cooler conditions, I don't see that happening. But I think force of a shot, I mean, I have to use that against him because that's one advantage I do have over him. So, you know, if you're talking about a long grind of a match, I don't see that affecting him. He'll stay out there for days. But if you're talking about weight of shot, height of shot, I definitely have to try to bully him a little bit.

Q. Like body punches?

ANDY RODDICK: Absolutely. Because that's what I have over him. I hit a little bit of a bigger ball.

Q. Disadvantage that Lleyton had a walkover and you had to play well into tonight?

ANDY RODDICK: I'd say yes. But he beat me after consecutive five-setters in Australia. If I'm going to complain about that, then I have to really check myself there.

Q. Back to the net game. You were 17 for 20. Great stat for anyone. Your approach shots were good. Against someone like Lleyton, if you don't hit the right approach shot...

ANDY RODDICK: You're right on. That's what I told Cliff and Pat afterwards. They said, "You volleyed good." I said a lot of it was the approach shots. I was hitting my spots and I was getting depth on them, my slice was staying low. I wasn't digging volleys up. I was able to kind of be in position to try to punch them off or do something with them. You know, if I can do that tomorrow, that's huge.

Q. Feel bad for Andre? He was playing well this week.

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, Doug got a call, my trainer got a call, because we're staying right next to him, early this morning. Said, "Come over and look at this." I woke up. They said, I don't know, "Andre's toe." I saw him last night at dinner, it was kind of as big a surprise to me as it was to you guys. It's unfortunate because he played lights out against Coria and had really kind of found his groove. I was excited to see how his match with Lleyton would have gone.

Q. You played Moya in Davis Cup and Lleyton in Australia, do the crowds affect you at all?

ANDY RODDICK: Oh, that's part of it. I mean, it's just as much -- you know, I think home court affects things just as much as a basketball game, especially when you're playing against 27,000 or the whole country of Australia. I think the rating was like, you know, 70% of the country is watching the match. It plays a part, but that's something that we face on a daily basis, and you kind of just have to step up and accept, you know. I give credit to the fans in those places during those matches. They were crazy and they were passionate. Any time you see that in tennis, even if it's against you, I kind of have to appreciate it, you know, be happy that the sport's creating that kind of emotion out of people.

Q. Talking about the crowd, after what happened in the Davis Cup, how beneficial to you will it be to play here in the States rather than some other far-flung outpost?

ANDY RODDICK: You mean, after Davis Cup?

Q. Yes.

ANDY RODDICK: I mean, I think it's convenient that I didn't have to travel halfway across the world and think about it on a long plane flight. I had to drive a couple hours, kind of get into my groove here. I mean, that's key. The last thing you want to do is have some treacherous trip ahead of you when, you know, you're kind of down. I mean, I think that's a valid point for sure.

Q. Back to Lars. He's done a fair amount of your matches. How many, do you think?


Q. How many? He's done a lot of your matches.

ANDY RODDICK: I mean, I have no idea.

Q. You're aware of him. Do you prefer an active chair umpire?

ANDY RODDICK: Listen, man, he made a call. I asked him if he was a hundred percent. He said he absolutely was. I mean, Patrick and Cliff say "I don't know." These people watching in here say "I don't know." I have no better argument than he does right now.

Q. But they almost say they're a hundred percent?

ANDY RODDICK: That's their job.

Q. If you go up and say, "Are you sure," they would say, "Yeah, I'm sure."

ANDY RODDICK: Then my options are pretty limited. I could yell and scream like a jerk, like I normally do. That's pretty much all I have to do out there.

Q. The question is, do you prefer an umpire who actively gets involved?

ANDY RODDICK: Do you remember the question you asked me earlier when I said I lose either way?

Q. You won this one.

ANDY RODDICK: But the umpires, a lot of the time, they're in a lose-lose situation, too. If you think the ball is out, they don't call it, you're going to get mad. If you think they overrule too much, it's against you, you're going to get mad. They take a lot of crap from us. To their credit, they're right a lot of the time. I mean, a lot of times it's a lose-lose situation for them. I mean, I've gotten mad at them just because I need someone to talk to before, and I'm mad at myself. To their credit, I know he honestly thinks that I hit it, and that's his call. Maybe I'm more upset about losing six points in the tiebreaker. It's a tough situation for them to be in. But that's when you come in with instant replay and there are no questions asked.

Q. Have you ever experienced that, that an umpire unilaterally makes a call that you touched the ball? I can't recall a single instance of that call being made.

ANDY RODDICK: Not in my matches. I don't know.

Q. I see you acknowledge many of the players when they make great shots. Does it ever bother you? Do you care that it doesn't happen in reverse?

ANDY RODDICK: No. That's their choice. I mean, I don't really realize that I really do it. If I feel like I played as good of a point as I can play and lose it, I mean, that's too good. You're not supposed to do it. It's not required. I don't expect anybody to do it. That's for sure. It's their prerogative. Trust me, if I'm having a bad day and I'm mad, I'm probably not going to do either.

End of FastScripts….

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