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January 15, 2007
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You call that the endless tiebreaker?
ANDY RODDICK: No, because it ended. But close. I was thinking about it for a little while there.
Q. Was it a case of not known your opponent well enough in that first set?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think that was the case. We played before. I think it was a combination of -- you know, I think in the breaker I got a little bit tight, and it was a little bit uncomfortable because I thought he was serving real well, and then when I did kind of get a ball to go after, maybe I got a little too excited and maybe rushed it a little bit.
But it was -- I thought it was a pretty ordinary performance. But it got better as I went along. You know, I'm not really worried about how I'm hitting the ball. I think these first matches are a little bit uncomfortable sometimes.
Q. What's going through your head when you're down a break and a set?
ANDY RODDICK: (Laughing). "Here we go again." No.
I don't know. I mean, I was just trying to break back. It's his first time in that position, as well. So I definitely wanted to put some pressure on him when he was trying to serve it out. And luckily that worked, and he kind of gave me a little bit of an open door to come back in. I started playing a little bit better actually when I got down a break there in the second.
Q. You had quite a few discussions with the chair umpire. What was getting under your skin out there?
ANDY RODDICK: Just a couple calls. And when you disagree about something at an important moment in a tiebreaker, it's a bit frustrating. He's pretty much the only other person I can vent my frustrations to besides myself. So unfortunately sometimes they catch the brunt of it.
Q. It's a bit of an anomaly here where you can challenge the calls on center court but you can't anywhere else. Do you have a feeling one way or the other if you have that technology it should be extended to all courts?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, you have to understand that it costs a pretty big amount of money to put the technology in. And what are there, 30 something, 20 something courts here? It's a pretty big price check.
I'm always for if you can fix the problem, I'd rather have the problem fixed a little bit than not at all.
Q. Would you have challenged calls today if you had the opportunity?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. How many do you think?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. How many times was I arguing?
Q. Quite a bit.
ANDY RODDICK: There you go (smiling).
Q. You don't have that many challenges --
ANDY RODDICK: (Laughing). If I was right I did. If I was wrong, then I would have been out of them pretty quickly.
Q. Regardless of how much you played in the buildup to here, how tough is it to come into a Grand Slam so soon in the year?
ANDY RODDICK: It's tough. You know, it's tough kind of going from off-season into a Slam. I think that's what makes this one unique, as well.
I think the toughest thing for me was the turnaround from Kooyong, kind of playing two matches in four days and then getting a day off and getting thrown out there first up was a little tough. That might have added to it a little bit.
But, you know, you just try to survive and advance.
Q. What did you take out of Kooyong? What did you take out of last week?
ANDY RODDICK: It was just good preparation. You know, you can't really ask for better preparation than playing with that field and knowing you're going to get three matches against those type of players. You know, to get some wins. If you have a chance to win or lose, you're normally going to choose to win. It's a good thing as well.
Q. Did that third set have the same intensity as any other third set you've played against him in the past?
ANDY RODDICK: I think we both kind of started playing a little bit in the third set. I think we would have been feeling each other out in the first two.
But I don't know. I mean, obviously -- I don't know if it's the same as a Grand Slam final, and that's why I said you kind of have to be a little bit guarded with the emphasis you put on that match.
Q. When you're so unhappy with so many calls, does that bleed over into your game? Noticed that last argument you double faulted on the next point?
ANDY RODDICK: I double faulted because I was thinking they were saying he's probably going to double fault in this point because he's upset (laughter).
I don't know. I mean, you can say that or you can say I was arguing and then it came back. You know, I think for every example you have of me getting charged up and missing, there's probably an example of getting charged up and coming back in a match or something. I think that's just the day-to-day preference story, what wants to be written.
Q. Has Jimmy taught you how to challenge line calls?
ANDY RODDICK: How to challenge line calls? No, he's taught me how to yell at referees (laughing).
No, there's no really teaching line calls. There wasn't a challenge when he was around.
Q. There's no seeded women at this tournament from the United States. Are you disappointed overall with the state of American tennis at the moment?
ANDY RODDICK: We both won last week. We have a couple guys who are arguably amongst the favorites here. You know, there's a lot of countries who would like to have our state. I have full confidence if Venus and Serena decide to play a full schedule and are healthy, you can't sit here and tell me they're not amongst the top ten in the world.
I think it would be nice to have a couple more younger guys come out, but I think we're doing okay.
Q. At the end of the first set you told the central umpire that he was a glorified scorekeeper, and you said I think we should get machines. Obviously heat of the moment. But is there a part of you that thinks that one day tennis is going to be better off being run by machines than by people?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I don't think so, but that's always a good line to go to because they don't really have anything to respond to (laughing).
No, I think it's great what they've done with the challenge system. I think it takes a lot of the question out of it. You don't see yourself arguing as much because the proof is right there. So I think if they just keep building on that, I'd probably be supportive of that.
Q. Should they have the challenge in Vodafone, given it's very similar conditions to Rod Laver Arena, indoors, a showcourt, that sort of thing?
ANDY RODDICK: Should they? I don't know what all goes into the decision-making process, so it's easy for me to sit here.
Personally, I'd like to see it. I think you'll start seeing more and more of it. But it's still a relatively new concept. So I'm sure in time that we'll see it used more and more hopefully.
Q. Had you played this kid in the juniors?
ANDY RODDICK: I played him at the French Open first round.
Q. What was the condition like out there going from the cool haze to the pretty bright sun there?
ANDY RODDICK: It was weird. This morning when I walked outside I was shocked that it was actually cool out. You know, it got warmer and warmer as we went along. I'm fine with that. I like that. It was kind of a gradual progression, though, so you didn't really kind of notice it all at once.
The conditions were fine, though.
Q. Are you talking to Jimmy every couple days? Is John talking to Jimmy? How is that going to work?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I've talked to him every day since I've been here. I mean, John has been talking to him, as well.
Q. Is there a possibility he's coming down maybe second week?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I don't know at this point. When we talk, we talk tennis. And the last thing I'm going to kind of concern him with right now is putting pressure on him in any way, shape or form.
You know, I don't know. You know as much as I know. We've been talking tennis, and that's kind of where it stands.
Q. How did you find the speed of the court? Was it any faster or slower than last year?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think it's that different from years past.
Q. Did Tsonga take you by surprise out there with as hot as he was playing early?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. When we were in the locker room, we kind of thought that he might come out and just go for broke a little bit. And he did that. I didn't know if he'd be able to keep it up. I kept thinking that he was going to crack somewhere along the lines. And I thought he served great in the first set especially, even in the breaker. I had four set points where I didn't touch a serve.
But at the same time, I don't know if I was hitting the ball very deep. I don't know if I was driving through it. So I feel like I was giving him opportunities a little bit more than I should have. But he definitely put a lot of pressure on me early there.
Q. The situation that James is in with Carlos, have you been in that situation where you played a guy back-to-back? How do you deal with that psychologically?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think I played a guy back-to-back. I played a guy first round two weeks in a row, but I don't think I've ever played someone in a final and then first round. So I don't know if I'd be the best person to ask.
Q. What about just week-to-week playing the same guy?
ANDY RODDICK: It's different. But at the same time, they've played each other five or six times before, so it's not all of a sudden like you're thrust against some guy and you're playing him back-to-back. If anything it's just a matter of who makes the adjustments.
You know, I really find it hard to believe that James and Carlos found something out in Sydney on Saturday night that they didn't know about each other from the six previous meetings. So I don't really know how that affects the first round Australian Open.
I would tend to think that going into the first round here they might have had a similar game plan, even since they played in Sydney.
Q. Would you rather have a tough match for your first round like you did out there or a triple bagel?
ANDY RODDICK: I always lie about this one (laughter). I always just say whatever just happened is my favorite. So right now I'm glad I had a tough one, whereas last year when I had an easy one, I said I was glad I had an easy one. So I'm glad I had a tough one (laughter).
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