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March 14, 2008

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Got to be feeling good after that tournament win, Andy? Took down a couple big scalps there?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I feel really good. I hit the ball real clean. I told you in San Jose I thought I was close to playing really good tennis, and that came around in Dubai. So it was a good week.

Q. What made you feel you were close to playing really good tennis?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, you wish you could put a finger on it. It's something about you're in a match, even when you're in a tough one, when you feel like you're about to play well you play well and you feel like you're going to win it.
When you're not you just feel like you're just hanging on. Even in San Jose I felt like I was going to get through those matches, and I was able to get through a couple tough ones not playing my best. When you do that you give yourself an opportunity to play well.

Q. You seemed a little feisty today during practice. Is that the right word?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm feisty most days during practice.

Q. You know Charlie thinks that these courts really suit you here at this tournament. He also thinks you maybe haven't played your best at this tournament even though you've had good results. What you are your thoughts about this tournament? Does it suit you?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know if it suits me per se. I mean, it's really slow and kind of very high bouncing.
I don't think it's surprising that Nadal won this last year. But it's -- I mean, it's all right. He's probably right with saying I've played okay but probably not my best here. So I probably would agree with most of what he said.

Q. The story about you and Jimmy splitting came the day or right around your victory in Dubai, and I've only seen stuff on the wires. Are you making comments on it? Has it affected you mentally? Do you have a new coach? Obviously you've changed coaches over the years. Is this just another change?
ANDY RODDICK: That's a lot to process (Laughter.)

Q. That's a lot, but it's true.
ANDY RODDICK: Which part of that do you want me to go for?

Q. Well, whatever you want. I know guys don't always like to talk about switching, but...
ANDY RODDICK: I can talk about it. I haven't talked to you about it yet. I said in Dubai, It is what it is. I think we made it work as well as it could for a part-time gig, but that just became tough when you kind of have the ins and outs of the days. I guess Jimmy didn't feel like we were getting out of it what we needed to.
Completely amicable. We've talked about it. I got off the phone with his son not five minutes ago, so everything's fine. I think it ended about as well as something like that can.

Q. What was the tipping point there? Because in San Jose you were talking about, We're going to do practice weeks, probably not as many tournaments. He'll come to the big tournaments.
ANDY RODDICK: It wasn't really my call, to be honest. I think it was just tough, you know, he was nice enough to kind of come out of retirement and come out of -- come off the golf course and really give me a almost jump start at the lowest point of my career. That was huge at the time.
You know, beyond that, I don't know if it was -- I don't know if it's one particular thing for you. I think it was just kind of a gradual thing that maybe was maybe not working as well as he would have liked.

Q. Anything surprise you? I mean, now, looking back and what you felt going in about what he was able to do for you or what he brought to you that maybe you wouldn't have expected?
ANDY RODDICK: Anything surprise me?

Q. Yeah, about what he brought to coaching with you and stuff. What you learned from him, or part of his personality or whatever?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, there's lots about his personality. You know -- you expect what you see on the court, and that's almost the polar opposite from what you get when you're out to dinner as far as him being a complete gentleman away from the court.
As far as what he was able to bring to my game, I wouldn't even -- I went in with no expectations. We hadn't met before we started hitting together and the little run before the US Open, so I don't know what I had as far as expectations. But I'm thankful for the time he did give to me.

Q. Did you miss the fact that he wasn't there at most of your matches and wasn't willing to travel? Was that part of the tipping point?
ANDY RODDICK: Let's be honest. If we're calling a spade a spade, most of the time it was Doug, John, and myself, anyway. But it was great to have kind of a mentor and somebody you could go to who knew what it was like to play in the semifinal of a Grand Slam or final of a Grand Slam. Those are few and far between, so it was nice.
But it's also tough when you don't get face time with someone for three weeks or a month or whatever. Like I said, I think we made it work as well as we could.
At the time in my career when he came into it, it was huge for me. You know, we had you guys saying I was never going to win another tennis match, and two months later I was in the finals of the US Open. I think it served its purpose, and I'm really happy with it.

Q. You said, picked you up at your lowest point. Obviously after two wins your last two tournaments this is far from your lowest point. You think maybe this is back to where you were four or five years ago?
ANDY RODDICK: In Dubai, it was pretty close. It might have been better. I was hitting the ball great there and I was serving well and things were clicking. Now it's a matter of, the guys that I beat there, what they're able to do is to do that on a week-to-week basis, and that's what I need to get to.
But it's nice to have gotten those wins and at least show myself that I can do it, and now it's just a matter of getting consistent with that kind of -- with that level.

Q. I saw this week that you decided not to play in the Olympics this year.

Q. Knowing how much your country means and the Davis Cup, how difficult was that a decision to arrive at?
ANDY RODDICK: It was tough. Thankfully I've gotten to go through the Olympic experience once, which I think is huge for any athlete. But when kind of working out my schedule, you know, it's kind of down to the decision, do you go there and try to wing it at the Olympics and, you know, deal with everything that goes along with it? It's pretty hectic. And tennis players, it's -- a lot of it's out of your control as far as, you know, it's not our normal tournament, per se.
You go kind of deal with all that, or, you know, is winning the US Open or trying to put together a run there the priority. This time I decided that that was the priority. And I don't know if switching time zones from completely different, you know, time zones for two weeks and then come back and have four days and then you're starting US Open, I don't know if that was the best preparation.
That being said, it wasn't an easy decision, even considering all of that.

Q. Having in mind that you just recently have beaten Novak and Rafa Nadal, is it now maybe the fact that you know Novak's game better now?
ANDY RODDICK: No, huh-uh. I don't -- (Laughter.)

Q. Would you compare, please, for Serbian media his game and Roger Federer's game? Is there any similarity?
ANDY RODDICK: Similarity in the fact that they're just really, really good tennis players. You know, as far as forehands and backhands and the way they play, it's probably not as similar, you know.
But the great thing about Novak is he doesn't give up any ground on the baseline. You never feel like he's overswinging at the ball, and his depth and ability to -- he's probably the best in the world at changing directions. You can fire a ball into him, and he's kind of able to put an easy swing on it and kind of change directions. I think that might get lost on some that are just kind of watching on TV. He makes it look easy.
But he really hits two or three balls to the same spot. He's able to kind of move the ball around, which is one of his biggest strengths.

Q. Andy, what is going on, if you don't mind, in the love department? You know, you've got all these pretty little kitty girls in the tennis skirts and they're going to come and oogle and ogle you and give you the little winky.

Q. Is it any fun? It's like you got to respect the athlete.
ANDY RODDICK: God, you need to come around more often. This is fun! Jesus.

Q. The girls are here for something.
ANDY RODDICK: I finally have somebody more hyperactive than I am. Unbelievable. What did you eat for breakfast? (Laughter.)
Q. My mother cooked breakfast for me.
ANDY RODDICK: Did she wear one of those cutey little tennis skirts too when she was cooking those eggs this morning? I don't even know what you asked.

Q. I asked what's up in the love department? What's going on now with the career and the profession, you've got, as far as time zones are concerned --

Q. -- do you make time for love?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm all about the love. (Laughter.) I love everybody. I'm falling in love with you as we speak.

Q. You're wonderful. Thank you for being here.
ANDY RODDICK: You're awesome.

Q. Yeah, I know. On behalf of myself and all the young girls --
ANDY RODDICK: Thank you.

Q. -- we have a crush on you. We adore your performances here.
ANDY RODDICK: Thank you. I will never forget this moment.

Q. I'll bring it back down-to-earth now. So Andy, John's been with you for years now. Is it just going to be John or a consultant in the future?
ANDY RODDICK: You guys can end the speculation. I'm not looking for anything right now.
I'm -- yeah, I'm happy with where we are, and I'm fine with things the way they are right now.

Q. When it came time for scheduling, how would the schedule have worked for you to play both the Olympics and the US Open? That's pretty brutal.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think there are enough weeks in the year to play all the tournaments we do play not in an Olympic year. We play the longest schedule and most consistent schedule when you're not dealing with the biggest sporting event in the world, so I'm not going to sit here and try to come up with a schedule that would be great for everyone.
RENNAE STUBBS: I'm trying to do an interview in there. Can you keep it down.
ANDY RODDICK: Can I keep it down? Wow. I don't know if there are enough weeks, and it's just -- it's just tough that it comes before probably the biggest event in my year.

Q. When I was talking to James he says he feels like it's mid-season because you have to go and play in December for the Davis Cup.

Q. Do you think that might have helped you a little bit, because now you're in a good rhythm this year?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. It's -- I didn't play a lot last fall, so, you know, the thing -- you know, I'll normally take -- you know, take playing too much for all it's worth, and you guys know I'll do that.
I didn't play that much last fall, so I'm -- you know, I don't know about mid-season and all that. I think James played a lot heavier fall schedule, so maybe it's a little bit different for us.

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