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June 21, 2008

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy Roddick.

Q. How is your preparation going? Feeling fit, where you want to be physically, mentally?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah (smiling).
No, I feel okay. You know, I came out of Queen's healthy, which is what I wanted. Going in there I didn't really know what was going to happen. But, you know, I've been practicing here this week. It's been going okay. It's not perfect, but it's good enough.

Q. What's not perfect about it?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, doesn't feel as good as it should some days.

Q. Are you talking about the back?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, your question was all-inclusive, so I'm kind of going with my chi, my physical, mental, all that (smiling).

Q. How is your back?
ANDY RODDICK: Good. Yours (smiling)?
No, I'm all right. I'm good.

Q. How do you see your chances this year?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, they're all right. I mean, obviously I think, you know, the three guys have established themselves as most consistent on tour this year, there's no question about that.
I think they're certainly the favorites, but I'd consider myself probably right after them.

Q. Do you buy into the notion that Roger is more vulnerable than he has been the last few years?
ANDY RODDICK: No. If I'm being honest with everybody, I got that question at Queen's. I think I got the question, Can Roger win Wimbledon? I found that to be one of the most ridiculous questions I've ever answered in my life. You know, he's won it five times. I'm not sure what else he has to do.
I don't think it would surprise anybody if he came in here and won this tournament. I think some other guys have started playing well. He probably hasn't been as sharp, but, you know, what's that? Losing three matches in a year? I don't think that happens forever.
But, I mean, he's still the favorite here until someone else proves otherwise.

Q. What did you make of the French Open final, the way he played that match?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, you know what, I was watching the commentary, and there's one way that Roger is going to beat Nadal on a clay court, and that's going after his shots. You're going to play high risk. It's going to be tough. If you're off, that's what's gonna happen.
Could he have gotten more games sitting back and being patient, doing that? Probably. But he wasn't going to win a tennis match doing that.
For all the people -- he had to commit to a certain way, he had to play that way. He did that. No one was beating Rafa on clay this year. The way he was playing was probably the best tennis that's ever been played on a clay court.
For him to get just torched for trying something and kind of going after it, doing a game plan, having it not work, it's easy to say at the end of the day, if that didn't work, it's easy for us to sit here and say he should have done something different.

Q. What did you see out of Nadal from last week, and maybe the difference between that match and February I think it was the last time you played him? I know it was a different surface.
ANDY RODDICK: It was March.
I mean, he's playing well. There's no doubt about that. I think grass helps his serve a lot, probably more so than a hard court. I didn't feel sharp. I felt like I was hanging on from the beginning of that match. I hadn't really played much. I went into that one probably knowing it was going to be an uphill battle with how match-sharp he was.
He feels comfortable on the surface. He's able to create big shots from odd angles, which you get a lot on this surface as well. We'll see. I'm sure he had a pretty light week this week. Everyone acts surprised he's playing well on grass. He made the Wimbledon final the last two years, so I'm not really that surprised.

Q. You're a pretty big basketball fan. Did you get to watch much of the NBA Finals? Were you a little bit surprised at the way the final game went? Knowing sports the way you do, does nothing surprise you?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, I was happy for Boston. I was happy for Garnett, the way he went about it. I was wrong. I had L.A. winning that series. I didn't get to watch many games because I was over here the whole time. They started at 2:00 2:30 in the morning. That was out of play.
I'm strictly going on box scores here. I'd have a hard time giving you much more than that.

Q. What is your comfort level here and at the US Open on a hard court? Can you compare the two? Are you more comfortable one place or the other?
ANDY RODDICK: I feel fine on both. I enjoy playing on a fast hard court and I enjoy playing on grass. I've done pretty well at both places.
That being said, they're two entirely different entities. This is kind of the old tradition. The Open is just kind of a free-for-all, wild and crazy thing. So there's a little bit of a different vibe to each of them.
But I enjoy being at both places.

Q. What's your favorite thing about Wimbledon?
ANDY RODDICK: I love all the traditions. I love the all white. I love the no play on the middle Sunday. I love the stuff growing on the side of the walls. I love walking around. They meant for that to be there, right (smiling)?

Q. What's the worst thing about Wimbledon?
ANDY RODDICK: The worst thing? That I haven't won it yet.

Q. Did you have a chance to watch the golf last week? What are your thoughts on Tiger Woods, both what he accomplished and him being out now?
ANDY RODDICK: I think he's going to be a good golfer (laughter). I do.

Q. When an injury like that happens, every athlete, of course, is right on the edge. Your body is vulnerable. Do you give much thought that this could happen to you, somebody else?
ANDY RODDICK: I could walk with my shoulder the way it is.
No, I mean, it was amazing. Especially, I think, learning kind of the extent of everything after the fact. But it was good drama when Goosen called him out and then he was actually hurt for the rest of the year. You guys have to admit, that was pretty good drama, right? I enjoyed that. That was like a soap opera.
But, no, I mean, you know someone's great when they kind of have all this stuff stacked against them and they're going into 18 down a stroke. I think there were four or five guys in our little area watching the TV, and all of them are going, He's going to win this. He's the favorite at this point. We literally had the discussion, who was the favorite at this point. It was him.
I don't know if anything he does surprises anybody any more, but there's no doubt that was a special performance. It was great TV, also.

Q. When you're playing sports, American football, people say they don't think of the possibility of an injury. You've had some hurt. Do you think it might happen to you, or do you try to ignore it and play the game?
ANDY RODDICK: I think if you go out there with a pre-existing injury, if you're gonna play through it, you probably either know that it's hopefully not going to make it worse to the point where it's gonna cause damage for, you know, a lot of time down the line.
Or, like in Tiger's case, you say, you know, we're going to let it all ride on this one thing and you just go.
I don't think if you're gonna play with an injury you can kind of be in between. If you're going to commit to playing something, I think you just have to do it.

Q. Were you disappointed at all with your seeding, considering your record here?
ANDY RODDICK: I was a little surprised. But at the end of the day, I deserve what I get. If I'm 6 in the world, they seed me 6, I can't really complain about anything. I don't know if it would have surprised me if I would have been bumped up, considering I've done pretty well on grass.
At the same time, I get it and I understand. I can't complain about not being seeded ahead of guys who are ranked ahead of me.

Q. We've seen a lot of great dirt ballers not being able to translate their games to grass. I'm wondering if that's specific to Nadal, or is that something about the way grass is playing today versus 10 or 20 years ago?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I think both. Nadal's a different animal than people who you would call dirt ballers. He's stronger. He's bigger. You know, he doesn't play kind of soft tennis. You know, he kind of goes after it. He can bully the ball, also.
But, I mean, I think there's no doubt you've seen a lot more guys in the years -- you know, let's say in the '80s, '90s, whatever, you had one guy that maybe won from the baseline, and that was Andre in '92.
Now you kind of see it more and more and more and more and more. Reasons for that? We could sit here and have a discussion. But, you know, I don't think it's coincidental that maybe it's slowed down and you see a lot more guys winning from the baseline.

Q. Do you feel like you need to be match tough, or are you a veteran now and you can go out there and do your work and you don't need three or four tournaments behind you?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I don't need three or four tournaments behind me. It is important for me to get my feet into this tournament. If I get to the point where I want to get in this tournament further on in the second week, I mean, getting through that first week should be plenty.

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