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September 2, 2008
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
A. RODDICK/F. GonzĂˇlez
6-2, 6-4, 6-1
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Are you happy with not only your serving, but how you controlled your serve?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I haven't seen the numbers yet, but I didn't get broken, so that makes a good serving night. I think one thing I've been doing pretty well in this tournament has been hitting my second serve pretty well. So even if I missed the first serve, I've been hitting a decent number of second serve points.
Q. It's not often you play a high level player like Fernando, three sets and only lose nine points on your serve. That was pretty impressive.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I didn't know that. To be honest when you're out there, you always feel like that next game, if he strikes a couple, then you're kind of battling at 30-All. You just don't want the tide of the match to change at all.
But I've served well before. I think the fact that, you know, I broke him almost as many times as he held - I think I broke him five times and he held seven times. That's a good number for me. That's probably more important than the serving.
Q. Where was your level tonight? How would you characterize it?
ANDY RODDICK: It was good. I don't know if I let him play the way he wanted to. I didn't let him set up for a lot of shots. I don't feel like -- he's obviously going to hit his winners, but I don't feel like I let him get away with his slice, to kind of set up his forehand, and kind of run around and get rhythm.
I did pitch a good ball game, so I don't feel like he had much of a rhythm to go for. And then all of a sudden, if he did play a big point at 30-All or a break point or something, I'd bear down and make him hit balls. I thought it was a little bit different for him.
So I was happy with the way I executed the game plan tonight.
Q. I can hardly think of a bigger contrast, playing speed than and you Novak. Does that present any problems for you just on its face?
ANDY RODDICK: No, you know, he can do what he wants on his service games, and I'm going to do what I want on my service games.
I think as long as we both respect that, then, you know, it's fine. You wait a little longer when he serves, but you know that going in. I don't have anywhere else to be, so it will be all right.
Q. Obviously the conventional wisdom would be that he's had a much rougher road to this point than you have, but is it dangerous to assume anything from that?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, he's also had a much better year to this point, you know. So it's a matter of, if you want to look back 10 days or 10 months.
You know, he's the favorite, and it seems like every Grand Slam, he's having these long, drawn-out kind of battles, and he can't go anymore and all these things. And I'm not really going to worry about all that. I'm just going to try to play my match. The story lines are the story lines. I just want to stick to it and play well.
Q. With that, though, do you feel good about how you feel, having not played the Olympics and limited your schedule a little bit? Do you feel the benefits of that right now?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I mean, it's tough to say.
I made a decision. I don't know if it was the right one or not. I'm certainly not going to give the credit for me playing well here to not going to the Olympics, because I played like crap while the Olympics was going on.
I certainly didn't have any momentum coming off of Washington. I played horrendous there. I don't know. I think more than anything I had a full week to prepare here for the first time in a long time, and I think that helped.
Q. With the way he plays and his style, does it almost mandate that it's going to be a grind? Because it's not easy to knock Djokovic out of points early, even if you're playing well.
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, sure. You're going to have to go to work. He goes to work pretty much every point, and, my service game, he's going to put returns in, he puts guys in pressure. It seems like a lot of times there'd be breaks back and forth with him. You know going in that you're going to have to go to work.
Q. When asked about his injuries today, mentioning the right ankle as opposed to the left ankle, the other day --
ANDY RODDICK: Isn't it both of them? And a back and a hip?
Q. And when he said there are too many to count.
ANDY RODDICK: And a cramp.
Q. Do you get the sense right now that he is...
ANDY RODDICK: Bird flu.
Q. Lot of things. Beijing hangover.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. He's got pretty long list of illness.
ANDY RODDICK: Anthrax. SARS. Common cough and cold.
Q. Got a lot of things going on with him.
ANDY RODDICK: Sure.
Q. Do you think he's bluffing?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, I'm sure --
Q. The way you're saying it, almost means you feel like...
ANDY RODDICK: No, if it's there, it's there. There's just a lot. You know, he's either quick to call a trainer or he's the most courageous guy of all time. I think it's up for you guys to decide.
Q. You talked quite a bit at Wimbledon about wanting it too much. So I know you probably feel that you want this as much as you wanted that. How do you keep from falling into that manhole?
ANDY RODDICK: It's a lot easier to want something and go out and try and execute when you've been able to practice a little bit. To be fair, I probably shouldn't -- I probably shouldn't have played Wimbledon with all that was going on. I did. You know, presented with the same decision, I'd probably do it again. It is Wimbledon. It was extremely frustrating at the time to know what you have to do and not be able to execute. It's a lot different situation when you're coming in, you know, not confident of what you can do on the court, nothing really feels comfortable, it almost exacerbates the problem. Makes it a lot worse.
So I was pressing there a lot more. You know, I wanted everything to get better quickly, and I don't know if that was realistic.
Q. The level of Gonzalez, was it a surprise for you?
ANDY RODDICK: What?
Q. The level of play. 33 unforced errors. 6 double faults.
ANDY RODDICK: Sure.
Q. For GonzĂˇlez.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. There are certain nights when you feel like someone -- I felt like I might have had a small part to do with that tonight. I felt like I played pretty well and was able to take him out of his rhythm early and set the tone for the match. From there, maybe he was trying to press a little bit.
But, you know, I'll take credit for a little bit of that tonight. I thought I played pretty well.
Q. You said a couple of nights back that a lot of people didn't expect you to be around very long. Now you're through to the quarterfinal. How do you feel about that?
ANDY RODDICK: I feel good. Yeah, I mean, I guess it pissed me off a little bit when I'm going in against Gulbis, and everyone is predicting an upset to a guy one game over .500 for the year, especially here in New York.
In a strange way, that probably helped a lot. I don't think it was -- considering my form coming in, it probably wasn't the craziest thing, but I used it how I should have used it, I guess.
But you give yourself a chance, and now I'm in line to make something really good happen, you know. If you get through the next one, then you got a shot at it.
I'm just happy that I'm playing good tennis again. Win or lose, you know, tonight it's been a long time since I've played consecutive matches pretty well. I was just real happy at the end of it.
Q. Two close matches with Djokovic. What happened in Dubai that was the difference you think in that match?
ANDY RODDICK: Similar matches, you know. Just one way or the other. Couple of points, I probably played more aggressively in Dubai than I did in Canada. He kind of took it to me in the breakers in Canada, and might have been the other way around in Dubai. It's going to be close, because, you know, I think it's a pretty good matchup, and he returns pretty well. I serve pretty well. It will come down to momentum one way or the other, probably.
Q. Even though I know Djokovic has had a good year, especially the first quarter, I'm surprised to have you call him the favorite, given this is the Open.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. So you want to talk about that a little bit? Do you really feel like you're the underdog going into that match?
ANDY RODDICK: Sure.
Q. You don't look like it.
ANDY RODDICK: What?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. He's No. 3 in the world; I'm 8. It's pretty straightforward.
Q. When you came in here on the Saturday before the tournament began, Rafa's name was on the sign right there and you came in and you made a comment like, oh, sorry to disappoint you guys. Remember that?
ANDY RODDICK: I do.
Q. Well, yes. And it sort of seemed as if you were making an apology and that maybe there was a sense of, I don't know, insecurity or something. I mean, it's not a champion kind of comment. Do you feel that in the eight, nine days it's been since then that you have sort of regained a little bit of security or swagger or whatever?
ANDY RODDICK: I feel like we should be on a couch for this session. (laughter.)
Talk about my childhood maybe.
Q. Just eight days ago?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Thanks.
No, I think it was more of a joke, just with, you know, with all the hype around Rafa -- it's not hype if he's produced the results that he has. That's not the right term.
But, you know, there's just people in here, and his name was there. I don't think it was apologetic, by any means. I think that's a little bit of a stretch.
I feel like it was more of, maybe just me trying to be funny.
Q. Do you think your head is in a different place now than it was then?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, sure. There's a lot of uncertainty coming in for me. You know, I saw the draw, too, with what Fabrice has been able to kind of do and Gulbis, and then even Fernando coming off of a silver at the Olympics.
I mean, I haven't been playing great. I don't think I pretended that I was playing great. I said there are a lot of variables that will have to go right for me to play better. Fortunately I have my feet into the tournament a little bit and I have played better.
Q. Does McEnroe affect how you're feeling? Is he strategizing in a different way with you when you go to your matches?
ANDY RODDICK: Different than what? I mean, we've -- yeah, I don't think so. I mean, no different than we've done at Davis Cup for the past however long.
You know, just going over matches, you know. I don't think -- yeah, I don't know. I don't know if you can put a whole lot into that. It's been great, and, you know, like I've said, it was the obvious best choice for kind of a short-term solution here. You know, I think we were both comfortable with that.
Q. What's your breakdown on tomorrow night, Mardy and Rafa?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, Mardy's going to have to serve well. That's first and foremost, and he has been. Mardy's going to -- I'm sure he's going to be getting in on everything. He's not going to want to sit back there and have a lot of long rallies. But this court is playing quick enough that if he can serve well, he's got to try to make it a match, you know. Once you're in the trenches, then who knows?
He's going to have to serve well. I think that's one of the most important things.
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