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March 8, 2009
A. RODDICK/S. Wawrinka
6-4, 6-4, 6-2
TIM CURRY: Questions for Andy, please.
Q. Pretty Goody's play of power tennis. Your movement seemed to be really good today.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's been pretty good all year. That's just the way tennis has gone in the last -- even since I started seven, eight years ago. You see a lot more guys serving big and less guys moving well. I should say everybody serves big as opposed to it being kind of a standout thing.
You try to adjust and you try to keep up with the Jonses.
Q. Any little bit of trepidation in that Love-30 situation set one?
ANDY RODDICK: Sure. Sure. But something I've been doing better this year is just kind of -- Larry has been big on it -- taking your time. You can't win all the points back at once. It's going to be a process when you're down Love-30. Just try to go at it.
I made him play every point. He kind of toughed them out there from 30 on there with a couple of rallies.
Anytime you're serving a set out, you don't want to be down Love-30. I guess that's better than Love-40.
Q. Did the time change affect either of you, do you think?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I don't think so.
Q. Did it for you?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, with respect to daylight savings, we've gone from Memphis to Dubai before. We've crossed continents and countries. An hour time change I don't think was really probably too significant. If it was, probably easier things to do.
Q. Would you talk about the 11-0 record on final days. Is there something different for you? How do you explain that kind of dominance?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, in order to clinch, your team has to put you up 2-1. So I've always had a chance to play that fourth match. A lot of it is circumstantial, just the way the schedule and the draw plays out. I've gotten a lot of chances to do that.
But I think I've simplified the way I look at it. You come in and, regardless of what the score is, everyone makes a big deal about it, obviously it's extremely relevant, but at the same time my job is to come in and try to win a point each day that I play.
I think that's why having Bob and Mike on the team has made it a lot easier on us, just because we don't have to worry about that middle day. I was never much of a factor to try to play doubles anyway, but there was always that thought.
You come in, and each person has their kind of defined role. It's almost like maybe a pitching staff. You know what you have to do. The rest of it's out of your control. Regardless if you're on a three-game losing streak or not, when it comes to your spot in the rotation, you want to try to pick up a point.
Q. Mike and Bob mentioned yesterday they didn't know there was any history on the line with them becoming the best doubles pair. Your history today, moving past Andre, what does that mean to you? Were you aware of it?
ANDY RODDICK: I was aware of it. I'm kind of a nerd about the history of our sport. It was in the back of my mind. You know about it, but then I didn't think about it until it was brought up yesterday that I tied. Probably few moments in your career where you really kind of sit back and are maybe a little bit impressed.
But when you get mentioned with Andre, who I grew up watching, I was a little late for Johnny Mack and his dominance in Davis Cup as a singles player, but Andre was always the guy that everyone leaned on to come through, to play.
To kind of surpass him now, it's extremely surreal. But it's definitely one of those fun moments also.
Q. Wasn't a great result at the time, but what did you take away from '05, playing with Andre in L.A. against Croatia?
ANDY RODDICK: I wish I could have played better for him. I'm sure he wishes he would have played better also.
But I think more so than that weeks, my memories with Andre are from how great he treated me when I was 17, 18 years old, coming up. Once I think he felt -- I don't know if it was a conscious thing or whatever, but maybe when he felt I could go it on my own, he maybe distanced himself a little bit. He was a huge part of me first coming up even before I had an ATP ranking. He took an interest in me, was always full of advice. We spent weeks practicing together.
I probably learned a lot more during that time than maybe that specific tie.
Q. You're a squared-away team. Lots of times great teams mean great coaches. Can you talk about Patrick's coaching style, what he brought to the team.
ANDY RODDICK: First of all, he's passionate about the job. He'll tell you what he thinks.
But I think the most impressive thing about Patrick has been his ability to adjust over the course of eight or nine years. He's not the same captain he was when we first came on. We were all a little bit younger. Maybe we didn't know how to run our weeks of practice. He was probably a little bit more forthright in what he wanted from the team and everything.
I think as we've gotten older, I think he's learned to trust us a little bit more and to back off. Bob and Mike know what they're going to do, their doubles drill. Patrick is there to facilitate it a little bit more. I think that's impressive from the standpoint of a coach, to really adjust to your players.
I think he needs to maybe -- maybe that part of it doesn't get acknowledged.
Q. Talk about the challenge of playing Croatia on clay, the possibility of clay, right after playing on grass at Wimbledon.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, they'll have the same challenge. You know, everyone's saying clay. I mean, I'm not entirely convinced it's going to be on clay. I don't know if that really helps them all that much.
It's going to be a choice of whether they want to try to help themselves a lot or just make us uncomfortable. I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that we'll play on clay, especially with the success they had against us twice on hard surfaces. Once in '03, I wasn't at that one, but beating us on hard at home.
We'll see. Everyone's kind of quickly jumping on that assumption, but I don't know if it's a slam-dunk.
Q. Do you have a target percentage you look for in first serves? Today was 73%. Talk about the way you served today, what you look for.
ANDY RODDICK: That's about right.
No, I mean, I don't know. High 60s is good. This year I think coming into the weekend I was at about 70% first serves made for the year so far. That's really good. The guys that I'm up there with right now are guys who might kick a lot of first serves in or whatnot. That's kind of been the progression of my serve.
My coach says it's not so much about doing it, but you got to pitch a good ballgame. That will be more advantageous to you. So I've tried to do that a little bit.
I guess the percentages are reflective of that a little bit.
Q. I know family members of yours were bidding to bring the first-round tie to Texas. Did any of them make the trip?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I'm the lone one.
Q. How do you think Birmingham compared as a Davis Cup host to other cities? What stood out to you good or bad?
ANDY RODDICK: I thought it was great. As much or more so than any other city, you know, we'll be walking around, and people will come up and say, Thank you for coming to Birmingham. That's pretty humbling. I think we always feel privileged for someone to kind of almost make us members of their city for a week at a time, make us feel at home.
It seems like people were certainly appreciative that we were here. It goes both ways. We were appreciative of that. It was a really good atmosphere. I feel like they definitely got more and more vocal as the days went on. It was a lot of fun to be here.
Q. At what point in a match like today did you know you have it right where you want it?
ANDY RODDICK: I was feeling pretty good about my chances when I got that second break in the third. It's little steps to get to a big result always in a tennis match. When you're watching, it kind of looks easy.
If I lose serve in the first set at Love-30, it can completely change the dynamic of the match. You win the first set, you realize it's going to be a long road for him. Second set, you feel like you're in control, but you still just want to put your claims down. I almost let the third set get away from me the first day.
I took a little bit of a deep breath when I got up two breaks in the third, then promptly got down Love-30 again (laughter).
Q. Pitching a ballgame, your serve, you had that ace to go up to get to match point. Looked like you took a little bit off of it, spun it in. Is that accurate?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know that I was consciously trying to do it. I think the thing with this court, if you get action, the court will help you out a little bit. You don't have to go quite as big, especially on the wide serves because it will tail away a little bit. He hadn't shown me he was willing to come over returns at that point. He was just chipping it. I knew I had a little bit of leeway there. Came off that way, but I don't know if I intended it to, though.
Q. What do you think when a teammate comes out on TV and says it's a done deal, Andy is going to win?
ANDY RODDICK: I was putting on my shoes. It was on. I don't know what he said. He said, He's our closer. So I said, Goddammit, Mike. I was putting on my shoes. He goes, I guarantee victory. I progressively just got tighter and tighter as he was talking.
But I guess it would have been easy to blame him if I would have lost (laughter). He ended up looking smart.
Q. Wawrinka said his strategy was to attack, you attack the net.
ANDY RODDICK: For what now?
Q. To attack. To attack you. Did you expect him to want to go with longer rallies?
ANDY RODDICK: I thought he actually was going longer rallies. He came out of the gates firing his forehand pretty hard. I didn't really feel that he was trying to get in a whole lot. Certainly I feel like if I'm serving well, that's going to be a tough task. But he was coming out of his shoes on his forehand early on. Was successful early on. But I wanted to make him do it. It's a lot easier to come out of your shoes when you're up 30-Love as opposed to a 30-All point on your own serve.
He actually laid off his backhand a little bit more than I thought he was and was going for his forehand, which is a little bit different than what he might normally do. But I think I must have been doing something okay if that was the strategy. I don't feel like he was on the net too much.
Q. Croatia, slightly new cast of characters. What kind of new challenges do Cilic and Karlovic who can serve out after tree present?
ANDY RODDICK: We'll see if Karlovic is a factor in the singles. My guess is we're going to be looking at Ancic and Cilic. He's a young guy. He's kind of like a Gumby mover. A bit deceiving. Doesn't look like he's the fastest guy, but he hits well reaching, which sometimes is better than moving. He's certainly able to create. It seems like every person in Croatia is at least 6'7" or taller. We're definitely looking up.
But they're an aggressive team and certainly one that we respect. We'll have our hands full.
Q. Your serve was going in like 130. What's the fastest you've ever served?
ANDY RODDICK: 263 miles an hour (laughter). If I was a car, I'd be a Ferrari. No, I'm joking (laughter). I'm joking. Don't let that be a headline somewhere. Completely joking.
155. Lost a little. Seriously, no one write that Ferrari line. Don't do it (laughter). Please, don't.
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