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March 20, 2010
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
A. RODDICK/R. Soderling
6-4, 3-6, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How's your bracket looking?
ANDY RODDICK: Horrible. Horrible. Let's get back to that and start off with something positive, please.
Q. What does it mean to you to get to the finals here, and what would it mean to win this tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: I can answer one of those, because I know about one of those now.
You know, I was a little bit banged up after San Jose/Memphis, and I didn't feel like I was playing all that well. But I kind of went home and got back to neutral, put in some work.
You know, for a bigger result to come this week, it was -- I think I needed it. I think it was good timing, and I'd love to see it one further.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about that end of that second set and the third set. He broke you late, and then he broke back early. What was going through your mind, and how do you get it back on track?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, you know, he started seeing his returns a lot better. You know, especially his second serve returns. He was making me pay for it whenever I missed a first serve, so I was definitely conscious of that.
There's not much more to be done. You try to stay the course. I knew I was returning real well, so I thought this might be the rare occasion where that would be the thing that won it for me.
I think ultimately the fact that I put a lot of pressure on his service games, you know, ended up helping. You know, I normally don't need two breaks to win a set, but today I did.
Q. Ivan was asked about playing you or Soderling, and he said he had gotten the sense you were pushing the ball back a little bit. That you were serving well, but his impression was that you were pushing the ball.
ANDY RODDICK: That's fine.
Q. You don't feel that way, obviously.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't really care, to be honest. We'll see. We'll be able to deal with that soon enough, right?
Q. What kind of match are you looking for tomorrow?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's obviously gonna revolve around serve a little bit. You know, he did a great job of serving big points today. You know, it seemed like he came up with a big serve every time.
It felt like, you know, Rafa was controlling the rallies once he got back to neutral, but he was having trouble getting it back to neutral. It's gonna be a challenge to do that also for me.
It's just gonna be a matter of who can convert their chances.
Q. What do you think you've been doing well this week that's been helping you play well?
ANDY RODDICK: I've been returning better. I've been getting breaks pretty consistently. I think I've only been to one tiebreaker. That's rare for me, and, you know, either means something good or something bad. This week it was a good thing, I guess.
Q. Returning deep, returning hard?
ANDY RODDICK: I'll take returning in. (laughter.)
Q. You won a bunch of tournaments. What would it mean to win this one, considering the field and everything that's kind of gone on the last couple years?
ANDY RODDICK: It would be great. You know, this is probably the only, you know, real big tournament in North America that I haven't won. So, you know, I definitely would love to win it.
Q. After Memphis and San Jose, did you just go home and get healthy? Did you do anything specific workout-wise? What's been the change?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, no, I mean, there's -- you wake up and there's normally, you know, a fitness workout. Then it's -- you have tennis sometime in the afternoon. In between those it's, you know, various types of massage treatments and chiropractic treatments, kind of all sorts of stuff.
But when you get that kind of groove going for 12 or 14 days, it does make a difference.
Q. The reputation of this area is sort of quiet and sleepy, kind of place full of rather ancient people. Do you think they can get going tomorrow and maybe play an important part in the outcome?
ANDY RODDICK: You're going to be the favorite journalist of Palm Desert before you're all said and done, Neil. It's a great -- no, but it's a great place. I mean you've been --
Q. I didn't say it wasn't great.
ANDY RODDICK: You've been here long enough where your freckles have connected, and now you look tan. (laughter.)
Q. But do you think these nice gentle...
ANDY RODDICK: No, I know, the only reason I'm ripping on you is so that 16,000 will be allowed tomorrow. They're gonna enjoy this and get behind me. I appreciate that bridge to rowdiness. (laughter.)
Q. Can you talk about just playing a final in America compared to finals everywhere else? How has that been different for you?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, obviously -- most of the time I've had the support, more so recently. You know, it's great. I feel like the crowd was on my side today, and, you know, I would hope they're there tomorrow again. You know, they certainly have an effect on a match.
Q. Let's go to the hoops. How do you break it down?
ANDY RODDICK: How did I break it down or...
Q. What happened to your bracket?
ANDY RODDICK: It blew up while I was on court this afternoon.
Q. Had you ever heard of Ali Farokhmanesh?
ANDY RODDICK: The guy that drilled the three when he should have dribbled out the clock? That was cold hearted. I saw the replay there. I could not believe it. That's one of those where the coach is, No, no, no, no... Yes.
That was a terrible play up until the ball went through the hole.
Q. What's the biggest shot where you would be, no, I shouldn't; oh, yes, I should've?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't make many shots when I played high school basketball.
Q. I was talking about tennis.
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, tennis? I've said that a lot of times. You know, the second serve where you go for a little bit more than you should have and get away with it.
That's probably happened a little bit more than the Northern Iowa's basketball program.
Q. When you came off the court today, did you say anything to Larry?
ANDY RODDICK: I say a lot to Larry.
Q. Anything in particular today about the finals or anything like that?
ANDY RODDICK: No.
Q. Talk about your finesse game. You had some great retreats earlier in the tournament and a really nice dropshot today. Is it just a lot more confident? Do you feel more comfortable? Just talk about your finesse game.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's obviously the -- probably the last part of my game that kind of has come around in my career. I think it is a confidence thing. When I'm feeling good -- when I feel good I feel a little more confident playing those shots.
There was a big one at 30-15 when I was serving it out today. He hit a dropshot and I was able to kind of put the ball where I wanted to up the line and followed up with a pretty good volley. It worked out today.
Q. People tend to come to these events with an expectation that probably one of the top 4 will be in the final. What do you think it says about the strength of the men's game that it's you against Ivan tomorrow?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, let's be fair. Those fans would be probably correct 9 times -- you know, 99 out of 100 times, you know. The top 4 of, you know, the top 4 or 5 have definitely established themselves. They deserve that reputation that you're talking about.
You know, but the reason you play the matches and the reason you come out and play the sport is because anything happens. You know, we've seen that enough today here, and around our little basketball tourney that we have here in America.
Q. Is this event as important as Miami? There's a certain sense the energy is going to Miami this year.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I'd say so. Why wouldn't it be? I mean, why wouldn't it be? The points are all the same and everything, you know. Sure.
End of FastScripts