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April 4, 2010

Andy Roddick


A. RODDICK/T. Berdych
7-5, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Andy, nice going.
ANDY RODDICK: Thank you.

Q. You were playing a fine player today.

Q. And he doesn't even have one breakpoint.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, well -- yeah. It was a pretty good day. It wasn't really serving. I think the rest of it was pretty clean. He had Love-30 a couple times early.
You know, it is a surprising stat, especially on one side. It was real rough with the sun on first serves you're having to the adjust your toss and seeing spots on the first ball.
I think that's what helped me break in the first set, you know, but I think it was maybe a little bit of an advantage that I played out there in that time slot a couple times.

Q. Everyone talks about your big bomb first serve. Are you proud of the fact that you got like four pitches: the change of pace, the curve, the kick. Did that help you out there today as well?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm fine with it. I mean, a lot of people, you know, they say the serve is fine and the rest of it's pretty average. That's all right.
But there are a lot of guys with big serves who are pretty average, so there's got to be some difference.

Q. He seemed to be having trouble finding a rhythm because of what you were doing, and then he lines up on the wrong side to serve. What was your reaction to that?
ANDY RODDICK: I just wanted to know if he thought it was 30-40, because if that was the case, I was gonna try to let everyone just kind of keep it under the -- keep it chill and we were just gonna go with it.
I actually said that to the umpire. I go, He wants to give it to me. I don't know what he thought it was. If he thought it was 30-40, we should have just shut up.

Q. Do you think there's any connection there? Do you make anything of it that he's trying to figure out...
ANDY RODDICK: No. I guarantee you, every person who's played tennis before has lined up on the wrong side.

Q. Not usually in the first set of a final, though.
ANDY RODDICK: I would say something, but I'm guaranteed you could find tape of me doing that some time somewhere. I didn't think much it. He came out and won the game still, so I didn't think much of it.

Q. What does this title mean to you in the grand scheme of your career? What does it mean?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, obviously it's a big title for me. You know, I felt a little bit of pressure to win this one, because I had a pretty good opportunity in Indian Wells and didn't come through there.
You know, but I think just the last month has been real good for me. You know, I've played well on the big moments. Haven't had an off day mentally. I've been able to execute. I've been able to, you know, have a game plan and execute it regardless of what kind of shots it takes.
So it's all good. It's all encouraging.

Q. Could you talk a little bit perhaps about the maturing that you've undergone?
ANDY RODDICK: I get a lot credit. I'm not that mature. I get a lot credit for it right now for like the last six months. I went from the most immature person on the planet to maturity. I like it.

Q. It's fairly commendable, though.
ANDY RODDICK: Thank you. Your turn.

Q. Larry's input has helped you enormously. You can see by the way you play and react to things that you clearly have undergone a maturing process.
ANDY RODDICK: I guess so. But again, I say this a lot: A lot of people change from the time they're 19 to when they're 27. I think I just had an audience. You know, Larry's a great influence, Doug's a great influence. Obviously being settled at home is a really, really good thing.
I don't really get stressed at all away from the tennis court. You know, all in all, I have a pretty simple day-to-day existence when I'm not involved in the circus too much.
You know, how much that has to do with anything, I don't know. I'm not gonna try to think about it too much.

Q. You grew up here 50 miles away. You said on the court, wildcard from Butch; beat Pete; Federer; two titles. Just talk about the special connection you've had here.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah, I mean, there's a lot of firsts. A lot of memories. Even before the pro event, you know, playing the Orange Bowl here a million times and the Sunshine Cup, which is junior Davis Cup here and winning that for the first time.
It was my first taste of kind of USA tennis. That was fun, because I got to win with a couple buddies in juniors. Actually Robby was on that team?
So it's one of those places where I'm going down a hallway and I don't need to look for signs to see where I'm gonna. You know, it just kind of is ingrained. It's a great crowd.
I never feel really uncomfortable on the center court. You know, the conditions are always pretty consistent, and I don't get bothered by the heat too much. I'm sure that's from years and years of dealing with it.

Q. You hadn't won a Masters Series event since 2006. Did you ever doubt you could win another one, and is this a big relief for you?
ANDY RODDICK: There's always -- any athlete who says they don't have a "what if" moment probably isn't being too honest with you.
I've certainly what my share of them throughout the course of my career. You know, I talked about this a lot after Wimbledon last year, but even after '08 Wimbledon I openly talked to Brook and wondered if the best of it was gone.
I didn't know. I honestly didn't know. But I knew there was a way to find out, and that was to kind of go back to the drawing board and give myself every opportunity to succeed.
Luckily, that's given me some good days.

Q. You've had an impressive list of coaches. Talk about what Larry has brought to the table that's different. I've know him for years. He's somebody who really likes to be in charge of the situation.
ANDY RODDICK: Sure. Well, when I talked to Larry the first time - and this is pretty well documented - he was a little concerned that I -- you know, obviously he was coming into a situation where there was a player who had been No. 1 for a long time, who had been at least maybe a public figure, a public spectacle at times.
He was concerned about, you know, who knows. I think he wanted it run things, and I was more than okay with that. That's what I wanted. I wanted the guidance. I'm not gonna pay a guy to be my coach and then tell him what to do. You would be surprised how prevalent that is in tennis.
It's a great mix. I love his tennis IQ. I like his energy. I don't know if I've ever seen him stressed out unless we're late for a tee time.
You know, I think it works. It works. The tennis side of it works and the personality side of it works. So I think we're in a good spot.

Q. Considering how well you've been playing the last month, how much are you looking forward to the summer?
ANDY RODDICK: It's a long time away. To be honest, I've stopped getting ahead of myself. You know, in a week, you regroup, start over with the fitness, you build your body back up, and then you start a day-to-day process again.
If I can continue this, there will be some exciting moments. But that's an if. You have to earn that if.

Q. Not looking too far ahead, but you said there was a time when you felt maybe the best was in the past. Do you feel with the way you're playing now and with guys having success in their late 20s, early 30s that maybe the best is yet to come at this point?
ANDY RODDICK: Well that's what I'm striving for, you know. Beyond that, it's a guessing game.

Q. Do you feel you played two different matches against Nadal and Berdych?
ANDY RODDICK: Definitely.

Q. Up at the net a lot and only three times serve and volley in this match today.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, for sure. You know, against Rafa, when you get two feet under you and you're not being bullied from the baseline, it's time to take some cuts.
With Tomas I can get away with my slice a little bit more. I can get away with changing paces a little bit more without the angles of the court being utilized as much. He hits the ball straight through a little bit more, so I can kind of rely on legs a little bit more without the court growing this way and becoming tougher.
So, yeah, it's definitely a different match.

Q. Gordon Hayward was happy to hear from you. What prompted that phone call?
ANDY RODDICK: It was pretty simple. A good friend of Doug and I's named Anthony Calhoun who is a sports reporter up in Indianapolis. He had been covering the Butler story a lot.
He had, I guess, talked to Gordon and said -- you know, was kind of asking about his tennis roots. I guess Gordon played tennis is high school, and his sister plays at, I think Butler, if I'm not mistaken, and said Gordon was kind of excited -- Anthony had mentioned that we knew each other was kind of excited about it and kind was a big tennis fan.
So Anthony sent me an e-mail and said, You mind giving him a call? Can you do it as a favor to me? I said, Yeah. Obviously I'm a sports junkie. I've been watching it nonstop. It was a no-brainer. It was cool.
I was glad to see them win last night. It's a really cool story.

Q. Who are you picking?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, don't put me on the spot after that long tribute to Butler. Won't go long.

Q. Given the in past year you've been known for your many achievements outside of tennis, do you feel that maybe the fates were with you, that you also won because today is Easter Sunday and we're in the middle of Passover?
ANDY RODDICK: Hadn't thought about it. But I'll take some divine intervention any time it wants to help me out. I'm not above it.

Q. How do you go into the clay court season? Are you looking for the titles? I mean, obviously it's not your favorite surface.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, that's definitely the case. To be honest, I haven't thought about it for two seconds. Four weeks from now I'm gonna be feeling a lot different than I am in this moment.
It's gonna be a process over the next month to get there. I know that's redundant and boring for you all. That's the reality of the situation.
We'll see how I'm feeling then. I'll be able to give you some more insight.

Q. Can you just pinpoint a couple things you think you're doing better on the court now that you changed, or are you just playing more effectively?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I think obviously my -- one of the big things, my backhand is better. I don't miss it really. It's never gonna be the shot that you say, Wow.
I think I understand it and how I can use it to be effective. I understand kind of the boundaries of it, so that helps.
I returned well this tournament. That's a big difference, because I'm normally gonna hold my serve. That really doesn't change regardless of results. It's just a matter of if I'm breaking as well, it makes it a lot more comfortable.

Q. Does Connors get a little credit on the backhand?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, sure. Yeah, for sure. At the time I needed it. I mean, you have to remember, when Jimmy and I got together -- a lot of people look back and have a little bit of a negative connotation about our relationship.
But I don't think Jimmy does and I don't think I do. You know, when we got together I was at my lowest point ever in my career. I had dipped outside of the top 10, and then four or five months into it I was in another Grand Slam final and everyone had forgotten that I was slumping.
Jimmy definitely played a part in this whole thing.

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