January 22, 2006
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Was it one of those where you sort of thought you got outplayed or you didn't play your game?
ANDY RODDICK: Probably a little bit of both. I don't know. Credit to him. I mean, if you look at his stats, they're pretty impressive. The shots he was able to come up with were, you know, very, very good. You know, I don't know. I just thought maybe I was a little bit spacy out there. Maybe I just wasn't totally on top of things.
Q. How tough is this to have another opportunity to go away?
ANDY RODDICK: It's always tough. But, you know, the good thing about tennis is there's always next week. You know, it's not -- we're not an Olympic sport where we have to wait another four years. So, you know, you try to be optimistic right now. It's tough. It's disappointing. You know, but you move on.
Q. Did you have difficulty reading him, those backhands down the line...
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, he was hitting 'em off of inside-out forehands that I felt like I was putting a pretty good swing on. They just weren't jumping off the court, I mean, that much. I wasn't expecting him to be able to lean in off an inside-out forehand and hit 'em consistently and down the line. Credit to him, he was able to.
Q. Did the roof being closed have much of an effect?
ANDY RODDICK: It was different. It was very different. You know, but it was different for him, too. You know, my ball wasn't -- I don't know if it was jumping as much as it had been. I was feeling through the first three rounds that no one could really get a clean swing at the ball I was putting out there - especially my heavy one. And, you know, like we said, he was able to kind of take it early today. I don't know how -- it felt different, but, I mean, he had to deal with it the same as I did.
Q. Kuznetsova and Davenport said it made the court faster to be indoors.
ANDY RODDICK: Faster?
Q. That's what they said.
ANDY RODDICK: Okay.
Q. What's your reaction?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't -- I disagree, but what do I know.
Q. You didn't seem like you were playing that badly today. Do you think you would have beaten most people today?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't play that badly. Most times when you lose, you don't have a -- you know, you don't have your stats plus eight, or whatever I was, as far as winners to errors. The guy you're playing against, you hope he doesn't have plus 32 or whatever, whatever it is that he had. You know, I looked and I actually won more total points, which is disappointing. You know, I think I would have beaten most people today. But let's give credit where credit's due. I thought he played a very good match.
Q. You patted your stomach after the first point in the sixth game in the last set. Was something wrong there?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I was fine.
Q. At one point you turned to the crowd and said, "What can I do," after some of the winners he was cranking out in the last set.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I was trying to -- I actually felt like maybe the last little bit after I got broken was some of the best stuff I played. He closed out well. You know, I was -- like I said, like Chris pointed out earlier, I was surprised that he was able to lean in and hit some of the backhands that he was able to hit off of inside-out forehands. You know, I haven't seen that before. I was surprised at that.
Q. Any lessons?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, there's always lessons. But we don't have enough time for all those.
Q. Would you take the loss as just one of those things that happens sometimes?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it does happen. I don't know if it's as easy just to shrug off. It's disappointing when you feel like you've put in the work and you don't really -- you know, there are no unanswered questions in my eyes as far as preparation and stuff like that. So you're kind of left searching a little bit. That's an uneasy feeling.
Q. You obviously hit more winners than your opponent today.
ANDY RODDICK: No, I didn't. He hit 20 more winners than I did today.
Q. Do you feel as though you're able to pretty much activate your game plan that you came into the tournament with, wanted to be more aggressive? Were you true to yourself?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Like I said, a lot of the times, a lot of winners he hit were from passing shots behind the baseline. We were talking about that backhand. You know, a lot of times I was in control of the point, and he came up with the goods. A couple times I was sloppy at the wrong moments. You know, that's the way it is.
Q. No American men in the quarterfinals. That usually only happens in Paris. Any cause for concern back home in the States on the state of American men's tennis?
ANDY RODDICK: You guys are always concerned, aren't you? I mean, if we're playing well at the moment, then it's "Who's next?" If we're not playing well at the time, it's "Who's now?" You guys are always bitching about something.
Q. Who are "you guys"? What do you mean?
ANDY RODDICK: There's obviously cause for concern if we're not -- if we're not in. But, you know, that being said, let's -- I think, you know, it was a bad tournament. I think we'll rebound. I think you'll see Robby and James and all those guys have career years this year. I see that happening. Robby is right on the door of top 10. He has no points to defend for a while. We're probably really, really disappointed right now. And, you know, especially on a hard surface, you're right. But I don't know if I'd overreact. I think, you know, we still have some talent out there. It's a long year. So I wouldn't -- I wouldn't pass judgment on one event.
Q. Was the big chorus annoying or don't you even hear them?
ANDY RODDICK: I appreciate people who come out and support tennis. If we had a whole crowd full of, you know, half them, half for me, I mean, that would make for a great atmosphere. They were respectful. They always stopped when I was about to serve. They were just supporting their guy. I can totally respect that as a sports fan.
Q. Did you miss that big group that had been out there for you the first few days?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, they close the roof and now they can't sit and sun bathe for me. It's like...
Q. What about Baghdatis? Do you think he can cause more damage?
ANDY RODDICK: He can. It's gonna get -- I mean, it's tough. He could lose next round or he could, who knows, make a run to the final. He played well enough today to, you know, make me a believer. You know, we'll see.
Q. It seemed like you were coming in a little bit more than usual. Was that a deliberate strategy?
ANDY RODDICK: He was leaving a lot of returns short, and I was hitting decent approach shots and he was coming up with passing shots. I don't know what I'm -- I guess when a guy's chipping returns inside the service line, I'm coming up, hitting approach shots to a corner, not really getting a look at a volley, you know. It's something that presented itself, and I felt like that was the right way to go with it. He played well after that, though.
Q. Would you characterize this as a big opportunity missed?
ANDY RODDICK: Most of them are big opportunities missed, you know. I don't know how to grade one against another, you know. They're all not fun when you're in this situation. But it's disappointing, for sure.
Q. I mean just because of the nature of who's left in your half.
ANDY RODDICK: See, that's the thing. I think you guys underestimate a lot of players. I mean, if you watched the match today, I mean, the guy can play tennis. Just 'cause his ranking is not there yet doesn't mean the guy doesn't deserve respect. Nalbandian won Masters and he's playing great. I don't know how you can say "in your half." I told you guys five days ago that there's no such thing as an open draw. There's a lot of good players out there. There's one guy who has set himself apart, and the rest of men's tennis is very deep where anybody can beat anybody on a given day.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.