January 20, 2006
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. You haven't played a match over two hours. When are you going to give the fans their monies' worth?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, fortunately that's not my job. That's not really what I'm worried about, especially on days like today where it is pretty hot, you just try to get through. I don't really focus on time of matches. I'm just glad I'm hitting the ball well.
Q. Is it just a matter of getting straight down to business and cutting out the frills, making sure the serve is working? Is it more about next week, a match like today?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I don't really -- I don't really think I have the luxury of worrying about next week. I have to get there first. There's always upsets, as has been shown so far this week. You know, I go match by match. As boring as that is, it's kind of what I look at.
Q. Are you getting enough exercise out there?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes, Bud. Thank you.
Q. How are we to take this? This is superb Roddick? Indifferent opponents?
ANDY RODDICK: You know what, Bud, I don't really care how you guys take it. I'm not really concerned. I feel like I'm hitting the ball well. I feel like I'm moving well. I just want to keep getting through rounds.
Q. You looked like you were determined to finish this as quickly as possible with the heat and the wind.
ANDY RODDICK: You know what, not once during a match do I think, "Okay, I have to finish this in a certain time." I'm just looking, "Okay, let's get a break. Okay, let's make sure this set's over. Let's get another break." Then it starts over the next set, so on and so forth. That's kind of where my mindset is. I'm not really looking at the clock and thinking about time too much.
Q. If the forecast is to be believed, it's going to be 41 on Sunday. They're likely to have the roof closed. Does that present any different problems, dilemmas, changes of anything at all?
ANDY RODDICK: I'd rather have them leave it open, to be honest. I don't mind the heat. I grew up in some hot places.
Q. That's really hot.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I know. I don't mind. I think I was playing one out on Vodafone a couple years ago when they stopped all matches and stuff. I don't mind it too much. Obviously it's not fun. You know, I don't -- it doesn't really bother me too much.
Q. Does it present any kind of problem if you think you're going to be playing a match in the heat and all of a sudden they tell you at the last minute they're going to close the roof and all of a sudden you're in air-conditioning?
ANDY RODDICK: No. It's the same deal. You know, I've played matches here both ways. You know, they're pretty good about it, about letting you know. They don't try to force it on you at the last second. You kind of know the standard rule. If the match finishes and it's over, what is it, 40, whatever it is.
Q. Sliding scale.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. So you kind of know. You just kind of deal with it. I'll cross that when it gets there. We have a couple days.
Q. Given your experience in the heat, do you think that gives you an advantage when it gets really hot?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know, who knows. Like I said, I don't mind it too much. I probably mind it a lot less than someone who has been training in cold weather or something like that. You know, I don't think about it too much.
Q. What have the temperatures been like in Austin, where I assume you've been running up and down hills?
ANDY RODDICK: Austin, it doesn't get super hot in December. I was in Florida for a while. I was in Hawaii for nine days, which is very, very hot.
Q. What was it getting up to there?
ANDY RODDICK: 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It's pretty humid. I mean, you're sweating through your shoes. That was pretty good preparation.
Q. Did you choose Hawaii specifically for that reason?
ANDY RODDICK: There are a lot of reasons. They have similar court surface. They had Rebound Ace. The heat. The time difference isn't too drastic. It's on the way. It's nice (smiling). There wasn't a whole lot of downside to that decision.
Q. You've been putting in your training the last couple months to be your most efficient here?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, that's the idea. You hope it goes that smoothly. You hope it's as easy as you make it sound. You know, obviously all the work you do in November and December is to try to be as well-prepared for this as you can be.
Q. Lleyton Hewitt said after he was beaten last night that he couldn't see anybody else in the tournament being able to beat Roger Federer. Presumably you don't see it that way.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know, I just think it's so senseless talking about Roger until I actually get there. That's you guys' job, is to forecast and predict and all that stuff. I'm worried about Baghdatis right now, if I'm being honest with you. That being said, you come to a tennis tournament to try to win a tennis tournament. I'll worry about that if it happens.
Q. On the physical buildup for here. Obviously you got back home from Paris Bercy pretty beat up, didn't go to Shanghai. When did the actual physical conditioning process begin?
ANDY RODDICK: It probably started the day after Shanghai finished. By resting and making sure I was healthy, I probably got a two-week head start on physical conditioning and whatnot. Maybe it ended up being a blessing in disguise a little bit. Who knows.
Q. Do you feel like you're ahead of where you were this time last year?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah, last year I had a very short off-season. You know, it was after Davis Cup, wasn't a whole lot of time to rest and then start a full training. You're just kind of -- you're trying to, you know, put a patch over things. I feel like I had a more professional agenda in the work that I was trying to do.
Q. If they find the Greeks some tickets on Sunday, it's going to be fairly noisy. He has a fantastic following. Like a football crowd almost. He may have a few more supporters local than perhaps you have. Is that a problem for you?
ANDY RODDICK: That's okay. I think it's good. I've seen the highlights. I think it's good. Credit to them, they even came and tried to heckle me a little bit today at the end of my match. I said, "Man, you guys can't show your hand before the end of it." You know that going in. You know they're going to do everything they can to help their guy. You know, that's the job of a good fan, and they certainly are.
Q. Do you revel in that, if the crowd is against you?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't really care either way, to be honest.
Q. You have girls out there.
ANDY RODDICK: I got some chicks out there, you know. He's got some sweaty dudes (smiling). No, I don't know. You know, it's just part of it. I think it's easier when you know what you're in for going into it. I'm going to expect the worst, you know, for me. I think they're great the way they support him. You can definitely appreciate that kind of loyal and passionate fan support, even if it's not for you.
Q. Did you manage to figure out what Jim was getting at on the court out there now that you've been off for a while?
ANDY RODDICK: The only thing I can think of is I hit a ball at him pretty hard last time we played and he threw his neck out. I don't know. But that was just in the middle of a match. I actually get along with Julien. I don't really know anything past that.
Q. We were wondering what he was talking about.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, me, too.
Q. After that ball, you won the next 20 points in that match.
ANDY RODDICK: In Canada? Which one? Today?
Q. When you hit the ball at his head. I think you raced after that.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, he did like this matrix thing to try to get out of the way of it. I don't know. He was TKO after that.
Q. Should Jim keep his day job?
ANDY RODDICK: Jim is doing just fine. Maybe I'm just a little slow or a lot slow, I don't know.
Q. Hewitt says the court is radically different from the Flushing Meadows court. How do you feel?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's a different tournament.
Q. A much slower court?
ANDY RODDICK: That's the nature of the surface. It's a little slower, bounce is a little bit higher. That's the nature of Rebound Ace. I think I heard -- I don't want to misquote someone, but I think I heard McNamee say that's what makes it unique and that's what gives it a persona of its own. I don't know. I'm not the best judge of speed and balls. I think that requires feel or something, I don't know.
Q. Do you feel that this court is okay with you?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm fine, yeah. It's the same for everyone.
Q. You said the other day that not for a second did you think Hewitt would lose his first match. If you were watching yesterday, did you have that same feeling? Did it change at some point?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, just 'cause Chela has been in those kind of situations before. But at 4-2 in the fourth, he kind of started grabbing his legs a little bit. I said, "Uh-oh, he's going to find a way." You never count Lleyton out. Chela, take nothing away from Robin Vik, he put up a hell of an effort the other day, but I just think Chela has been in that situation before, and maybe this situation wasn't too big for him.
Q. In terms of personalities in the sport, Baghdatis brings a different element as well. Are these exciting times when you have these different young players coming through, adding different colors, different levels of excitement to the sport?
ANDY RODDICK: I think so. You know, we're not a sport where you have your home team that you always cheer for. So you're looking for something different, something to kind of spark an interest. I don't really know Marcos personally. I don't even know if we've ever had a conversation. But just from watching him, he seems like he's always having a good time, he appreciates what he's doing, he's always smiling. I think that rubs people the right way. Seems like he has fun competing.
Q. With his background, he should keep on running in the heat, as well. What other problems does he present? Have you looked at him at all?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I've seen him. He's good. He's a shot-maker. He doesn't make a lot of stupid errors. I don't know if he's going to come beat the cover off the ball. But he's going to make you play, he's going to make you work. It seems like he's a pretty smart player. Solid all around. I'm going to have to go out and try to beat him. He's not a guy that's going to take himself out of a match.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.