January 24, 2003
MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Tell us, what went wrong. What was the trouble?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, you know, Rainer played a good match. He didn't make a lot of errors. He won the big points when he had to. He played me smart, you know, considering the circumstances. All credit. He deserves to be in the finals.
Q. You say "considering the circumstances." We see Bill Norris standing there. He was dealing with your wrist. How big a problem was it?
ANDY RODDICK: It hurt a little bit. I'll let Bill come and get it out of the way. He can use a lot of fancy words, you know, stuff like that. I'll just let him come up and explain the injury so we don't worry about it.
BILL NORRIS: In this -- in actually the last several days of this tournament, Andy's been playing a lot, and I think the other night in the last match, I think when he fell that one time, it just triggered the reaction. It's more of a tendonitis. It goes up to about here (mid forearm). It's the extensor tendon that's inflamed. We've had the doctor take a look at it. We examined it yesterday. It was one of the things, if we had more time, we would have addressed it a lot better. But we just didn't have that luxury. We did the best we could. We gave him a couple of sessions yesterday of treatment, and some work today. We just went with the best shot we could. Andy does not like to have any real pain killers. I mean, everything was suggested to him, an injection or something. He declined that. He didn't want it to mask any type of further injury that he could possibly sustain. You know, he's 20 years old. He's a young man. He's going to have a great future ahead of him. But he gave us a valiant effort out there.
Q. Bill, you're very familiar with Davis Cup. What does this do? How long will this take to heal?
BILL NORRIS: The thing is, you know, we really don't know the impact of this until maybe another couple of days really. I think we're just going to have to wait and see on that. I wouldn't want to project anything in the future. We're going to have some diagnostic tests done tomorrow, so we'll see really where we are here. The doctor and I both agree right now, on the surface it looks like it is a tendonitis type of thing, an inflamed tendon.
Q. Andy, was it pain from time to time, or was it restricting in any particular way on a regular basis?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, I think with something like this, it's pretty consistent.
Q. If you won, would you have played the final?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I was planning on crossing that bridge when I got there. You know, normally I wouldn't go into a match with the possibility of not playing a final. But that's a lot of points up for grabs tonight. You know, I'm not sure. It's kind of an irrelevant question now.
Q. Is that a new injury or something you've had problems with in the past?
ANDY RODDICK: Never, never, no.
Q. Would you have pulled out if it was maybe not a Grand Slam, maybe the first round of a minor tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: Possibly.
Q. How frustrating is it to be out there for that great moment you've been waiting for?
ANDY RODDICK: It was tough. I went out there, I tried my best. I wasn't going to pull out of another Grand Slam. Wasn't going to happen. I went out there. Gave it my all. Rainer played a smart match. Under normal circumstances, I don't even know if I would have won. He was playing great. You know, it's disappointing. But, you know, I can't complain about these two weeks. There have been a lot of special moments for me and I'm very happy.
Q. How did you feel physically after the long match two days ago?
ANDY RODDICK: I wasn't really -- you know, I wasn't really paying much attention to that. My mind was on this more so than that.
Q. How were your legs?
ANDY RODDICK: They were okay. They're still connected to my hips. You know, obviously they're a little tired, which is to be expected. But, you know, I think they could have gone more.
Q. Can I ask you to describe the qualities of Rainer as a tennis player? Do you give him a shot of winning the final on Sunday?
ANDY RODDICK: It's one match. It's not best out of seven. It's one match. It's definitely a possibility. He's very fast, you know, which is kind of obvious. He's playing with confidence right now. He's stepping up and hitting the ball when he needs to. He's playing smart when he needs to. He's been doing that very well over the last two weeks - three weeks, because he did well in Sydney, too.
Q. Did you feel you couldn't get to the net as you did the other night?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, it wasn't really in the cards for me, I don't think. It was a lot of short volleying and stuff today.
Q. After the match finished the other night, what time did you actually get to sleep?
ANDY RODDICK: 4:30. What time did you get to sleep?
Q. 5:30. Considering that the last set of the last match was about like eight sets, would you consider to shorten down a tiebreak?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, I think there can be arguments made both ways. You wouldn't get that special of an atmosphere, that special of a match out of a tiebreaker, I don't think.
Q. A lot of guys that have played a long time had good things to say. Did they say anything to you that touched you?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's pretty, you know, humbling when you have guys like Courier and people like Navratilova coming up and saying that's one of the best matches they've ever seen. I mean, they've seen a lot of tennis in their day. You know, it was pretty surreal.
Q. Have you got a copy of the tape or will you get one to keep?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think that one will go in the library of videotapes.
Q. What will you take from this tournament to Zagreb?
ANDY RODDICK: To Zagreb? Hopefully not this injury (laughter). No, I'm glad I started off the year well. You know, it's better than losing first round and trying to find your rhythm for the year in Davis Cup, as I kind of did last year. I didn't play great, but we got a win. I felt like I learned a lot here, did a lot of things that I was training for in the off-season. I'm going to go in with a little bit of confidence.
Q. How tough of a clash do you expect?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, it's very tough. They're going to be firing on all cylinders. Ancic did very well here. Ljubicic has a huge serve. Indoors he's a very good player. Who knows what Goran is going to try to pull. You know, it will be difficult.
Q. How soon tonight did you know the wrist was going to give you all this trouble? Right from the word "go"?
ANDY RODDICK: I knew going out there that it was sore. But I warmed up. They asked me how it was. I said, "Tolerable." I thought as long as it stays like that, I'm okay, and I can kind of grin and bear it, go through there. But it didn't get better as the match went on. I thought maybe if the adrenaline started pumping, it's a very strong thing. But it just didn't happen. Credit to Rainer also. If I would have sustained a break in the first set, won that one out, up two sets to love, might have been more of an opportunity there.
Q. You breezed through the second set. Was there any point where you thought, "I can conquer this"?
ANDY RODDICK: The third set was going to be big. You know, I had breakpoints. I hit a lame backhand. You know, I was thinking, "Get one break, hold here, you're up two sets to one." You never know, if you hold serve enough times, maybe something can happen.
Q. What have you learned about the mental side of getting this far in a Grand Slam compared to the physical side?
ANDY RODDICK: It's just as big. I think I've improved in that aspect as well as the physical aspect. I possibly might have flaked out first round when I'm down 4-1 in the third, one set all in the first round. I think I definitely would have flaked out against Youzhny. Might have flaked out again against El Aynaoui. I think, you know, definitely I've learned a lot from these two weeks, and I'll be taking a lot home with me.
Q. Were you mentally tired going into this match as well as physically below par?
ANDY RODDICK: No, no.
Q. Everybody is expecting an easy win from Andre Agassi on Sunday. What would you do if you were in Rainer's position? How would you prepare to beat Andre Agassi?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, that's difficult to say. Rainer and I don't exactly have similar games. You know, maybe what I would do isn't what he would do.
Q. Can you give him some advice?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think he needs my advice. Rainer is going to do what he does. He's going to make Andre work for every point. He's going to run down everything. He might have to step up and be a little more aggressive at times, you know, selective aggressiveness. He's going to have to serve well, too.
Q. Bill, I know you don't want to make any predictions. Is it within the realm of medical possibility that Andy will be okay in two weeks?
BILL NORRIS: Yes. At 20 years old, anything is possible.
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