January 22, 2003
MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.
Q. The obvious, how do you feel?
ANDY RODDICK: Tired. But I didn't cramp. I didn't have one cramp out there, and that's very, very, very satisfying for me. I did a lot of work in the off-season, and you're kind of unsure, you know, how or when it's going to pay off or if it's going to make a difference. I think it has.
Q. It's going to go down as one of the great matches in Grand Slam history. Do you think not simply because of the quality of the tennis but the manner in which the match was played, the spirit between the two of you?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, there wasn't -- you said it all in your question. I mean, I totally agree. I mean, I think my respect levels for him just grew and grew throughout the match. I'm pretty sure it's vice versa. I don't even remember ever talking to Younes before this match. But down the line, I mean, we could see each other 10 years down the line and know that we did share something pretty special.
Q. After you were serving for the match and he broke you, how did you find the stamina to keep going the way you did?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I mean, you're not going to quit at 12-All or 13-All. You're not going to quit then. I got broken. But that being said, now I was in the same exact position as him again. He hadn't been making returns. He put a bunch of them in real quick, and good returns, too. So I didn't play a terrible game. But, you know, he stepped it up a little bit.
Q. You said that earlier in the tournament you were hoping this year you would get better Grand Slam results. Did you dream they could have happened as quickly as this? Is this really that sort of justification for all the work you've been doing?
ANDY RODDICK: I can dream of a whole lot of stuff (laughter). But last match and this match, I mean, that's the kind of matches you have to win in a Grand Slam. You know, points are doubled when they get this far in. These are big matches. These are the ones I didn't win last year or even get to this match last year. So, yeah, it's a better feeling than going out first or second round at a Grand Slam.
Q. Considering all the talk about age difference in this tournament, will you consider this a generation statement, your victory?
ANDY RODDICK: No, no. You know, you're going to have tournaments where there's a lot of young guys deep in the tournament. You know, this tournament has, you know, proven that even the old guys, they can still play some ball. They're experienced. You know, it just goes to show what great determination someone like Younes has. He's 31 years old, he's out there for five hours, still standing at the end. It's very impressive. I don't think I'll be able to do that when I'm 31.
Q. Do you think you've ever played a better shot on a match point than the forehand you played on his match point today?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm sure, possibly. But not under those circumstances. You know, considering the circumstances, I'd say that's the best shot I've hit match point down.
Q. What do you think made the difference at the end of the match?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't -- I don't think, you know, anything made a big difference. I just broke. You know, that's about it. I mean, I don't think you can say anything like I was hitting my forehand better than him or anything. I think strategy was out the door, you know, late on in that fifth set. I think it was just pure fighting.
Q. At any stage in the match did you look down the other end of the court and think, "This guy is physically spent now"?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I thought he was cramping at 12- or 13-All. I played a few points on my serve and he wasn't running real well. But then he decided he could run again, and two games later... I don't know, I thought it a couple times. I mean, he proved me wrong, I guess.
Q. How did you manage to have that high level of serving? You had only two double-faults in the whole match.
ANDY RODDICK: Wow, I didn't know that. That's pretty impressive. I mean, it's the equivalent -- what is that, the equivalent of playing eight sets or nine sets or something ridiculous like that. I'll take that ratio anytime.
Q. Was that even a bigger effort than the match you played against Michael Chang in Paris a couple years ago? Can you imagine that Rainer Schuettler will be pleased?
ANDY RODDICK: What did he play about six hours this whole tournament?
Q. Five and a bit, five and something.
ANDY RODDICK: That's nice. What was your original question?
Q. Was it a bigger effort compared to your match in Paris against Michael Chang?
ANDY RODDICK: I think so. Considering the circumstances, I mean, this is the quarterfinal of a Grand Slam. To be perfectly frank and honest, I got really lucky against Michael. I was hitting second serve aces, just tanking winners. I couldn't really move at all. But this was more about heart, I think, than that match.
Q. When you were getting on the officials and the umpires, was that an effort to pump yourself up or just to level your frustration at not being able to put it away?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. At the end, I was impressed that he could count to 21. That was a good step for him. But, no, in all seriousness, I honestly don't remember a lot of the stuff that went on in the fifth set. You know, I think there were a couple shady calls each way.
Q. Was some of it to get yourself pumped up?
ANDY RODDICK: No.
Q. Can you remember your last fifth set that was anything like that one today? Have you had a fifth set anything like that?
ANDY RODDICK: It was two days ago. But, no. Is that the longest fifth set ever?
Q. Here. In a Grand Slam.
ANDY RODDICK: That was?
Q. In a Grand Slam.
ANDY RODDICK: So, no, I've never played one longer than that (smiling).
Q. I didn't mean longer.
ANDY RODDICK: No, no.
Q. What was your previous longest before this?
ANDY RODDICK: My previous longest match was about 3:45. This was a lot more than that. I almost had to be carried off that match.
Q. Do you have any special training?
ANDY RODDICK: Any special training?
ANDY RODDICK: Like?
Q. Something under pressure, long-term.
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. I don't think you can train for something like this tonight. You can do your best to do all the fitness. You know, I did a lot more fitness in the off-season than I did probably hitting balls. I think that was a different approach, you know, as opposed to last year I kind of enjoyed my vacation a little bit too much.
Q. Was the cold a factor for you tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: It was pretty cold out there. You know, they say Australia, Australia. Every night match I've played here has been freezing. But it was probably a factor, you know, good factor for both of us later on. Early on, it was tough to warm up.
Q. How much do you think will the respect of the other players for you grow after the last two days, also your own confidence?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I can honestly say that coming back the other day from two and a half -- two sets and a break down did help my confidence for this match. You know, I was down two sets to one again. I was thinking, "Okay, I have done this before, and even more so, even more drastic." You know, it already kicked in a little bit.
Q. The length of this match is bound to affect your preparations for the semifinals. What will you do tomorrow - or today?
ANDY RODDICK: This morning, yeah. I plan on sleeping sometime between now and then, eating. No, I mean, I'm obviously going to come out, probably get a couple massages tomorrow, try my best. You know, I don't want this to be the end of the tournament for me. Sera, Sera, I played five hours. That being said, I have another match to play. I'm not sure if I'll hit tomorrow. Kind of depends on how I feel. I don't know if I need more court time (smiling). But, you know, I'm going to give it my best.
Q. Could you sense anything when the ball-boys were sent on court? Could you sense he was finally tiring?
ANDY RODDICK: Because the ball-boys were playing?
Q. Looking at him on the other side.
ANDY RODDICK: No, man, I was the one who bailed first and handed my racquet to the ball kid. I think that was a really cool moment, though. Whatever crazy number we were at, but we can still keep some humor about the game. I think that was a pretty cool moment.
Q. I know it was a pretty special thing to be part of a fifth set like that, but does it make you think about whether there should be tiebreakers in a final set in a Grand Slam like this?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I don't think so. I like the variety. There's nothing better than a fifth-set tiebreaker in New York City. But, you know, I don't know if you guys agree, but after playing in something like that, seeing something like that, I don't know if you'd get that special of a match out of a tiebreaker.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.