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February 9, 2006

Andy Roddick


TIM CURRY: Questions for the US team.
Q. Can you talk about Patrick as Davis Cup captain.
ANDY RODDICK: I think first and foremost is, you know, his level of commitment shows you right away, when he took over the team six years ago, one of his big things was team chemistry. That's one of the building blocks of our team, I think why we get along so well and I think why all of us, not only we're just sitting here, but Robby is always ready to go, Taylor is always already to go, why we're so inspired about Davis Cup. I think that starts at the top. That was definitely his kind of big thing when he first started. I think it has a trickle-down effect to us.
Q. Is this the draw you wanted and why?
CAPTAIN McENROE: I got to be honest, I never really worry too much about the draw. It's something that's out of our hands. We'd like to win two points the first day. You know, different scenarios have happened where, oh, it would be great to have Andy play first one time, or it would be great to have him play second, he gets upset. There's just so many things can happen.
Our concern the whole week is just getting the guys ready to play. They've been playing Davis Cup long enough now, both James and Andy, that they're used to playing whether it's 1-Love up, 1-Love down, playing first match or playing second match. They did that all year long.
To be honest, I don't think about it at all. I mean, it just doesn't serve any purpose really. I mean, the guys are ready. The guys had a good week in preparation, so we're looking forward to it.
Q. Captain, you were big favorites over Croatia. Has that been haunting you?
CAPTAIN McENROE: I wouldn't say it's been haunting us, but it was certainly a difficult loss. We never lost a match at home since I've been captain. We obviously had a great team. It really came down to just a couple points, maybe two different matches. Obviously, Croatia has a pretty good. They went on to win the whole thing.
But, you know, that's behind us. I think we'd like to start another streak of home matches and home wins. We certainly have a lot of respect for the Romanian team, for Andrei and Victor. They've played a lot of Davis Cup. They're both veterans, particularly Andrei, he's played a lot of big matches in Davis Cup. We know they're going to be tough.
But we feel very well-prepared. We certainly like our chances. Forgetting about making up for last year, we feel we have a good chance to go really far this year. This is the first step, a difficult step, but we're excited about it.
Q. Has the team matured enough to a point coming into this year where you think this is the US's year to win the title?
BOB BRYAN: This is our fourth year on the team. I think Andy has been on the team for six, James was on the team since '99, so six also. We're veterans out here. Mike and I have been on the tour for eight years. We've seen every kind of up and down, played millions of kinds of matches. You know, we're ready for the pressure. I think we have the experience. I think we can go all the way this year. We have a good team.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I don't know. I think when we approach everyone, we feel we're one of the top teams, one of the top contenders. This year we don't feel like it's any different. You know, but like last year, we have to take it one round at a time. Before we think about winning it, we have to win this weekend, and that's a huge task in front of us.
I don't want to speak for everybody, but I'm pretty sure we're all on the same page as far as getting through the weekend, then worrying about the rest of the year.
Q. Have you played here before?
BOB BRYAN: Mike and I have, the father and son nationals were here, we played under 12, 13, 14, 15. In high school we played the Pacific Coast Doubles. When we were at Stanford, we came down here to play the doubles championships.
Q. When you played father and sons, who played?
BRYAN: As 12, I was playing with my dad.
Q. Andy, could you talk about how the coach change?
ANDY RODDICK: What do you want to know?
Q. Why you made the decision to make that change, how you think it might affect your game.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, obviously (inaudible). I just felt like I needed something fresh. It was more of a mutual decision between he and I. You know, we just felt like it was maybe a little bit stagnant. You know, I don't know if I was inaudible) Dean's level of coaching by going out there and playing the way I was. Just something wasn't clicking. So you kind of cut your losses.
Q. Do you think there's one or two things that John can help you work on?
ANDY RODDICK: Patrick has been great this week in practice. He had a couple things he wanted to really work on. John is going to be great. He knows me as well as anybody. He'll obviously be taking a lot of opinions from people like Patrick who have seen me play a lot. We're kind of looking for suggestions.
I'm excited. I'm excited to go to be out there with my brother, like I said. It's not some transition period, getting to know someone. I know him pretty well. So that's good.
Q. James, 2004 was a ghastly year for you. 2005 was an incredible year. What is 2006 going to bring?
JAMES BLAKE: Well, thanks to 2004 and 2005, everything I've been through, I know that the unexpected is basically to be expected. I don't know what to hope for, what to really think about because if I started 2004 even thinking what I was going to go through, there was no way I would believe it at the beginning of the year. Starting 2005, if I had expectations or thought what could have happened in that year, I never would have believed I would have been back on the Davis Cup team and in the quarterfinals of the US Open against one of my idols, winning the title in my backyard, winning a title in Europe. I never would have thought any of that possible. So for me to sit here and expect that would be crazy. For me to expect some of the hard things that happened to me in 2004 would be crazy, somewhat depressing.
I just hope for the best. I know that I'll just enjoy the time I have right now and what I'm doing. Every time I get to chance to play Davis Cup, it's one of the most exciting things in my life, and really enjoyable. So I'm going to try to enjoy this. What's to come, I can't tell you. If I could.
ANDY RODDICK: You'd be Miss Cleo.
JAMES BLAKE: No, I wouldn't, she was kind of fake.
Q. I wasn't asking for a prediction. How are you feel being your game and yourself?
JAMES BLAKE: I feel great about my game. I've been playing -- for the last six months or so I've been playing some of the best tennis I've ever played. It seems to keep getting better. For me the best feeling is every time I step on the court, I feel like I'm getting better. I'm very cautiously optimistic it's going to continue. You never know when you're going to hit that plateau. I think everyone obviously hits their pinnacle. I don't think I've hit mine yet. It's so enjoyable to keep seeing times improving. I'm excited about that.
This weekend, to play with guys like Andy, watching the doubles with Bob and Mike, getting to talk to Patrick, it's making me better I think. Being on the court every time, going out in pressure situations I'll be in tomorrow and Sunday, there's really no outside preparation you can do for that except for being out there.
So I'm excited for that and I think it's going to make me better, and I'll continue to enjoy that feeling of improving every time I step on the court.

End of FastScripts...

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