March 4, 2005
RANDY WALKER: We'll start off with questions for Andy.
Q. Were you surprised that Mario didn't come in more in the match?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes. Yes and no. I mean, he wasn't doing it early, but he was playing better than I was from the baseline early, so maybe it took him too long to make that adjustment. But, you know, the only other two times I played him is on grass and he comes in on every ball. So it was definitely a little bit of a different match than I expected.
Q. You've been in that position before, where you've come in second match and responded pretty well. Talk about your feelings going on court today after seeing what happened with Andre?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, I tried to stay pretty relaxed during Andre's. It's a very vulnerable feeling because it affects you, but it really doesn't have a direct impact on how your match is supposed to go. I'm not going to lie, I was really tight during the first set today. But I'm happy because I was able to dig down and kind of find another way to get through it and go through the process of getting there. You know, I think this was a big steppingstone for me.
Q. Were you tight because of how Andre lost, because he had lost?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. It's tough to put a finger on it. I think sometimes you just are or you're not. I mean, obviously Davis Cup has something to do with it. Obviously, being down 1-0 probably had a little bit to do with it. I don't know if it's just one thing. It's just something that is involved in sports, you know, especially when you're not only playing for yourself, but you're playing for so many other people as well. I think it adds a little bit of a different dimension to it.
Q. Seemed you opened the valves on your emotions a bit as the match went on. Do you think that helped you today?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes. You know, I just had to let it go. A couple of times in the past six months, I've kept it in a little bit, even tried to make that adjustment. But that's not really who I am, I don't think. You know, especially in Davis Cup play, I think it's a little more accepted to lose your mind (smiling). So I did.
Q. How do you feel going into tomorrow? Are you going to kick back and watch the Bryans do very well?
ANDY RODDICK: Probably a lot more relaxed than I felt going into today (laughter). You know, it's going to be a different kind of nerves, you know, because I'm not going to be in control of anything out there. But, you know, hopefully I know they're going to go out and play a good match, so I'm excited to be here supporting them.
Q. Can you look ahead? Ivan Ljubicic. Obviously, Andre wasn't on his game, but he's also playing unbelievable.
ANDY RODDICK: He's playing great so far this year. There's no doubt about it. He's beaten quality players. He's found a level of consistency that he hasn't showed before. Obviously, he's playing with a lot of confidence right now and he thinks he can beat anyone going into a match, and for good reason. So it's going to be tough for me. I'm pretty good, too. We should have a good one.
Q. Andre, obviously one of the great stars in American tennis history, loses a tough match. What did he say to you, what did you say to him?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't see him in between matches. But he stayed and watched the whole thing in our team room, said, "Good job." He said, "Thanks for helping out a little bit." You know, that was it. We talked a little bit about our matches, and then he got out of here. I thought it was pretty cool, considering I know he wasn't too happy after his match today, that he stuck around, you know, kind of said "well done" afterwards.
Q. It's a plus that maybe you took the edge off of his loss?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I mean, as far as I'm concerned, the team is 1-All, whoever wins the matches. That's the whole point of a team competition, is to pick someone else up. I've had my teammates pick me up before. It's just the meat and potatoes of Davis Cup. I'm going to screw up sometimes, and then hopefully I'll be able to help out sometimes.
Q. Did he seem more disappointed than you've ever seen him before?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't see him after his match. By the time I'd seen him, it was after my match. I hadn't really had a lot of contact with him right afterwards. Obviously, he was nothing but positive when I saw him later in the day. I mean, he wasn't happy with the way he played, but he's not going to sit around and pout and let it affect us, that's for sure. He's more professional than that.
Q. Did you find during the week your role has changed a little bit than it's been the last couple years on the team in terms of dynamics? You've been the team leader. Even though you're still the top player on the team, there's Andre, who is eight-time Grand Slam winner.
ANDY RODDICK: No, absolutely, the dynamic has changed drastically. But it's a good thing. People want to put the 'leader' tag on me just because I've been playing longer than the rest of the guys on my team. Well, not any more (smiling). I take a lot of pride in being there when I'm asked. I'm just so happy that Andre is on board right now. Whatever dynamic it is, whatever everybody wants to write, I'm just happy because I feel it gives us our best chance to put points on the board.
Q. There isn't the tiniest bit of feeling that he's come back and taken over the attention?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, that's obvious.
Q. Some people might be resentful of it.
ANDY RODDICK: Resentful of it?
ANDY RODDICK: No, no. You don't know me too well.
Q. Do you still feel that the US is the favorite at 1-1?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes. If I would sit here and tell you no, I would expect you to come up and slap me. We thought we were the favorites going into the tie. You know, 1-1, we have the best doubles team in the world going in there tomorrow. Myself and Andre going on Sunday. I like our chances. But that being said, you know, they're playing great tennis, and it's not going to be easy. We're going to have to step up and play some ball.
Q. Can you talk a little about like the atmosphere here compared to Delray or Charleston? Maybe they didn't sell as many seats, but it seemed pretty loud out there.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. They were giving it to me, that's for sure, especially when I kind of started getting on a roll. You always hear that support. It's tough to compare one to another. Davis Cup just has this overall feeling of, you know, complete and total bias for one player or the other that really doesn't get matched anywhere else.
Q. Were you surprised you didn't break your racquet?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, on a night like tonight where it's 50 degrees out and heavy ball... I wasn't really thinking about it.
Q. How is your ankle under match conditions? How did it feel?
ANDY RODDICK: It's fine. You know, I felt like the biggest thing about that match was the way I was able to move and kind of win the battle of attrition out there. I didn't have my best stuff in the first set, but I made it kind of a physical war. That's big for me, to know that I'm capable of doing that. You know, I was pretty excited to get a win that way.
Q. How much of an advantage do you think it is that you and Andre can sit out tomorrow and just watch it and Ivan and Mario are going out to play a match for Sunday?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, no, there's no question. I mean, they're going to have the pressure on them all three days. But at the same token, the conditions weren't too extreme tonight or today. You know, it's not like it's super hot or anything like that. They play pretty much every week on tour. I think they're used to it. But personally I'm glad that I have the day off tomorrow.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.