home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


December 2, 2004

Andy Roddick


RANDY WALKER: If we could have questions for Mr. Roddick and Mr. Fish first because we have a practice court, then we'll do press for Patrick and the Bryan brothers.

Q. Tell us about the court. Is it mud? Is it playable? Is it slow, slower, slowest?

ANDY RODDICK: It's pretty much what we expected. You know, I think, you know, it's slow, but it's nothing ridiculous. It's the surface we expected when we came over here. I do think the roof helps. It takes away a lot of variables. It's a great court. It's been playing really nice all week. I think they did a really good job of putting it all together.

Q. Can you compare the court this way to St. Polten when you won there, compared to Roland Garros, compared to here?

ANDY RODDICK: I don't really remember. I don't really remember St. Polten that much. Roland Garros, it's -- this is a little bit grittier, I think. It's not as powdery or slippery as Roland Garros. I guess that's the best way to explain it. It's a little bit closer to green clay as far as the grittiness, whereas Roland Garros, like I said, it's a little bit more slippery. It almost feels a little more like powder.

Q. Had you had your mind set to playing Ferrero? How much of a surprise is it that Nadal is playing in his place?

ANDY RODDICK: Personally, I was expecting to play Ferrero. But at the same time, I think our team knows that they have four very capable singles players, and that's one of their strengths, is that they do have options. You know, they can mix and match. You know, that being said, we have a lefty practice partner, one of the youngsters, I've been practicing with him a little bit this week just in case. So, you know, now we know and we'll prepare for Nadal.

Q. Can you talk about starting off the tie, Mardy? And, Patrick, talk about the order of play tomorrow?

MARDY FISH: Yeah, it's no different from what we're used to out on tour each week, week by week. You know, sometimes we have to play first on; sometimes we have to play second on, third on. So it's no different. You know, I'm used to -- I've been waking up relatively early every day and trying to get used to the possibility of playing first. So I'm excited to get things off to hopefully a good start for us.

Q. What do you remember about your match with Nadal at the US Open, Andy?

ANDY RODDICK: I remember I was able to get off to a pretty good start. You know, he might have been -- he got off to a little bit of a slow start and I think that really helped me, you know, to get on top early. He made a run at it in the third set, and I was able to kind of squeak that set out. But, you know, he's got -- he has a lot of game. You know, he hits the ball a ton, and he's very competitive. In an atmosphere like this, he's going to get the crowd going. I think Davis Cup might work well for him. But at the same time I just need to focus on this match because, obviously, the surfaces are different. The circumstances are, you know, a complete 180 from the US Open. So I'm going to focus on this one.

Q. Could you talk a little about the camaraderie on the team, the atmosphere, looking forward, all of you, to your first Davis Cup finals?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, it's no secret that we all are pretty close. That's been said a million times. But I think it's even more satisfying that we've had one common goal for the last couple years, and now we're here together and actually to have the opportunity to compete for the title means a lot to us. You know, this has been our focus as a team for the last couple of years as far as going with the young guys and stuff. Now, you know, we're here and now we just have to try to take the next step. But I think we're all happy to be here and doing it together.

Q. Is this the main reason why you choose Fish?

CAPTAIN McENROE: I'm going to answer questions after Andy and Mardy are done because they have to get to practice.

Q. Mentally I'm sure this week you've been working on the possibility of playing long matches. Mentally are you prepared for four and five hours? Strategically, do you have to change things up a bit because you're going to be playing on a slower court?

MARDY FISH: No, yeah, I mean, I think one of the tough things about playing on clay is that, you know, you have to be a little more patient than normal on some of the faster courts that we're used to. And, yeah, we're well aware that it's going to be -- you know, we're probably going to have to stay out there for a long time. And mentally and physically, you know, it's pretty grueling. And we're well aware of that. You know, we came into this tie knowing the task and knowing that that's what we -- that's, you know, probably what we had to accomplish.

Q. Gentlemen, the US record on European clay is not outstanding. The Spaniards are favoured. What makes you think you can win?

ANDY RODDICK: You know, Mardy and I have been preparing very hard, and so have the Bryans. The record's not good, but I think it's a different team now than two years ago when we lost in France. I think we've all been ready for this. We've known about it for a couple months now. We've been preparing appropriately. The Bryans won the French Open on clay, so they've obviously had success. And basically it's up to Mardy and I have to kind of pick it up and really try to prove ourselves on clay.

Q. Obviously you guys have been around a while. It will be a huge, very loud partisan crowd tomorrow. In your mind, how have you been preparing for that?

ANDY RODDICK: Do you want to go?

MARDY FISH: Go ahead (smiling).

ANDY RODDICK: To be honest, I don't know if you can prepare for 26,000 people. I don't know if you can simulate that in practice. But at the same time we've known about it. You know, nothing this week has come as a complete surprise to us. You know, we knew going in that it was probably going to be this court, this way, this many fans. So, you know, subconsciously we've been preparing for it mentally for a couple months now. You know, hopefully that will help us through.

Q. Is this the biggest doubles match of your life, putting aside slams and the Masters Cup, all that?

MIKE BRYAN: Yeah, I think so. You know, obviously when we came on the tour, we wanted to win Davis Cup. And for us, this is probably the biggest, you know, competition, tournament, whatever. You know, this would really, you know, make us really happy if we won this one. This is huge for us (smiling). You know, I could put the racquets down and be happy if we won this. So walking out there, I think we know that this is, you know, probably the biggest moment of our lives. And we're going to give it hell.

Q. It was asked outside of the Slams and Masters Cup, where does this rank, but including the Slams and Masters Cup, where does this fit?

BOB BRYAN: I mean, yeah, we've been talking about that. This is above all that. You know, Grand Slams, after playing Davis Cup, kind of just feel like any other week, you know. These weeks are pressure-packed, exciting, great atmosphere. You know, you walk out to a Slam now, and you feel a little flat after playing these Davis Cup matches. These are up there in our minds. I think probably the top, for sure.

Q. Do you guys think your enthusiasm, chest pumping, so on, might incite the crowd?

BOB BRYAN: I don't think we'll do it as much. You got to know when to use 'em, you know. Maybe here is not the place, until we get that last point (smiling). We did it in Madrid actually, and I think the Spanish crowd was kind of getting warmed up to us. We did it, and then it was just complete quiet. I mean, we played the best point of our life. In the States, they would have been on their feet. Here we got some boos and some whistles. Maybe see kind of what the crowd's going to be like. It's going to be tough. You know, we're prepared for it. We played college tennis, which is like 6,000 people, which is nothing like this. But, you know, we can understand English a lot better than we can understand Spanish. When they're saying stuff about your mom that you can understand, it hurts a lot worse (smiling). I don't know. It's going to be tough. You know, we'll tone it down a little bit. But we still want to bring the energy.

Q. Patrick, it doesn't look as though you're going to need your motivational powers too much, but is it going to be important when you're on the bench to keep the players mindful of the crowd and the reaction, what they can and can't get away with?

CAPTAIN McENROE: Yeah. I mean, we've talked about that during the week, you know, being enthusiastic and being positive, but doing it in the right way and not trying to, you know, get the crowd more into it than they're already going to be. You know, we just have to focus on what we do. It's still played on a court, the dimensions are the same, et cetera. But, you know, as you hear from the guys, they've been preparing mentally for it for a while. You know, I think we're excited about it. I mean, what a chance, to play in front of this many people in a Davis Cup final. I mean, it's a pretty amazing experience, I think. So we're going to enjoy it, but we're also going to try to do, you know, the best we can do to help us win the match. I think that probably means, you know, toning it down slightly and not getting bothered by calls, et cetera. We have to assume we're going to get some bad calls and that's just going to be the way it's going to be.

Q. Patrick, the majority of captains are fielding three singles players. You took another option. That means you are positive that they're going to win the doubles, no?

CAPTAIN McENROE: I'm confident. You're never positive of anything. But, you know, it's always a difficult decision, and it took me a little while to make the decision to go with a doubles team. These guys have certainly proven that they deserved it with the way they've played in Davis Cup. They're 4-0 and they've played great. They bring a lot of enthusiasm and I think help the other singles players relax, you know, that they can prepare for their singles matches, and that's all they need to do. So, you know, you take the chance obviously of somebody getting hurt. But obviously we've got some young players that are working pretty hard and are in pretty good shape. So to me the positives outweigh the negatives at this point, and that's having these guys on the team. Not only the fact that they're winning their matches, but what they bring to the whole team concept I think is very valuable.

Q. Is this the main reason why you chose Fish instead of Spadea, or any particular reason why on clay Fish is better than Spadea?

CAPTAIN McENROE: Well, you know, we were very lucky, we've been very lucky to have Vince here. He's been great this week. He's played great. He's really pushed our guys in practice. But at the end of the day, I still felt that Mardy gave us the best chance to win this match, you know, to win a match here with his game and his style of play and the way he potentially can match up with the Spanish players.

Q. Your thoughts on the choice of Nadal?

CAPTAIN McENROE: I'm not that surprised. You know, obviously he's got a great future. He's got a lot of energy. He obviously can play very well on clay. I think Juan Carlos has had a tough year, you know, with injuries, with his confidence, changing racquets, et cetera. So it's difficult to come into as big a match as this, you know, relatively cold - he hasn't played a lot of tennis. So we're not that surprised. It's going to be difficult, I think, for Nadal to play a tough singles match on Friday and then have to come out and play a great doubles match. I mean, he's certainly young and fit, but I still think that's asking him a lot. He's going to have to play a very physical match with Andy. And he's, you know, been playing great and is extremely fit and focused. So it's a tough ask for him. But, you know, he's 18 or so, so he's obviously got young legs and a lot of energy. But, you know, we prepared. As Andy said, they've got four great singles players. It wouldn't surprise me if we saw somebody else on Sunday, you know, if it gets down to that.

Q. How do you handicap your team? Do you see them as total underdogs, favorites, in between?

CAPTAIN McENROE: I think we're a slight underdog. I mean, playing away and playing a very tough Spanish team. They're obviously playing on their best surface. I mean, there's no secrets there. It's not our best surface. But at the same time we've prepared, and we feel we're as prepared as we can be. We certainly feel going into each match that we can win it. And, as I said, playing at home like we played this year, we've had a good draw to have played three matches at home. But, you know, the opportunity to come here to Spain and to play in a final is a great challenge. I think it would certainly make it even sweeter, you know, to be able to figure out a way to win here, in probably one of the toughest places to play.

Q. How does this court compare with the court in Slovakia as far as speed?

BOB BRYAN: It's like the same. About the same.

Q. Mardy played very well there.

BOB BRYAN: He did.

Q. After looking at the draw this morning, do you feel more optimistic now of the possibilities?

CAPTAIN McENROE: You know, if Nadal's playing, that means he's playing damn well. We know that. But we feel we're playing well. And certainly Andy has been thinking about this, been focusing his training, his fitness on this match for quite some time. So, you know, we have to do what we do. We have to play our games. We have to obviously slightly adjust to the conditions. And I think a lot of that is just being physically prepared, you know, to play some long points and grind it out. So, you know, we're prepared to do that. We know it's going to be tough. But, I mean, in answer to your question, it doesn't really change my outlook for the whole weekend, no. As I said, I think for Nadal to now play a singles, a doubles, maybe another singles, it's difficult. It's difficult on clay. As I said, he's obviously very fit. But, you know, our doubles guys are certainly going to be ready come 4:00 on Saturday. I mean, they're going to be chomping at the bit to get out there. Their guys are going to have to play with a lot of energy.

Q. What are the one or two things you've learned from your few years of captain now that have helped you in terms of preparation for this match?

CAPTAIN McENROE: Well, I think you have to have a team concept, but you also have to be able to understand that tennis is an individual sport. It's different. You hit different buttons with different guys to try to motivate them and to try to get them to play their best. Certain players need a kick in the butt a little more than others, where others need more strategy, more technical things. So I think that's probably the biggest thing. Obviously, I've been around tennis my whole life, so I felt like my understanding of strategy, et cetera, has always been there, and just trying to impart some of that to these guys. But understand that certain players can do certain things well and can take that sort of coaching, you know, in different ways. It's just really being able to deal with different personalities and guys that are used to, you know, being out there on their own. You still have to go out there and play a match here as an individual, but luckily we've had guys that really have grasped the team concept of what Davis Cup is and felt that that was important. I mean, I haven't really honestly had to do too much because they're all such a positive group of guys that really want to play and support each other.

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297