February 8, 2004
Q. She is okay, Andy (girl who was hit with 150 mph serve)?
ANDY RODDICK: She's all right, yeah.
Q. What did you say to her?
ANDY RODDICK: I just said I was sorry. You know, I just wanted to make sure she was okay.
Q. Is it okay like to look ahead to Sweden a little bit. Tell me what do you think.
ANDY RODDICK: Obviously I think it's an upset, Australia at home, you know, they have a pretty strong record, going into this year they were probably the favorites picking somebody to try to win the whole thing, obviously as defending champions, two topi-tier singles players and probably the best doubles player of all time. They are a very good team. Sweden, they remind me a little bit of the French teams that have done well recently because they have good doubles players and people they can interchange and according to the matchup, kind of like Bjorkman didn't play the first day of singles because they didn't know if it will match up that well; then against Philippoussis because I think he matches up a little bit better than some other guys. They are very sneaky in that aspect. They have a lot of experience, been around a while yet they have a couple of young guys who are coming up and who are excited. I think they have a pretty good groove working there. Like I said, they can interchange and according to the matchups and that makes them dangerous.
Q. Why is it that you have been able to hit three 150 mile an hour serves the last three days, when before you'd be capping at 149, eating your Wheaties?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I am not sure. Obviously indoors there are no elements involved, probably feel like you can get a better hit on the ball. I think, you know, unlike the court surface in Australia where it really grabs spins and whatnot, you want to -- flat serve in this quick of a court, is probably your best bet or my best bet anyway, maybe I have just been going for flat serves a bit more this week.
Q. Going back to Sweden, the week between Houston and Miami, where would you like to play?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. We have been -- we were kind of just throwing ideas around, but I am not sure. It's -- I am ecstatic it is in the United States. And we don't have to play all the way down to Australia and then adjust to the time change, then come back and play the next week on clay and adjust to the time change, that would have been a little bit of a struggle. Anywhere in the States is good for me, compared to the other option.
Q. Does your playing today, really nothing at stake, does that sort of reflect your commitment to David Cup or do you feel beholden to fans who paid money?
ANDY RODDICK: Obviously I feel a pretty good obligation to the fans that make Davis Cup possible. To be honest it's a pretty easy decision, Robby and I are on the same plane tonight to San Jose so I wasn't leaving until he was leaving anyways. (Laughs) so I am sitting there and might as well get a sweat in and work the legs. I don't think I will play for a couple of days, I probably won't play until Wednesday in San Jose. I have a couple of days. I feel pretty healthy. I feel good. So I am -- I wasn't really weary of any injuries or anything. There really wasn't a reason for me not to play.
Q. Your game compared to last year to the Open to now?
ANDY RODDICK: It's a process. But I think it's still building momentum. I am nowhere near a finished project by any means, I know that. That's what keeps me motivated kind of maybe on a daily basis. Last year I was getting better. Felt like I was getting better, but I think I am just a lot more confident. I am a lot more confident in my shots. I don't really have any panic out there anymore. I am pretty calm. I feel most of the time that I am playing my match and kind of doing pretty much what I want to out there. Even when I lost to Marat I thought I played really well. I hit the ball really well. It's nice to see the things that you try to work on kind of building and show on the stage.
Q. Do you think the Davis Cup format could be changed or improved? Some people have talked about shortening it so it's not spread out over the full year.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, you know, everything can be improved. Schedules can be improved. That's not my area. My job is to did out and play tennis matches. Pretty much my opinion is irrelevant when it comes to matters like that.
Q. Would it make it easier for top players, do you think?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, but I mean, it obviously would be easier, but one of the things that kind of makes Davis Cup special is the fact that you know, it creates different scenarios like such like what happened yesterday, just totally changing the face of, you know, going all the way down to Australia or, you know, staying here, I think that's kind of what makes it a little intriguing.
Q. Do you see yourself getting to a point where Pete and Andre did, where it became too much for them to try and balance Davis Cup with their other schedules?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think so. I don't know. I don't know what the future holds, but I am very committed to playing Davis Cup. I love the guys that I am with. That has a lot to do with it for me as well. I think we are a lot more -- we are a closer unit than that team was. So I really feel an obligation not only to play for my country but to play for the other guys as well.
Q. When you were growing up did it ever bother you that those guys didn't perhaps have the passion for Davis Cup that you do?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't buy it with Andre because he was, you know, a Davis Cupper for so long, you guys have to remember they won Davis Cup titles, you know, and it's not like I hear those questions, you know, if someone were sitting here and they didn't know anything about Agassi and Sampras and Davis Cup they would think that they never played when in fact that they did. But they just made a career choice later on, that maybe they can get another year or two, three out of their careers if they maybe took a back seat and let the young guys trying to have a crack at it.
Q. Did you try and work on some facets of your game today? I noticed you were changing speeds a lot. What were you trying to do?
ANDY RODDICK: Speed on --
Q. On your serve. Changing up?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, it's kind of been an evolving process. I know that I have always been able to hit the big serve. The things I have been working on is on my slice serve to get it to keep trailing away, you know, and make them as wide as possible. Being able to hit a kick serve off a slice toss. Just little things to -- my goal is to be able to hit every serve well, and, you know, I am getting there, I think. I think I am really learning, you know, Brad came in he's like, okay, you are a great fastball pitcher, but you need to learn how to pitch a better game, you know, you can't always have people sitting on your fast ball.
Q. Opportunity like today a good chance for you to be able to do that where nothing is riding on the match?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes and no. I market it on it anyways. I think even in the first match I was mixing up my paces pretty well throwing in some kicks and slices, but, you know, today I just wanted to go out there try to strike the ball well. That was it. I wasn't really going out there, okay I am going to use this as a practice session, I have practice sessions where I can do that. (Laughs). I was just trying to go out there and play like a normal match.
Q. Yesterday Patrick said the goal was not to win the Davis Cup just this year but to win it every year. Do you guys have the same approach as a team to try to get back to that level where you are the favored and could be favored every single year?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah, but we have got to get through this one first. You have to get to that first tier before you can become perennial favorites. Obviously, I think it excites Patrick like it does the rest of us that we have a pretty young core of guys, who are very willing and very eager to play, so I only see our team getting better as the years go on.
Q. Are you fully committed through this Davis Cup year?
ANDY RODDICK: Absolutely.
Q. In the first set you said it's a dead rubber lighten up, what does that mean?
ANDY RODDICK: I almost felt like he was really down or something, that he was out there and, you know, I think the fans just wanted to see us have fun, and there was a lot of calls being questioned and I just wanted it to be kind of just mellow out and let's have fun and play a match. I didn't -- maybe I shouldn't have said anything, but, you know, I was just hoping we can play the match. Just play it in good spirit.
Q. How much did your approach change today with the match not in question?
ANDY RODDICK: Obviously we are very relaxed in warm-ups today. There wasn't really the intensity or the buzz in the air that there normally is. But as far as when I got out there, I still tried to play our game plan, still I wasn't taking points off, or anything like that. Once you get out there and you are out there, you try to play well. It's pretty simple.
Q. You talked about excitement a minute ago. Do you feel pressure with all the people looking in at tennis and saying this is the guy who is bringing excitement to men's tennis, bringing the excitement back?
ANDY RODDICK: There's always pressure, that's what professional sports is about. You can always find pressure in one form or another. I am excited that I have the opportunity to maybe to reach out and maybe bring new tennis fans in. If I can make a difference as an individual, I mean, we don't have, you know, as tennis players, being an individual sport, I have said it before, we don't have a huge marketing team behind us, you know, doing it so, I think it's up to the players to promote the game. I am happy with that responsibility.
Q. Fans like the 16 year old girls up in the back with "go Roddick" on their t-shirts that sort of thing, did you see those kids?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I have seen them before. It's cool. I hope they are new tennis fans. I hope they enjoyed it. Maybe they will start playing, who knows. Whenever we bring fans into the game that's the whole point, if we can grow it as much as possible, that's the goal.
Q. That last serve did you try to go out --
ANDY RODDICK: I was going for it. It didn't register. That was about the best one I have hit.
Q. They later said it was 150, the second serve.
ANDY RODDICK: Damn it. (Laughter).
Q. Do you trust these guns?
ANDY RODDICK: Supposedly these are -- they have come up with this new system where they have cameras or radars placed everywhere; not just one behind the court, I think that's why you have seen the difference with the out-wide service measuring a little higher because it's not just shot from one spot. They actually have cameras all-around. It's a more sophisticated system supposedly. It's supposed to be even more accurate than normal.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.