January 27, 2004
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.
Q. Just a year ago that something similar happened, the five-set match, quarterfinals. What do you think separated you two players?
ANDY RODDICK: Not a whole lot. You know, I got off to a quick start. He was playing great tennis for the next three sets, I think, the second, third and fourth. I actually felt like I was lucky to win the fourth. I thought he was playing better that set. But I felt like I had more chances in the fifth. He just took his chance when he got it. You know, I think that was the main difference.
Q. What were you thinking after the first set when he called for the trainer? It looked like he was really struggling.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I was just as confused as anyone. You know, I was thinking he was quick to call the trainer. He was stretching a lot in that one game. Then I guess he just decided he was going to play through it, you know, and suck it up.
Q. Did you think he'd be able to do that?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't know. You know, it's tough to tell. You know, you can't really feel what someone else is feeling, you know. So I was just guessing. I really didn't know. You know, maybe that relaxed him. Maybe that let him play a little bit more carefree because he started hitting the ball great. You know, he was a lot better than me for that second and third set.
Q. Did he surprise you with the fighting spirit he produced?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I mean, it's -- you know, people think of Marat and they think of temperamental. He is all those things, but at the same time when it comes down to it, he wants to win and he's competitive. You know, someone trying to win a tennis match and trying as hard as they can, that doesn't surprise me at all.
Q. It was a wonderful match. Did you have a feeling that it was an extraordinary match as you were playing it?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I felt I played well tonight. You know, I felt there were some good things out there and some things that I can try and build on. You know, it's a little disappointing, but I felt like, you know, even when I was missing shots, it was the third or fourth good shot I was hitting in the rally. He played great, he played really well tonight. So we just have to suck it up and give credit to him. You know, I was happy that it was a good match.
Q. Was there anything in particular in your game tonight that you felt didn't sort of come through?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, that's a double-edged sword. When you ask me that, my first thought is I had a couple good looks at forehands at crucial times. But at the same time I took my swings at them and I went for them. So that's the shot that was going to win me the match. And, you know, I just didn't make them at the right times. But, you know, I felt like I hit them well. You know, I wouldn't change it if I had the chance to do it again.
Q. You had some terrific shots, had him down 15-40. Did you feel you were going to get him then?
ANDY RODDICK: I thought -- I felt like I had my feet back in. You know, I really didn't make him play too much from 15-40 on. I had a good look at a forehand again, and, you know, just clipped the tape with one that was going to get up the line pretty good. So, you know, I just tried my best. You know, I didn't want to just lay down because he had the break.
Q. You're going to lose the No. 1 position. Does it hurt?
ANDY RODDICK: Uhm, not really, you know. Obviously it's a nice number to have. But, you know, I have 12 months to get it back or 11 months to try to get it back before the year ends. You know, no one can take away from me the fact that I was there and that I did have it. It's going to be jumping around I think a little bit this year. But that's what makes it exciting. So not really. I mean, not really.
Q. How do you see the match-up with Andre and Marat?
ANDY RODDICK: He might actually win a set (laughter). No. I guess it depends how Marat's feeling physically. I think that's the big -- you know, the big thing. Because Andre hasn't been playing too much tennis here and Marat's been, you know, fourth sets pretty much every match and, you know, tonight. That's tough not having played so many long matches in the last year or so. I don't know if -- I felt like I was fresher out there at the end of the fifth. So I think that's a big thing. I think he's playing well enough to give Andre a go. And he matches up well. He can control it. But I'm pretty sure Andre's going to want to set the tone and maybe make him run a little bit early on. It will be an exciting match, though. It will be fun to watch.
Q. Are you off to Uncasville, Connecticut?
ANDY RODDICK: No, man. I'm off -- you expect me to spend a week and a half in Uncasville (laughter)? What the hell's wrong with you? I'm going to go to the Indian casino for a week and a half. They don't even have the court laid yet. Is that where we're playing?
Q. Uncasville, Connecticut.
ANDY RODDICK: That's the name of it?
Q. Six residents and a gambling casino.
ANDY RODDICK: Six what?
ANDY RODDICK: Six residents?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, Bud, I'm going to go party with the locals until the Davis Cup starts.
Q. I don't know what sex they are to party with.
ANDY RODDICK: All right. I'm going to stop it there.
Q. You described your last loss to Marat. You said you got schooled.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. Is there anything you learned from him tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, I didn't get schooled, which was good. Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, I learned a lot of things out there. You always learn more in losses than you do in wins. I think that goes without saying. And losses actually motivate me a lot more than wins also. You know, you can be kind of bitter when you're working out. You know, it gives you something to remember, I guess. So, you know, I played well every match this tournament. And, you know, I think I showed some improvement. You know, I was -- you know, my fitness training paid off in the off-season. We were out there -- I don't know how long we were out there, but I was ready to keep going. You know, so there are some definite positives that I can take away there this event.
Q. Did you think about the El Aynaoui match at all?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. No, I mean, I started thinking -- I thought about it before we started the fifth set. "Gee, oh, gosh." Because we hadn't broken each other in however long. So I was like, "This actually -- this could get ridiculous." But I didn't think about it much once we got started.
Q. Sort of not being tested in the first rounds, do you think that had any sort of impact when you got to a match like this?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think so. No. I competed well. You know, it didn't really shock me or, you know, I wasn't uncomfortable being in the trenches or anything like that. So I really don't think -- I don't think so.
Q. Did you wish Marat a happy birthday?
ANDY RODDICK: I did, actually, when we shook hands.
Q. Are you going to share a cake with him?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I'm not going to share a cake with him. I don't know, maybe if he's going out, maybe a beer.
THE MODERATOR: Last question, please.
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't want to answer any more anyway (laughter).
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.