October 12, 2001
WINSTON-SALEM, NORTH CAROLINA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Talk about were you a bit nervous going into the match and did us take you a while to loosen up?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I don't get nervous and I think it was more emotional, you know, with -- with the emotion that's were running through the building. I was getting goose bumps throughout the speeches and the National Anthem, the crowd when they were up before the play started. I tried to start out not overplaying, but that led to not hitting the ball quite as quite as, you know, well and hard as I usually do, so I think I kind of overdid it, but I found a happy medium by the end of the match.
Q. Your thoughts on it being over now and getting through it with the win?
ANDY RODDICK: It's good because it helps the team - we are up 1-0. We are off to a good start. That's the most important thing to me is that I did my part for the day. The tie isn't over and I am going to get ready and get ready to go cheer my teammates on and get ready for Sunday.
Q. Talk about your serve today. Were you pleased with it, medium or --
ANDY RODDICK: I thought the first two sets I served really well. I was serving maybe 60% which is kind of the mark I set for serving well and if I am serving 60% I am feeling like I am holding pretty easily. I had a good bunch of aces. The third set my serve percentage dropped off a little bit but I picked up in other areas. Overall, I was pretty happy with it.
Q. When did you start wearing the hat?
ANDY RODDICK: We have been wearing the FDNY hats pretty much all week. I got this this morning. I thought it would be appropriate to wear it during warmup and do you remember the opening ceremonies.
Q. Talk about his game. He seemed to when he was able to get the ball in play he could stay with you a bit?
ANDY RODDICK: I was surprised. I thought he played pretty well. First set I came up -- I played some points that I didn't like too much but some points I played well and he just came up with the goods. I didn't know much about him he came in. He had probably no pressure. I don't know if they were expecting a win from him. So it's tough when you have to play someone like, that but I thought -- I thought he played pretty well considering the circumstances.
Q. How much pressure was on you?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, pretty much all the pressure was on me. That was, you know, people -- I think people were expecting me to win that match. It was the first match of the tie. You always want to get off to a good start, kind of set the tone, so a lot of pressure was coming my way.
Q. Talk about how different is that for you? You haven't played a lot of Davis Cup but how different is that to come into a match knowing that not only you want to win it but your whole team is kind of depending on you to win it?
ANDY RODDICK: It's different. Davis Cup is not like any other, you know, anything else that you play in tennis. But I love the team atmosphere. I like pressure. I like big occasions. Hopefully I will get to play a couple more down the line.
Q. Talk a little bit about the ways in which your life changes going from juniors to the pro Tour to all of a sudden being in the Top-20 now playing for your country?
ANDY RODDICK: Been a complete 180 in a year. This year has just kind of been a dream come true and it's kind of been a rollercoaster all at once. Last year at this time I was getting ready to go on a stretch in Knoxville, Burbank, you know, Texas, and now here I am playing for my country. I have had to adjust a lot this year and I have had to grow up on and off the court pretty quickly. But it's been a great ride so far. The year's not over yet.
Q. When you are in the tunnel during the introductions I wondered what kind of sensations, emotions and thoughts you had before you came out?
ANDY RODDICK: I couldn't stand still. I was jumping around. Just hearing the people announce my teammates and hearing the crowd erupt, I don't know -- I don't know if I felt like that before. It's different when you walk out on a court by yourself but when you are representing a whole country and your teammates and, you know, it's definitely a different feeling. But a good one.
Q. When somebody asked Sampras after you beat him at the Ericsson were you worried about getting hurt. He joked, yeah, me and everybody else. I was watching people squirm behind where you were serving, I mean, literally jumping out of the way. Do you ever hit balls so hard that you wonder if you are going to hurt somebody in the stands?
ANDY RODDICK: No, that doesn't really cross my mind. I think they might have a pretty good awareness that it might be coming at 'em so I have to do my job. I can't --
Q. I understand that.
ANDY RODDICK: I can't really worry about -- I don't want to hurt anybody, but it's kind of kind of out of my hands.
Q. Talk about the different emotions. Were you worried about dealing more with the butterflies and the excitement or the pressure that you had to win?
ANDY RODDICK: Butterflies and excitement were definitely, you know, I enjoy, like I said before, I enjoy big occasions and I enjoy having to do something. The times where I have struggled this year is when I haven't been able to get up for matches and when I have been playing in front of scarce crowds and it was more butterflies than maybe being overly excited.
Q. How important is it to you, especially with you two young guys, sort of the next generation, are the two singles players for this team now. What does that say to you about the future of American tennis?
ANDY RODDICK: Patrick made it no secret the beginning of the year when he took the job that he was going to kind of try to force a youth movement a little bit, but while not sacrificing, you know, the good of the team and James has improved immensely since this year and especially since the beginning of the summer. He's a different player now than he was, you know, four months ago. I think Patrick just went with a hot hand. He beat Bjorkman and Rios last week in Tokyo and came here, he was excited. He was playing well, and so, you know, I don't think it was an easy decision for captain but I think he went with the guy who had won some matches.
Q. The hats, are they all individual decisions or did the team collectively all want to wear various ---
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, we definitely want to show our support, you know, and this is a good stage to kind of show our support for them. We requested a couple of them and we got them and we are just trying to -- this is kind of our way of showing everybody that we are here for them and we are playing for the US and that we are still thinking and praying for everybody involved.
Q. The Anthrax scare in your hometown, how much are you hearing about that and how much has that been on your mind?
ANDY RODDICK: I have the same emotions as everybody else in this room as far as what is going on in the world. It's scary that of any city in the United States it's kind of my city and it's 4 miles away from where I live, but, you know, I think they are doing a great job of trying to stop it before it becomes, you know, really widespread. They have tested hundreds and hundreds of people. I think they have maybe three or four, so and they are putting everybody on antibiotics. So I definitely feel safe going back home and I think the people working on it are doing a really good job.
End of FastScripts....