October 19, 2005
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. You have beaten Karlovic twice this year. How can you explain a match like this?
ANDY RODDICK: This is actually probably the best I've played against him, funny enough. He definitely played a lot better tonight, as far as volleying. I actually made more returns against him tonight than I have in my last couple of matches. Through two sets, I don't think I could have played better. The half volley he made in the tiebreaker at 6-All was pretty extraordinary. Like I said, I think that's the highest quality match that we've played.
Q. How different or difficult is it playing at this altitude?
ANDY RODDICK: It's different. You know, you come here. I remember the first couple of balls I hit, they were going three and four feet deep. You know, I went up in string tension. You know, you definitely feel it when you're running around a little bit more. Kind of burns your lungs a little bit. You know, that being said, every player here has to make an adjustment. There's not altitude on some courts and not the others. It's an adjustment, though.
Q. Greg Rusedski said Karlovic, altitude, that's the worst draw that you could possibly have. We thought he was probably exaggerating a bit. Do you think, in fact, his comments were reasonably accurate?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. Karlovic is uncomfortable any time. You know, you ever play the game craps where you kind of shake it and throw? That's kind of what a match with Karlovic is. You're going to have two or three points per tiebreaker that's either going to go your way or it's not. It didn't go my way tonight. Especially, the second set tiebreaker, I don't think I played a bad point. One point when he busted my serve, I hit an inside-out forehand, he hit a running backhand up the line that I hadn't seen him hit before. Then I played some good points. Didn't happen. You know, I think more so than the altitude was the way that he volleyed tonight. You can normally count on him missing a couple volleys and making some silly errors. He was really solid. That's probably the best I've hit my returns against him in the matches that I played. I made him play a lot of volleys, which was my strategy going in. He did it. I think a lot of the credit goes to him, not the altitude.
Q. You were a bit annoyed, to say the least, about some of the calls. You had one or two conversations with the umpire.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I hope you saw the replay. Tell me I was wrong. There was no way. What did I hear? I heard, "We got something to prove," a couple days ago, or something, where we can use machines actually and take out the element of human error. To Lars' credit, the chair umpire, it's impossible for him to call a quarter of an inch, you know, on the line, on the outside of the line, when it's going 135 miles an hour. But that being said, there are so many balls that are like that, and something needs to be done to figure out how to call those. You know, also I'd never seen these referees before in my life. I don't know where they get them from, if they're doing Spanish junior tournaments or what they're doing, but I've never seen them before. At least have some consistency there. You can't take umpires who are doing, you know, whatever matches, then put them in front of some serves like we have and expect them to not miss a beat. There are a couple issues with that.
Q. You'll welcome the technology when it comes?
ANDY RODDICK: Sure. Why not? If it's there, why not use it? Why should you have matches won and lost? The one was not won or lost tonight on calls, by the way. Every time I got a bad call, I was kind of able to come back. But why wouldn't you? First of all, you wouldn't leave a match thinking, Okay, what if they would have not gotten that wrong? Secondly, I think it would add something to tennis. Can you imagine if you had a flag in your bag or something that you could throw for an instant replay once a set or twice a set? It would add a whole 'nother element of excitement to it. I think it would be fun. There's no reason not to if it's there. We're the only sport that kind of hasn't gone along with it. So hopefully it will happen.
Q. It's very good in cricket. Very effective. The umpires call for a third umpire to give a view on it. It's very effective.
ANDY RODDICK: I'm sure. There's no reason why it wouldn't be. We have technology of cameras at every single angle. Umpires get nervous just like we do. You know, it's the same thing. You just take out the element of human error. Plus I think it would be fun. It would add something to the game. Let's say somebody cries too much, uses their two challenges, then has a ball that they can't challenge. It's their own fault. They shot themselves in the foot. I think it would be fun. Probably not if you're in that position, but... Just have a monitor there or something. You have the technology to do it; now it's just a matter of I think when someone commits to doing it, hopefully the rest will follow suit. There's no reason not to.
Q. You could have won this tournament knowing that Federer dropped out. Nadal is so-so with his knee. You really got a chance to win here. Does it hurt when you lose having a match point on the second set? How do you feel about it?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I don't know what you expect me to say. No? I mean, I'm pissed off. I'm not happy with it. You know, regardless of Nadal and Federer, I didn't play them. You worry about the match when you get there. I didn't get there. Today I had, you know, Karlovic who is about 10 feet tall. That's what I had to deal with. I'm not happy. Would you be happy if your camera fell and it broke?
ANDY RODDICK: Okay. Same thing. My camera fell.
Q. Was something wrong in your way out of the court? You seem to have lost your temper with the behavior of some guys, with the loss.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah. I was curious as to why someone asked for an interview. I said, "No thank you" probably three or four times. They kept following and kept talking about, you know, this, that and the other. So I calmly said, "Please stop." It didn't happen. You know, I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't raise my voice or anything. It was a little annoying. But the guy was looking for his shot. I mean, he was looking for me to get upset. He was looking to piss me off, no other reason than to try to antagonize me. I guess that makes for good TV. Reality TV is big these days, right? I guess that's what he was going for. I didn't think it was very professional. Normally if someone asks for an interview and you say no, it's normally professional just to accommodate. "No" is a pretty universal word, as well. I thought it was a little bit unprofessional.
Q. You don't play the balls very often, but you're doing it here with James Blake.
ANDY RODDICK: It's a good thing now, huh? That's good. I get free meals for another day.
Q. Is it kind of practice for the Davis Cup? Why are you playing doubles here in Madrid?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, the thought behind it was hopefully I'd get a match in before singles, because I've only played two matches in the past five or six weeks. But they decided to schedule my doubles on Thursday, even though I had Monday and Tuesday off. Didn't really work out the way I had planned it. But nevertheless, I'm here. I'm going to play doubles. We'll see how it goes.
Q. Some tournaments tried a new system in doubles last week and the week before.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. Have you heard about that? What do you think about it?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I don't think I play enough doubles for my opinion to be very relevant. I play once or twice a year, so it really won't affect me in any way, shape or form. I don't consider myself informed enough of the decision-making process to really give an educated opinion.
Q. Usually the altitude in Madrid suits your game. Are you going to keep on trying? This year you are in Shanghai. Doesn't matter the result today. It was a pity for you to have to come to Europe?
ANDY RODDICK: I knew that I was going to make Shanghai before I came over here. We'd have to have like eight players win every tournament, which is a little difficult if you think about it, not to make Shanghai. That wasn't really on my decision-making process. You know, I love tennis and I wanted to play. I'm a tennis player. That's why I'm here. I'm going to go play Lyon next week.
Q. You are staying in Europe? You are not going back home?
ANDY RODDICK: Hopefully, eventually. I'm not going to move here (smiling). No, I'm going to play next week for sure. I'm looking forward to playing out the rest of the year. I had a little bit of time off during the US Open, so I need to play a little bit.
Q. You are the leader of a new generation because your defeat at the US Open, it made the others play great. Now Ginepri, Blake --
ANDY RODDICK: The US players?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know if I can take credit for James and Robby playing well just 'cause I played like shit -- I mean, badly, since I played badly. I'm glad that they did. I hope they keep playing better and better. It would be nice to have some company, that's for sure. I think they're on their way.
Q. James Blake has been through an extraordinary sequence of things with the neck, his father, the palsy. Would you be prepared to say a few words about what it's taken for him to get back?
ANDY RODDICK: I can't imagine what it would take. All I know is like how bad I feel when I have a sprained ankle. I'm out for four, five or six days. Put it this way: I have a real hard time believing in karma. If someone who is as good of a person as James, who is as nice of a guy as James, has one thing after another happening like that, he's probably the one person out here who deserves it the least. But you'll be troubled to find a harder worker. You know, I think I speak for the entire tennis world when I say we're really happy to have him back, and he's an attribute to the game. Thanks.
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