November 13, 2004
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.
Q. What do you eat before a match?
ANDY RODDICK: Food. You?
Q. Anything in particular?
ANDY RODDICK: Normally just some -- maybe a sandwich and some vegetables, something like that.
Q. Some pasta?
ANDY RODDICK: Sometimes. I don't have a set meal.
Q. How many hours do you eat before a match?
ANDY RODDICK: Couple.
Q. What's it going to take in 2005 for it to be a successful year for you?
ANDY RODDICK: It's tough to say. Obviously, I think a Slam is a measure of a great year. But, you know, this year I didn't win a Slam, I still felt like I had a pretty good year. I won over 70 matches again. I'm not sure. I don't really think in those terms.
Q. But to regain No. 1, what do you think you should do next year?
ANDY RODDICK: Beat Roger more (laughing). No, you know, I think I'm improving along the right path. It's just a matter of a couple things here and there. You know, I feel like I'm close and I feel like that's a possibility. I'm going to try my best to get back there.
Q. On the point of Roger, what do you think, what's it going to take? You made the comment early on, in order to have a rivalry, you have to win a few of these.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. What do you think the difference is? What are you going to have to do to make that difference?
ANDY RODDICK: I think I'm going to have to become a better athlete. I think right now, Roger kind of gets me when we get into the extended rallies. He's a more fluid mover at this point. And, you know, I think it's just a matter of keeping an aggressive mindset against him, you know. I was pretty close at Wimbledon, again in Toronto, first set Love-40, comes up with three aces. Hopefully, he won't do that much more next year (laughing). I feel like I'm close, it's tough to go from close to, you know, kind of jump over that little hump. But I'm going to try my best.
Q. Do you look at film with him?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I don't know if there are weaknesses, but maybe things that, with Roger, I don't think you can really look and say, "Okay, his weakness is this." I think I have to say, "What can I do most effectively against him? How can I make my game most effective?" We'll try to look at some film in the off-season.
Q. It sounds like it's not going to be technical tennis. But you have to handle him.
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not sure. You know, if I came up with something new, trust me, I wouldn't tell you guys (laughter).
Q. We might tell him?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not going to make it that...
Q. Before Gilbert, did you watch film?
ANDY RODDICK: I still haven't watched film. But now we might have to incorporate that into it. But I've never been big on watching film.
Q. I want to talk about the Davis Cup. Pat McEnroe said to the Washington Post that maybe the key is going to be physically in great shape. What do you plan to do from here to December?
ANDY RODDICK: I've already been working on that for the past month. I'm in about as good a shape as I have been, as healthy as I have been for this whole year. That's already starting. The Davis Cup process started for me as soon as the US Open was over.
Q. And what does it mean for you to go to the final, be able to regain a title that the US has not won in a while?
ANDY RODDICK: We hear a lot about we haven't won it in ten years. In all fairness, not one person from this team was on that team. While it's the same country, it's not the same people. It's not like I had the No. 1 ranking and now I don't have it. It's a completely different team, a completely different dynamic. We're excited. We feel with the group of guys we have, we've been building there for three or four years now. Now to have a chance at the title, it's very exciting for us.
Q. The clay surface, do you think it's a weakness for you?
ANDY RODDICK: It's no secret that's not our favorite surface, but that's what we have to deal with. We're going in knowing that. There are no surprises. We're going in there, we're going to try to win three matches. I think you just have to simplify your thinking.
Q. Are you going to work out here at all?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I haven't talked to Patrick that much. My focus has kind of been on Masters Cup for right now.
Q. When will you go over?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm sure we'll go over -- I think for right now, our tentative plan is to leave the day after Thanksgiving. Get over there early.
Q. Do you feel more comfortable if Andre Agassi would have been on the team? Will you feel less pressure?
ANDY RODDICK: It's an irrelevant question because he's not. You know, it's not, I mean, no offense, but it's not worth talking about because it's not a possibility.
Q. Do you feel a lot of pressure, being with Mardy Fish, with all due respect, you are going to be any way, no matter the player that is on the team, but do you feel pressure?
ANDY RODDICK: There's pressure no matter what. We're in a Davis Cup final, especially in a foreign country on not our favorite surface. I look at it as we're the underdogs. I don't know if anybody's expecting a lot for us, therefore, we'll go out, give it our best, maybe we'll walk away surprising a few people. Who knows.
Q. Are you working with Mardy about building his own confidence level and playing? He seems to waiver somewhat, relies upon you for mentoring, leadership.
ANDY RODDICK: If he asks questions, which he does sometimes, then I'll offer. But we're friends. I'm not going to talk down to Mardy or pretend like I know everything. I'm still learning myself. But, I mean, he knows. If he ever has any questions about how to handle things and stuff, I've kind of seen it before, even though I'm pretty young. All the guys on the team know, even the young Juniors coming up know that if I can help them at all, then I'm willing.
Q. You're a crowd favorite here. Does that really make a difference when you're in the tough matches?
ANDY RODDICK: I think so. I have a lot of history with the fans here in Houston, starting from I won my second-ever event here in Houston when I was 18. So, you know, this is definitely -- I have a lot of memories here. A lot of familiar faces, just the people volunteering at the tournament. You know, people in the restaurant here, I've known them for four years now. So it's definitely a comfortable feeling and one that hopefully will work in my benefit. But that's all for naught if I don't play well, you know.
Q. This surface, against Roger, how do you evaluate him on the different surfaces?
ANDY RODDICK: To be fair, I have to win a lot of matches to even get there. So I'm not worried about Roger right now. If that comes to fruition, then I'll discuss it. But I have Henman on Tuesday night and that's going to be tough.
Q. How do you feel about this surface?
ANDY RODDICK: I like it. It's an outdoor hard court. My favorite place to play.
Q. How different is it from the US Open? Is this the same as on the tour?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I don't know if it's -- the US Open might be a little quicker. It's tough to tell. I only hit in 45 minutes in freezing weather. It's tough to compare to Cincinnati, where it's 95 degrees and humid. You don't know how much of it is the court and how much of it is the weather.
Q. Do you like the fact that it's now level?
ANDY RODDICK: It's nice (smiling). It's good.
Q. What about this week?
ANDY RODDICK: It's great. People questioned the McIngvales last year. They really stepped up and put together what I'm sure will be a good event. As soon as you walk in the door, the improvements are noticeable. It's a credit to them.
Q. Any comments about Brad's book?
ANDY RODDICK: I haven't read it. No, I'm just playing. I read like the precopy of it. That's for you guys to decide, not me.
Q. You're quoted a lot.
ANDY RODDICK: I just bought the author, so I don't need to worry about reading the book (smiling).
Q. Can I go back a little bit to the Davis Cup. You were talking about the American...
ANDY RODDICK: Why read the book when I hired the coach?
Q. That's a great answer.
ANDY RODDICK: I'll save my $16, you know.
ANDY RODDICK: You see, even worse. You pay that. I don't have to.
Q. He's more expensive than the book.
ANDY RODDICK: I should have bought the book. It would have been cheaper (smiling).
Q. You were talking about having the public with you here, the audience. What do you expect in Spain? They built a court in an Olympic stadium. It's going to be 23,000 crazy Spanish...
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's going to be crazy. You know, obviously, we're not going to be, you know, they're not going to be cheering for us. We expect that. If it's 23,000 people, we expect 22,900 to be cheering for Spain. Like I said, the good thing about it is we know what we're getting into when we go over there. It's not going to be a surprise. We know it's going to be tough but we go in knowing that, with the mindset that we just have to try our best to deal with it.
Q. Your serve being your best weapon, do you think playing on clay, are you less secure about your weapons, about your serve?
ANDY RODDICK: No, we've discussed that already. It's not my favorite surface. That's not a secret.
Q. How do you plan to contrast the surface with your game?
ANDY RODDICK: As best I can. You know, we'll see. I'm going to go in there, give it my all, hopefully play well. Like I said, it's a team effort. It's not just about me. Hopefully as a team, we can get three wins somehow.
Q. Between Ferrero, Moya, which game do you prefer?
ANDY RODDICK: They're both -- they've both won the French Open. That's if they play, you know. Nadal coming on, Robredo coming on. So far in my career I've had a lot of success against those guys but like you said, I haven't played them on clay that much. I'm interested to see how the matchups go.
Q. You played against Robredo here in 2002?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. Will you prefer to play with Robredo in Spain?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I don't think I'll be playing Robredo there. I'm 8-0 against him. I've beat him on clay before. I don't know if they'll play him against me. If they do, then it will be a surprise.
Q. Have you studied like all matches in Spain, like video?
ANDY RODDICK: No, because, like I said, it's not the same players. It's not, you know -- I played a semifinal tie away in France in front of 16, 17,000 people. That was a couple years ago. I know a little bit about what it might be like. No, I'm excited. I'm super excited.
Q. And the Davis Cup, it's like a patriotic thing to win it for the United States. How do you feel about like representing your country?
ANDY RODDICK: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Q. What is your personal feeling?
ANDY RODDICK: In any sport if you get asked to represent your country, I mean, play on behalf of your country, it's obviously a great honor, you know. And, you know, if you're able to bring the Davis Cup back, then it will be something special for all of us.
Q. It's bigger than a Grand Slam title personally?
ANDY RODDICK: It's definitely -- it's different. You can't really compare the two because they're two totally different things. A Grand Slam, you're playing for yourself most of the time. This involves...
Q. The whole country.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Exactly. It involves everybody. It's tough to compare the two. They're both huge, though.
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