April 2, 2004
THE MODERATOR: Andy will attempt to win his third career ATP Masters Series title, first here in Miami, on Sunday. He will also try to win his second ATP title of the year. Questions for Andy.
Q. You lost to him in Scottsdale. Did you come into this with a sense of wariness?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, I think any time you're in the semis of a Masters Series event you know the guy on the other side of the net is playing pretty well. I always have wariness. I wish I could say that I don't worry that much about opponents, but I do - but probably even more so because I lost to him in Scottsdale.
Q. How would you grade your performance?
ANDY RODDICK: It was a good performance. I was very happy with it. You know, I pretty much dominated from start to finish, which is what I wanted to do against Vince. I mean, he's very good when he gets his feet into a match, starts playing every point, starts not missing. I wanted to come out and maybe set the tone early and it worked for me today.
Q. You said you worry about opponents. What are your worries about Coria?
ANDY RODDICK: He's one of the fastest guys on tour. He doesn't give an inch. He's got a great feel for the court. He gets out of so many situations with his hands and playing the right shot at the right time. You can't say enough about someone who's a fighter. He's been down-and-out in the tournament more than I have, which is saying something (smiling). So I'm going to have to go beat him; he's not going to give me anything, that's for sure.
Q. You had a higher percentage of points on your second serve than your first serve. What does that say to you?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm just not going to hit first serves anymore.
Q. How pleasing was that first forehand volley that cut the court in two?
ANDY RODDICK: I made a couple tonight (smiling).
Q. You made a couple, didn't you?
ANDY RODDICK: I was ecstatic after the -- you know, I almost built a building yesterday. So today was a lot better (smiling).
Q. Are the stakes higher when you're playing not only someone you lost to recently but a fellow American as opposed to someone else? Was it any different for you because of that, the familiarity?
ANDY RODDICK: Uhm... I don't think so. I think it would have been -- I think that's a question for maybe a first- or second-round match. But when it comes to a semifinal, you're only focus is trying to get through that and trying to get to your final. I think those factors play on your mind a little bit more, like I said, if it is a first or second round.
Q. Is it sort of how like football teams talk about the AFC or NFC Championship game being harder in a way than the Super Bowl? Is that what you would relate it to?
ANDY RODDICK: Kind of. Yeah, absolutely. If you're in the semis of a Masters Series event, you feel like you've already done some pretty good work that week. Now the pressure is off and you just go out and play. So I haven't played football before, but maybe it's similar.
Q. You went out after the match yesterday and spent 15, 20 minutes on the practice court.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. Was that for any one specific stroke, or was it just to get that match cleared out, get Brad on to you about something? What was the theory behind that?
ANDY RODDICK: There were a lot of theories behind it. First thing we did was hit forehands, and second thing we did was hit volleys. That was pretty much the extent of the practice.
Q. You said on TV during the warm-up I guess on the Stadium you had a good feeling, you liked the way you were hitting the ball.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. Does that typically carry over, is that an indicator?
ANDY RODDICK: I've had times when it is and I've had times when I just felt terrible in warm-up and came out and played great matches. I always like to feel like I'm hitting the ball well in warm-up, but it's not an all-or-nothing type thing for me.
Q. Saw you take about 10 minutes outside on the grass with the kids before getting into the car last night. You live just up the coast. Were you ever one of those kids? What does this particular tournament mean to you?
ANDY RODDICK: I wasn't huge on autographs but, you know, I definitely came and watched all the time, you know, when I was younger. If they're sitting out there for, you know, an hour, hour and 15, the least you can do is pretty much take five or ten minutes to sign a piece of paper.
Q. What does this place mean to you?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, you know, I have a lot of memories, you know, from this place. Not only in the professional ranks, but I've said earlier in the week that I was here at the opening of this place, they had a USTA kind of big training camp where they brought in kids from all over the country to celebrate this place being here. I was here, I think that was in '93. Won Sunshine Cup here in 2000 with Bobby. You know, my first-ever ATP win came here; first win against Pete came here. So there are a lot of memories from a ways back.
Q. When you came here as a kid to watch, what sort of names would you really be watching? What stands out in your mind?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, Agassi, Chang, Becker, Sampras, I mean, just all the players from probably the early '90s that were dominating.
Q. You haven't had huge success here. Have you pressed a little bit because it was your home tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: Maybe. I just wasn't playing that well the last two years, to be honest. I just didn't -- I'm not sure. I'd love to use that excuse, but I played great here for that time in 2001. So I don't know. Maybe, but I think there are a lot of other factors that had, you know, that played in me not doing so hot here in the last two years.
Q. Someone asked Coria who would he rather play. He said yourself because he wanted a little revenge on when you beat him in Houston. What's your response to that?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, he has that chance now (smiling).
Q. Do you remember that match, though?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes, I was there (laughter).
Q. How was that?
ANDY RODDICK: He was up 3-1 in the third and I won 6-3. I stepped up in the last little bit of the third set.
Q. Kind of a clay court guy?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm kind of a clay court guy. Yeah, I'm awesome on clay (smiling). Yeah, let's play the match on Sunday on clay... Not. No, I'm joking.
Q. Do you sense the next match will have a Davis Cup atmosphere because it will be three-out-of-five, and the Argentinians were very vocal, you should expect to see a lot of Argentinian flags. Does that pump you up, or do you feel intimidated by that?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I'm not intimidated by a flag. I think -- I love that. I mean, for you, against you, as long as there's some atmosphere, fans coming out, going nuts, being passionate about the game, that makes it fun. I'm sure if they come out big, the American side will respond a little bit. So it will be a good time.
Q. You said in Indian Wells your form hadn't been right since the Open last year. Was tonight getting close to what you'd like it to be?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, definitely. I think this was definitely a step in the right direction.
Q. Are you aware that should you win the title with your next victory, your coach will be the first man in NASDAQ to coach two players to the title?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, man, he's not gonna be able to fit through the door. Geez... (Laughter). I was not aware of that. I'm sure that would have been one of the first things out of his mouth, so...(Laughter). I'm sure I would have caught on to that sooner or later.
Q. How do you think Coria has improved on hard court? He seems to be doing better on hard court.
ANDY RODDICK: It's probably just between the ears. The guy can play ball regardless of what surface. Obviously, he feels most comfortable on clay, but, you know, a lot of times it's just getting out of the gates on something. I'm always a little uneasy my first couple matches on clay. But if I do get into the second, third match then I start feeling a lot better on it. I'm sure that works, you know, vice versa as well.
Q. Who has a better backhand down the line?
ANDY RODDICK: Who has a better backhand down the line than Coria? I mean, he's probably on par with guys like Kuerten when he is playing well. Anything from the baseline you have to throw Andre in there; that's for sure. Apparently Calleri from watching this match the other day. But Coria is certainly on par with those guys.
Q. Very few players get to play at home in this game of tennis.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. Now you're going to have three weeks. I don't know if you still consider this your home, your area.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. Is that more emotional than the rest of the season?
ANDY RODDICK: It's more comfortable, that's for sure. It's very nice when, you know, like for instance at this place, when I go, you know, up the street to this deli, I've been going there since I was 14 years old, that's a nice feeling. In Delray Beach, I mean, I used to go watch -- they had a women's tournament there like in '93 when the stadium was first built. So it's nice to have a familiar feeling because you don't get that too often, you know, around the tour.
Q. What's the deli?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, plugging...(smiling) . Ad Gustum. It's called Ad Gustum. I should get some free sandwiches for this (smiling).
Q. In Boca?
ANDY RODDICK: No, up the Key here, in Key Biscayne.
Q. Your serve was working well but you also felt more comfortable at the net today?
ANDY RODDICK: (Smiling). It would have been tough not to feel more comfortable at the net than I did yesterday. If I would've not felt more comfortable than I did yesterday, I would have major issues and complications going on.
Q. How soon do you start talking about the match of Coria with Brad? Will that happen tonight? Do you guys sort of take off tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: If it does -- Brad and I don't really have sit-down grind sessions on someone. It will be -- we'll be in the middle of a conversation tonight, talking about the food or whatever and Brad will be, "Okay, this guy..." Then he'll make one statement. I'll accept it. Then, you know, he'll ramble on about something else for 25 minutes. Then, "Okay, this guy..." And then back to Raider football. So it might come up tonight; it might not. There's no real set time in our little world, I guess (laughter).
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.