November 13, 2003
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Kind of a bittersweet day for you?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I think it's a very sweet day for me. I'm going to try to forget the fact that I didn't play well. Yeah, I mean, I just have to keep in perspective the big picture, I think. So in that aspect, it was very good.
Q. When you got the award after the match, can you talk about, was it sort of hard to just revel in receiving this tremendous honor because the result of the match was weighing on you?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, obviously, I was angry and annoyed, but... You know, at the same time, like I said, I did realize that this was a culmination of, you know, the whole year. And I wasn't gonna, you know, spoil that by having a bad attitude about it just because I didn't play well on one day.
Q. Did you feel any more pressure going into this match because you're fresh off clinching this..?
ANDY RODDICK: I felt no pressure whatsoever. Yeah, no...
Q. What is it in particular about his game that seems to give you so much problems?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know, just, I mean, I think it's just the fact that he makes you work every point. He puts a lot of balls in the court. I still feel like I haven't had my best day against Rainer. So that's a little frustrating. But, you know, he just makes you work out there. I think what you see is what you get. Probably you're watching it, you think, "He's just putting a lot more balls in the court. He handles pace a lot better," which means you have to figure out different ways to win the point.
Q. He seems to be pretty shrewd about what he's trying to do with the point as well?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, he goes out there. He's got to put his working boots on. He goes about it every day. It's pretty impressive.
Q. You shouted out, "Just play normal" at one point. Is that something you felt you weren't doing?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, even for the last couple weeks I just feel like I've been on the verge of playing well, but I haven't quite gotten there. You know, close matches I was winning this summer are the close matches I've been losing recently. So I was just trying to kind of pump myself up and, you know, just didn't happen for me today.
Q. Do you think that's a culmination of a long year and it all starting to build up a little bit?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, absolutely. I think a lot of guys are pretty trashed, to be honest. You know, I think I've been trying to put up a pretty solid front for the last couple of weeks. But fooled you (smiling). You know, it definitely starts taking its toll on you towards the end of it.
Q. You think you're a little tired near the end? You were doing more slices, maybe lobs than you usually do.
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, that was part of the plan. I just didn't hit it very well. I think I had to try to maybe make him force the issue a little bit, which worked. I just didn't play solid every single point. I think that's what was the difference.
Q. Since you're getting into tournaments and going further and further, do you think you have to look next year at paring down your schedule?
ANDY RODDICK: I think so. I think so. You know, it's a fine line in between pulling back and then, you know, maybe not getting the matches that you need. So, you know, I'll probably take a very careful look at it. But, you know, at the same time I know that I need matches to play well, so we'll see.
Q. Despite today, can you talk about how satisfying it may be for you to have gotten the No. 1 solidified?
ANDY RODDICK: It's a pretty big accomplishment for me - you know, something I never thought would happen or was possible. And to kind of just storm through the last, you know, this summer and kind of take it, you know, the latter part of the year, maybe I snuck up on some people - I don't know. You know, it's definitely a big accomplishment for me, and I'm ecstatic about it.
Q. What did you do to celebrate last night, if anything?
ANDY RODDICK: Nothing. I had to play today (smiling).
Q. No celebration?
ANDY RODDICK: No.
Q. Big accomplishment, but also a relief not to keep hearing, "When's it gonna happen?" All that kind of stuff?
ANDY RODDICK: You know... But then, I mean, like I said, there's always gonna be something else. It's gonna be, "We know he did it one year. He won one Slam." But, "How's he gonna keep it up now?" (Mardy Fish comes in with champagne). Yes, what was the question (laughter)? I smell like Happy Hour right now (laughter)! Thanks for the warning, by the way. I appreciate it. Absolutely. It was real nice of you. What happened now? What the hell are you doing here, Fish?
Q. Were you watching Andre's match last night?
ANDY RODDICK: No, we were calling Shark for score updates, but I don't think it was on until tape delay. So it would have made it an impossibility.
Q. Andre was asked about the rankings. He said he never even looks at them, that he's worried about doing what he needs to do. He feels the rankings will take care of themself. What is your feel on it? You've been sort of charting your progress as you've moved up, or...?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, I agree with Andre in some aspect of it. But at the same time, I think the ranking is kind of the marker of what you've done over the last year. I'm sure to a certain extent, I mean, if Andre said he was doing -- I mean, I agree if you're playing well and doing the things you need to be doing, the ranking will take care of itself. At the same time, it is a measuring stick. I'm sure if Andre was 25 in the world, he'd be paying attention to it.
Q. Or 141?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, absolutely. I do agree, though, if you are doing the right things and taking care of your business, that it should take care of itself.
Q. Has this really struck home to you yet, just how much you've achieved in the last six months or a year? At such a young age...
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, probably not. Like I said, there's always been "the next thing." Even after the Open, there was Davis Cup the next week. After that, there was going to the other tournaments and trying to solidify No. 1. So it was constantly just something -- been something on my plate for the last little bit. Before that, it was the new coaching change. So there's been a lot of attention. So, you know, maybe when I get away next week, maybe it will all catch up to me.
Q. When you kind of cast your mind back to the first day of the French Open, it seems like an amazing six months, doesn't it?
ANDY RODDICK: What are you talking about? I don't remember that (laughter).
Q. That match that you don't remember.
ANDY RODDICK: I have denial problems. I have very selective memory. I have no idea what you're talking about.
Q. From that day to this, or the next day to this, it's been a fairly dramatic period, hasn't it?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, absolutely. You know, my goal was to just make it here at that point. That was kind of looking shady. So, you know, for all this to happen, it's just been a whirlwind. It's just been amazing for me. I don't even really know what to say about it. I mean, it's just been an amazing ride over the last couple of months.
Q. Can you look to your match with Coria and talk about his game?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, he's, you know, a very quick player. Has a lot of flair, has a great feel for the game. He's good at dropshots, angles. He's a good match player. He competes well. So, you know, it's similar like today, I'm going to have to play every point. I'm going to have to try to be a little bit more solid.
Q. With you coming here and No. 1 being on the line, also Andre here, it being in the United States, are you surprised about the lack of media from the United States here?
ANDY RODDICK: That's not something I pay attention to, to be honest. That's not my place to worry about it or, you know, make opinions about it. I honestly haven't noticed it that much.
Q. Of the other Americans who were ranked No. 1 at the end of the year, is there any one in particular when you flipped through the list, you thought, "Wow, I'm in this guy's class"?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, first of all, let me say that I'm not in any of their classes yet. You just look at that list, and everybody, you think of them as a legend of the game. You know, to kind of just be in that breath for a day, maybe, is kind of cool. I know if I want to stay there, I'm going to have to go to work.
Q. You've become a bit of a celebrity. Are you used to the fame that you now have, or do you still find yourself thinking, "Who are these people and why are they staring at me or following me?"
ANDY RODDICK: I've gotten used to some parts of it. But there are other parts of it that still kind of... I'm like, "What's going on here?"
Q. Can you give an example of just the surrealness of it.
ANDY RODDICK: It's just I know I live this ridiculous life and I'm so fortunate. I'm definitely not oblivious to it. I realize that, you know, sometimes - who was it - I think I did the Jim Rum Show (ph) after the Open. He said, "Were you crying because you were happy or were you crying because you realize your life's downhill from now on?" I didn't know which way to go on that one.
Q. Apart from having to come in and talk to us, is there any other aspect of your stardom which really irritates you?
ANDY RODDICK: Not much. If I was to complain about it, I'd feel like an absolute, you know, something I can't say. So not really. I mean, it's gonna be nice to get away and kind of go kind of live in a little bit of a hole for the next couple weeks. That will be, you know, maybe a nice get-away.
Q. Is it possible for you to go away and live in a hole somewhere, though?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think so. I think so. You know, no one -- there's no announced appearances, there's no tournament to go to. There's no, you know... So I think so.
Q. Are you going to a very isolated place? So where are you going (laughter)?
ANDY RODDICK: Next one, next question...
Q. Why did you buy the house in Austin?
ANDY RODDICK: To be closer to my family. Mainly my brothers, my niece and my nephew. I grew up there. I've always felt like that was home. I've always wanted to get back. You know, I didn't really think it was gonna happen that fast, but I went and kind of curiosity got the better of me. I went there and it all happened pretty quickly. So we'll see how much time I'm there and how much time I spend in Florida.
Q. Can you talk about your serve? It kind of let you down in the tiebreak.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Yeah, I don't think I served well the first night, and I don't think I served well today. I'm not sure what it is. I'm just not getting the push-off off my legs or anything else. I mean, it's disappointing, especially my second serve. I don't miss second serves that often. To be giving away points on double-faults and not making first serves and tiebreakers is pretty out of the ordinary for me. It's a little frustrating.
Q. Was the wind affecting your play? Rainer said the wind bothered him.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, there was no doubt about it, it was pretty ugly tennis. I think the conditions had something to do with it. It's not like the wind was blowing one way or another. I felt like it changed directions about six times during the match. Maybe that accounted for some of it. But it's both ways. You know, like Rainer said, it goes both ways. So it's not an excuse if the other person has to put up with it as well.
Q. Do you think a little bit of your serve kind of let you down with fatigue? I used to play tennis. Whenever I started to get tired, legs was the first thing to go. Was that a factor?
ANDY RODDICK: Not fatigue on the day. I don't know if it's a culmination of the year or what, I mean, battling knickknack things. So possibly. But not on the day. I mean, I felt like I had enough energy out there today. I was serving badly from the beginning; it's not like all of a sudden I started serving badly.
Q. Are you using a semiwestern grip on your forehand?
ANDY RODDICK: I have no idea what I use on my forehand. I have no idea. I should probably know that (laughter). Want some booze?
Q. Brad Gilbert wrote the book "Winning Ugly." Do you feel like Schuettler wins that way? Not in a bad way.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, you know what, there's no bad way to win. If you win ugly, you win ugly. Absolutely. Today wasn't a pretty match. So, yeah, I guess. I guess it's fitting.
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