October 16, 2003
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.
Q. Well, he came back at you very strongly from 5-2 in the first set. I suppose in the end, you just got to hold your hands up and say he was just too good on the day?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, absolutely. He played a great match. You know, I played a bad game at 5-3 to let him back into it. But then from then on, he just played really good tennis. On the first set tiebreaker, I played pretty well up to 4-3. A couple of points I thought I had him, and he came up with shots that were too good.
Q. Would you say that he returned today better than many players against you this year?
ANDY RODDICK: He returned well. You know, I don't know what my first serve percentage was, but it had to be in the 40s or so. I was giving him looks at a lot of serves, so that made it a lot easier on him. I think that's the one thing I didn't do that well today, was serve. Besides that, I played okay.
Q. After such a long run, is there sort of a touch of mental fatigue that comes into it or not?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really, not really. I was out there, was competing. You know, I just didn't have my best stuff today. He stepped up and he played really well. There's not much I can do. He didn't let me back in. He played a good match. I was very impressed with him. He played well.
Q. Were you aware of what was going on last night and how close, in fact, you were to being the No. 1 player in the world?
ANDY RODDICK: The last I heard, the last report I got last night was that they had split sets. Then I woke up this morning, and my coach told me that I was pretty close, maybe a couple inches (laughter). But you know, it would have been nice, but it's not something that I can worry about too much. I kind of just have to try to take care of what's in front of me.
Q. You seem to play very well against Ferrero, like in the US Open. At the end of the year, if Ferrero is going to be No. 1, do you think he deserves to be?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, absolutely. He's won Masters Series titles. He won a Grand Slam this year. He played well on the hard courts, at the US Open. For sure. I think whoever finishes No. 1 between myself, Roger, and Ferrero, definitely deserves it.
Q. Presumably you realize that you could still go No. 1 later today if he loses tonight or doesn't reach the semifinals?
ANDY RODDICK: If he doesn't reach the semifinals?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. Like I said, I don't follow it that closely down to the points. It would be better if I had won a big match to get it or something like that. But, you know, I'm worried about the end of the year because there's going to be, you know, tons of these scenarios for the next three tournaments, if this guy wins, this guy loses, this guy... I'll leave that to you guys. I'm not that smart to figure all that stuff out.
Q. You talk about the end of the year, the Masters Cup. How important is it for you that it is in the States where you could move to No. 1, do the whole thing?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm excited for it. You know, I think it's luck of the draw that the first time I'm participating in it, it's the first time it's been in the States since I think '89. So obviously I feel pretty lucky. It's in Houston, which is one of my favorite events. So I'm definitely looking forward to it.
Q. Since you won the US Open, do you feel the way the other players look at you has changed, they respect you more or what?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, I'd like to think so. But, you know, the way it is with tennis players, you want to put on your game face. You don't want someone thinking that they're playing really well. They wouldn't show me even if they did. I feel a little bit better since then, but I'm not sure (smiling). That's something you'd have to ask somebody else.
Q. Besides the tournament, do you have any thoughts for the Davis Cup final between Spain and Australia? What do you think?
ANDY RODDICK: What are you asking?
Q. If you have any favorite, Australia, Spain? What do you think about the final?
ANDY RODDICK: Obviously, I mean, the home team I think always has a little bit of an advantage. Australia picked a surface that they thought would be the best for them. But, you know, Davis Cup is very equalizing. Even though grass isn't Spain's favorite surface, I don't think it was France's favorite surface either two years ago when they upset Australia. Who knows. Davis Cup, it's different than anything else as far as tennis goes. You know, I'll have fun watching it.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.