April 14, 2003
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What are you doing after this tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm going to Houston next week.
Q. Then you will come back to Europe?
ANDY RODDICK: Rome.
Q. There is also an important tournament in Austria. Will you come to Austria this year? Do you know anything about Austria?
ANDY RODDICK: I talked to Koubek a little bit about it not too long ago, but I don't know too much about it.
Q. Is this a good preparation for Paris?
ANDY RODDICK: I hope so (laughing). That's the plan.
Q. A little frustrated in the tiebreak?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I didn't play that too smart. It wasn't that great. You know, he played, he didn't make mistakes. But I kind of fought my way back into it. After being down 6-3, won two points on his serve just to blow it on a dropshot that resembled more of a lob than a dropshot.
Q. What is the most important thing for you to do well on clay to play well?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I mean, just more patience. I've been feeling great in practice, better than I have in a long time. Now it's just a matter of winning that first round and second round and getting into a tournament and feel like you're hitting the ball well. I felt really good in practice. I had pretty decent expectations coming in here with the way that I was hitting the ball. You know, you just got to put it into matches, just keep working hard, and we'll see what happens.
Q. Is it frustrating, I mean, that it's not coming together?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, it's always pretty frustrating, because you know all it takes is just something, just a little bit, and things can start going really well. You know, right now I'm just looking for that "something."
Q. Do you know what that "something" is now?
ANDY RODDICK: If I did, then I wouldn't be worrying about it (smiling).
Q. Have you had to have treatment for any injuries since the match? You took a little longer than usual to come off.
ANDY RODDICK: No, I was on the bike for a little bit and did some fitness and stuff.
Q. But there's no injury which needs treatment?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I feel okay.
Q. Do you enjoy the challenge of clay court tennis, being so different than what you're used to?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I like it. When I've started playing well on clay, it's gone pretty well with me. Pretty much with any surface, if I play well, get into tournaments, I do pretty well. Like I said, it's just a matter of figuring things out and getting matches in.
Q. A lot of people have bypassed this tournament for one reason or another. Can you understand why? It's quite a way between now and the French. Can you understand why people perhaps want to rest a little at this stage and not want to play so much in the build-up to the French?
ANDY RODDICK: I think I can, especially for the people that have played Davis Cup, you know. Last year, I had to come from grass straight to this tournament, and that was pretty tough. So I can definitely feel for those guys who, you know, maybe went to hard - to outdoor, hot, hard courts, to maybe some other surface and then to clay. It's not the easiest transition. So I can definitely be sympathetic to that.
Q. So you're going back now to America, to come back again?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. You're staying here for the rest of the week?
ANDY RODDICK: Do what?
Q. Are you staying here for a few days to chill out, get a bit more practice?
ANDY RODDICK: I have doubles, so...
Q. Right, okay.
ANDY RODDICK: But as soon as... You know, we'll see how that goes. I don't know if I'm going to stay around too long after that.
Q. Getting plenty of air miles?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, frequent flyer miles.
Q. Were you surprised at the quality of your opponent's play? What were you expecting?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't know. I thought -- even though I lost the first set, I thought I was playing better tennis. Then I just kind of stunk up the tiebreaker. In the second set, he played really well. I made a push late in the second set and he handled it pretty well. So I guess his confidence rose. I saw that he won -- he had a tough first round that he got through in quallies, then he won his second round pretty easily. I knew that he had a couple matches and was probably going to be ready to play.
Q. You said that one of the things you were doing was trying to be more patient. Is that an asset that you've had difficulty finding in the past, because you're a real go-getting guy?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think today I maybe had a little too much patience, I didn't force the issue enough. You know, that's the fine line, I guess.
Q. A question of finding the balance?
ANDY RODDICK: Yep.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.