March 21, 2003
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Was there anything wrong out there on the court today?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I'm all right. Just a little bit of heat and, you know, who knows, some days you just feel better than others.
Q. On the deuce point before the end of the match where he hit the net cord and the ball went up in the air, you were 10 feet behind the baseline bending over, how exhausted were you at that point?
ANDY RODDICK: A little tired. I haven't been feeling great the last couple days. I'm not really sure why. You know, but luckily I have an off day tomorrow so looking forward to the day after that.
Q. Have you had a match like this recently, where you haven't had your best stuff but had to get back into the match and stabilize?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. I was pretty much bluffing my way through that match. I think I was pretty lucky today. There are some matches where sometimes you should win them and you don't, some matches when you should lose them and you don't. This was the latter. I probably should have lost this one.
Q. The crowd were very noisy. How much of a lift were they?
ANDY RODDICK: They were great. It was just pretty frustrating, I knew they wanted me to play well. I wanted to kind of lift my game a little bit. I think they were definitely a factor.
Q. Were you thinking, "He cannot keep serving like this for three sets"?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I was hoping I was going to be able to put some returns in, is what I was thinking. He was putting serves in, but I think it's a lot easier to serve well against someone who's returning terrible.
Q. How do you feel like you served?
ANDY RODDICK: Average. It kept me in the match. But I don't think it was a serving exhibition by any means.
Q. Good to win when you're not returning well, isn't it?
ANDY RODDICK: It's good to win any time.
Q. The net cord was your friend today, particularly at 1-1 in the second set tiebreak. That ball sat up for you, giving you a chance to win the point and get a 2-1 lead.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. You know, I guess it's just, like I said, I was pretty lucky today.
Q. Can you remember winning a big point like that on a lob?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I can't remember winning a point on a lob, so (smiling).
Q. When did you come down with whatever you've got?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. Maybe Wednesday I just wasn't feeling too hot. I'm not sure what it is. I don't know if it's just dehydration catching up to me or, you know, I'm not sure.
Q. Not running a temperature? Just feeling kind of blah?
ANDY RODDICK: Feeling kind of lousy. I felt worse out there than I did at the end of a five-set match. It's a little weird. Kind of makes you wonder what's going on, but I guess the body works like that sometimes.
Q. Did you ever consider not playing?
ANDY RODDICK: No.
Q. Looking forward to Todd Martin, the old pro. What do you see there?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, Todd's going to play a solid match, put serves in, make you beat him. He's going to come into the net, try to put pressure on you with his returns. You know, I just kind of have to try to take care of my own serve, pick my spots and try to return well.
Q. How is your record against Todd?
ANDY RODDICK: 2-0.
Q. When was the last time you played him?
ANDY RODDICK: Hamburg last year.
Q. Mardy had a big win today. Did you talk to him before that match, after you beat Grosjean last week?
ANDY RODDICK: I actually had lunch with him right after his match and before mine today. Was that your question or...?
Q. Before the match.
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, no. No, not really. You know, he didn't ask me about anything. I guess he didn't need to.
Q. In the third set you had two breakpoints to save early in that match. You did. You came back to 2-2. Was that a crucial point in the match?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think any time you serve breakpoints in a third set it's pretty crucial. I was kind of just somehow trying to fight my way through service games early in the third set. He was in pretty much all of them. And, you know, kind of went from me struggling to hold serve and him holding pretty easily to all of a sudden a complete 180; I break and hold out.
Q. Double-fault where he hits the first serve 10 feet long and second one into the bottom of the net. Did you feel like maybe this thing was beginning to turn a bit?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, he gave me the game when I broke him. I didn't really do much. I put a couple balls in and he double-faulted, missed a short forehand and missed the volley. I mean, I'm not going to sit here and say I had much to do with it, you know. I don't know if, you know, I've been in that situation before. I don't know how many times he's played in a big court like that. I don't know if I had anything to do with it. I think only he can answer that. But I'm not going to sit here and say I had much going on.
Q. At the end of the match, you had to take it with a pretty good mid-court backhand volley.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it was good. I was not wanting to lose that game. I played two good points at the end, and I don't really know what else to say about today.
Q. In the second-set tiebreaker, you'd got a couple really great shots. Your enthusiasm seemed to fuel. Is that accurate?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I was just trying to find something to grab on to. Lucky for me, I was able to put a couple good points back-to-back in the breaker then serve some big points. I was feeling a little bit better about my prospects after that.
Q. Some medical advice here on what to do with the next couple days?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. We're just going to watch it. I mean, drink lots, make sure I'm eating enough and eating some good foods. I'm going to take it pretty easy tomorrow. I don't think I'm going to kill myself. I'm just going to take it day by day. Hopefully, I'll start getting better.
Q. Will you hit tomorrow?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. Fairly lightly?
ANDY RODDICK: Pretty light and pretty late. Try to get some sleep.
Q. What were you thinking after the first set? What was your mindset at that point?
ANDY RODDICK: I was thinking, "I don't want to lose first round at this tournament again."
Q. You hit an overhead right at him. I can't remember if it was the second or third set. Kind of glared back at you. Any tension between you two?
ANDY RODDICK: No, the rest of the time he had been guessing one way or the other. I figured he was going to guess one way or the other and he stayed put. It wasn't like I was going for him. I was going for, you know, the best shot to play. You know, I didn't want him -- he played a couple points where I'd hit it to one way, he'd guess, kind of poke it, get himself back in the point. I figured if he was going to guess again, I'd take that option away. But he didn't guess.
Q. Backhand on a scale of one to ten today?
ANDY RODDICK: Two, three. Two.
Q. Mardy was saying how he was enjoying a lot of the other younger American players doing so well at this tournament. How do you feel about being part of a group that's sort of up-and-coming?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's cool. I'm glad to see these guys start winning matches pretty consistently. I think I've had faith that they could do it for a long time, and now I think it's actually helping that they're all doing it together. I don't know if it's a confidence thing or, you know, that he's winning or I want to win, or what type of thing it is. But it's nice.
Q. When you win a match, basically when you're not playing well, you almost think you should lose, do you just take it as a one-off thing and say, "I got lucky," or is it part of an education, you're learning how to win?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, I was thinking out there that I haven't really lost a close match this year. The times that I've lost, I just haven't been there. When it got tight, I thought, "You've been through this a couple times this year." I think I am learning how to win matches. That being said, it's not like I stepped it up in big times today, I think I just got lucky. I think there's a fine line between the two, and I think luck was on my side today.
Q. Dodged a bullet?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. But you didn't try to overcompensate today? You didn't try to do things that you don't normally do out there when things are not going well?
ANDY RODDICK: I couldn't even do normal things out there today (laughing). Try to do something extraordinary? No.
Q. General lethargy? Are you tired?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, tired.
Q. Have you ever had mono?
ANDY RODDICK: No, but thanks for bringing up that option. I appreciate it. That's about enough out of you, all right.
ANDY RODDICK: No.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.