April 16, 2002
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. It looked like neither one of you were going to give in to the other.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, he made me look like I was hitting the ball pretty soft. (Inaudible). Early on, I wasn't really used to it. He was kind of taking control. But, you know, that's just the way it goes sometimes. I had to pick my spots to be aggressive and just try to react to his ball sometimes.
ANDY RODDICK: It's just fun to get in the trenches, you know. I felt like he was hitting the ball pretty well. I was trying to find my range. When it's tight like that, it makes it kind of fun. That's what you play tennis for, is to get in those battles.
Q. Did you see anything of Mr. Gasquet yesterday?
ANDY RODDICK: He's extremely impressive. Obviously, he's, you know, the talk of the tournament so far. You know, I watched one of his quallies matches and a little bit yesterday, and, you know, he's a natural, obviously. I mean, he knows how to play the game and, you know, I just hope you guys don't write too much stuff about him and scare him (laughter).
Q. Can you remember what you were like at 15? Did you have that kind of composure?
ANDY RODDICK: I was trying to learn how to tie my shoes at 15. No, when I was 15, I was ranked 12 in my state in the United States, and, you know, 50 in the country. So, you know, I wasn't exactly, you know, qualifying for Masters Series.
Q. Your results so far this year haven't been as good as you would like them to be in the bigger events. (Inaudible)?
ANDY RODDICK: It is, but, you know, I don't feel like it's, you know -- it's been unfortunate in the big events this year. It hasn't been like -- when I've been on the court and when I've been healthy, I've been putting up good results this year. And with taking almost a zero at the Australian Open and two zeros at Indian Wells and Miami, I'm still 12 or 13 in the Race. That's pretty good considering I haven't, you know, gotten to put forth my best efforts in those tournaments.
Q. Do you enjoy the surroundings here? It's the first time you've participated in the event. Do you like it here?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's nice. Obviously, it's pretty scenic. It's not like any place else. You have the mountains this side, then the beach the other side. You don't see that too often. So it's definitely, you know, lived up to all I've heard about it. You know, the fans are very enthusiastic. So it's been fun so far.
Q. How easy is it for you to adapt on clay?
ANDY RODDICK: Just getting matches in. I mean, I feel pretty comfortable on clay. It doesn't really bother me too much. But, you know, you do have to put -- the first two or three days on clay, I feel terrible. You know, that's why I got here early. I got here Wednesday. I only spent one night at home after Davis Cup. So the more matches I get, the better I'll start feeling . The most difficult thing for me is, you know, movement. It's more of like a rhythm on clay. And, you know, it takes me a couple days to get that back.
Q. Is it a question of sliding?
ANDY RODDICK: Sorry?
Q. Sliding on clay?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I grew up in Florida. You know, you play a lot of clay there. I slide, you know, fine.
Q. Today you played a player who was even more powerful than you are. You had to defend a lot.
ANDY RODDICK: I'd like to say more powerful from the baseline (smiling).
Q. Is it a change in your game to play like that, defense? Is it an improvement you made during the last year, to defend?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Obviously, you know, he's a big guy and he hits the ball a ton from the baseline. You know, he's a great clay court player. I think he's already won a tournament this year on clay. I knew going in that, you know, I was going to have to try to pick my spots to be aggressive. And if he gets the ball where he wants it, he's going to give it a ride. So I expected it going in, so it wasn't too much of a surprise for me.
Q. Will you be practicing your overheads after those couple of tiebreaks?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I mean, I can make the one that I hit from the baseline in the air, but I can't make one two feet from the net, so... Yeah, I think it was just lapse of concentration. I played the point I wanted to. I got the ball I wanted to. Now I was already thinking about the next point maybe, you know... But I don't think I'll be doing that too often.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.