March 22, 2002
KEY BISCAYNE, FLORIDA
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy, please.
Q. Did the rain delay hurt you?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I don't think so. I don't think I was playing that great before the rain delay, so I don't think it, you know, I don't think it affected me too much.
Q. What was the problem? Did you figure it out?
ANDY RODDICK: The court just seemed really small to me today (laughing). My first serve wasn't, you know, I don't think the percentage was too high. I haven't seen the stats. I was just flagging the ball a bit, it was just going on me. Just one of those days. You know, this year, so far, I haven't really had one of those days where I just didn't really play well and didn't show up. You know, I was just -- it was just kind of one of those days today. It's disappointing, but it happens sometimes I guess.
Q. In that final game that you got broken, at love-30, did the wind just catch that ball and bring it almost to a dead still?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, something wasn't right. You know, normally those balls sit up and, you know, I was getting ready to take a whack at it. Maybe it hit something, I'm not even sure. Something narly happened. Could have been the wind or could have been something else.
Q. Were you ready to write off the month of March after Indian Wells and here and maybe a little bit Delray?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, I'm just looking forward to next year this time. I don't have any points at Australian Open, Indian Wells, here, I'm ready for next year.
Q. What's your next move?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm going to play Davis Cup first, then I'm going to be ready to rock. I need to get on something and play, you know, some tournaments now. So I'm going to get ready for that.
Q. Do you remember, a little off the topic, do you remember where you were, how you heard about the September 11th stuff?
ANDY RODDICK: I was at home. I had a friend, they woke me up. It was just kind of shocking.
Q. Turn on the TV and sit there?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. What do you think's changed generally speaking from all that?
ANDY RODDICK: I think that, you know, besides the obvious negatives, I think there have been a lot of positives as far as, you know, unity. In this country, I think people are coming together. Whenever I see a flag personally, you know, it brings a sense of pride and, you know, a sense of, you know, kind of remembering.
Q. In a perfect world you have these two Masters Series events back-to-back on different sides of the country. As a player would you like to see some time between them if it's only a week?
ANDY RODDICK: I think, you know, maybe I was a little ambitious with my schedule through this hardcourt season. But I think next year there's a week off in between the indoor season and, you know, the start either Delray, Scottsdale and the Indian Wells week. So, you know, that will make it a little easier.
Q. Your clay court schedule is also pretty ambitious. Are you rethinking Dusseldorf at all?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really at this moment. But, you know, it is an exhibition, and, therefore, you know, is kind of the lesser of a priority as far as, you know, the French Open goes and the two Masters Series leading up. But right now I'm planning to play. I think the good thing on that note, the good thing about Dusseldorf is it is an exhibition. If you want to take a day off and don't play a match, it's not like it's for points or what not.
Q. What do you expect from Davis Cup against Spain?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, it's going to be, you know, what Davis Cup always is - it's going to be full of emotion. I think the court surface, you know, favors us. But they're definitely not going to lay down and die. I think we're going to have to play well.
Q. Do you think they're a dangerous team on grass?
ANDY RODDICK: I think anyone's dangerous in Davis Cup on anything. Davis Cup is a whole different thing. If you were to ask me, you know, at Queen's if Pete's playing one of their guys, I'd say Pete's going to win for sure. I feel confident playing them. But Davis Cup is just a whole different ball game.
Q. Chela's second serve doesn't look impressive from the stands. Why is it difficult to deal with?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not sure. I didn't really get into my returns today. That's kind of what separates me from playing well and not playing well, is if I'm putting returns in the court and feel like I'm in their return games, as well as serving well. And, you know, I just wasn't able to get on top of it today.
Q. Did those short points kind of contribute to not being able to find a good rhythm off the ground?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I just felt like I was fighting out there. Nothing was really clean the whole day. And, you know, I don't know if there's one thing that caused it, you know. I think, you know, just a bad day. He, you know, he played better than I did.
Q. I was going to ask you about your memories from '92 when you were in the stands at Fort Worth for the Davis Cup, what it was like to you, if it meant anything for what you wanted to do for your career?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, that was obviously a cool experience. I think any young kid who has a chance to go to a Davis Cup match, especially if they're a young tennis player, should, you know, really go for the opportunity. It was really special for me to see them win. I got to witness probably the best Davis Cup team of all time, arguably, win the cup. So it was pretty cool.
Q. Did you envision eight years later you'd be playing, that quickly?
ANDY RODDICK: No. No.
Q. Is there a grass court somewhere where you can start working on before you go to Houston?
ANDY RODDICK: If anything, I'll just -- I'll hop on a plane and go to Houston and get ready on that grass court.
Q. A first-round loss is disappointing any time. But because of what an amazing tournament you had here last year, does it make it harder because you have those memories?
ANDY RODDICK: It sucks. This is probably my favorite event and the one I look forward to the most every year. So, you know, it's not quite the same as, you know, losing a match in St. Polten or, you know, someplace like that. So, you know, that is a little disappointing.
Q. When you lose matches like this, do you have a short memory?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, you know, you have to put it in perspective. It's a tennis match. Of course I'm a little upset with the way I played, this, that and the other. But when I take a loss like this, it gets at me to go after it more the next time. So that's kind of how I look at it.
Q. Do you mind one more Davis Cup question, just how Patrick's used you and sort of weaned you on to the team? Has that been good, the way he started you? I think it was in Switzerland. Boom, you're No. 1 against India. Does that work for you, the way that you sort of got into it?
ANDY RODDICK: I think he's doing a good job of incorporating the young guys. He let me on the team kind of, you know, as a charity case in Switzerland (laughter). Then, you know, to have some of the young guys come and be involved in, you know, practicing and really feel like, you know -- there are probably eight or ten guys out there, even though it's a four-man team, that really feel they're part of a Davis Cup team. I think that makes for good team unity.
Q. Todd Martin said it's better for you guys to start, if you can win, he'll put you in situations that are good and get that winning feeling in Davis Cup. With James and Mardy, it sort of seems that it's worked that way?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, so far, so good. You know, we got to keep going because as soon as we drop one, it will be like "Uh..." You guys would be saying, "Well, you put them in too soon. They couldn't handle it." But, you know, I think we all definitely are jumping at the chance to play.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.