March 27, 2001
THE MODERATOR: First question for Andy, please.
Q. Guess you have to realign your goals. You're just about now certainly into the main draw of the French Open. So what's the next goal?
ANDY RODDICK: To get through my next match is the first and foremost. After this tournament, I'll think about the next goal.
Q. Could you tell us about Agassi, who had been up in the television booth and came down to see you.
ANDY RODDICK: He came after the rain delay and kind of told me to get my head together a little bit and to calm down and, you know, he gave me some good advice.
Q. Did he give you any specific advice?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. He just told me kind of what to do on a big point, and I did it in the first set and surprisingly - not surprisingly - it worked.
Q. What did he say?
ANDY RODDICK: He said, "Don't be afraid to hit the kick serve on the first serve to throw in a mix up." I did that on set point and got a pretty short reply.
Q. The first set point you faced in the twelfth game you decided to play a serve and volley point?
ANDY RODDICK: Start again.
Q. The first set point that you faced in the first set, you're down a second serve now. Set point, you decide to play a serve and volley point on second serve. Spur of the moment or what?
ANDY RODDICK: No pun intended, but I bricked a couple volleys there, and I didn't think he would expect it. I knew he was going to try to make me play because I had been missing a little bit. So I decided I, you know, I'm always going to go for it. So I decided that was the right play.
Q. Do you think you caught him off guard?
ANDY RODDICK: I think so. I don't think he was expecting it. He chipped a return. He wasn't going for a return. I think it worked out all right.
Q. People talk about how it's hard to come back after a big win. Obviously this was your first one. Were you expecting to be nervous?
ANDY RODDICK: I was. All of yesterday I couldn't get my mind off the match because it was such an emotional high for me. Then I finally, you know, I told myself I had to focus. At about five o'clock yesterday I didn't see another person the rest of the day. I just kind of stayed away from everything to get focused. Every person I talked to wanted to talk about the last match. So I had to kind of refocus and get on it.
Q. What did you do after five?
ANDY RODDICK: I did -- I went on-line about 18,000 times, twiddled my thumbs, watched a movie, then watched a little basketball and went to bed.
Q. Are you staying down here or going home?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm staying here.
Q. Is this all happening faster, much faster than you expected?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes and no. I mean, I knew that I could do something like this. You know, I wasn't sure it was going to happen this tournament, but, you know, I worked hard and I was fit and mentally ready coming into this tournament, so good things happen when you have good preparation.
Q. Is it kind of like mind-boggling, though, you have here Andre Agassi and he knows you, he came and sought you out and told you to settle down?
ANDY RODDICK: He's the man. He's just great. I appreciate everything from him, and I mean, I can't express that enough. I mean, to have someone, you know, who's one of the greatest champions of all time try to help you out and really want to help you out, it's just great.
Q. Were you taken aback when he came down there?
ANDY RODDICK: Was I what?
Q. Were you taken aback when he showed up? That doesn't happen very often.
ANDY RODDICK: Like I said before, nothing he does surprises me. You know, he's such a great guy, not just to me, but with his charities and, you know, he has good motives. So, you know, I was surprised at first when he was so nice to me, but I mean, he doesn't surprise me anymore.
Q. The last bump in the road was in the seventh game of the second set where you had a couple of break points to defend. You hit an ace, followed up with a couple of serves into the net for a double-fault. Was the wind making you struggle with your serve a little bit today?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I just didn't make first serves, and when you don't make first serves on the second serve it's anyone's battle. Once he puts one ball into play, it's a neutral game. So I think that, you know, the last couple matches I've been serving 60s and even against Sampras I served over 70 percent. Today I served like 45 or something. That's a big dropoff. That's probably one of the reasons, once they get a groove on the second serve, then it's time to battle.
Q. Did you find these courts, this particular court, easier to get a good hop off of your second serve?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it jumps on this court. I came down here and practiced before qualies even started last week. It was jumping a little bit.
Q. You had kind of a reaction when Greg said you were the youngest quarterfinalist ever here. What do you think about that?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't know that. It's kind of cool. You know, there have been so many great players through here, so it's surprising but it's -- it's nice.
Q. Can you talk about your association with Tarik Benhabiles and in what respect he's helping you?
ANDY RODDICK: Tarik has taken me from a junior who's struggling to win matches and ITFs to here. I love him to death. You know, he's my best friend, he's my coach. He means so much to me. He's part of our family now. He's -- I owe, you know, all of my success to him.
Q. How did it feel having the crowd behind you like that?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, it was great. I was probably a little bit excessive with my celebrating, which, you know, I'll have to control from now on. I was just so excited. To hear someone come up in a roar like that, it gets inside of you.
Q. Whoever you face in the next round, either Santoro or Hewitt, you're going to face a runner, someone who's going to run down a lot of shots. What do you have to do well? Do you have to overpower those guys or be patient?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not going in to overpower; I'm going in to play my game. They're both great players. They're going to make me earn a match if I play them. I've played Santoro before, he's a really good player. I've practiced with him. He's playing really well right now. Lleyton, he's obviously solid semifinals every week. I really look up to him because of what he's done at a young age. I haven't done anything compared to him.
Q. You played Fabrice in Washington?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. Did you get the full repertoire of slices, spins?
ANDY RODDICK: He was mixing it up on me pretty good. We had a pretty good battle, three sets.
Q. Pete seemed handcuffed by your serves. Today, Pavel seemed to handle your big serves fairly well, getting them back. Were you surprised?
ANDY RODDICK: He hit some great returns, especially when he broke me a couple times in the first set. He wasn't just hitting them, if he couldn't reach it, he was, you know, slicing them up the line or putting them where I wasn't. I was impressed with his returns. He was hitting them well.
Q. Does it tell you something right away, that in this game you have to do a lot more than just get a big serve in?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, for sure. I mean everybody knows that you need more than one shot to be a tennis player. Today, my serve wasn't on, but I battled, you know, I fought and I competed and that's probably why I got a win.
Q. You played doubles with Jan-Michael at Delray and did rather well. Was the initial joining together in terms of Davis Cup doubles?
ANDY RODDICK: No. Actually, I just asked him if he would play with me in Delray Beach because I heard he wasn't playing with Stark that week, and, you know, he said, "Sure." So we just kind of played.
Q. Any thoughts now about maybe there's potential?
ANDY RODDICK: I know we're both available. Maybe we could play a couple more times, but he's committed this year to someone else. But hopefully in the future we'll get to play a lot more together.
Q. You're serving at break point, 5-4 in the first set. He sticks his racquet out and blocks a great serve down the line. You got a little angry, slammed the ball in the net. How long did it take you to get over your particularly bad temper on that?
ANDY RODDICK: I wasn't really upset with that shot. He had hit a winner off a 120 serve slicing this way into the body. So I wasn't really upset with that. I was upset with a couple of balls I had missed before that to set up. All it takes is one good shot when you know you've already given him three. That's what I was more upset with.
Q. How long did it take you to get over that and get back on track?
ANDY RODDICK: It didn't take me too long. I played a pretty decent game at 5-all. He played decent shots, I got up Love-30. He just played a good game, then I got it back the next game and fought off a break point. I thought that was pretty good.
Q. Did you see your parents after the match?
ANDY RODDICK: I did. I just went out and saw them.
Q. What did they say?
ANDY RODDICK: They were happy.
Q. Did your mother cry?
ANDY RODDICK: Not this time. She's becoming emotionally -- she's a rock. (Laughing.)
Q. What did your dad say?
ANDY RODDICK: He said, "Good job."
Q. He cried?
ANDY RODDICK: It's not gonna happen probably. But, no, he just said, "I'm proud of you," and, "Good job."
Q. What did Tarik say to you?
ANDY RODDICK: He said way to battle, way to go out there after a disappointing -- you blew a couple chances in the first set, way to come back and have high energy off the bat. He just said good job.
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