March 23, 2000
MIKI SINGH: Andy is here after his first career ATP Tour win, only his second match
after Delray Beach. Next up is Andre Agassi.
ANDY RODDICK: Everybody's laughing already (laughter).
MIKI SINGH: He will be a practice partner for the Davis Cup team. Reigning Australian
Open junior champ.
Q. When did you find out you were going to be on Stadium Court?
ANDY RODDICK: I went to go relax in the hotel room after I hit at like 11:30, came back
around 2:45. My coach walks up to me and says, "You're next match on Stadium
Court." I was, "Okay." We went out and hit. It happened pretty fast, so.
Q. So what was it like?
ANDY RODDICK: It was great. I mean, I played on that court before, Junior Orange Bowl,
a couple times. I was pretty used to it, the surroundings. This isn't Junior Orange Bowl;
a little bit bigger. I was having trouble getting used to the surroundings at first,
what's going on outside the court, so forth. But once I settled down, it was all right.
Q. You might be back out there against Agassi on that same court. What do you think
ANDY RODDICK: I think it will be a bit fuller (laughter). I'm just going to go out and
try to have a really good time playing, enjoy the moment.
Q. 134 on that one ace. Does that sound right?
ANDY RODDICK: Two (laughter).
Q. When is the last time you got your serve clocked?
ANDY RODDICK: I never get it like clocked. I played at the Aussie Open, but I don't
understand the kilometers, whatever, 2-0 something. I don't like get it with the speed gun
at home or anything.
Q. Was it fun looking up on the score board and seeing whatever it was?
ANDY RODDICK: I try to just glance over a little bit, 134 (laughter). Yeah, it's fun.
It keeps it light. It's all right.
Q. Do you always come to the net or is that something you're trying to do now more?
ANDY RODDICK: I've always pretty much done it. I'm trying to do it a bit more because I
know I need to do that. I can't spend all my time at the baseline. There are too many good
baseline players. I'm going to have to use what I have, a little bit of size, I can hit
the ball pretty good. I'm going to have to keep learning how to follow it in.
Q. How comfortable are you up there at this point?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm comfortable. I've never had a problem with it. I just need to do it
more and more and more and more. Just a matter of looking for my opportunities.
Q. What was the last thing your coach said to you before you went on court today?
ANDY RODDICK: "Have fun."
Q. Did you have fun?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it was a lot of fun, great time (laughter).
Q. How many family and friends were there?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. My mom, my dad, my coach, a lot of people from school. I
couldn't even estimate. There were at least more than 35, 40.
Q. Could you ever have imagined that your first win would come on Stadium Court?
ANDY RODDICK: Never. I thought I was going to be on Court 73. No, I never thought it
would be there.
Q. I saw somewhere that you had grown a foot in the last three years.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. In January of '97, I was 5'2". That's true.
Q. How tall are you now?
ANDY RODDICK: About 6'2".
Q. Are you done growing?
ANDY RODDICK: I think so. I don't know. Inches keep popping up.
Q. Looked a little bigger after that match.
ANDY RODDICK: Maybe walking high.
Q. Was it basically the same feeling going into this match as your debut at Delray?
Were you more relaxed?
ANDY RODDICK: That definitely helped with my match here. At Delray, I was very, very
nervous. It was a little bit more of a closed environment, so it felt like everything was
right on top of you. This I felt a little free. But that definitely helped with my nerves
for this time.
Q. After winning the Australian Open, basically your next tournament was the Banana
Boat, it would have been easy to have a letdown after going down after such a big win. How
did you manage to avoid the natural letdown?
ANDY RODDICK: I actually had a letdown. I didn't really know if I wanted to go before
the tournament. My coach said, "You're nothing yet, you need to go down there and
prove yourself on clay, prove that you can win another tournament." The first couple
rounds I was struggling, I wasn't playing well, I wasn't feeling well. But my coach just
said, "Keep going and grind through it."
Q. How well do you think you'll sleep the next night or two before you play Andre?
ANDY RODDICK: I won't have any trouble sleeping. I don't know. I'll be thinking about
it. I mean, obviously he's been a hero of mine since I was small. Ever since I remember
tennis, I remember seeing him winning. Even when I pass him in the halls here, it's still
like seeing a superstar, celebrity, you know. I don't know how I'm going to feel. I mean,
I've never had anything close to that before. I hope it's going to be a lot of fun.
Q. Have you met him?
ANDY RODDICK: Never.
Q. Did you shock yourself winning on clay?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I really did. Going into the tournament, I saw the guys making 500
shots in a row, one point. The first day I got there, I'm trying to serve-and-volley. I
got more and more comfortable each match I played. The confidence grew with matches.
Q. Do you consider yourself a grinder now?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I don't think so, not yet.
Q. How much has it helped your career that your parents are sort of running a boarding
house for young tennis players?
ANDY RODDICK: They know that you need someone to push you, compete with you day in and
day out, someone with high-caliber tennis. Plus it's good to have a friend in the house,
someone to hang out with at all times. I think it's been very beneficial for me.
Q. How many guys have you had in there?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, geeze. Well, Mardy lived there last year. Levar Harper Griffith is
there right now. Those are the only two live-ins we've had. We've had people come and stay
for a week at a time. Those are the only two full-time.
Q. When Agassi was a teenager, there was Michael Chang, Pete Sampras, Jim Courier. Some
of those guys used to talk in starry terms about climbing the ladder together, being in
the Top 10. Do you and Mardy, Levar, ever have discussions where you might be?
ANDY RODDICK: Of course, we've heard the talks, No young junior Americans out there,
this and that. We talk to each other like, "Let's try to do this. We can use each
other for support, competition, just practice everything." Yeah, we talk about it. We
want to try to do what they did.
Q. Going to school this week?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. My teachers might let me off now.
Q. What are the classes you're taking?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm taking economics, English four and art.
Q. How are you doing?
ANDY RODDICK: And American government. I have like a B average right now in school,
sometimes C. Mostly B average. This is the toughest year with traveling and everything,
trying to keep up.
Q. That's Boca Prep?
ANDY RODDICK: Boca Preparatory, yeah.
Q. Would you be a senior there?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I'm a senior.
Q. Any thought of playing college tennis?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I've already turned pro.
MIKI SINGH: Last February.
Q. After the Orange Bowl?
ANDY RODDICK: After Australia.
Q. This is actually your first paycheck?
ANDY RODDICK: Second.
MIKI SINGH: Delray.
Q. How much did you take out of Delray?
ANDY RODDICK: I was a pro, I got it all. I got $3200, I think.
Q. Minus taxes, being an economics major.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't like economics (laughter).
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.