September 5, 2004
NEW YORK CITY
THE MODERATOR: First question for Andy.
Q. "Roddick Goes Fishing"?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't have the patience for fishing.
Q. The hat.
ANDY RODDICK: The lights are bright in here or something.
Q. Flawless, 21 aces, no double-faults, great forehand deliveries today.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I thought my forehand felt really good today. I thought the first two sets, I thought I returned really well. You know, I was getting some pace on it. You know, I closed well. So I'm pretty happy.
Q. Seem to be getting out of the gates pretty quick in all your matches. Something you've been thinking about doing?
ANDY RODDICK: Not consciously. I mean, I'm doing nothing different than, you know, what I normally do. I think it's just maybe the hype of The Open and being back here. You know, I really don't have, you know, a magical explanation for it.
Q. You're up a set, you're up a break, but now you're serving 4-3, 30-40 in the second set, second serve.
ANDY RODDICK: Dumped it.
Q. He has a sniff at getting back in. Hit a kicker. Sometimes in those situations you'll haul off and go for the 120 or 125. What made you determine to go for the kicker?
ANDY RODDICK: My serve to his forehand hadn't really been as effective as I would have liked. You know, even the first game he made pretty good contact with a bunch of forehand returns. And I felt like I actually hit one earlier in the match at about 120, a second serve, and he laced it. I really wasn't thinking about it as my first option right then.
Q. He comes up and hits the ball in the net.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, that was actually pretty key. He had two looks at second serves on breakpoints, and he dumped both of them in the net. You know, that was a big relief for me.
Q. Do people overanalyze tennis? If it hadn't rained this summer, you might have beaten Federer in the Wimbledon final. How do you explain that?
ANDY RODDICK: I think that's just the way sports in general is. It's fun to talk about "what if." You know, I mean, who knows. I didn't lose to the rain.
Q. A couple times balls have gone into the stands, and the umpire has asked to have it thrown back. Fans want to keep it. The crowd boos. Obviously there's a conflict.
ANDY RODDICK: It's like Wrigley.
Q. There's a seventh- or eighth-game-old ball, you serve it. How much do you think that would have an effect if the fan got to keep the ball?
ANDY RODDICK: Uhm, I know if I was a fan, I'd want to keep the ball. I'd probably get in trouble for not throwing it back. But, you know, at the same time, I mean, I can see both sides of the equation. You know, either way, you know, I'm happy with either way.
Q. Isn't it a problem that some guy could keep hitting balls in the crowd?
ANDY RODDICK: Then we're using a bunch of slow balls (laughter). No, hopefully the umpire wouldn't let someone get away with hitting the balls in the crowd.
Q. We were talking about "what ifs." In all candor, have you done that with the Wimbledon final at all?
ANDY RODDICK: No, it's done, man. It does no good to look back and beat myself up, you know, or torment myself with that. It's done. I'm here at The Open. I'm not playing Wimbledon any more. I don't think it would do me any good. I had a week afterwards where it was the first thing I thought of when I woke up every day. But, you know, what's done is done. It does me no good to look back.
Q. You're a sports fan, right? You come in here every day, you want to know about other sports. How do you feel about the questions you get asked as a tennis player?
ANDY RODDICK: In what regard?
Q. Do you think they could be different? When you hear a basketball player interviewed...
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I don't have to answer questions naked in front of my locker.
Q. Is there any different tone you think the questions should be rather than the way they are?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I mean, this is what I'm used to. I think it's pretty much par for the course. You know, obviously someone who's giving a football interview is going to be probably a little more animated than someone who is interviewing a golfer. Who knows. You know, I think each sport has their own kind of clique.
Q. Certainly a disappointing result with the US men here. Can you comment on that at all?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I'm disappointed for them. You know, there's really not much else. You know, I'm disappointed for them, you know, from the point of view of being a friend. That's the way it goes sometimes.
Q. Did you talk to Mardy after the match?
ANDY RODDICK: Not after. I called him the next morning, but I didn't bring up the match. You know, he seemed okay. You know, he was back in Tampa, you know, trying to put his hurricane shutters up.
Q. How did your parents' house come through?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, they're here, so we're not quite sure.
Q. Somebody back there battening up the house?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I'm sure they got it under control. They didn't seem really concerned. If something happens, then they'll fix it, I guess. Doesn't do too much good to worry when you're pretty far away.
Q. Are you very self-critical? A match like today, you walk off the court thinking, "Hey, not bad, 21 aces, no double-faults, straight sets, I'm cruising," or will you nitpick at something or think, "Gee, I should have played something different"?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I think we do this too much. If I'm going to do this for, you know, however long, if I nitpick every single match, that will make -- you know, that won't make it much fun. Today I played well. You know, I thought I had a game plan, I executed it. You know, you're always going to miss some shots that you don't want to miss. But I had a game plan, I competed well, I took it to him, so I'm happy. I don't think I try to complicate things too much - more than I have to.
Q. Canas, because he has such a heavy forehand, you have to take it to him?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, if I sit back and just kind of -- I'm not going to sit back there and be more consistent than he is, or I'm not going to be faster than he is. I kind of have to look at it from the point of view of, "What can I do better?" I feel like I can attack more comfortably than he can.
Q. The next couple matches, good chance you'll play at night. Do you have a preference at this particular tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: No. You still have to win three sets, whenever it is. I love playing at night here. You know, the electricity is great. But, you know, sometimes it's more comfortable during the day. Who knows. If I came in and lost at night, I'd probably say I hate night. If I lost during the day, I'd probably say I hate days (laughter). Who knows. You know, either way it's fine by me.
Q. How would you compare your backhand now to what it was when you started up with Brad?
ANDY RODDICK: I think it's better, you know. I don't really think of it in terms, you know, when I started with Brad, when I didn't. As I've gotten stronger, it's gotten better. Compared to three years ago here, at least I feel like it's night and day, especially on some passing shots and returns. I think I've really improved it.
Q. And speaking of strength, could you speak about your work with Mark Grabow?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, he's the trainer for the Golden State Warriors. Whenever I'm out with Brad, we work together some. He's kind of, you know, an over-the-phone advisor sometimes. Him and Doug are in contact a bunch. It's been a nice addition.
Q. Nadal had a couple moments where he played some pretty good shots. Do you feel like you've had any bad patch at all really in your matches, a situation in which you felt you didn't feel like you were in control of things?
ANDY RODDICK: I wasn't happy to get down the break early to Nadal. But, you know, that would be nitpicking (smiling).
Q. How many years have you been using the Babolat stick?
ANDY RODDICK: Coming up on five, I think.
Q. Do you agree with Lleyton and Andre who say it will never get to the point where the technology is out of control, like the PGA stepped in with the square-groove clubs and say no more - they say the men will always adjust?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I don't think so. If you look at a lot of players, you know, people say equipment, equipment, equipment, equipment, equipment. Pete used the same racquet from '88 till he retired. You know, he did okay with it all that time. I don't think it will get too overboard. If anything, it's more you see the guys using different strings now and stuff like that. But I don't see it coming to the point where you have to ban stuff, ban equipment.
Q. Isn't Roger using basically the Pete racquet?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You'd have to ask him that.
Q. What qualities of your Babolat do you like?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm just comfortable with it. People talk about power and power and power with it. You know, you got to be able to keep it in, as well. You know, I'm just comfortable with it. I've been playing with it for, like I said, five years now. So, you know, it's almost like just secondhand now.
Q. What do you love about playing tennis and what do you hate about it?
ANDY RODDICK: What do I love about playing tennis? There's a lot of stuff I love about playing tennis. I just love competition. If there was one thing I could change, I'd love to play every match at home. But obviously the schedule's a little tough as far as playing every week, and the travel and stuff. But, you know, that's also a perk of the job. There's not a whole lot of downside to doing what I do.
Q. Being No. 2 in the world, is that a tough position to be just one guy ahead of you?
ANDY RODDICK: Huh?
Q. Being No. 2 in the world, is that a tough position to have only one person in front of you?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, it could be a lot tougher. Obviously, you always want to kind of look forward. But, you know, if I sat here and was complaining to you guys about being the No. 2 tennis player in the world, I would want you guys to rip me. I think you have to have a little perspective about it.
Q. Considering it's going to be pretty tough to knock Roger out of the No. 1 spot, if you don't win this last major, how do you think you're going to assess the year?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. That's an irrelevant question right now. We'll get to that. We'll get to that -- we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
Q. Have you ever hated tennis when you were like younger maybe?
ANDY RODDICK: Of course. When you're 12, you hate everything, right? Or 14, 15. I mean, no. There are times when I hate playing right now because you're really losing and stuff. But there's never been a point...
Q. When you wanted to quit?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. There are times when you're a junior and you want to take a break and stuff because, you know, you don't even know what you're thinking. But, no. This is what I do. This is what I've always done. You know, ever since I've been seven or eight years old, I've played. You know, it's too big, you know, a part of me now.
Q. How long did you work with Stanford Boster?
ANDY RODDICK: I probably worked with him probably two and a half years or so.
Q. For what period of time were you with him?
ANDY RODDICK: '97 to '99.
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