September 3, 2003
NEW YORK CITY
THE MODERATOR: First question.
Q. Get this match out of the way tonight, leave you three to win the title in the last four days?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think so. I'm not really worried about how many days. I'm not trying to get caught up in all that. I'm just happy to be through.
Q. Have you ever had a more dominate stretch serving than you had in the second set.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know, what was...?
Q. 90 percent.
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not tallying stuff in my head.
Q. You lost one point on serve.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I think the other day before my last service game, I think I had lost five total in the match. So maybe two days ago or three days ago.
Q. 12:30 on Thursday morning. Are you happy to be in the second week?
ANDY RODDICK: Is that what it takes to finally get in the second week? Yeah, I'm happy to get through. I don't have to worry about the weather tomorrow.
Q. If it's Rainer Schuettler in the next round, have you seen enough of him not to look at the match against Schalken?
ANDY RODDICK: I have a coach and that's what he's gonna do. Brad doesn't care if I played someone last week, he's still gonna go watch it for sure to see if maybe Sjeng is doing something to him I haven't done before and vice versa. You know, I think that's part of the deal.
Q. Was there any point where you didn't think you'd be able to finish or you thought you'd be a point or two away from finishing?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't think we were gonna get on the court tonight. I was hanging out up in my agency's suite about 15 minutes before we walked on the court. Then all of a sudden someone said, "Oh, it's not raining anymore." I thought, "Crap, it only takes them about 20, 22 minutes to dry it." I figured I'd better get downstairs.
Q. How would you describe the mental challenge?
ANDY RODDICK: It's tough. It's frustrating. You want to get out there. You want to play. You have to listen to everybody's theories about what should be done, are we gonna go Monday, play four in four days, are we gonna all die because we're playing four in four days. You know, you're sitting around and at least you have a lot to talk about.
Q. You've been here now three years in a row in the quarters. This year any different?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I want to get through this year. I feel like I'm playing a lot better than I had in any of the other years. I'm healthy this year. Last year I was a little banged up going into the quarters. So I feel good.
Q. Why did it take so long to figure out whether the lines were too slick?
ANDY RODDICK: It wasn't a conversation. The lines were definitely slick. I suggested maybe we should do something, maybe towel them off or dry them. That was a novel idea. Went and did that and we were able to play again.
Q. Is there something that you do or something that you have to do to ensure that kind of consistent serving? Was there something going on today that made it particularly effective?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I'd like to think that I serve well pretty often. And it wasn't just today. I don't know. I just -- I serve well. I don't really know much past that.
Q. How much of an advantage is it that you and Andre wouldn't have to play four days in a row?
ANDY RODDICK: Ask me in four days.
Q. Did this match resemble other Malisse matches?
ANDY RODDICK: The first two sets did. Third set, I think I might have dropped a little bit and he was definitely playing some inspired tennis. He started running a lot more. Seemed like he was getting to every ball. I'm just happy to get through against him.
Q. Was there any point in the tiebreaker in the third set where you felt, "This might slip away, this might turn around"?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I was down 5-3 and serving. I wasn't exactly liking my prospects at that point. You can't really think about, "Oh, that might slip away." You just got to say, "Okay, I'm down 5-3, down one mini break."
Q. Was he making a difference or were you dropping the level a little bit?
ANDY RODDICK: He definitely lifted his level. I don't know if I maintained mine. You know, but credit to him. He definitely played a lot better in that set than he did in the other two.
Q. Having to defend five breakpoints at the end of that third set, did that snap back, get some attention, snap back?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, yeah. I just was lucky to get through those points. I played some sloppy tennis. When it came down to it and when I had chances, when I had to step up, I did. You know, it was pretty lucky. I was pretty fortunate to get through that third set.
Q. You said you're playing better this year than the last two times you went to the quarters. What in particular is making the difference?
ANDY RODDICK: A lot of it has to do with confidence. I feel like I'm doing everything a little bit better. I think I'm moving better. I think it's night and day with my returns and my backhand. You know, I'm not really so much just relying on them to miss when I'm returning serve. You know, I just feel a lot more confident.
Q. Having played two of your four matches when they ended after midnight, is there any difference playing at 12:15 a.m. versus 12:15 p.m.?
ANDY RODDICK: Sun's not out.
Q. Is it psychological, body clock?
ANDY RODDICK: It is. I mean, my body clock right now, I've been going to sleep at 3. I woke up today at 1 o'clock. It's a little weird. Luckily, I think that's one of the big advantages of having tomorrow off is that I can maybe try to get to bed a little earlier and have a semi-normal day. I think my body clock's a little out of whack right now. But I'm through, so that's okay. Actually, Karen, you know what? That doesn't necessarily mean the sun's out. You know (laughter)... Yeah, I... Yeah. Sorry (smiling).
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.