August 31, 2003
NEW YORK CITY
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.
Q. I think he only won three points off your serve in the first two sets. How much of that was you and how much was him?
ANDY RODDICK: Uhm, I'd like to think it was a little bit of a combo. I don't think Flavio played his best tennis today. But I played pretty solid throughout the match, so that was okay.
Q. Can you talk about your serving?
ANDY RODDICK: Actually, I didn't serve that high of a percentage today. I don't know if it got above 50. It was down in the 40s for a lot of the day. I was hitting my spots when I was making it. That was good.
Q. Are you using the scoreboard at all to check on stats?
ANDY RODDICK: A little bit. It's kind of tough not to glance. You kind of wonder how you're doing. I don't think it has any purposeful use when you're actually out there. I don't know if it helps or not. My curiosity gets the better of me, I guess (smiling).
Q. A lot of players are very demonstrative on the court. People sometimes say you are. What is it like to play someone like Flavio who had on-court antics today?
ANDY RODDICK: I enjoyed it. When he went and sat down and told people to take his picture, that was funny. I gave him a little clap for that. He probably wasn't feeling too good about his game just then. At least he was showing people that, you know, it's okay, it wasn't the end of the world.
Q. How surprised were you about what Ivan had to say?
ANDY RODDICK: I was surprised because I didn't realize it was on his mind. You know, but that's about it. I mean, I was surprised, you know, but I didn't really know what to say.
Q. As far as you're concerned, this is now a dead issue?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, completely. I talked to him a little while after my press conference, and maybe kind of wanted to get it straight from the source, straight from his mouth, see what he had to say. So we had a very professional talk. It's over, it's done.
Q. Have you almost forgotten how to lose?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I can remember that. I've done it plenty.
Q. Seriously. Got to be a feeling that you can dig deeper than maybe you could have this time a year ago.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think that's obvious. But I don't think you ever forget about losing. I mean, you know, you try to keep it away as long as possible. But, you know, that's part of professional sports, is losing. I just hope it doesn't happen soon.
Q. What was the last loss that hurt the most?
ANDY RODDICK: The French was pretty disappointing because I don't feel like I played really well. You know, I let myself down. I flipped out in my head. There wasn't a whole lot of positives I could take away from that.
Q. Hard to say what's going to happen in the Malisse match. Looking ahead, you played Xavier many times, but I don't think you played the Russian. Can you run down what you know about Malisse?
ANDY RODDICK: Xavier and I have played I think seven times now. You know, he's very talented. He's very fast, very natural with his strokes. He's always tough to play. Dmitry is pretty explosive. I've known about him for many years now. I always thought he would have achieved more by this point because I think he's a very good player.
Q. Any conscious reason for keeping subdued a bit today? You weren't pumping, yelling.
ANDY RODDICK: There was no need. There was no need for it. I've been playing like that for the last three months. Just so happened that the other night I really needed it. I didn't feel totally in control. That was something -- I didn't really promote it that much the other night either, I don't think. You know, that's the way I've been doing things.
Q. You had a little problem with Lapentti. Did you sort that out with him?
ANDY RODDICK: Sorry?
Q. Did you sort that out with him the way you sorted it out with Ljubicic?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I haven't talked to Nicolas about what happened.
Q. When you actually think about what he said, if more tournaments were not played in the United States, you wouldn't be ranked as high, doesn't it stun you?
ANDY RODDICK: Doesn't matter. I am where I am. You know, who knows what the case would be. You know, I feel fortunate that a lot of the tournaments are in the US. But last I checked, I've gotten to two semifinals in foreign countries this year, and Grand Slams. I don't know how relevant that is.
Q. When you were practicing, there's always a lot of people watching, all of them wanting autographs. You're surrounded by security guards. Do you like that?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I love the fans, obviously. But they're a little exuberant, which is great. But it's just a matter of, you know, I love signing autographs afterwards. But when I'm going to the court and actually practicing, it's business. Kind of afterwards, I like to interact with the fans a little bit more. But when I'm going there, I have practice on my mind.
Q. James was saying the other day he remembers what it was like to be one of those fans. Do you remember it?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I came here for my ninth birthday in '92. I was pumped. I was just running around everywhere. I remember I snuck into the players lounge. There was tons of tennis going on, but I was having too much fun just watching people go by. I just kind of sat there.
Q. Did you get thrown out?
ANDY RODDICK: Eventually, yeah. I don't think anybody's going to bother a nine-year-old kid. I was smart enough not to go and ask for autographs and pictures. I was kind of sitting in the corner, watching people go by. Thought it was pretty cool.
Q. The match doesn't involve you, but Taylor and Andre tomorrow, how do you see that?
ANDY RODDICK: It's going to be fun to watch because their styles are so contrasting. Obviously, Taylor doesn't have anything to lose. It's going to be huge serve going up against great returns. You know, who knows. It's going to be fun to watch, though.
Q. Can you talk about your overall performance, what you liked about your game?
ANDY RODDICK: I thought I was pretty solid all around. Maybe frustrated him that I was, you know -- I wasn't afraid to play long rallies, you know, keep the ball on the court and make him work for his points. And I thought I returned pretty well.
Q. A lot of attention on your coaching change. Do you think there's been maybe too much focus on that? How do you say it's helped you so far this summer?
ANDY RODDICK: Obviously, it's been a big help for me. But I don't know. I don't think it's my place to call if it's been too much attention or whatnot. That's not really me.
Q. Celebrating your birthday?
ANDY RODDICK: I saw my friends, my family yesterday in the evening. But, you know, it lasted about an hour. It wasn't too big of a deal. I wanted to kind of forget that it was my birthday.
Q. Have you had your first legal alcoholic drink?
ANDY RODDICK: No, no. That's afterwards. I got to make up for it afterwards.
Q. You had soreness in the forearm or something. Has that gone away?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. It's not an issue. It was more precautionary the other night. I could feel it maybe tightening up a little bit. It wasn't even to the point where it was painful. But I just kind of wanted to take care of it in case it turned into something more.
Q. Nothing today?
ANDY RODDICK: No, zero.
Q. There's always a lot of talk about the selling of the sport of tennis. Can you talk about that you feel comfortable about a role in that?
ANDY RODDICK: In selling the game?
Q. Yes. The selling of tennis.
ANDY RODDICK: It's not my job to sell the game. But if I can help in any way to promote the game, then obviously I'm for that.
Q. That's what I mean.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, for sure. Obviously, I've been given this amazing life due to tennis. You know, I think it's a no brainer to try to help the game and promote it and make it bigger and better.
Q. Do you remember that day in '92? Did you watch anybody, any matches?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes. I mean, I came a bunch also because my brother played in '93 and '94 also in the Juniors. I was up here. I want to say I watched Connors and Klausic (ph). I watched Courier's match. I watched Seles. I was on grandstand all day I remember. One of the matches I remember watching from start to finish. I'm not sure if it was '93 or '94, but it was Sampras and Yzaga. I was getting mad because the Americans weren't getting behind him sufficient. 11-year-old boy wasn't doing it.
Q. Do you remember who you saw in the lounge that day?
ANDY RODDICK: I saw everybody. I mean, I was there for 28 hours that day. Who didn't I see?
Q. How did you get in?
ANDY RODDICK: Very carefully.
Q. You're not going to give out any more than that?
ANDY RODDICK: Huh-uh. Then they'll have a bunch of kids up there (laughter).
Q. One of the things that Ljubicic said, he was talking for the locker room, suggesting that you perhaps didn't get on with a lot of people in the locker room. What is your take on that? Do you think you do or you don't?
ANDY RODDICK: I think I do. But who knows what's said when people aren't around. I mean, that was one of my main issues. I said, "If it's an issue between me and you, we'll keep it that way and we can discuss it between me and you." He understood a little bit. You know, it's over now. It's all good.
Q. How much of the stuff can be maybe cultural? The American way of doing things, we're more showy and exuberant, out there, as opposed to maybe in Europe, they don't like that showy display.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I mean, how many European soccer or football games have you watched? You know, I think there are arguments both ways. You can argue something any way you want. You know, I don't know. It's over.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.