September 3, 2002
NEW YORK CITY
MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. We have to start with the point, the seventh game, 30-15, the lob, everything from there. First of all, talk me through that, what you remember. Second of all, what did that do for you in terms of going forward from there in the match?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't really remember it too well because it was all reaction. It wasn't like I was in control of anything out there. I was just really reacting to what he was doing. I think it helped turn things around. Definitely, I think that was one of the turning points out there tonight.
Q. Diving into the crowd. I take it that was just kind of a spontaneous thing.
ANDY RODDICK: No, I planned to hit a between-the-leg shot, run down a ball, run into the crowd. That was all in the works from the beginning (smiling).
Q. That had to help you from an energy standpoint.
ANDY RODDICK: It did. It did. You know, I was feeling the crowd tonight. They pumped me up so much. I don't know. It was just totally spontaneous. There's not really an explanation for it.
Q. How much was your leg hurting at that time? How did the fury of the moment help you overcome it?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, my foot was hurting. But adrenaline's an amazing thing. You know, I was definitely feeding off of it tonight.
Q. On that particular point?
ANDY RODDICK: At first it was tough. I kind of hobbled towards the first ball a little bit. You know, the crowd grew more and more. They were giving me everything, so I have to give my all.
Q. How does it feel right now?
ANDY RODDICK: It's okay. It's inflamed. There's a certain area that's pretty sensitive. But, you know, luckily they have a great staff here. Tomorrow I'll be able to hang out all day and get treatment on it all day. Hopefully it will be good by Thursday.
Q. This happened yesterday? How did it happen?
ANDY RODDICK: I had a similar thing in Hong Kong last year with this foot. I got up from a switch-over with Alex yesterday in the third set, it kind of bit at me a little bit. That's when I first noticed it. Treated it last night, today. Fortunately, I was able to get through.
Q. When you talk about the crowd cheering, are you talking about the Americans cheering for you or when the Argentines, Spaniards, cheered for you?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, you know, it's fun when parts of the crowd are going at each other. That's what tennis is about. That's what sports is about. You know, you cheer for your guy or your team, whatever. You know, I can appreciate both sides of it, definitely.
Q. Have you seen a replay of that point that you were discussing before?
ANDY RODDICK: I saw it from a weird angle in the USA studio. I didn't get too good of a look at it. Maybe I will later.
Q. Do you think he was kind of playing with you a little bit, might have maybe hit those volleys a little crisper to see you run, taunt you a little bit?
ANDY RODDICK: That was fine with me. If he's not putting balls away to taunt me, then that's his deal. I highly doubt he was thinking that.
Q. If everything holds, you're going to play Pete Sampras. What are your thoughts about playing Pete?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm excited about the prospect of playing Pete in the quarterfinals. I mean, it would be a dream come true for me. Quarterfinal, US Open. I'm assuming it will be a nighttime match. That's what you play for. That's what you put in the work for, is matches like that.
Q. You've had good success against him in the past. How have you done that?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I've served well when I've played him. You know, I've been lucky enough to get a break or two here and there.
Q. Can you describe the contrast of styles when you play him?
ANDY RODDICK: Between me and him?
ANDY RODDICK: Obviously, he comes to the net more. I'll bang from the baseline a little bit more. We both serve well. You know, that's pretty much it. He comes forward a lot more. I'm feeling good from the baseline at the moment.
Q. What's the key? What do you think you have to count on to beat him?
ANDY RODDICK: It's whoever takes their chances returning. There's not going to be a lot of breaks if we play each other, whoever takes those chances.
Q. He played so well from the baseline in the first set of this match. He had a good match against you at Key Biscayne. After that first set was over, did you have any sense it was going to be difficult to break him down today?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes. You know, down a set and a break, he was definitely getting the better of me at that time. There wasn't a lot of flow to the match from my end. Fortunately, I was able to turn that around a little bit.
Q. How big an effect do you think the foot injury will be in terms of whether you can make the final or win the tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, I'm not really scared of it right now. You know, if I had to play tomorrow afternoon, then it might be a little more concerning. You know, I should have all day tomorrow, all night tomorrow, then the day on Thursday also. I'm confident that I'll be ready to go.
Q. A bunch of us are getting ready to write some incredibly cliche sentences about passing the torch from Pete to you. Do you buy any of that?
ANDY RODDICK: No. It's a match between two players. It's a quarterfinal match. We're from the same country, from kind of generations that are overlapping. Obviously, it's going to make for a nice story.
Q. In terms of what makes you excited about that match.
ANDY RODDICK: I'm excited. I grew up idolizing him. I have a great deal of respect for Pete and what he's done. I don't think anybody here doesn't respect what he's done. It will be a very, very special moment for me out there. But, you know, having said that, I want to go out there and I want to play some ball.
Q. Do you have any thoughts on who's traveling the best at this stage of the tournament? Andre hasn't lost a set. Is he traveling the best of all the guys in the field?
ANDY RODDICK: Andre, Lleyton are probably looking the best right now. I think they're pretty on schedule for their showdown.
Q. You broke Chela at one point and you skipped to your chair. There was another time you were kind of jawing at the chair umpire. Is it all sort of like subconscious? Are you aware of all the stuff you're doing or is it just in the moment?
ANDY RODDICK: It's totally in the moment. It's tough to explain sometimes just the feeling that the crowd gives you sometimes, just the intensity in the air of the moment. I feed off that. I enjoy it when the crowd's into it and they're enjoying the tennis. It just lifts me up.
Q. Did you ever think tonight you might not be able to finish the match?
ANDY RODDICK: It crossed my mind, more out of fear about the injury. But when Doug Spreen came on the court and I asked him what the deal was, he said, "You're not risking anything serious here, it's just going to be painful." At that point I knew I wouldn't stop.
Q. The difference in a year, is it more confidence, more experience? Compared to last year, is it a different feel?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes, totally different feel. Last year, you know, it's like, "Oh, wow, Andy made the quarterfinals." This year, "Here are the reasons why he didn't make the quarterfinal," yada yada yada. Two different scenarios.
Q. In your head, do you feel different? Obviously, that's how we view it. I'm talking about you.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, me. It's definitely two different years. I'm used to it more. It's not the wild ride that it was last year. I'm coming in here. I know there's a job to do. I'm not just kind of free-wheeling. Last year it was just a zone. I came out and banged balls all around. Luckily for me they went in that week. This year, I'm still not a polished player, but I'm better in that aspect.
Q. James said that what he was encouraged by the fact he didn't play above himself. He felt like he did last year. The emotion lifted him up. This year he raised his level and was playing at his level. Do you understand what he's talking about?
ANDY RODDICK: I'd say that's true for both of us. I can definitely relate to what he's saying.
Q. In terms of how things ended last year with Hewitt, did you learn anything from that? Did that help you get to where you are right now?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. You know, it was tough. But it's forgotten. There's nothing I can do about it now. I've answered millions of questions about it. If that same situation were to happen again, I wouldn't react the same way. That's the bottom line. I regret it, wish it would have been different. But it happened, it was the way it was. I'm not going to worry about it. It's over. It's done.
Q. When Serena was in here, she mentioned you two had played when she was about 12, you were 10. Do you remember?
ANDY RODDICK: We trained -- not trained, but we were at the same academy for a couple years growing up.
Q. Did you play a lot of matches together?
ANDY RODDICK: We would hit together. Honestly, I'm not going to come up with set scores. I honestly don't remember. She probably would have beaten me back then, I'm sure.
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