August 27, 2002
NEW YORK CITY
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy Roddick, please.
Q. Can you talk a little about, seems like they schedule you a lot at night. They had advertisements about Sampras playing. Come out, you're the show tonight. What does that do for you, if anything?
ANDY RODDICK: I love night -- I mean, it doesn't get much better than night session, you know, Arthur Ashe Stadium. I love it. The crowd reacts. There's a certain electric feel, you know, around the court. I was definitely pumped up when I heard I was going to play tonight.
Q. How do you feel, overall, with how you played tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: A little shoddy in the first set. Could have closed it out. I played a nervous first set last year on the stadium my first night, too. Then I got into it. The court's like no other. So, you know, shots were going a little bit short. Then I felt the second and third set I played some really solid tennis.
Q. Are you surprised he hung with you in the first set there?
ANDY RODDICK: No. Anybody who can hit a serve a buck thirty-five can hold serve five times. That wasn't too surprising. The thing that was bothering me was I wasn't getting on his second serve when I got the opportunity. I got on it a little bit in the tiebreaker then I kept it up throughout the rest of the match.
Q. You obviously had something to do with it. Were you surprised how many unforced errors there were?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, he came out and I guess, you know, his plan was to go for it. You know, he hit some winners and he made some errors. I guess that was his game plan. Maybe that's what he felt he had to do to win and he just didn't put enough on the court.
Q. What do you do all day when you have to wait until 9 o'clock to get on the court?
ANDY RODDICK: Sleep. No, I woke up around, I don't know, I was at the gym around 11:30, got on the bike a little bit. Kind of wake the body up so it's not totally shocked when you go out there. Basically, hung out. Watched some tennis. Left around four. You know, there was a lot of dead time.
Q. How long were you here before you actually got on court?
ANDY RODDICK: Probably arrived here around five. I don't know what time I went on. But, I mean, that's incorporated in, you know, warm-up and eating and stretching. So, you know, I probably had an hour, you know, down time, before my match.
Q. You talked about, a few days ago in an interview, how this is a real special US Open with everything that happened. Last night was a big opening ceremony. How did you feel on the court tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: Obviously, it's special any time on that court. Especially with what's happened, you know, close to a year ago. It's that much more, you know, it's our home Slam, it's in New York City. You know, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Q. How's your hand?
ANDY RODDICK: I just got a little blister that opened up. It didn't really affect me too much. I wanted to take the proper precautions to make sure it stayed that way.
Q. You have fun watching the Huskers?
ANDY RODDICK: 48 to 10, yep. They look good. You know the offense started going a little bit in the second half. Little bit stagnant in the first. But Jamal Lord was dancing around in the pocket pretty good. I won't bore you with the rest of my knowledge (smiling).
Q. Do you feel more and more comfortable here?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. You know, like I said, you know, I hit the other day out here in practice. It was awesome. Then to come out, night session, you know, little bit -- maybe a little too excited. But, you know, I settled down and started feeling the ball and hitting it pretty well.
Q. You're asked all the time, "Are you the next Great American Hope," or whatever.
ANDY RODDICK: Not even close (smiling).
Q. The way to stop people from asking about that would be to win one of the majors.
ANDY RODDICK: I'll just do that then.
Q. When you hear the question, does it put more pressure on you?
ANDY RODDICK: It's honestly a little annoying now, to be honest. It's there. I've answered the question, you know, almost every press conference for the last two years. My answer's been pretty much the same. Not a whole, you know, lot of different variations and whatnot. It's there, it's something I have to deal with. Like I said, I'm not, you know, we're not going to replace, you know, the greatest generation of all time from one country. But I'm going to do my best and, you know, maybe I can have some of the success that the generation before me has enjoyed.
Q. Like you said, you've gotten that question a lot. Do you feel a little pressure coming off you as James is doing better, other young Americans are starting to play better? James broke the Top 25.
ANDY RODDICK: He's doing great. I'm all for, you know, young Americans doing well. A couple of the guys have broken the Top 100 at times this year. It's nice. If anything, I'm glad to have them on tour. They're my buddies. They're who I grew up with. It's nice.
Q. How does it help to have Tarik sitting in the stands?
ANDY RODDICK: We can pretty much communicate without even having to say anything. I can see the look on his face and I can almost read it. That's what happens when you've been with a coach almost three years. He's pretty much taught you and gotten you where -- he's gotten me where I am right now. We're always working. It's definitely comforting.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.