September 6, 2001
NEW YORK CITY
MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Want to talk about your thoughts about the match overall?
ANDY RODDICK: I thought it was a very good match. Both of us fought hard. It's unfortunate that I blew up and it ended the way it did. It's pretty disheartening when you fight for that long and something like that happens. I mean, you just feel like someone reaches inside you and just takes something.
Q. What did it do to your frame of mind at that point? Did it rattle you?
ANDY RODDICK: Of course. You fight so hard. You know, you're fighting your opponent. He's probably one of the best fighters in the world. I'm hanging toe to toe. I had chances. I'm trying to hold serve. Guy overrules on a far sideline on a ball that was in at 4-5 in the fifth. That's just infuriating.
Q. What was your approach to the points after that?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't even remember anything after that. You know, I just told myself to stick to my guns, try to keep playing. But, you know, I really needed to push it out of my mind, and it wasn't all the way gone.
Q. Do you think you were robbed?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I do. Who is to say I would have won anyways. But when you start off a game Love-15, it puts that much pressure on you. I'll leave it at that.
Q. It's tough, but it's the part of sports. Can you see yourself becoming a better man out of having to deal with this?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I mean, I honestly don't think it will ever happen again at 4-5 in the fifth on a ball on the far sideline. I've never seen that happen in my life at 4-5 in the fifth.
Q. Have you ever gone that ballistic before?
ANDY RODDICK: Not for anything related to tennis. I mean, not like that ballistic. But, I mean, you know, when life throws you a curve, there's stuff, then I break down. But that's the worst, you know, I've ever lost it on a tennis court.
Q. How about those breakpoints you had at 4-4?
ANDY RODDICK: One point we had a long point. He was starting to shake -- his forehand was starting to get a little shaky in that game. He came up with the winner. I probably should have gone for a little bit more. If I would have had my shot, if I would have had my forehand, if I would have had a ball to go in on, I would have pulled the trigger. I left one ball kind of short, and he took advantage of it.
Q. Can you talk about how you worked your way back in? The second and third sets, he seemed to be pretty much in control of the match. Early in the fourth, you got rolling again.
ANDY RODDICK: He gave me a gift of a game in the fourth set. He doubled twice, missed a forehand. I might have played like one good point. You know, he let me back in it. I held out. After that, it was a battle.
Q. You were using a lot of high topspin serve to his backhand. Seemed to have a lot of success for you, the high kick serve.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I wasn't, you know, hitting my, you know, normal second serve. I just decided to go a little bit off it, see what happens. I brought my double-faults down. You know, he wasn't on it right away.
Q. With the disappointment of how this ended, can you see the positives of what you did here at this tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, you know, made my first quarterfinal. I hoped for more. Maybe right now is not the best time to ask me that question. Maybe in two or three days I'll be really happy, but I'm not right now.
Q. Do you feel like you've had a match stolen from you essentially?
ANDY RODDICK: It's not the whole match. Do I feel, you know, that call had a big part of me broken in the last game? Yes. I think that's pathetic. I think that was an absolutely pathetic call. No umpire in their right mind will ever make that call.
Q. You called him an absolute moron. Do you want to take that back or do you stand by that?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not going to take anything back. I said it. I meant it at the time.
Q. Is it the call or is it your reaction to the call?
ANDY RODDICK: What about it?
Q. I mean, the way you blew up. Maybe in the future, you'll approach that situation different if you get a bad call.
ANDY RODDICK: I'm definitely disappointed in myself for letting it do that to me. But at the same time I had pretty darn good reason for it. Maybe the more experienced I get, you know, I'll learn to handle that. But that's a tough one to handle. I mean, that's not right in front of him. That's not a ball he can say, and this is the rule of umpires, "I saw it clearly, 100% no doubt in my mind out." If he can say that, he's a liar. There's no way, without any doubt in his mind, there's no way he could bet his house on that call. You know, in the future, hopefully I won't blow up.
Q. Do you have any thoughts on the old rule in general that because an umpire can do that at any juncture, it can happen at any time, you never know when they are going to jump in, are you against that rule on principle?
ANDY RODDICK: No. You're not against an overrule. I mean, overrules are, if he's a hundred percent, it's a clear mistake, maybe the player is blocking the back lines woman, you hit a ball this far out, she can't see it. There has to be overrules, of course there has to be. At the same time you have to use your best judgment with the situation, with what's been happening. I hope he can look at himself and say, "I did that." I'd be pretty surprised if he could.
Q. Do you see Lleyton as your potential biggest rival down the road in the future?
ANDY RODDICK: I think there's a bunch of people. Juan Carlos Ferrero, the guy I played last round, Robredo, Marat has already won a Grand Slam, Federer, Youzhny. There's a bunch of new guys coming up young. It will be exciting. I'm sure Lleyton and I will have many more matches.
Q. Are you going to look at that replay again as soon as you can or you don't want to see it?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't need to see it. I mean, I know. I'm pretty sure I know. I don't need to see it. If it's on, I might watch it just to confirm my beliefs. You know, whatever.
Q. What was your reaction to Lleyton's comments with respect to James Blake in the match the other day?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, I don't know the whole story. I mean, I know what he said. I haven't heard his argument against -- to defend his comments. Obviously, if he meant them in that way, it's absolutely, totally wrong. But, you know, if everybody misunderstood him, then, you know, it's tough for him because he's getting the bad end of the stick right now.
Q. The crowd got way behind you in the fourth and the fifth. Talk about how that energy moved you.
ANDY RODDICK: It's awesome. I can't wait to come back next year and play already. I mean, the crowd was electric. I felt like I was playing a final match of a Davis Cup or something. They were chanting "USA." It was definitely a special crowd tonight.
Q. I know your professional career is still pretty young. Is this the most disappointed you've ever been in your professional career?
ANDY RODDICK: I seem to have disappointing moments against Lleyton. The French, you know, I was wearing it on my face. That was pretty disappointing. Tonight ranks right up there with that. But, you know, I will use this as motivation. I've always said you learn more from your losses than you do from your wins.
Q. You appeared to twist your ankle a little bit at one point. Also took a tumble into the Cyclops machine.
ANDY RODDICK: Which I took out. The ankle, I'll probably feel it tomorrow. It didn't affect me at all during the match. The Cyclops, I thought I might have done something to my left elbow at first. But then it was just, I don't know, it went away. It didn't affect my play.
Q. It's hard just after a loss, but can you reflect on how a year ago you're playing the Juniors, this year you're in the quarters. Can you talk about what that's meant to you?
ANDY RODDICK: It's been a great run. I mean, I've had so much fun out here this weekend. A part of me is just dying inside, but a part of me is, "Okay, I can relax now." Everything has been pretty overwhelming for me, you know, in the last year. Now I've got a little bit of time to kind of just go be Andy for a while, then get ready for D Cup.
Q. Momentum change in the fourth set. Can you talk about what happened at that point when you were down two sets, came back?
ANDY RODDICK: You start feeling a lot better when you get up a break and the crowd starts going off. You kind of just forget. I started having so much fun out there in the fourth set. I mean, even at the end of the third, you know. I mean, you have to put tennis in perspective. It's a game. I was playing in front of a packed house. They were going crazy. I was having a blast.
Q. They started letting people down to the lower bowl. Did you sense a difference in the crowd because of that?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not sure. I don't know. You know, some of the people sitting down left, then some people took their places. It was kind of like a Catch-22. Wherever they were sitting, they were loud and they were great. I'll remember that always.
Q. You said you want to go back and be Andy. Who else have you been?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, in my house, just kind of watching movies. I've been Andy the tennis player, now I'm going to go be Andy the kid for a week. Actually, it's all been an act, the whole thing.
Q. Faking us?
ANDY RODDICK: Exactly, totally. I'm actually happy right now. Had you fooled, huh?
Q. At the end of the match there, Hewitt went back out on the court, waved to the crowd, got booed. Do you think that was necessary, considering the match?
ANDY RODDICK: They were rough on him, for sure. I mean, they've been reading the papers all week. I mean, that doesn't help his cause any. But, you know, maybe they were upset that I lost. I mean, he didn't do anything wrong in the match. They were a little tough on him.
Q. Did you shake the chair umpire's hand?
ANDY RODDICK: I did.
Q. Did you say anything to him?
ANDY RODDICK: Did not.
Q. For someone so accustomed to hitting so many winners off the ground, how exasperating is it to play Lleyton?
ANDY RODDICK: He handles my power better than anybody in the world. I laced some balls today, just hit them really hard, and he got them back. You know, but I'm learning. It was better. It was better than the last times I played him. I'm better than I was a month ago. I just want to keep that up. We'll see where that takes me.
Q. He applauded after an exchange and you lobbed him. Did you see that?
ANDY RODDICK: It was a good point. That's a nice gesture from him.
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