September 2, 2001
NEW YORK CITY
MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Looked like after you got the first set, you were in total command. How did you feel about the way you played?
ANDY RODDICK: I felt pretty fortunate to get out of the first set. Got off to a pretty quick start. Played a terrible game to lose my serve. Then I was down breakpoint in my next service game. Then I had that one shot, that one backhand off the overhead, I felt like, "Okay, here is an opportunity." It was a fortunate shot. Once I started to get into the match, I felt really good.
Q. Was there a point in the second set where you had him in your control?
ANDY RODDICK: I felt maybe when I started grinding out a couple of points rather than just teeing off right away, you know, I started getting into my groove, showed him that I wasn't just going to give points away. I think that helped me a lot.
Q. Can you talk about that because there are a lot of people that see you as this guy that just wants to hit winners, get points over as soon as possible. You won a majority of the longer rallies today.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, people might see that because most of my points are short. With my serve, I either hit a pretty decent serve or get a short reply or a slow reply, so then I go for it. In return game, I really need to grind it out, I'm not going to be able to hit winners like that, I kind of do whatever I have to do. I'm not one-dimensional in the fact that I have to hit a winner to win a point.
Q. This was sort of another new experience for you, day match, US Open, first Sunday. How much are you aware of these new experiences?
ANDY RODDICK: It was a new experience. But I've played two third rounds of Grand Slams this year, one on stadium and one on Court 1 at Wimbledon. You know, I already played the stadium twice here. I don't classify that as a new experience. I wasn't really thinking along those lines too much.
Q. Some players talk about how when they get into the second week, it becomes like a whole new tournament, like it starts again. Obviously, you haven't experienced that, but you're about to. Do you have any sensation of that?
ANDY RODDICK: I'll take their word for it (smiling).
Q. Is there a learning experience on the court playing a guy like Corretja, who has been around the block?
ANDY RODDICK: For sure. I mean, even 3-0, two breaks in the third, I'm thinking, "Bear down, bear down, stay focused." I didn't want to let him back in like I did the other night, especially a guy like Corretja who fights. You know he's not hurting physically at all. You know he can go the distance. It definitely helps you maintain focus.
Q. What does that do to you? Helps you focus, what does that mean?
ANDY RODDICK: I was just saying, "Don't let up even though you're comfortably ahead. Focus on closing the match out. Don't let your mind wander."
Q. Are you getting used to the idea that you can easily beat a player like Corretja?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I mean, easily beat? It's a battle any time. I don't think anybody's used to the idea of beating a Top 10 player easily. It's not going to happen. You're going to have your days, you know. You have to be thankful when you get those days. Nine times out of ten, we're going to battle. He might beat me badly one time, I might beat him badly one time. The other eight, we're going to battle. You have to be ready for that.
Q. How different is the approach mentally before you get on court? Six months ago probably you have to play Corretja, you say, "Oh, my God."
ANDY RODDICK: I think I have a chance in every match now. When I go on the court I may not think I'm going to win. I may not think I'm going to go out there and get killed. I know I have a chance going into every match.
Q. Staying in the point during this match against a seasoned pro, could that possibly be one of the things you're most proud of coming out of this match?
ANDY RODDICK: Definitely. People know I can serve, I can hit with power. But it makes me feel good to know that I grinded out a match, I used my head, did what I had to do out there. You know, that helps a lot.
Q. Another Spaniard coming up in the next round.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, two great young players. I played Robredo in juniors once. Ferrero has had a great year. He's No. 5 in the world. It's going to be a good match either way.
Q. When did you first start feeling that you have a chance in every match? Was it the Sampras match? When you won the first two titles? Before that?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. The Guga match helped a lot in Montreal. You know, just a culmination of all those things just helped. It wasn't like one match I'm like, "Okay, I can do this." It was a gradual process.
Q. Even though you've been on Stadium Court three times, been in the third round, at the end of the match, you were pretty psyched. What kind of ripple of emotions went through you?
ANDY RODDICK: I was very satisfied with the way I handled it today, the way I played. That's why I was happy afterwards.
Q. In Key Biscayne you were saying, "All I want to do is make main draw at Roland Garros." We thought that was pretty realistic. Since then there's been the three titles, wins over Pete, Guga. Now the fourth round. Scale of 1 to 10, how surprised are you on how incredibly far you've come?
ANDY RODDICK: Extremely surprised. I'm as surprised as anybody out there. You know, I wasn't thinking at the beginning of the year I'm going to come in, do this, do that. My goals at the beginning of the year were to be top 60 by the end of the year. I thought that was realistic. You know, I've exceeded my expectations, but I'm not going to think too much about that. I want to keep that going. I don't want to be satisfied yet.
Q. When you hear somebody like Pete Sampras talk about how you're on the vanguard of the next wave of American men's tennis, how do you react to that? Is it overwhelming?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, it's nice to hear it from someone I admire so much. I'm happy to be a part of the next generation. I hope we can do some damage.
Q. You've hit almost as many winners and forced as many errors off your backhand side in this tournament as your forehand side. Does that surprise you?
ANDY RODDICK: I started hitting my backhand really well in Washington. I found my groove on it. Tarik and I worked on a couple technical things. I'm feeling good. I'm not feeling like people can hit solely to my backhand side to win matches. That's not going to happen. They're going to have to work it a little bit. That helps. That makes me feel better.
Q. How long was it more or less a rally shot, stay in the rally?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, obviously my weapons are my serve and my forehand. But my backhand's coming along. My backhand return especially is coming along. I'm not bothered by the kick serve so much anymore. I'm hitting it solid. You know, I'm happy with the progress that I'm making. I can still improve it, I think.
Q. You said you exceeded your goals already. What are they now?
ANDY RODDICK: To win my next match here. That would be good.
Q. What about for the rest of the year?
ANDY RODDICK: Get us back into the regulation, I mean, back into the World Group, Davis Cup, is a big goal of mine.
Q. You obviously talk with your coach day in and day out. I'm sure you've been talking with a lot of other people within American tennis, John, Patrick. Aside from your coach, what's the best tip or piece of advice you've gotten from others?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know if there's one tip. Patrick is a big part of, you know, my doing well, too. He's with me almost every practice here. We always will sit down, me, Tarik and Patrick, discuss strategy going into matches. I definitely value his opinion, what he has to say.
Q. Does he discuss teams, with Jan-Michael kind of being possible or not? Has he talked to you about other possibilities?
ANDY RODDICK: We've discussed it, but there's nothing, it's just more my curiosity. You know, your guess is as good as mine at this point.
Q. What if we said on CBS Patrick just spoke of you as if it's presumed you're on the team. How does that feel?
ANDY RODDICK: It feels good. I hope I've made the team.
Q. As the stakes are getting higher, is it still as much fun?
ANDY RODDICK: It's a blast. You definitely feel it a little bit more. I'm no longer the new guy. What am I trying to say? I'm not surprising anybody. I'm not sneaking up on anybody anymore. Still I'm definitely having fun. I'm playing tennis. That's a blast.
Q. Do you know anything about Jan-Michael's condition?
ANDY RODDICK: I haven't talked to him about his injury. I'm not sure. He did pull out from a couple of events. I just hope he'll give it sufficient rest so it can get better.
Q. Are you getting recognized at all in the streets, restaurants?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, sometimes. You know, it's been pretty crazy as far as media, publicity, this and that. It's definitely built up a little bit.
Q. With Mardy, all the other young Americans, Taylor, and James all going down, does that in a way put more pressure on you? What are your feelings about them all being out?
ANDY RODDICK: Absolutely not. What they do has nothing to do with how I do. I mean, it's two separate things. I think everybody is very encouraged by how they played this tournament. They see that there are some guys coming up. They're going to be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.
Q. Are you getting bored of answering the questions of the press? Do you like them? Do you think it's just part of the job? What is your approach to us?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, it's great. There's a certain question that's getting a little redundant (laughter).
Q. What question?
ANDY RODDICK: Ask someone else (smiling). But, no, it's still fun for me. You know, I enjoy it. I'm still just kind of rolling with it.
Q. Has there been any time during this run this summer when the butterflies have gotten the best of you at all, during a match, going into a match?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, I'm always pretty excited before matches, jumping around and stuff.
Q. I mean in a bad way?
ANDY RODDICK: No, nothing really overwhelming. I was kind of worried the other night when Brasington was playing lights out. "This could go five. This guy is not showing any signs of slowing down." Nothing to the point where I'm scared out there or anything like that.
Q. You were so intent on grinding it out today. You were pleased with that. Any specific points you said, "This is really fun"?
ANDY RODDICK: It's always fun, especially when you win the points. You know, I was having a blast out there, especially when you get up and you feel like you start rolling, then your serve starts going in more consistently, it's definitely fun.
Q. Is there anything in particular you do before a match, like listen to a particular song?
ANDY RODDICK: I listen to music, not one particular song. I just kind of hang out with my coach, just kind of us two. He will feed me, remind me of this and that. We kind of mellow out.
Q. What kind of music do you listen to?
ANDY RODDICK: Depends. If I feel like I'm too excited or too pumped up, I'll listen to something mellow. If I feel like I'm kind of lackadaisical and dead, I'll listen to something crazy to get me jacked.
Q. When you were talking to the umpire, you said, "When they show the replay, you'll be..." I didn't hear the rest.
ANDY RODDICK: I basically told them, "When they show the replay, you're not going to look too smart because you're wrong." I bet they showed it, I bet he was wrong. There was a mark like two inches out and then four inches in on the sideline. He said, "It's the 1-4 inches in." I'm like, I highly doubt someone would miss a call if it was four inches in. "Got to do what you got to do, Bud."
Q. Do you allow yourself a fantasy or dream? You're on track to play Sampras in the final. That's jumping ahead.
ANDY RODDICK: A little bit (laughter).
Q. We all have dreams and fantasies.
ANDY RODDICK: Of course, I dream about it.
Q. What do you dream about?
ANDY RODDICK: The same thing every player here dreams about. Everybody comes here to try and win. I'm going to take it one round at a time.
Q. You don't dream of getting a base hit in the seventh game of the World Series like everybody else in the world?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't play baseball.
Q. It's a parable.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't dream about getting a hit in the World Series.
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