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September 10, 2000

Andy Roddick

Flushing Meadows, New York

MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.

Q. How did it feel to win the championship?

ANDY RODDICK: It was a great ending to, you know, a fun two weeks. I learned a lot over the two weeks. It's a happy ending.

Q. What are some of the things that you learned over the past two weeks?

ANDY RODDICK: Basically, you know, I think my game is there for the pros, but I just have to bring it every day. I mean, in Juniors you can have an off day and win 4-4. In pros you have to bring it every day or you're going to lose. That's one of the biggest things. I learned a lot of patience. Still learning a lot about what it takes.

Q. Are you happy with the way you were serving today?

ANDY RODDICK: I'm happy with the way I hit my second serve. I think I was getting a lot of free points on it. I didn't feel like I was being attacked at all because of it. My first serve was on and off this tournament. I mean, it was spotty. But I was really happy with my second serve. I hit it really well this week.

Q. What are your plans now for the next few weeks or months?

ANDY RODDICK: I'm going to play some challengers, the whole challenger circuit. I haven't really decided if I'm going to go to Europe and play some quallies for the tour events over there. I have that option. I might stay home and play some more challengers.

Q. Does Tarik travel with you regularly or at all?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, he goes everywhere with me.

Q. Robby is a year behind you in school. What do you think he would need to do in the next year to get to the point that you're at now?

ANDY RODDICK: Well, Robby has a lot of things going for him. He's very fast. His returns are really good. I think he just needs to, you know, play more matches. I mean, he's at the point I was at about, you know, like seven or eight months ago when I was learning and I wasn't sure how I stacked up against, you know, pro level players and stuff. I think if he just keeps playing, you know, he just needs something to spark some confidence and I think he'll go from there.

Q. How much thought do you give to the role that you might play in the talk about the new generation of US stars after Pete and Andre?

ANDY RODDICK: How much thought do I give to the new generation?

Q. What your role in it might be.

ANDY RODDICK: I'm part of the new generation. Obviously, I'm playing a pretty big role in it. You know, there are some other players that are doing well right now, so hopefully I'll just be a part of the next team that comes up through the pro ranks.

Q. How surprised were you to hear that you had the fastest serve of the tournament so far?

ANDY RODDICK: I didn't know that. I didn't know that at all. You know, it's something that you can say, you know, it looks nice on paper, but it didn't translate into a win. It's just something that you can tell your friends about. It's nothing that really matters too much.

Q. Do you remember that specific point?

ANDY RODDICK: No, I don't remember it at all. He probably hit a winner off it or something.

Q. Mentally what's the difference between playing Juniors and playing against pros?

ANDY RODDICK: They don't give you anything at all. Juniors, you know, you can run a guy twice, this way, that way, then he'll go for some crazy, stupid shot. I never really felt uncomfortable during the junior tournament. I mean, I was down a break yesterday in the second. I didn't feel like I was being, you know, beaten or anything like that. I just don't think they give -- they just don't give you anything. That's the biggest key.

Q. That's the only time you lost your serve?

ANDY RODDICK: I lost my serve twice back-to-back yesterday in the second set against Ancic. Just sloppy games. Yeah, those were the only two times, though.

Q. Has it been a goal of yours to finish No. 1 in the ITF at the end of the year?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, that's a goal I set for myself in November of last year. I started in December. It was a definite goal of mine.

Q. Are you going to play any more junior events, having just said that?

ANDY RODDICK: I'll just play Sunshine Cup this year for the States in December.

Q. The American guys might know this, but how did you and Tarik get together?

ANDY RODDICK: There was a rain delay at Nationals, last summer. My mother and Tarik were sitting under the same canopy trying to get out of the rain. They were just chitchatting. Turns out he lives right down the street from me. We just talked about it. I was looking for new coach. Just fit the bill.

Q. Complete coincidence really?

ANDY RODDICK: Pretty much.

Q. What has he added to your game? What's been a difference that he's made?

ANDY RODDICK: Just a lot of things. I mean, I could always hit the ball pretty hard, but he taught me how to, you know, use the court, to move, different shots, how to get yourself out of trouble, using different heights on the shots. Basically he told me I was a hitter before, now I can play. I can play the points. If I'm not hitting well, I can still win by picking guys apart.

Q. He was a small guy who was a very good clay court player. You're a bigger guy.

ANDY RODDICK: Hopefully if you put them together, it will work well.

Q. Did you feel any particular pressure coming in here as the No. 1 junior in the world, being kind of the target for everybody?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. But I don't mind if people are coming at me with their games. You definitely do feel pressure. I mean, everybody I think pretty much expected me to do well here. But I think there's a lot to be said for winning matches that you're supposed to win. That's what I wanted to do this week, and I tried to prove that.

Q. Is it particularly rewarding then because of what you've done?


Q. Having won and been a marked man, does this mean more than any other event that you've won?

ANDY RODDICK: No. I think the first one in Australia was the biggest one. I mean, that was a whole new experience. This time I knew I could do it. I knew it was just a matter of staying focused and staying calm and getting through matches. Australia, you know, it was a new thing. I wasn't totally sure if I was, you know, going to do well or win or whatever. So I think that was the best.

Q. You dedicated this tournament to your uncle and a friend. Can you talk a bit more about those relationships?

ANDY RODDICK: My uncle Azel Griswold, he's just been a big part of my life ever since I can remember. He passed right before the tournament in Cincinnati started this year. I miss him a lot. My aunt came up to New York for a couple of days to see me play. She's a strong woman. She's getting through it. That was some of my inspiration for this week.

Q. And the other relationship?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, well, Kalamazoo, it's a great tournament. They have lots of volunteers. There was a 16-year-old girl named Beth Hodges who was one of the nicest people you would ever meet. Everybody loved her. She knew all the players. You hung out. I talked to her on the phone when I was traveling and stuff. We were, you know, pretty good friends. She had an unfortunate accident. It was just total shock. I mean, with my uncle, I kind of knew that it was going to happen sooner or later. But this was just a complete shock because I talked to her the night before, or two nights before. Everything was perfect in her world. It was just a big shock.

Q. When was her accident?

ANDY RODDICK: I think three weeks ago. It was right before I came here, the Friday before the tournament, before the pro tournament, was her funeral. It was probably that Tuesday.

Q. Car accident?


End of FastScripts….

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