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August 21, 2005

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, Andy Roddick. Questions, please.

Q. Have you had an extra look at your foot yet?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, we just looked at it. You know, still too early. I'm probably going to take a couple days off. You know, the things that are positive is when the trainer came out and worked on it a little bit, he kind of massaged it hard. It almost felt like there was just like a knot or something like that. You know, and the thing that also makes me a little optimistic is it didn't happen on one movement. It's not like I moved to the side and then all of a sudden... I didn't hear anything click, I didn't hear anything snap. I didn't hear anything like that, which is a good sign. The good thing is I don't have to play in three days, you know, I have a little bit of time. We can kind of treat it appropriately.

Q. So this was something that was developing throughout the match?

ANDY RODDICK: No, no, not at all. I didn't feel it until 5-All in the second set. So, you know, I don't know if it had much of a direct impact on the outcome or the result, let's make sure that's out there first and foremost. I felt it at 5-All in between points actually. I was walking and it kind of got me. I thought I was going to be okay with it, and then I got up from the switchover and I kind of like extended, like this. I just felt something. Obviously with New York looming, you don't want to take chances. So that's why I had Michal come out and look at it. I asked him if he thought I could do anything worse, and he didn't seem to think so, so I went out and tried to give it a go. It was still a little sensitive when I tried to serve in the last game.

Q. In the first set when he broke you twice, it seemed like some of the volleys you had yesterday deserted you today. Were you tight?

ANDY RODDICK: No, I don't know what it was. I just, you know -- there have been a lot of matches where I've come in and said, you know, I felt like I played well and Roger was just too good and he beat me. I felt like today I beat up on myself a little bit more than our past meetings. You know, credit. I mean, he came up with the shots and he did it when he had to. But, you're right on. I mean, I missed some shots that I didn't really feel like I should have missed. I think that first break I donated a little bit. I thought I played a lot better in the second set. Even when he broke me in the second set, he came up with some really good shots, you know, like the return at 30-All and whatnot. So, you know, I thought I did a lot better job in the second set than I did in the first. The first set was just terrible.

Q. Were you pressing a bit on your serve because of his returns?

ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. But the thing is, define "pressing." I always go for big serves. So I think I was just missing, you know. My percentages were low, and those of you who are in week to week know I harp on first serve percentage. And I haven't seen what it was, but I'm sure it was not good today. That makes it a lot tougher.

Q. When you broke him in the second set did you think you turned a corner so to speak?

ANDY RODDICK: Well, I had. I just didn't keep it. Like I said, though, the next game I don't feel like I played a horrible service game, you know, as opposed to the couple in the first set. You know, if I would have gotten through that game, who knows. But I didn't.

Q. On some of the longer rallies, all of a sudden he'd just come up with a monster forehand. Is that him being him, that certain balls you just couldn't get to?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, that's what makes him the best player in the world, his ability to do that. You know, he's one of the guys you can feel like you've played a good point and he'll come up with something. But I felt like I had a good chance here. I mean, I don't know if he's talked to you guys yet, but I'm sure he's going to say he didn't play his best match today. This wasn't like he played in the Wimbledon final; he was missing some today, and I didn't take advantage of it.

Q. Do you feel like you got a slower start today than you did against Lleyton? Lleyton you came out like you were --

ANDY RODDICK: That's no question. Like I've said throughout this press conference, I feel like I played really badly in the first set.

Q. Tired from a late-night match?

ANDY RODDICK: Well, that was interesting, you know, finishing at nine and coming back at twelve. But I didn't feel tired. I didn't -- physically, I was fine. I wasn't sluggish or anything. I just played badly. I mean, that's pretty much it.

Q. You've had a pretty, you know, pretty good summer. What will you take from this week heading into the Open?

ANDY RODDICK: I take a lot of positives from it. I feel like I competed well. I fixed a lot of different situations: You know, being down, fighting back a couple of matches, winning some tight matches. The win over Lleyton was big for me. So, you know, I'm glad I had a week like this going into New York.

Q. Do you feel a little like Phil Mickelson chasing Tiger Woods?

ANDY RODDICK: I think that's a good analogy, yeah, absolutely. You know, no one's going to argue that Tiger's the best player in the world, you know. There's no doubt. But I think it's similar to what you saw from what happened with golf was it two or three years ago when Tiger won - what did he win? - I mean, seven out of eight or eight out of nine majors. That made the other guys better. That made Mickelson better, Singh, Els, Goosen. It made them elevate their games. I think that's what Roger is doing right now with tennis. I'm a better player than I was two years ago basically because I have to be.

Q. Do we have to start putting his excellence into some sort of historical context, or have we already started doing that?

ANDY RODDICK: If you haven't, you should. I don't think he gets his fair shake because he's not American, especially over here with the media over here. And he's not like Yao Ming who plays his entire season here. I actually had this conversation with Mike Wilbon a couple weeks ago in D.C. He was like, "Why haven't people taken to him?" He's not like, you know, he's not a story like T.O. where you're going to be all in this drama. He goes and does his business, he goes home. He's not looking for anything besides winning. Unfortunately, that hasn't been embraced, you know. It's almost like people want more of a story and, you know, the guy just wins and goes about his business. He's a class act. I mean, for some reason, that's not a good story.

Q. You mentioned on court about his off-the-court activity and kind of the same thing, class act. Can you expand on that, being I guess an ambassador to the game.

ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's, I mean -- he doesn't act high-and-mighty in the locker room. He's done a bunch of stuff like we did earlier in the year, he organized an event in Palm Springs where he got all the top players together, you know, for a benefit, benefit charity. You know, get everybody on the same page. You know, like I said, he just comes and does his job, lives a kind of very quiet existence, doesn't try to -- I don't know. I mean, he just goes about things and does things the right way.

Q. James Blake mentioned after he lost to Roger that when he was injured, Roger was the first one to send him a note saying come back, we miss you at the tournaments. He has that quiet...

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, exactly. I mean, he's a real person. You know, he's not -- I don't know how to explain it. He's not an enigma. Off the court he's not trying to be somebody he's not. If you met him at McDonald's and you didn't know who he was, you would have no idea that he's one of the best athletes in the world.

Q. You added a volley to your game trying to kind of expand everything. What else would you like to have for yourself to get to that next level?

ANDY RODDICK: I think first and foremost, I mean, if you're asking just against Roger, I think the biggest thing is I haven't had an amazing serving day against him, not like I did yesterday against Lleyton; I put in 24 aces. I've played well against Roger from the baseline before. I've played well, but I haven't had that monster serving day. And, you know, that's what I'm looking for. My percentages have been low. Me putting my serve in the court has nothing to do with the way he returns; I'm in total control of that. That's been a little frustrating. I think that's a big key.

Q. What about in general, anything else?

ANDY RODDICK: I'm working on it. I've become a better athlete in the last year. I've worked on my fitness a bunch, I'm working on my transition game. Obviously I'd love to try to keep returning -- improving on my return games. That just puts more pressure on guys. So definitely there's some things I can continue to work on.

Q. I think after Wimbledon they asked you what you would do next time against Roger. You said, "Next time I may have to punch him." Do you have a Plan B?

ANDY RODDICK: Kick him (smiling).

Q. Your foot's hurting.

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Left foot.

Q. Is he the one guy that you are chasing? I mean, there's a lot of good players, but is he the one guy who you personally want to beat?

ANDY RODDICK: Well, I think he's the guy that all of us are chasing, you know. I think there's -- he's the main guy and then there's probably four or five of us that are -- I don't know. Maybe we need to do just a tag team effort or something, join forces, you know, like Power Rangers or something. But I think he's that one guy that we're chasing.

Q. On a day like today when he's not at his absolute best, do you look at this as a missed opportunity?

ANDY RODDICK: Absolutely. Yep.

Q. I noticed yesterday and today you came to the net a couple times and had fairly good success. Is that something you're going to try to work into your game in the future more?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, I've made it -- it hasn't been a secret that that's something - I said at the beginning of the year - that I need to improve on. Like I've been saying all week, it's a process and it's something that I'm having fun with and I'll continue to do so.

Q. Are you playing in New Haven, or are you taking time off?

ANDY RODDICK: No, no, no.

Q. Just going straight to the Open?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I'm going to New York tomorrow to start preparation.

End of FastScripts….

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