August 19, 2005
THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, Andy Roddick. Questions, please.
Q. You've won a lot of matches here in the last three years. Fans seem to really take a liking to you. How much of a difference does that make when you're out there?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's huge. They've definitely helped me through a couple of matches this week - against Ferrero the other night, and then they realized I needed it early on in the second set, I think, just when it was starting. They kind of lost it a little bit, which helped. You know, it's much appreciated.
Q. That first set when he broke you, that first game, did that just set the tone for the rest of that set?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, maybe. It was a little bit of a donation, you know. I doubled twice. I didn't make a first serve. You know, then he kind of just -- I don't know if it elevated his confidence, he was able to play a lot looser from that point. You know, when the second set started I didn't put much into the first set because it was just -- it was so quick. It was almost easier to recover from that than it would be like a 7-6 or something like that. I kind of just tried to start with a clean slate.
Q. When you got that breakpoint, was there something in his game, was there a weakness that you saw that you decided to attack?
ANDY RODDICK: In the -- when I got -- in the second set or the third set?
Q. Correct, in the second set. When you broke him, did you find a certain point of his game that was weak?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, nothing really was weak to that point in the match. But, you know, it's a lot easier to hit amazing shots when you're up 30-Love as opposed to down 15-30 or 30-40. You know, a lot of times a good, solid return is a lot better at 30-40 than it would be, you know, if he's cruising through games or, you know, he doesn't have a lot of pressure on him or he's up a break 4-2 or something. That's the mentality I have: Take care of your own service games and then try to put some pressure on him. At least make him think about what he's doing a little bit out there, not just let him swing so free.
Q. He's quite a flashy player, quite a streaky player. Is that a more difficult opponent for you to play against, or dangerous, perhaps?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes and no. I'm not sure. It's just different. It's like, you know -- I guess it's the equivalent of playing like against a good offensive team or a good defensive team in basketball or football; you just have to make adjustments. They're both tough in their own way. But, you know, it's tough to say if one's more difficult than the other.
Q. His serve sort of gave you some trouble in the first set. Did you start seeing it better in the second and third?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, he served 75% in the first set first serves. So, you know, he was hitting his spots. So I wasn't getting a lot of looks at second serves to give myself a chance in the points. Then I didn't expect him to keep that up, you know, at that clip. I thought I might get a couple more looks at second serves, maybe get into a couple more rallies. Luckily, it worked out that way for me.
Q. Were you pleased with your standard in the second half of the match? You came in a fair bit, too, didn't you?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I wanted to mix him up a little bit. He was really grooved from the baseline, you know. He was kind of stepping in, taking balls early. He was getting into a good pattern of playing to my backhand, I'd play crosscourt and he would just kind of go for broke up the line. I just wanted to give him a little bit of a different look. I tried to get in a little bit more and was successful.
Q. You feel comfortable doing that these days?
ANDY RODDICK: Yep. I get asked that every time I come in during a match. But, you know, it's something I've been working on. You know, I don't think I'm as bad of a volleyer as some people might tell you, especially if I'm putting the approach shots in the right spots. If you come in behind a serve that's 130-plus-miles-an-hour, it makes the volley a lot easier. I have to be an effective volleyer, not a great volleyer. That's kind of the mentality that I've taken.
Q. You approached the chair umpire during the changeover after your serve was broken the second time. Was there a distraction there with what he was saying between points?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, basically I wanted to talk to someone and I didn't feel like yelling at myself, so he was the only other viable person out there to talk to - no. No, not really. I mean, I was -- it was more frustration of myself than at him. You know, it's just unfortunate that he had to take the brunt of it.
Q. On that same note, there were three calls overturned real early. Does that have an effect on players when calls are getting overturned pretty early in the match?
ANDY RODDICK: It's a little weird. He was pretty vocal the other night against Ferrero, too, you know, with the calls and, you know... So, you know, I guess the best thing you can expect is consistency, and now I guess you know that he's going to interject a little bit more than some guys.
Q. I think with Marat losing today and you winning means you'll go to No. 4 for the US Open seeding. Is that a big thing for you? Is that important?
ANDY RODDICK: I think that's very important. I mean, I could have played Roger in the quarterfinals of the Open, you know. I knew that going into today. And, you know, I think that makes it, you know -- it's a pretty important factor. I mean, I was seeded 5 here. It's definitely not comfortable when the draw comes out and you're supposed to play either Nadal, Hewitt, Federer or Safin in the last eight, you know. So, you know, that will be pretty big for me, I think - or I hope it will.
Q. So losing the first set must have been a little bit of a shocker as well?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I wasn't pleased.
Q. Were you surprised by Youzhny in the first set, or were you more unhappy with your game?
ANDY RODDICK: I think it was a combination. Like I said, I felt like I donated that first game, you know.
Q. He served more aces than you did, and he made more winners.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I was there.
Q. Less unforced errors. In every respect he was better than you.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I won two sets; he won one. So that's a pretty important stat as well.
Q. 3-2 final set you appeared to take a pill. Were you feeling unwell?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, my stomach has been giving me problems for a couple days and I haven't been able to eat as much as I would like. I was feeling a little bit tired. I just wanted to -- I don't know what it was, I think it was an Imodium or something like that, just to kind of calm my stomach down a little bit.
Q. Were you aware of any effects?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it went pretty quick. I was lucky enough, I asked for the trainer to come out, then I broke the next game and held. So I figured as long as I could serve well, I might get home safely.
Q. Assuming tomorrow you play Hewitt, what are your thoughts about that series? It will be a rematch of the Australian Open. You've had some interesting matches.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's weird. We've had a lot of close matches and I haven't come out on the better end of them, which is, you know, a little rare for me. You know, but I want to get another crack at these guys, you know. The only way that I'm gonna, you know, beat them is by playing them and putting myself in position enough times. You know, it's the same thing with Roger. They said after Wimbledon, "Would you want to play him again?" I said, "I'll play him until I'm 1-31 against him, you know. I still want the opportunity. I want to go in there." So that's kind of what I have to take in there. A lot of pressure's off I think by us doing well this week as well. We both had first-round losses and we wanted some good preparation going into the Open. I feel like I've been through a couple battles here, so I'm excited. I'm going to go out there and just wing it and have fun.
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