August 4, 2004
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. If I asked you to describe "the" shot, you'd probably know which one I was talking about, wouldn't you?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I would.
Q. How did you do that?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I saw the replay. I was gonna go between the legs, but then I couldn't get there on time. And so I just kind of flailed at it and I figured if I was gonna flail at it, I might as well hit it hard. I didn't really see it. I mean, I looked up and it was past him. People were clapping, so I figured it went in.
Q. What's the moral there, just never give up on a point?
ANDY RODDICK: (Laughing) I don't -- be lucky. I don't know.
Q. Is that the kind of thing you practice just for fun?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. You know, I don't -- those are the kind of shots you get chewed out for trying to practice, you know, when you are practicing (smiling).
Q. How do you feel for somebody who's been playing for two, two and a half weeks already full-time, physically, mentally?
ANDY RODDICK: I feel okay. I mean, it's a little tough. You come here with the rain, you know... But, you know, I'm just gonna try to keep going.
Q. Is he starting to look like a familiar face?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Yeah, we've seen a lot of each other the past couple weeks. It's, you know, it works out like that sometimes, though. It's funny, I haven't played the guy -- I played him once in my whole career and then three times in ten days or so.
Q. Where did you play him before?
ANDY RODDICK: Played him here second round two years ago.
Q. Does there come a point when you beat him so much that the confidence you bring in just is going to overshadow anything you can do? Do you feel like that?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think so. I think, you know, for the most part he played better than I did today. But, you know, I think he was like 0-7 on breakpoints and I was 2-2. That's the match right there, in that stat.
Q. Is that something that can only come with confidence and winning the kind of matches that you've won?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, and I think it's fortunate as well. I think I actually had to play one point, you know, from the baseline and I played it pretty well. I went for a winner and he didn't convert it. And he didn't play that well on his -- on the breakpoints I had on him. He made a couple errors, couple easy errors.
Q. Let me ask you again about watching the replay. What did you say to yourself or what flashed through your mind when you saw that shot?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I mean, I was like "Wow." I just kind of started laughing, you know, because you don't really expect to hit that shot. That's probably the best shot I've ever hit - or, I mean, the luckiest shot I've ever hit.
Q. Where did you see the replay? Afterwards, you mean?
ANDY RODDICK: I walked in and it was on the -- it was on the...
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I didn't realize -- I mean, it looked -- it was pretty sweet. I guess I let it drop and I almost, you know, I almost hit it from the ground. So it was, you know, it didn't seem like it was that much when I hit it. It felt pretty cool, but I didn't realize it was that drastic.
Q. When you see a guy get frustrated like that like he was, hitting the net, yelling at himself, what does that do for you?
ANDY RODDICK: It makes me really want to stay in it, you know. I was feeling a little bit sluggish today. But when I saw he was kind of a little bit edgy, it kind of makes you want to fight a little bit more and really bear down.
Q. Is this one any different kind of a match from the last couple? Do you feel different?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, Indy, I just -- I was pretty much in control from start to finish. Toronto, kind of more the same. Today was a little bit more of a -- at 6-4, you know, 4-3 up a break, I felt pretty fortunate to be in the position that I was in.
Q. You haven't lost your serve to him and you saved a bunch of breakpoints. Do you feel like you're doing that a lot lately, hitting the shots that you need against breakpoints?
ANDY RODDICK: It seems that way, you know, especially against him. But I guess it's happening more and more. I'm hitting good serves on breakpoints right now - or I have been recently.
Q. Away from yourself, can I ask you a little bit about Marat Safin, who you've played some. He has such great talent but a lot of times he seems to squander it from up here.
ANDY RODDICK: I can't really speak on his behalf. I guess he's the only one who would know the answer to that.
Q. Does that surprise you, though, that he doesn't always, with his talent, come through?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know if anything Marat does surprises us anymore - or me anymore. But that's part of his intrigue, you know. That's part of what makes you want to watch him.
Q. Do you think the sport needs him as another sort of one for the cast of characters?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, he's a personality, that's for sure. And I think, you know, he expresses it a little bit more than some of the guys. But, you know, I think we have a lot of personalties right now, you know. He's one of them.
Q. Your shot, obviously, you won the next two points. That was the break. Did you feel that change the momentum, or do you think you got away with one?
ANDY RODDICK: I thought about it. I was like, "Okay, well, I just hit that shot. Now it's 30-All. So I'm in this game." I hadn't had a look at a serve pretty much. I hadn't been in any service games. So it definitely crossed my mind. I was like, "Okay, it would be a little ironic if I actually saw this through a break."
Q. Since you and Roger have met in the finals a couple times in the last month or so, if you get a rivalry going, how much does that help the public in America?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, in any sport if you have a good rivalry going on, it promotes interest, you know, whether it's basketball... If the Yankees and Red Sox are playing, it's going to be a lot more people watching than the Yankees and pick any other team. The same with when Pete and Andre played or when, you know, any sport, you know. Great rivalries are what kind of sparks interest. So if we can develop that, that would be great. If it's myself or Roger, if it's, you know, other people, you know, it definitely would be good for the game.
Q. Do you think there's a sense like yesterday when he loses early that everyone else kind of perks up when the draw opens up?
ANDY RODDICK: I think that goes with, you know, with seeds in general, you know. The more a draw opens up, probably the little bit more fired up the other guys in that section get. You know, especially with Roger playing the way that he has, you know, maybe in his immediate draw. I don't think people look ahead too far. But, you know, possibly it's just an opportunity for someone else to come through there.
Q. Do you think you're more fired up because of defending the title?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think so. I, you know, I'm not one to look at what points I might be losing or what, you know -- this tournament has nothing to do with the tournament last year. The tournament last year's already been played, so I try to look forward as much as I can and not back.
Q. How about that US Open Series, is that any kind of motivational thing for you, or just an added benefit?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, it's more like an added benefit. I think it's a great concept. I think, you know, I think it's a great promotional tool, you know. I think it's promoted a lot more interest. They said the TV ratings have been up, and I'm assuming that's from being a package deal and being associated with the US Open. But from a player's perspective, I'm here playing Cincinnati, you know, and that's pretty much what runs through my mind. It's a cool little fun fact to look at and stuff, but beyond that...
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.