August 3, 2004
THE MODERATOR: Let's open it up for questions, please.
Q. Andy, is it tough when you play a ton of matches in a row and you come to a new city getting geared up again in the first round, that combined with a tough match with Max?
ANDY RODDICK: Not so much the, you know, getting geared up part. You know, a tennis court's a tennis court no matter what city it's in. The conditions are a lot different here than they were in Toronto. They're a lot faster. The ball's flying through. I was getting a little perturbed with that I felt like on my returns. I felt like I was hitting some clean and they were just going on me. So I made the adjustment late in the second set to kind of just try to poke them in a little bit more and not really go for too much on them.
Q. Did mental tiredness come in as well as the physical constraints of playing a lot?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah, I mean, that's part of it, you know, every day to come out and do it. But that's part of what we do. That's our job. That's what we're supposed to do.
Q. Down in that second set, did Federer's upset earlier today creep into your mind at all?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, you think about it. But I really wasn't -- it comes through your mind and goes through the other side. My match has nothing to do with Roger's match. I'm not out there playing to avoid the upset, you know. I'm out there trying to win a match.
Q. At what stage in the match did you sense a turning point?
ANDY RODDICK: I felt like I was starting to get into him a little bit at - what is it - 4-5 on his serve, I think I had a couple set points on his serve. Then the next game I thought I played okay on his serve as well. The breaker, I think he definitely could have closed me out there. I played a really sloppy forehand at 4-All and at that point I felt like I maybe deserved to lose. But, you know, I just hung around and hit a couple really good returns there, and the match turned for me.
Q. Could you talk about that point when he served at 5-4 with the backhand crosscourt shot.
ANDY RODDICK: The return?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I don't know. I mean, he took something off his serve. I'm not sure if that's because he had doubled earlier or if he was nervous or what. But it was the first time I was actually able to get a good look at it and actually turn on the ball and pull it crosscourt. I actually had a decent look at it.
Q. Did that feel like a turning point?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's obviously a big point. Otherwise, I'm facing two. You know, I don't think it takes one point to turn a match. I think it takes a couple. But, you know, that definitely kept me alive, I feel like.
Q. You showed a lot of frustration out there, your body language. Is that more to do with what he was doing to you or the way you thought you were playing?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't feel like I was playing. You know, he was playing, he was doing such a good job of getting first serves in that I really didn't feel like I was doing much out there. He was definitely taking it to me and that's a credit to him. You know, it's -- you know, the first-set breaker he played great. Got in a run rally and he just killed a forehand and I couldn't get it back. Then I don't think I got a look at a second serve. So it's a little frustrating when you feel like you're hitting the ball well but you just can't get your feet into a match. He let me in a little bit in that second-set breaker.
Q. Why is it important to you to play in the Olympics?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, that's a pretty simple question. I mean...
Q. Not really. Sampras, for example, didn't play in 2000.
ANDY RODDICK: Sorry. It's a simple question for me.
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, it's the biggest sporting event in the world. You know, I relish the opportunity to play. Sampras did play once, so he did get to feel the whole Olympic experience.
Q. Do you know any Olympians, anybody else?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't. I don't. Well, the tennis guys. But besides that, no, not really.
Q. Is there one Olympic memory perhaps you watched on tele as a kid that stands out for you?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, there are a couple. Obviously, you know, when Kerry Strug did her thing on one ankle. I mean, that was huge. I mean, that was pretty cool. You know, Michael Johnson and his golden shoes. I just think it's impressive for the people that are going in as the favorites and have been waiting for it for four years and now all of a sudden they're able to step up and produce world-class stuff with that amount of pressure. That's pretty cool.
Q. Beyond the obvious of winning over there, what do you expect to get out of the experience?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I just want to see -- I don't know yet. That's the thing that kind of excites me. I watch the Opening Ceremony on TV and I get goosebumps. When I'm actually there, I can only imagine what the experience will feel like.
Q. Earlier today Tim Henman said in Sydney he got so absorbed in the other sports he didn't think he put his best self forward in the tennis. Does that worry you a bit, that you might be so taken by everything that's going on?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. It's tough to worry about that. I mean, like I said, I don't know how I'll react over there. I don't know what it feels like to play in the Olympics. So your guess is as good as mine. But, you know, I'm going over there trying to win a medal, so that will be my first priority.
Q. Where does it rank in terms of major tennis events for you? Is it the top?
ANDY RODDICK: It's up there with the Slams for me, for sure. I mean, especially because it's so prestigious. You know, it's every four years which makes it that much more crucial. You don't get a chance to say, "Okay, there's next year." You know, it puts some added pressure on it, but I think that also adds to it.
Q. A very tight fit in your schedule, I'm guessing?
ANDY RODDICK: It is, but, you know, it's the Olympics.
Q. Is this the kind of match maybe a couple years ago it would be hard when you're frustrated to kind of grind it out and pull through? Do you sense you're a different player now and that's what makes the difference?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I don't know. It was hard tonight (smiling). Couple years ago, it would have been hard as well. I don't know. I try not to think it to death, to be honest. I hear that a lot when I win a close match. But I just think there's a deeper confidence there now where I don't really panic as much when I am down. I think that's a big difference for me.
Q. Do you ever get in a match like this and say, "I'm going to lose this match," while it's going on? Was there a point in the second set where you said...
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, there's always the thought. There's always the possibility. I'm not going to sit here and say, "No, I never think I'm going to lose." He had the momentum going with him. I'm always confident that if I get a chance, you know, maybe I can create an opportunity, maybe I can take it. I'm not focusing on worrying about, you know, winning or losing when it's 3-All in the second set, you know. Matchpoint down, on the other hand, there's the time to start really thinking about it (smiling). But I don't think you can analyze the match that much when you're kind of in it, you know, as far as the end result goes.
Q. A fairly lively atmosphere tonight. Did that help?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it was great. They really got up for it and they really kind of -- they didn't really know what to make of it early on, I don't think, because there wasn't a whole lot of tennis being played. But once it got pretty exciting in the second set and through the third set, I mean, the momentum carried. They were great.
Q. He was up 30-40 on you in the third set I guess in the eighth game. You saved that breakpoint. Could you see the life go out of him at that point?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, as a player you're always thinking, "Okay, it's deuce, he's one good shot away from being a break down, you know, down breakpoint again." I don't know. I mean, I would have been very upset if I would have gotten broken there. I think I was up 30-Love in that game. To get down 30-40, you know, I wasn't so much worried about him, I was kind of worried about what I was trying to do to get out of that game.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.