August 16, 2003
MODERATOR: Okay. Andy attempts to become the first player to win in Canada and Cincinnati since Patrick Rafter in 1998, and with the win today he's now won 19 of his last 20 matches during the North American hardcourt circuit. Okay. Questions.
Q. Is it safe to say that was harder than it looked?
ANDY RODDICK: Did that look easy?
Q. Well, you're making lots of things look easy.
ANDY RODDICK: I was down 5-1 in the tiebreaker. I wasn't exactly the most confident I was going to win that set at that point. It was a super tight match. I mean it could have gone either way, and I was lucky he had one break point and I fought it off, and I had one break point and I got it, so it was definitely a battle out there, and I think the level of tennis was pretty high.
Q. You said you weren't confident, yet but on TV you said that you were thinking, well, if I just break him once and then hold serve, so you were thinking that you did have a good chance to win that tiebreak?
ANDY RODDICK: A good chance? No. I was thinking I had a chance. Not good chance. I'm thinking about what I want to do. That doesn't mean it's going to happen. I said I was just going to try to work my way back into it. I definitely am not going to give myself great odds being down 5-1 in a breaker against Max. But I hung around and I made him play a little bit, and you know, I served well from there on out in the breaker.
Q. Was there one of those points where you thought now I'm really back into this? 5-2? 5-3? 5-4?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I wanted to get that one at 5-1 because then it's -- I don't know. I just wanted to win one point on his serve and then make -- if he was going to -- and I ended up getting two, but if he was going to win it, make him win two on his serve. So that was my plan going there.
Q. How big was it that you broke him right away in that second set?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, huge. I mean when two guys are serving -- I don't know if we both finished above 70, but we were pretty close. When two guys are serving like that, one break can make the match, and it did.
Q. You've been playing really well in the tiebreakers. Is there anything to getting a confidence level that you could win most of those?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. I'm just playing. You know, I'm not -- obviously I have a serve that enables me to win bunches of points in tiebreakers, and so that helps, but besides that, I'm just playing.
Q. Once you won the tiebreaker, did you feel pretty confident that you could close it out?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean yes and no. I knew that he'd have to -- if he goes two sets and I keep serving the way I did, that he probably would have to, you know, maybe win two tiebreakers, so you know, but that's still uneasy. He still was definitely in the match. I mean he was playing super high level, so you know, made me feel better, but I still wasn't -- I still didn't think it was wrapped up by any means.
Q. You've basically proven you can play almost all styles of play. How important is that to your confidence? You've beaten Roger who has one style, obviously. Max chips and charges. You've played the baseliners. I mean you seem to be having your way with everybody across the board.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I've definitely played, you know, a bunch of varying styles over the past couple -- or even this week. Yesterday and today were two totally different matches. I'm not trying to think about it too much. I'm just trying to kind of get my strategy on the day depending on who I play and just going for it.
Q. You played him first time. How can you evaluate his first and second serve? He had many winners, and he was coming to the net on every serve.
ANDY RODDICK: First set he was serving great. I mean if someone serves as big as he does and serves 75 percent, you're not going to get a whole lot of looks, and I didn't. As far as the second serve, it gets up high on you. He has a lot of action. I don't think it's a secret that he has a very good serve.
Q. Can you just look to Mardy and Rainer?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, for sure. It's going to be tough either way, and again, it's going to be contrasting styles. Mardy likes to come to the net a lot. He'll serve and volley on his first serve a lot of the time, and Rainer is more of a grinder. He makes you work for your points a little bit more. I don't think Mardy's lost his serve the last two matches, and Rainer is pretty good at breaking serve, so it's going to be very contrasting styles.
Q. How big a deal for the event do you think it would be to have an all-American final?
ANDY RODDICK: I think it would be great and it would be pretty coincidental because I think the tournament gave Mardy and I both a wild card in 2000, so to come back three years later and be in the final, I think would be a cool coincidence.
Q. How much better player do you think Mardy is now than he was in Del Ray?
ANDY RODDICK: He's a better player. He's learning, he's getting -- most of all -- I think he always had the ability. He can pick up a football and throw it spot on, and he's one of those guys who can take a pool shot and do it. He's talented in everything he does. I think it's just a matter of confidence.
Q. Can you talk about your matches with those guys earlier this year? You played both twice.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Rainer, definitely he's gotten the better of me so far this year. You know, but I don't think I'm the same player that I was at the Australian Open in early March. I think I'm playing a lot better tennis. And Mardy was getting the better of me in Del Ray, and I played him in Washington, and I played a really clean match a couple weeks ago against him, and you know, beat him there, but I've lost to both of them before, so it's going to be tough.
Q. So can you recollect the one unforced error that you --
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Forehand, passing shot. He hit like a little bad drop volley, and I hit it in the middle. I missed it.
Q. Were you aware that you had no unforced errors?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes. And I wanted to fricking finish with no unforced errors because I'll never do that again.
Q. On several occasions he broke your rhythm on your serve trying to slow you down, holding you up. Was that annoying to you or was it something you were able to use to help yourself?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't mind. Doesn't really bother me either way. I've still got a serve coming, so you know, I didn't really -- it didn't really bother me too much. I felt like I was serving well, and three more seconds of waiting I didn't think was going to throw it off.
Q. How long have you known Mardy?
ANDY RODDICK: Moved to Florida -- I don't know the first time we met, but we've been playing junior tennis together since I was 10 and he was probably 11 or 12. So we've known each other a long time.
Q. Did you tease him about his name when you were little?
ANDY RODDICK: Did I tease him about his name?
ANDY RODDICK: Hunh-uh. It was a cool thing with the "Back to the Future" movies and all that stuff. Wasn't Mardy the main character in that one?
Q. I was thinking more the Fish bit.
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, Fisherman? I'm used to it. No, I think it's played out. If he wins tonight, you guys will probably come up with some clever way of saying "Fish" in the headlines tomorrow, and I've seen every single one of them, I promise you. So I left that to everyone else.
Q. There's probably one you didn't see.
ANDY RODDICK: Do what?
Q. "He doesn't sleep with the fishes" or "he sleeps with the fishes." That's a little iffy.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know who would want to sleep with fishes.
Q. Can you talk about just your friendship with him, though?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. We go way back. I mean he lived at my house through our junior year of high school. I mean literally five feet away from my door was where he stayed. So no, we were more like brothers that year where we'd fight sometimes and then we'd -- you know, so we definitely know each other pretty well.
Q. Is it just a week like this seeing how he's come along this week and what that could mean for him in the long run?
ANDY RODDICK: It's great. I was watching his first match against Philippoussis, and Philippoussis put a 6-1 set on him in the first set. And I was like, oh, this doesn't look so hot, and then he got a break and won that match, and he's kept it rolling. And I thought to be Clement 2 and 2 is a very decent result, and to take out David, who's been playing some good tennis lately, he's been putting up some good wins now. I mean I think it's more impressive to play four sets against two guys that return super well and not get broken.
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