August 9, 2002
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.
Q. Talk about that. Just talk about the match in general.
ANDY RODDICK: First of all, it was a blast. It was so much fun, you know. It was a definite challenge playing against someone who is hitting the kind of shots that he was hitting tonight. He just played lights-out. I tried to crap - not crap - scrap and claw my way back. But, you know, he was too good tonight.
Q. Does anybody else play like that?
ANDY RODDICK: No, that's why it's tough. I mean, besides my serve, I was pretty much at his mercy. He was taking backhand up-the-line-winners on the rise off my inside-out forehand. He was playing really good. His game relies on confidence. If he's confident, he's unreal. If he's not so confident, then some days he misses a little bit. But, you know, he's playing well this week.
Q. Are there nights when you play a guy who's hitting the winners he's hitting where you just go, "Well, too good"?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, not during the match I'm not going to go, "Well, you know, too good." Right now I can say he played a great match. Some of the shots he hit were unreal. I felt like I was hitting the ball very clean from the baseline. You know, first serve percentage could have been a little bit better. You know, it's the lowest it's been in a couple weeks. I missed (inaudible) where I kind of lost my focus and focused too much on where he was going in the breaker. That's pretty much the difference - he came up with the shots when he needed to.
Q. Is there any other player on tour right now who can create such a pace off both sides?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, pace is one thing, you know. The amount of action you get on the ball is another, where you can generate pace from. There are players who can hit the snot out of the ball, but, you know, I can hit a forehand, you know, off an easy ball, I can hit it mach 10. He's taking full swings off all your full swings. He's one of the few guys who can do that.
Q. If he plays that way, you think he can play with Lleyton?
ANDY RODDICK: He might have -- it depends where Fernando comes out tomorrow. I mean, if he comes out and plays like that, he has a chance against anybody. I mean, he hits a heavy ball, he doesn't play right into Lleyton's strengths, a lot of it depends on Fernando.
Q. When you play him again, what are you going to change in your game?
ANDY RODDICK: Like I said, I needed to get more first serve percentages in. I needed -- you know, it's just a couple points, maybe I needed to focus in a little bit more. That's about it. We played in Monte-Carlo, two tiebreaks again. I got through them. Just a couple points. There really wasn't much I could do. I mean, you can try stepping in, hitting a backhand up the line and throwing his rhythm off. That's if you get a shot off him. His ball's so heavy, you're reacting most of the time.
Q. I apologize, I snuck in a little late. You had trouble with your serve, I know, in the first set. Do you see that as being the main factor, the fact you weren't able to get your first serve in? Or when you did, he got a nice return on it?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I like to think when I play my serve I'm pretty controlling. I've been serving, first serve percentage has been in the 70s all week. Today I probably dipped down -- first set was atrocious. It had to be in the 40s. Second set, I'm guessing I picked it up around 56, 57. That's not where I want it. That was a big factor.
Q. You talked last night about the energy of playing at night. You guys both had great energy, came out firing.
ANDY RODDICK: That was it. The crowd was awesome tonight. It made it an absolute pleasure to play in an atmosphere like that. That's what tennis should be like day in and day out. That's what the game can be. I was having a lot of fun out there. Even though I was losing and scrapping and fighting, I was having a lot of fun at the same time.
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