August 7, 2002
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Still feeling pretty good out there, looks like?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I don't think either of us played our best tennis today, but if you are confident and you don't feel like you are hitting the ball the best, somehow you find ways to get through.
Q. Do you feel any added pressure to win one of these?
ANDY RODDICK: From who?
Q. From anyone?
ANDY RODDICK: No.
Q. From the media, the fans?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I am doing my thing. I am in it and I am trying to play well for myself. I haven't been on Tour too long, not two years yet and I broke the Top-10, so I am working my way up.
Q. Is there any burden on you as the one that everyone says you are the next big American star? That's a lot for a 19 year old?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, but I am used to it. I have been asked that question more than any other question in the last year and a half. It's there, but I handle it.
Q. Overall are you happy with how you are playing right now?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I feel good. I feel like I am serving pretty well, putting my return in the court, and probably most importantly I am moving pretty well right now.
Q. In a tournament like this, would you rather play a guy that's lower ranked in the early rounds or some higher ranked guys? Is it easier to play an easier match early and get the harder matches later or would you --
ANDY RODDICK: It's like asking someone if they want it play the Lakers first round in the Playoffs or do they want to play the Clippers.
Q. Somehow --
ANDY RODDICK: Nobody likes to play the Lakers first round in the Playoffs.
Q. So you like the draw that you've had?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, but that's the advantage of being seeded of working your way up, you are not going to face an Agassi or a Sampras first round.
Q. In San Antonio was it more a mental thing, did you work on anything?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. My coach wasn't there for the first couple of days. I'd just go out and hit some with John and have fun out there, and rained most of time, didn't even play that much. It was just relaxing. I didn't go out and do anything. I just kind of veg'ed out and enjoyed the company of my family.
Q. Do you feel like you don't get to do that enough?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, there are a lot of things that I do that, you know, that people -- I have the opportunity to do a lot of cool things, so I can't really complain about too much.
Q. Were your parents here yesterday or did they just get in?
ANDY RODDICK: They have been here -- we have family in the Midwest so they were kind of road-tripping it around even before the tournament started; then they came here I think Sunday night.
Q. Have these two years been what you expected as far as how you travel and what you have to do on Tour and playing and everything?
ANDY RODDICK: Some things, yes. Some things, no. You know going in that -- you travel, that's part of the job, that's part of what you do. As far as getting a accustomed to the Tour, guys were really nice to me and once you get through the first couple of weeks it pretty much becomes secondhand.
Q. What is the best part?
ANDY RODDICK: Best part is probably if you want concert tickets you will probably find them; if you want to go to a baseball game, you can normally find a seat.
Q. What is the worst part?
ANDY RODDICK: Like what you said, not seeing my friend and family as much as I would like.
Q. How much time did you spend in Nebraska?
ANDY RODDICK: Four, five years. Four years.
Q. So the family moved before you really became a tennis player?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. Are you still a Nebraska fan?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, my family is a diehard Nebraska football fan so --
Q. You also?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, yeah. We sat down every Saturday and watched the games. Even though Georgia has been trying to pull away my brother, they are probably my second team.
Q. How do you feel about your chances this week for --
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I am just focused on tomorrow. You can't look that far ahead when there are still four matches left to play or at least I can't. Probably some people can, but I can't afford that luxury. But going into tomorrow I feel good. I feel like I am playing pretty well, and putting the ball where I want to. So we'll see how far it takes me.
Q. When you started a couple of years ago how soon did you envision yourself being able to get into the Top-10?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't. I didn't think I would be in the top 10. I just wanted to be able to make a living and do what I love. I didn't really, you know, think it would happen like this at all.
Q. So no idea how good you were?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, I knew I was good for a junior, but not as far as the pro ranks. It is kind of tough to measure yourself up -- it's like a kid coming out of high school playing in the NBA, he doesn't know what he's in for or -- he could have confidence in himself in his own skills but you still don't know until you see it firsthand what the pro guys are like.
Q. Was there any match or any tournament that you played in that you said yeah, I can do this, I am going to be really good; maybe not knowing how high you would go but knowing that you were good enough to compete?
ANDY RODDICK: Probably the Ericsson last year when I beat call of -- I beat Pavel, Rios and Pete, and so I kind of opened my eyes, a couple former number ones, and a top 30 player, in succession so that opened my eyes a little bit.
Q. Do you remember the first time that someone said to you are the next great American?
ANDY RODDICK: No.
Q. Do you remember what you thought when you first started hearing that?
ANDY RODDICK: It's just people talking. People talk about a lot of things. I didn't really -- to be honest I really don't put a whole lot into it. I am not going to replace Agassi and Sampras, and their 20 Grand Slam titles by myself. It's not going to happen. Hopefully, you know, I will get mine and I will be a good player, and hopefully maybe even win one one day. But I am not expecting myself to replace an entire generation.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.