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June 27, 2001

Andy Roddick


MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You've probably seen it on television, maybe you've even seen it, but what was it like to walk into Centre Court?

ANDY RODDICK: It was a really good feeling. I got goose bumps when I was walking out there. I got some good advice from the trainer. He said, "Look around before the match starts so you don't have to focus on it during the match."

Q. Who was that?

ANDY RODDICK: Doug Spreen.

Q. Any nerves looking around at the size of the Centre Court, how big it is out there?

ANDY RODDICK: Not really. I think it's to my benefit that I got to play a couple matches at the Ericsson and French on big courts. That helped, I think.

Q. Were you as relaxed as you looked then?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. You know, I like playing on those type of situations rather than, you know, out on court, whatever, with nobody watching. I feel, you know, I play better.

Q. What did you notice when you looked around?

ANDY RODDICK: I mean, it's like a place like Wrigley Field or Fenway Park or something. It's just kind of majestic. There's something about it.

Q. Question on your background. The name of your high school in Boca Raton? How much basketball did you play? How good were you?

ANDY RODDICK: I was terrible -- no (laughter). I played a lot my junior year of high school before I had to start traveling a lot. My senior year I started doing well in Juniors. I didn't get to play as much. I played in the playoffs.

Q. What position?

ANDY RODDICK: Three or four.

Q. Name of the school?

ANDY RODDICK: Boca Raton Preparatory.

Q. Your backhand began to slip in the fourth set. First point at 5-6 you were serving, hit a backhand cross-court passing shot. How much of a confidence builder was that?

ANDY RODDICK: I didn't realise it was going. That was definitely a big shot for me because he was trying to really make a point to hit it and get in, you know, take the advantage of baseline rallies like that. It had been working for the majority of the third and fourth sets. To sort of actually hit a good shot like that, you know, definitely raised my confidence a little bit.

Q. What was the difference in the two tiebreakers, in your mind?

ANDY RODDICK: I just got out to early leads. I played the early points pretty good. Except for the double-fault, I served pretty flawlessly in them.

Q. How does it feel to beat a seeded player who had come in here very hot, 11 or 12 matches in a row at a Grand Slam?

ANDY RODDICK: It feels great. I knew going in that I was going to have to play really good tennis to beat him. You know, I did. That gives me a lot of satisfaction.

Q. What are your thoughts about playing Goran?

ANDY RODDICK: It's great. I got to play Michael Chang at Roland Garros. Now I get to play Goran at Wimbledon. I'm really looking forward to it.

Q. Were you surprised to be on Centre and Sampras was kind of off on 1?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I definitely wasn't expecting to be on Centre, for sure. Then I saw the schedule last night. I didn't even see it at first. I was looking at the other courts. "Where am I?" I looked at Centre. "All right, cool."

Q. Teenagers in the past have come to Wimbledon and been instant successes. Did you feel the crowd took you to their hearts today?

ANDY RODDICK: I definitely felt some support out there. There were some avid fans that really got behind me. It was a great atmosphere for me to play in.

Q. Critical stage in the fourth set. Serving at 1-2. Four breakpoints to defend. What are your thought processes as you defend each of those?

ANDY RODDICK: "Please don't lose this point." I just wanted to keep going for it. I knew that was critical. I thought he played really good tennis in the third and fourth sets. I knew his confidence would just keep building if he had gotten a hold of one of those.

Q. How is all this hype about the next great American player affecting you?


Q. What did you improve in your game on grass since your first match at Queen's?

ANDY RODDICK: Well, the first match at Queen's, I hadn't played much at all, grass or regular. I'm definitely just, you know, learning the ins-and-outs, you know, what shots to go for at what times. Just different things like that. I'm not, you know, thinking about it too much. I'm just kind of going with the flow.

Q. When you were a young kid practising in the garage, was this a place that was in your consciousness at all, this particular tournament, this Centre Court? Was it something you thought about at all?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, definitely. I mean, the Centre Court here is probably the most prestigious place to play, you know, in tennis. So to get a chance at such a young age, I really cherish that.

Q. Did you envision it at all at that age?

ANDY RODDICK: Not really. You know, I've said before that I wasn't raised to be a tennis player. I never really thought about being a pro until it was kind of close to happening. No, I mean, not really.

Q. I missed one word in your language, I'm German. Did you ever do something in your life like this? Did you practise it?


Q. Did you ever bow before in your life? Did you practise?

ANDY RODDICK: No, I haven't. I asked the guy on the way, "What do I do? Where do I walk? How do I do it?" I didn't want to look like a fool. He just told me what to do, and I kind of followed Thomas' lead because he played there before.

Q. What do you think of the whole Wimbledon experience? We're proud of The Championships in this country, even if we haven't won it since before time began. What do you think of the whole Wimbledon experience?

ANDY RODDICK: It's great. You know, it's definitely got its own style, for sure. No other tournament's like it.

Q. You put your ID on before you left the court. Have you been stopped somewhere around the courts?

ANDY RODDICK: I get stopped everywhere (laughter). You'll see 18 guys walking before me. I'll be the one pointed out. I guess they think I'm trying to sneak into the locker rooms.

Q. Not often we see the baseball cap with the visor in front. Did you do that in deference to the Royal Box today?

ANDY RODDICK: It was sunny (laughter).

Q. Pat Cash was likening you to Andre Agassi in terms of how you have appeal to younger children and teenagers, also presence on the court and shot selection. Is that a tribute?

ANDY RODDICK: Obviously that's a great compliment for me. I mean, that's pretty much it. Anytime you can be compared to, you know, a legend of the game, that's a good thing.

Q. How far can you go in this tournament?

ANDY RODDICK: Third round, I know (laughter). That's for sure.

Q. How surprised are you that you've done so well in Paris, seemed to adjust on the clay, Centre Court? Same thing here. Surprised you've adjusted so well?

ANDY RODDICK: I wasn't so confident coming into, you know, the grass court after, you know, even, you know, two days before Nottingham. I was still kind of shady on it. I think getting some matches in last week definitely helped. I'm feeling a lot better on it now.

Q. What's the basic thing you feel better about?

ANDY RODDICK: I'm not thinking so much. I'm just playing on my instincts, which always makes it easier.

Q. How much influence did your brother have on your game?

ANDY RODDICK: A lot. He did the whole junior thing before I did. He's played a lot. Anytime I had a question or anything, I had someone in the family with some experience.

Q. Do you remember tagging along to his matches, watching him?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I used to travel with him when he was going to junior tournaments. Yeah, I definitely have lots of pretty cool memories from that.

Q. When did you break out and you were no longer John Roddick's little brother? When did you feel like you became Andy Roddick, the junior player?

ANDY RODDICK: I don't know, maybe when I was 16 or so. All the people that played with him still look at me as Little Roddick, no matter what I do (smiling).

Q. You were saying you didn't know this was going to happen till it was pretty much happening. What did you want to do?


Q. The whole tennis thing. What did you want to do?

ANDY RODDICK: Well, I knew I was going to do tennis, but I didn't know I was going to do it professionally on a level. I was always, you know, pretty decent in Juniors. You know, I knew worst-case scenario I'd get a scholarship to go to college somewhere, like my brother did. Then, you know, I put together a pretty decent streak of junior tournaments. Then I decided to go. So it all happened in a matter of -- I mean, the decision for me to go pro, all happened maybe in a span of two months.

Q. Did you dream of being a doctor, lawyer, something else?

ANDY RODDICK: No. I have always been an athlete. I never really thought too much about my future (laughter). You know, I guess I was going to figure that out in college, if I would have gone.

Q. What were the tentative schools you might have gone? Did you get offers?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, I got recruited. I probably would have gone to Georgia. My brother is the assistant there. It would have fit nice.

Q. Did you ever try diving?

ANDY RODDICK: I used to bellyflop (laughter). No, not really. I never really got to. My oldest brother is a lot older than me, an old man now. So, you know, I never really went to diving meets too much. Maybe when I was like three or four. I was always into tennis with my other brother.

Q. Can we ask what you like to do in your spare time?

ANDY RODDICK: You know, just anything anybody else would do. Go to movies, hang out with friends. You know, just the normal things.

Q. What part of your game would you like to improve?

ANDY RODDICK: I would love to improve everything. That would be great. I don't know. I mean, I have a lot of things to work on. You know, that excites me. Hopefully I can get better in a lot of aspects.

Q. Did you ever imagine at the start of your professional career it would be like this?

ANDY RODDICK: No. Coming in with I thought were pretty high goals, I achieved them a couple months in. I'm feeling pretty good about how I started.

Q. What's it like being in the spotlight?

ANDY RODDICK: I mean, it's really no different. It's just a matter of doing press conferences and stuff like that. But off the court, you know, it's still the same ol'.

Q. Any special memories of maybe a match where you watched Goran or saw him play?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I've said before, one of my favourite matches was when Andre beat him in the finals. I thought that was a really cool match.

Q. In the last set when you disputed the call, the crowd had that kind of stir, checking you out. Did you notice that? You came out and aced, won the next game. Did you have to sort of settle yourself?

ANDY RODDICK: No. I always play with a bunch of emotion. I mean, that's how I play. You know, I've done it before. It's just part of my game. I just go with my gut instinct. I don't say, "I got upset, what's going to happen now?"

Q. Who were you shouting at? Yourself?

ANDY RODDICK: Excuse me?

Q. Who were you shouting at? Sounded as though you said, "You're helping him out."

ANDY RODDICK: I don't think so. I know what you're talking about. I just had a couple chances maybe to break open the fourth. I thought I returned pretty well in the fourth. He just came up with the goods. A couple times when I had a good look here and there, you know, I just didn't do it. I was just getting on myself a little.

Q. On yourself?


Q. That's what I thought.


Q. Have you been to Fenway Park?

ANDY RODDICK: I have. I went last year for the first time.

Q. Is that a Yankee hat we can't see? And why?

ANDY RODDICK: They were nice enough to let me hang out in the dugout before batting practise. I got to talk to some of the guys. They gave me a hat. I wear it.

Q. Have you been to Wrigley?


End of FastScripts….

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