June 25, 2001
MODERATOR: Andy Roddick.
Q. You seemed to be enjoying the atmosphere late in the day, having the whole place to yourself. Can you talk a little bit about getting into it.
ANDY RODDICK: That court is pretty sweet. You have the people up here, then people looking over the top. You don't see a lot of courts with that makeup. I was enjoying myself out there.
Q. First point of the tiebreak, were you trying to send a message to Heuberger that "I'm going to finish this tonight, be on the court even if we have a long point here"?
ANDY RODDICK: Definitely. Even if I lost that point, I would have been satisfied with it. I kind of did send a message. I lost my concentration a little bit in the third set. I wanted to make sure he knew I was totally focused going into the breaker.
Q. Do you pay any attention towards the Davis Cup tie that's coming up in September?
ANDY RODDICK: Of course. It's on my mind a lot. Leander and Mahesh have been doing great, with a Grand Slam title and everything. I'm really looking forward to it.
Q. Have you watched a lot of Leander and Mahesh?
ANDY RODDICK: I haven't watched too much. I played against them in Atlanta in doubles. They beat me pretty good. I definitely respect their ability as tennis players.
Q. Do you think anything about India in the Davis Cup?
ANDY RODDICK: Do I know anything about India?
Q. In the Davis Cup.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I know they have a long history. I know the fans get pretty into it over there, which is great. I'm glad we're playing in the States this time.
Q. When you get finished savoring this, Thomas Johansson is going to be waiting on Wednesday. Probably saw him playing at Nottingham. He has won 11 in a row. Can you give us some insight?
ANDY RODDICK: No doubt Thomas is playing great tennis right now. He's on a roll. He's got a lot of matches under his belt. I'm going to have to play a very, very solid match to beat him. Hopefully I can go out and do that.
Q. He has that western grip on his forehand. Does that make it more difficult to return big serves?
ANDY RODDICK: For who?
Q. For the guy with an extreme western grip.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't really know about that. You can see a lot of good returners who do have that grip. It's just a matter of how you're feeling on your returns that day. You have to get used to the grass each time you step out there.
Q. How important was it for you to get off to this kind of a start after the way the French ended for you?
ANDY RODDICK: It was good. I think Nottingham last week was big for me because I wasn't feeling too comfortable on the grass going into that tournament. I got some matches under my belt, beat a couple good grass court players. That really helped out a lot.
Q. There seems to be a lot of buzz about you, your game, coming to Wimbledon. Is that something that you can sense or you just focus on these matches?
ANDY RODDICK: I can feel it. After the matches, people were pretty excited to get autographs, stuff like that. But I enjoy that. That's fun for me. I like playing in kind of a hyped up atmosphere. That's when I feel I play well.
Q. Who introduced you to tennis? What age did you begin taking it seriously?
ANDY RODDICK: I used to follow my brother around. He was a tennis player. I tagged along to junior tournaments. When you are around something you know a lot, you kind of pick it up. I probably started playing tennis when I was seven or eight. I'm not really sure. It was really not too serious.
Q. When did you start saying, "I can make this"?
ANDY RODDICK: I never really started saying I can make this like as a job, but I started becoming more serious about it when I was like 12 years old.
Q. So you weren't always going to be a top tennis player?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I wasn't one of these childhood prodigies raised to be a tennis star.
Q. Only one real blip in this match, loose backhand volley. What happened on that point?
ANDY RODDICK: That and the two double-faults that I threw in that game were kind of, you know, sloppy. But I just missed it. I misread it. I thought it was coming over here, but it kind of went over. I overcompensated and tried to push it away. That happens sometimes. I was real happy that I was able to focus in and not let him consolidate the break the next game.
Q. Have you had a word with Jan-Michael yet?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I haven't seen him. I was busy preparing for my match. I haven't seen him. I'll probably talk to him tonight.
Q. Do you expect him to go ahead with your doubles game?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not sure. I'm pretty sure it's in his plans if he's feeling okay. I'm looking forward to it.
Q. What is the feeling like winning your first match in the main draw at Wimbledon?
ANDY RODDICK: It's great. I'm still thinking back to the days when I was a fan watching it on TV and stuff. To actually be here, be competing, it's a good feeling.
Q. How bothersome was the wait?
ANDY RODDICK: It was rough actually, -- not so much the five-setter. When the one girl had four set points in the second set, I was in a zone, ready to go, listening to my music. She just kind of let it slip away. That was a little rough. But it's for both players, so it's not really an advantage either way, I don't think.
Q. Would you say the young Americans coming up are a tightknit group? If so, can you say why that is?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Like I've said before, we all get along pretty well. There's no dislike in the group, I don't think. I've traveled with Mardy for a long time. Taylor and I are very friendly. Jan-Michael and I are obviously very close. I think that's healthy. We all have a mutual respect for each other. I think we all pull for each other.
Q. Sampras says as you go higher in the rankings, particularly if you have a challenger like he has with Andre, Courier, that will tend to dispel, it won't be as strong. Do you think that will happen with this group?
ANDY RODDICK: Sorry, I didn't catch that.
Q. As you grow older and have rivalries, you'll not be as tight. That's what he says. Do you agree with that?
ANDY RODDICK: Right now, I don't see why we don't be as tight. But you never know what the future holds. My feelings don't change for people off the court because of what happens on the court, as long as it's played clean and with respect. I leave on the court on the court. Off the court is just a different story.
Q. How much of Johansson did you actually see in Nottingham?
ANDY RODDICK: I watched a lot. It's a pretty laid-back tournament. You can hang out and watch tournaments. I got to see a couple matches.
Q. What struck you?
ANDY RODDICK: He is playing solid. Putting returns on the court. Taking balls and putting them away if he has to. Putting away his first volleys. Play solid tennis now.
Q. There were a couple serves that you served so hard it seemed to scatter people, they kind of flinched. Do you ever notice that? Not that you want to hit a spectator, but when you realise it's hit that hard, do you feel, "I did it, got that one"?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I didn't see them scattering too much. I didn't really take notice of that.
Q. Sort of a flinch as the ball is hit.
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't notice that on my serve. If I was paying attention to who was flinching, I probably wouldn't be too focused. I didn't notice that today too much.
Q. Did you always have an abnormally hard serve, even from your youngest days?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I was really small when I was little. I just kind of had the rollover. Then when I grew up, it was kind of like a present. I had some weapons that I could use. I haven't always had it.
Q. How many years?
ANDY RODDICK: A year and a half or so.
Q. How do you keep a lead on all the hype surrounding you right now?
ANDY RODDICK: I just don't really pay much attention to it. If you make something a big deal, then it's a big deal. If you just kind of treat it laid back, kind of go with the flow, it's not really too much.
Q. What are your friends' reactions back home?
ANDY RODDICK: They just think it's a trip, you know. They kind of just laugh about it. They kind of dig into me a little bit about it. They're happy for me, obviously. They're still kind of laid back about it, don't take it too seriously.
Q. Who is here with you, family-wise?
ANDY RODDICK: Actually, I have some family here this week. It's kind of cool. Tarik is here, obviously. My brother, his wife, their best friend, who I'm also very close with is here. It's really fun having them here.
Q. What does Davis Cup mean to you?
ANDY RODDICK: It means a lot to me. It's been one of my dreams since I was little. I actually went to a tie. It's one of my top priorities, definitely.
Q. Which tie?
ANDY RODDICK: I watched the US beat Switzerland in '92 in Fort Worth, Texas.
Q. Do you think it's possible that your Grand Slam breakthrough would come on grass?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't really think too much, you know, where it's going to come. It's just a matter of getting confidence. I don't really worry about the surface too much. It's just a matter of getting confidence, really getting your feet into a tournament, then things can happen.
Q. What goals have you set for yourself this year?
ANDY RODDICK: The goals I set at the beginning of the year I've already kind of gone past. Now I'm just kind of having fun. I set a goal for myself last week when I was ranked like 42 or something that I wanted to finish Top 30. That's three spots away, so hopefully I can get it.
Q. Have you already set some new goals?
ANDY RODDICK: Like I said, I wanted to finish Top 30. I'm probably a good tournament away from that. That's what I'm focusing on right now.
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