June 24, 2002
THE MODERATOR: Andy Roddick.
Q. Warm weather, dry grass, could life be better today?
ANDY RODDICK: Not today. It was nice. Would have been nice to finish. But I felt good for the time that I was out there.
Q. Your opponent's injuries notwithstanding, how important was it just for you to come out and establish your game after a couple of rocky tournaments?
ANDY RODDICK: It was good. Even though I had a couple rocky tournaments, I felt like I was hitting the ball well. It didn't really feel like I struggled in practice. It definitely was important. You think and want to do what you do in practice and you want that to translate into matches. It was good to get out there and stuff, firing.
Q. After Houston, do you feel like you have a feel for Martin's game?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I do. Obviously, we've -- I've only played a couple grass court matches this year. Probably my most important one this year has been against him. There are definitely a couple things I remember from that.
Q. Where can he hurt you on grass?
ANDY RODDICK: Grass is a very equalizing surface. If he serves well and holds serve, I think, you know, it's my match to win or lose is the way I'm looking at it. You know, and I really want to go in and play my game.
Q. Can you talk about what it's like to just be here this year with the success you had last year behind you. Does it make it a whole lot easier, is it different?
ANDY RODDICK: It's just different. I mean, last year it was kind of new and exciting and I didn't really know what was going on, you know. So it's just another year under my belt, you know. I'm trying to approach it, you know, using the little bit of experience I gained last year.
Q. Sometimes people say it's better when you don't know what's going on; that ignorance is bliss. Do you find that you feel maybe a little bit more pressure, stress, this year?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's -- it's just different scenarios. I mean, you know, last year, I could have lost first round and people would still be, "Oh, but he's been playing great." If I lose first round this year, it's not as accepted. But, you know, it's just two different things. It's just all part of a learning process.
Q. How is your body feeling?
ANDY RODDICK: It feels great. How does yours feel?
Q. Pretty good.
ANDY RODDICK: All right.
Q. What were your difficulties the last two tournaments?
ANDY RODDICK: Facing Arthurs' serve in Paris.
Q. But the grass, I mean.
ANDY RODDICK: I just played one match against Bjorkman. I was holding pretty easily throughout the match. I didn't return great against Jonas last week. But he just came up with two big return games. You know, I didn't feel like I was hitting the ball that badly. Then, you know, I thought he played well against me. It's hard to tell when you haven't played matches for a while. But then he went on and won the tournament pretty easily. So that made me feel a little bit better.
Q. When was the last time you were home?
ANDY RODDICK: I was home for two weeks after Paris.
Q. Is it hard to even overstate how helpful that is for you?
ANDY RODDICK: No, it's good. It definitely is good for me - between the ears anyways. It was good but it was also good because I could get in for day practices and fitness and not worrying about traveling, moving and doing all this. It was really a steady, consistent practice two weeks so it was nice to be out there and get out in the hot weather and try to get in shape.
Q. Where did you practice?
ANDY RODDICK: Practiced at home.
Q. Do you have grass there?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I was hitting on hardcourts.
Q. What's your routine when you're home?
ANDY RODDICK: Depends. Kind of depends on the situation. But I really wanted to try to get in the best shape possible coming over here so I was pulling two days and fitness. It was definitely a good two weeks.
Q. Go out in the morning, do gym in the middle?
ANDY RODDICK: No, morning, early afternoon, then gym at the end, then eat a big dinner.
Q. Have your parents let you get a car yet?
ANDY RODDICK: I got a car from the great people at the tournament in Houston, so I'm rolling. I'm rolling big now.
Q. What kind of car?
ANDY RODDICK: Gallery Furniture. No. It's a Lexus SC-430, one of the new little ones. So, yeah, it's a nice ride.
Q. I see you in a Jeep or something like that.
ANDY RODDICK: You know what? Me too. My first car's a little hand-me-down Blazer, then I drove a Suburban for a while, then the big Mercedes truck. I never really saw myself in one anyway, but I'm definitely enjoying it. I'm not going to give it back.
Q. The sneakers that you endorse that have your name, how much input do you have in those? Are you heavy in giving them suggestions and whatnot?
ANDY RODDICK: Very much so, actually. You know, they've been great about consulting with me, trying different things, sitting them down. I see the designs a while before they come out, so they see if I like them or not. You know, that's actually pretty fun.
Q. Are they called anything, or are they just Andy Roddick shoes?
ANDY RODDICK: They're called something. The one that's gonna be coming out later are going to be called Fig Jam.
Q. Do you know why?
ANDY RODDICK: Not my territory.
Q. Do you know what that means or anything?
ANDY RODDICK: Your guess is as good as mine.
Q. What's the name?
ANDY RODDICK: Fig Jam, like Fig Newton but with jam.
Q. Because that's the expression in Australia, do you know that?
ANDY RODDICK: Might have heard a rumor.
Q. Does it bother you at all, do you think it's funny?
ANDY RODDICK: I find it amusing. Want me to get you a pair, Bud?
Q. Well, I don't know if that's a conflict of interest or not. I so seldom wear shoes when I play tennis.
ANDY RODDICK: You play barefoot.
Q. Usually, yeah.
ANDY RODDICK: Really?
ANDY RODDICK: That, you know, isn't that a little rough on the feet?
Q. It's very sexy, actually (laughter).
ANDY RODDICK: You would know more about that than I would.
Q. How much of an adjustment do you have to make for grass, having practiced on the hard court?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, I've been over here for -- actually, this year I came over and started hitting the ball pretty well right away. Last year it was a struggle; I didn't know what I was doing. I got in three days on grass, four days before the first tournament, then all last week on grass. So I'm definitely not lacking practice time on the grass courts.
Q. Do you let yourself look and see what the bookmakers -- what odds they've given you to win?
ANDY RODDICK: No, it's not -- I don't need to know that stuff. Don't even know that stuff.
Q. Well, you're a good bet.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't -- okay (smiling).
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.