July 2, 2005
THE MODERATOR: Ladies and Gentlemen, Andy Roddick. Questions, please.
Q. How relieved are you to get through that match?
ANDY RODDICK: Excited probably more than relieved. You know, "relieved" is maybe what I felt maybe second round. But today I felt like I played great stuff. The level of tennis out there was very, very high. You know, I'm glad that I was able to kind of keep it up and stay the course. You know, I'm able to get another shot at Roger tomorrow.
Q. A lot more to the match than the net cord. That was a big point. What was your immediate reaction to it and what is your reaction to it now?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, it was lucky. I hit a good solid chip - which if it would have gone over, it would have been a decent return. You know, it was lucky. The timing of it couldn't have been any better for me. You know, I felt guilty about it for a second, but then I got over it.
Q. You had another suspended match, obviously a big one. You play 11 games. What do you do, sit around and wait and wait and wait? They tell you around 7:00 it's off? Could you go through the sequence.
ANDY RODDICK: I probably do the same thing you do: sit around and try to figure out something to do. It was surprising. They told us around 7 that we were going to go back on. They took the covers off. That was surprising. I was up, kind of just talking in the food room. Who knows? And then all of a sudden they're taking the covers off. All right, well, okay, I should probably go put shoes on (laughter). You know, but that's part of Wimbledon. I think you expect that coming over here a little bit.
Q. Do you think he has much of an advantage, the fact he got to rest more?
ANDY RODDICK: I hope it won't make a difference. I mean, I think it's a little bit of an advantage. We played three pretty hard sets. There weren't a lot of easy points out there. But that being said, I mean, I'm excited to be in a Wimbledon final. I've done it before where I've played a five-setter on Saturday and a final on Sunday. You know, I'll be fine. It's early enough in the day, I can get some treatment, get a massage. I hope it's not too much of a factor tomorrow.
Q. Have you seen Federer play much this tournament? Do you feel he's playing better? Do you feel you're playing better?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I watched bits and pieces of pretty much all of his matches. You know, he's a pretty good tennis player (laughter). It's going to be fun. But I feel like I'm playing pretty well. Today I thought I played very well. You know, I'm excited to have a go, for sure.
Q. What will make the difference from last year to this year?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I'm going to go out there and try to play my best. Hopefully he'll think about it a little bit more than last year. You know, it comes down to big points. He won them last year. I'm going to have to try to win them this year.
Q. Roger has a far superior record against you. Does that weigh on your mind at all when you come to these massive occasions?
ANDY RODDICK: Not right now. There's no questioning that he's been a better player over the last two years. I mean, that's a given. No one would argue otherwise. So the record's not really in my mind. The thing I try to think of is I have to be better tomorrow - not for the next 10 years, not for the next whatever. I have to be better tomorrow. That's kind of the mindset I take into it.
Q. Do you feel you are going to have to be the one who takes the risks out there tomorrow?
ANDY RODDICK: At times. But I'm not going to try to overplay. At times in last year's final, I tried to play too well. Some things can get away from you. You know, I'm going to have to go in and play my game and play well. You know, it's as simple as that.
Q. Were you surprised how much he dismantled Hewitt's game in the semi? We thought Hewitt would give him a tough game. Were you surprised by that?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. If you look at the track record, the last four or five matches, it's been -- I think the closest one was here when Roger won 6-0 in the fourth. Was it impressive? Yes, very impressive. Was I surprised or shocked at it? Not really.
Q. Can you describe the tension and also the atmosphere out there during the third set tiebreaker.
ANDY RODDICK: Uhm, yeah, I mean, it was pretty intense. I mean, you don't start a tiebreaker thinking it's going to go 12-10. Backwards and forwards. I was so kind of keyed in on the match, I really wasn't focusing too much on what was going on around me for a change.
Q. How Dean Goldfine can help you this year?
ANDY RODDICK: Now it's how he's helping me, huh? You've been crapping on him all year. I mean, he just brings a work ethic to the table every day. I've gotten in a lot better shape this year. I think the big thing is he's there all off-weeks. Even if there's not a tournament going on, he's still committed to his job. You know, it's big. He's been there. We've kind of -- you know, it's been a good match-up.
Q. What happened at the end of the first set tiebreaker? You had a couple of set points go away from you.
ANDY RODDICK: I just played a horrible forehand at 6-5 in the first set. You know, might have been my only bad point of the tiebreaker to that point. You know, it's tough coming out of a locker room and all of a sudden getting thrown into the boiler of a tiebreaker in the semifinal of Wimbledon when you've been on the court for about three and a half minutes. I just dumped the forehand, then he played a couple good points.
Q. If you won that first set, three straight sets, you would have made it for U2 and Live 8?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think I'll be venturing out there. But I know how to work a TV, so it's good.
Q. Can you talk about how much, when you're out there at this level, is the mental game more than the physical, and what kind of confidence have you garnered over the years to be at this level of the game?
ANDY RODDICK: It's huge. I mean, like I've said, everybody can hit forehands and backhands. Pretty much every player in the draw has played well somewhere before. You know, today, throughout this whole tournament, it's been a mental grind. You know, today's definitely included in that. It plays a huge part.
Q. Were you surprised how closely matched you two were today?
ANDY RODDICK: No. You don't -- people have kind of been -- you know, before this match, they were like, okay, they had already kind of put me through. I didn't see any logic in that whatsoever. He's been -- he kind of breezed through his draw, I mean, and played some really good players. Mirnyi is no joke on grass. Nalbandian is a tough player anywhere. He straight-setted them. I wasn't surprised at all. Was I surprised that we were both able to bring close to our best stuff at the same time, at the same moments a lot of the time? Yeah, that's coincidental. I wasn't expecting, you know, to get through easily at all.
Q. Will it help you in the final that you have had to fight so much? You've had three rain delays, long matches, tiebreakers. You've pretty much seen everything during this fortnight. Will that help you in the final?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I don't know. I mean, I've kind of run the gamut this year. But, you know, last year I played my semi over two days, as well, and I lost. I don't know what that has to do with what I have to do tomorrow. I think they're just separate things. I think it's been tough to get through those things to this point. But, you know, it's a different story tomorrow.
Q. I don't know if you had many or even any double-faults today. Is that as good a barometer as any of how you're serving?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I don't remember the last time I made it through nine sets in kind of this type of intensity without dumping some serves. Even early on here, I wasn't hitting my second serve great. But it started clicking the last couple days. It's surprising for me that I've had that stat.
Q. Boris Becker said in commentary this has been the best game of the tournament so far. Your reaction?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, I don't know because I haven't seen as much tennis as he has from the commentary box over the last two weeks. I felt like it was very high level today. I felt like a lot of times I played the point I wanted to in big situations and came up on the wrong end of it. I don't know. I mean, that's a great compliment from him. You know, that's for you guys to decide.
Q. Are you surprised to see either Venus or Lindsay in the final today? I know you follow the women's game, too.
ANDY RODDICK: No, not so much Lindsay. I mean, she's still 1 in the world, so you kind of have to figure she's very capable of it. You know, Venus hasn't played her best, and probably admittedly so over the last couple years. But I saw the way she played third round or fourth round. I said, she's going to make a move here. We were actually talking about that in our house. The way she played against Pierce, they were both hitting the ball a ton. If you would have told me before the tournament maybe, but not after I had seen her play a little bit this fortnight.
Q. Bearing in mind it's Roger again, any fears at all that American Express ad could come back to haunt you?
ANDY RODDICK: It wasn't around last year, so I don't know how it could haunt me again. I don't know. I hadn't really thought about an advertisement in context to a Wimbledon final yet. I don't think so.
Q. With the match tomorrow, what do you do now concerning Roger? Do you concentrate on your game, playing to your optimum, hoping that will do? Do you go in trying to think of something different?
ANDY RODDICK: I can't really do more than play to my optimum. I have to hope that it's the best at the big moments. You know, that's what Roger does so well. He's so talented. But, you know, he plays the same at 5-All in the tiebreaker as he does at 2-1, 40-Love on his serve in the first set. That's what separates him. I don't know if many people are expecting me to win tomorrow. So, you know, it's a different situation. I'm going to come out and play free and I'm going to go after him. I'm going to at least try to take it to him a little bit.
Q. Do you have any trouble finding practice partners in Austin, Texas, where you live?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I go down to the university sometimes and hit with the tennis team down there. A lot of times if I'm going to tournaments and I haven't played a lot of sets, I'll just get there a day or two early and try to play. As far as training, off weeks a lot of it's focused on fitness anyway. There are plenty of guys who can hit the ball.
Q. On NBC back in the States they're giving a lot of credit to your brother John about being an advisor to the game in terms of your game, almost like a second coach.
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, it's good to have a second opinion. I definitely respect his opinion. He had a lot more influence growing up. He had been through kind of the junior ranks before. It's just really nice having him here. He has his own thing going. He's coached a couple of juniors here at this tournament. It's amazing how supportive he's been kind of throughout my career. It's definitely a great thing to have him here and kind of see him supporting me.
Q. Are you and Roger actually friends at all? Do you ever play cards together or socialize?
ANDY RODDICK: We're fine. We get along really well. I think he's a little bit more of a private person than I am. I don't even think we've ever had anything to butt heads about. We've always been -- I respect him. I think he respects me. We always have a good laugh when we see each other in the locker room. I try to push him over and injure him (smiling).
Q. Do that tomorrow?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I might, you know, try to push him into a wall or something before we go on the court. No, we get along just fine.
Q. Do you feel like you're a better player than you were 12 months ago?
ANDY RODDICK: I think so. I think so. You know, I feel like I'm a better athlete than I was 12 months ago. I feel like I'm moving better, in better shape. I think that's the main difference.
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