June 27, 2005
THE MODERATOR: Andy Roddick. Questions, please.
Q. You seemed to be around the net a bit today doing some finesse things. Was that on plan or more reaction to his game?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I wanted to get into the net. I don't know if I was thinking so much about finesse up there. But a lot of times that's the shot he gives you because he hits his passing shots, and they dip below the level of the net, so it's tough to get, you know, much stick on 'em. But it was definitely part of my plan to try to get into the net a little bit today.
Q. Did you consider, though, before going into the match, you've beaten the guy four times coming in, playing a hard court style? Did you figure on grass it might be a little different?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, I wasn't going to change everything. I think you kind of have to feel that out. The first set he was a little off. He was missing from the baseline, kind of was spraying balls. I stayed back a little bit more. Then he kind of got grooved in a little bit more. That's when you have to kind of try to put the pressure on a little bit more. I was able to do that today.
Q. So how well are you playing right now?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm playing fine. You know, I'm still alive. I'm in the quarters. You know, I feel like I'm hitting the ball pretty well. I got through a couple tough situations today. You know, I feel good. I'm still alive, so that's good.
Q. Saturday you spoke about the two aspects of your game that you really wanted to upgrade. How would you grade yourself on how things have gone in those two areas through the tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: Good. You know, I think the biggest stat today was he only won something like 30% of his second serve points, which means that I was, you know, hitting my returns, putting pressure on him on his serve, and playing good return games. That's eventually kind of what won the match for me. And getting in. You know, I think something over 70% on net points won today. You know, those two stats are pretty telling from what I talked about the other day.
Q. After being around grass for a couple of weeks now, is there more comfort level? Does it kick in match by match?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, with grass, I'm able to kind of come over and click in right away, at least the last couple years. I hope it stays that way. You know, I've played a lot of matches already on this surface, in this kind of grass court run here. I'm not worried about comfort level on the surface right now.
Q. Can you talk about Tursunov or Grosjean.
ANDY RODDICK: It looks like Sebastien's up a couple sets to one right now. But, you know, Seb, you know, he's getting through every week on grass. You know, I think he's only lost to me and Roger the last couple years on grass. Actually, yeah, Flip also. But, you know, he's proven that he's one of the top five grass courters in the world. That's definitely tough to deal with. But, you know, I feel like I'm playing pretty well. I feel confident.
Q. Have you and Seb done any practicing back in Boca in off weeks?
ANDY RODDICK: We actually practice together a lot on the road. We're pretty friendly. He's been a pretty good friend since I've been on tour. We normally practice at tournaments a bunch. We haven't had a lot of downtime in Boca.
Q. Do you play sets with him?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. How do those come out?
ANDY RODDICK: It's practice, so it's irrelevant. You know, we've played a couple times in the last couple months in non-practice situations.
Q. Pretty balls-out sets?
ANDY RODDICK: "Balls-out sets?" I keep my balls in. No, I think we have a good time. I mean, obviously it's tough when you're competing every day to try to rip each other's heads off in practice, as well. But, you know, practice is practice. It's a different thing when you got people and something on the line.
Q. We've all enjoyed watching your American Express ad when you book the seat back from Wimbledon for the trophy.
ANDY RODDICK: Every place I go, it's the first time they've ever seen it. I've been watching that thing for a year now.
Q. Did any of the other guys give you a little bit of ribbing about that ad?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. Just the question, "Did you really get hit in the head with the trophy?" It's great. Every six months I get a new person, "Did you really get hit in the head?" "No."
Q. Segway question. There was a piece on how you traveled over 100,000 miles the past year or so.
ANDY RODDICK: I have?
Q. Yes. They mapped it out, Austin to Spain was your longest trip. Can you recall a funny incident or interesting incident in all your travels, curious?
ANDY RODDICK: It's tough to choose one. I mean, there's constantly. I think one of the funniest things was our -- when we were coming back from Spain, our Davis Cup stringer had been out the night before, and we had an early flight. So he came to the airport, and I think he was still feeling pretty good about himself. He's sitting there in the lobby, kind of in the lobby, waiting to go in line. He's got his laptop on just cranking music and kind of dancing. People are looking at him like this. We have a team of probably 15 people in line. We were just -- we couldn't stop laughing. He'd look at us and just start laughing. I guess you had to be there. I promise, it was funny.
Q. You've never won a tournament one day, the next day had to do a head-to-toe inspection for security?
ANDY RODDICK: A head-to-toe inspection?
Q. Where you're taken aside, getting the full terrorist inspection?
ANDY RODDICK: What are you? I didn't do it, dude! .
Q. That happened to Justine. She won Indian Wells. The next day she was...
ANDY RODDICK: Really? No, I'm less suspicious looking.
Q. How much are you thinking about the end goal every day?
ANDY RODDICK: It's in the back of my mind. You know, it's obviously something that I think about and dream about. But it's close, but it's far, if that makes sense. I mean, you can't concern yourself with it because there's a lot of -- you know, I'm not good enough to overlook the next two matches and look ahead. So I have to get through these first.
Q. Smaller people are often looking for more personality, for more character. Your press conferences are sort of like must-see TV. Are you conscious of that?
ANDY RODDICK: I think I just give honest answers. You know, I'm looking at -- I don't know. I just come in and whatever pops into my head, I say. I'm not really thinking about what programmed answers I'm going to come in with. I get to laugh at some of your questions, too, you know. I get your (indiscernible) and all the fun stuff.
Q. I expect some players come in here and go right to the court. They don't notice Wimbledon. It's just get to the court and play. Do you have a chance to look around, see what kind of place it is? Do you have any favorite corners of it?
ANDY RODDICK: I think you'd be surprised. I think the majority of players can appreciate it. You know, there's no event like it. If I have friends that have come over, they've been here for the first time, they walk through, and they're just like, "This is an event." It's not only a tennis tournament; it's a place to go; it's the place to be. You drive home, you see the people queuing. You see the vines on the wall. They've upheld traditions. They have such a great blend of kind of old and new traditions. It's a special place.
Q. Do you have any special place that you like here, some little corner that you have a quiet moment you can visit?
ANDY RODDICK: I can't walk around much any more.
Q. Even late in the day.
ANDY RODDICK: No, actually one of my favorite things is when we get here for the practice week, the first walk, when you walk in the door, there's nobody here, so you can walk around the grounds. The first walk from our locker room across the venue to Aorangi. That's always fun. You kind of get the feel for it. You're excited to be back. You can kind of feel Wimbledon inside of you. It's a cool tournament. It's a great event to be a part of.
Q. Are you actually staying in Wimbledon, as well?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. What do you think of that? What do you think of Wimbledon, the area? What are your neighbors like where you're staying?
ANDY RODDICK: They're nice. They water their plants at about 8:30 every morning (laughter). No, it is cool. In all seriousness, it's nice to be kind of be able to walk out, walk to dinner, walk to the different restaurants. You're kind of mingling with the people who came to watch that day. You see everybody you know walking. It's cool. It's not like any other event. In New York, we're staying 40 minutes away in Manhattan. You know, in Paris, you're driving in and out of streets. I never know where I am there. It's different. It's kind of cozy. You rent a house, and it becomes familiar to you.
Q. How much stock do you put into aces as a barometer of how you're playing on grass?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know if I put much stock in it. I put more into service games held. You know, percentages more so than aces. You know, a lot of guys are going to hit aces. But that's not the most important stat to me.
Q. Have you been in the museum here, the Wimbledon museum?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I have not. I haven't been yet.
Q. When you say you walk out to dinner, have you been to a British pub yet?
ANDY RODDICK: That's a loaded question. I have not been this year - yet.
Q. You've been working on a lot of different parts of your game - return, backhand, volley, transition game. How close are you to being satisfied with where they've come? Is it really clicking for you yet?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know if I'll ever be satisfied, you know. I think with as great as Roger played last year, he still probably wasn't satisfied with his year. You know, I feel like there's progress being made. You know, that's all you can do, is work hard. It feels good when I come out of matches like today, or the fifth set against Bracciali, where I applied them, where you've kind of applied when you've worked on, and it comes up good for you. That's a good feeling. That kind of keeps you going, keeps you in the right frame of mind.
Q. Did you sign up for Los Angeles?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm entered right now.
Q. Have you played there recently?
ANDY RODDICK: Not since '02.
Q. Looking forward, I presume?
ANDY RODDICK: (Nodding head.)
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