June 25, 2005
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please, for Andy Roddick.
Q. Three matches in three days, was it any kind of emotional problem for you?
ANDY RODDICK: I have many emotional problems, but they weren't caused by having to go on the court three days in a row. No, I mean, it was fine. You kind of expect that from Wimbledon. You know, last year I had to play the semis over a couple days and, you know, there's a lot of waiting around. I think you just kind of have to expect that here at Wimbledon.
Q. What will you do on your day off?
ANDY RODDICK: What will I do on my day off? Not do press conferences.
Q. Why not? Nor will we (laughing).
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. Probably just come out, have a light hit early and try to find something to fill my time for the rest of the day. I don't know.
Q. After the interruptions and the difficult last round game that you had, how happy are you to have come through a testing but relatively straightforward game?
ANDY RODDICK: It was nice. I mean, I felt like I hit the ball -- that's as well as I've hit the ball so far this tournament. And it was nice to get someone where I had some rallies and was able to kind of find some rhythm, you know, close it out in three. That was big for me, as well. All in all, I'm happy. It's always good to get to the second week. You know, mission accomplished for the first week. Now it's time to get down to business.
Q. As you've assessed your game and thought back on last year's Wimbledon and previous, what to you seemed like the most important thing you had to upgrade to become really confident here and possibly go all the way?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, you know, with all due respect, I've put myself in position to do well a couple of times. I think, you know, like I said yesterday, having the option of doing something else, coming to net a little more if need be and consistent returning. I think those are the two things that will be key for me. You know, those are probably more specific to Wimbledon, but, you know, I always look to put a lot of first serves in. I feel like that puts pressure on people.
Q. And to what degree are you satisfied with how it's played out in week one?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm still alive. That's the goal. But I feel good. You know, I think I've won, you know, couple matches in a row now dating back to Queen's, and I feel pretty good on the grass. You know, I feel good going into the second week.
Q. On the basis of that, you've seen a lot of shocks. A lot of seeds always go in the first week. Is the first week about survival really, getting through it, and the second week stepping up a gear, really honing in on perhaps the title?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know if I'm good enough to time it out like that and decide when I'm going to play good. I kind of try to play as well as I can all the time. Easier said than done. But it's definitely, you know, always a big relief to kind of get through the first couple of rounds. You know, be alive come the second week. You know, that's where the big matches start happening. You know, a lot of it is about survival.
Q. What do you think of Andy Murray? Had you seen him play much?
ANDY RODDICK: The thing that impresses me most about him, is that a lot of Juniors when they come in, they try to play too well, and he's out there playing his game. He's not going for too much. He's playing well within himself and he's competing. You know, you see a lot of these kids come in and try to just, you know, win, win every point with a winner or, you know, go for spectacular shots because they feel they have to. He's basically saying, "Here's the meat and potatoes of my game; you try to find a way to beat me." It's a pretty mature outlook for someone so young.
Q. What advice would you give in terms of the bigger picture to Andy now that he's making his breakthrough?
ANDY RODDICK: This is the first ever year where I felt old. I'm giving advice. Jesus. You know how scary that thought is?
Q. Maria Sharapova has been asked that question as well and she's younger than you are. She was asked to give advice to younger players. She's younger than you are.
ANDY RODDICK: What does she have to say about it? I mean, what was her response (smiling)? She get on her phone and like call someone (laughing)?
Q. She said she was 18 and she feels old.
ANDY RODDICK: I think in women's tennis it's not as surprising to see someone young do so well, you know. You don't see a lot of 17-, 18-year-old kids play well right away on the men's tour - maybe two or three out there. I don't know. I feel like he doesn't really need any advice. He's out there competing. Maybe just there are going to be a lot of people trying to get at him now and just make good decisions and keep the right people around you, people you trust. As far as on court, he's just fine.
Q. Do you have any idea what Andreev's injury was?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, he had a tape around his stomach.
Q. We saw that, but he didn't...
ANDY RODDICK: I'm guessing it was his stomach.
Q. After being treated, he didn't seem to be that injured.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. But, I mean, that's either -- you know, who knows. Maybe he was just being tough and not being dramatic about it. I didn't notice anything before or after. I didn't notice a different from before and then after. You know, maybe that's a question that he could answer better than I could. I'm not sure. It surprised me when he called for the trainer.
Q. Federer was in a little bit earlier after his match and we asked him if - notwithstanding the fact that the two of you could only meet in the final - does he keep an eye on how you're doing. He said he definitely keeps an eye on you. You're so far away in the draw, once you get to the quarters, and him, too, this is when he starts watching you. Do you keep an eye on what Roger's doing?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I think -- I mean, I watched his match today before I went on. You know, but I'm not calling him at home or anything. But I was -- I watch him. I think -- I don't know if I so much zone in on him. I think you just kind of know what's going on in the tournament. If his matches are on, I definitely watch, for sure.
Q. Do you think it's sort of a smart and sensible policy that the men's seeding here doesn't necessarily follow the ranking? To what extent do you think that's a good idea? If you have any opinion at all, I'm wondering if it's clear to you why the women's seeding is done in a different manor?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know, I'm not the one --
Q. On the latter or on both?
ANDY RODDICK: On both of them. I'm not the one making those decisions. It was a little weird this year to have such a kind of a thing going on with seeding, and I have no control over it.
Q. Sure, sure.
ANDY RODDICK: I was the first one to say that, you know, either way, probably each of us had an argument. I was actually surprised I was seeded 2. I'm not sure. I think it's proven over and over that grass is the most extreme surface. I mean, you see 3 and 4 seeds go out. You know, so it's pretty much the way it's always been done. I think it's a good system because there's so few tournaments on grass. The players who really know how to play on it really comfortable have an extreme advantage. If we had a three-month grass court season like the clay court season, then maybe it would be a little different. But I don't know.
Q. In losing the final last year, is that just a Slam opportunity lost, or has that put you in good stead for this year, just the experience of going that far on grass, Centre Court, Wimbledon, etc.? Are there positives out of that experience for this year, or was it just a Slam final which you lost?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it is a Slam final that I lost. But I don't know, you know. Who knows? I mean, I'm kind of playing this year for this year. It's not the same tournament to me. I think it's always good if you've experienced something before, you know, if you get back in that situation, it's not a total surprise for you; you know what to expect a little bit more. But I won't be able to answer that until, you know, the tournament's done.
Q. Can you compare the feeling getting through the first week here versus last year or the year before.
ANDY RODDICK: Uhm, I'm happy to get through the first week. I don't know how to do comparisons on year-to-year basis. I kind of play every tournament for itself. But it's big to get through, you know. Kind of -- the match yesterday I felt was big for me. That really felt good to get through that one because, as you know, I'd struggled a little bit in the five-setters. You know, that was kind of a big stage for me to start turning it around. You know, so I feel relieved and I feel good going into the second week.
Q. Any superstition or reason that the scruff is gone?
ANDY RODDICK: My mom told me I look like shit - I mean bad-ly. I don't know. She didn't say that. Just, just decided it was gonna go. No real superstition.
Q. Melzer is up two sets to one. Any thoughts on him if he comes through to win?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I've actually played really good tennis against him in the past. Four times. I don't know. But I played some really good matches against him and they've been pretty comfortable wins - but I don't expect that again. I mean, I played a really high level against him every time I played him. So hopefully I could do that again, but we'll see.
THE MODERATOR: Last question.
Q. Gosh, that's pressure.
ANDY RODDICK: Bud, are you feeling the pressure? What does it feel like? How are you coping with being the only journalist to wear a shirt like that?
Q. It's tough, Andy. Really tough. You talked to us about going over our statistics, you had lost five straight five-set matches, you said last night that it was "big." But after you got home and everything, did it even seem bigger and more of a relief?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I was pretty relieved right away, as you could probably tell from my reaction. I was probably a lot more emotional out there than I would be normally in the second round of a Grand Slam. I mean, the biggest thing is I'm still alive in Wimbledon with a shot. Had I had to go home yesterday, I wouldn't be very happy. You know, there's a big difference between, you know, being on a flight home right now and being here talking to you guys after a win. So it's a big relief, but, you know, that's in the past now. You kind of have to look forward.
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