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June 24, 2005

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Andy Roddick. Questions, please.

Q. What about your career like goalkeeper?

ANDY RODDICK: My career as a goalkeeper? I don't think anybody would want me on their team as a goalkeeper. But, you know, I had a good save today.

Q. That was a spectacular diving save. It was part of a broader piece of volleying work in the fifth set. Would you elaborate on how well you volleyed in that final set?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I had always said that, you know, my whole mantra was if I'm holding serve and feeling like I'm dictating my service games by staying back and playing my most comfortable game, then I'm going to do that. But if the situation called for it, I was going to try to switch it up. That was a decision that I felt had to be made there in the fifth because, you know, he was just -- first ball he got, he was just cranking and hitting. I mean, the fourth set was pretty amazing stuff from his part. I at least wanted to give him a different look and make him think about his returns a little bit.

Q. Considering the moment, Wimbledon second round, fifth set, could that have been the best volleying effort you've had as a professional tennis player?

ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know, it was up there. I didn't lose many points at net. You know, I think the biggest thing was just that I was able to do it. I was able to kind of make myself do it. You know, it was definitely big.

Q. Is that one of the things that you've thought about in terms of going that one step further and winning this championship?

ANDY RODDICK: After a match like today, I've got to focus on winning the next match (laughter).

Q. The serve-and-volleying issue.

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think that's something I need to have as an option. I'm not going to come out and serve and volley every match because that's not -- that's not my game. That's not my most comfortable area. But, you know, if someone's getting on serves and he's getting the better of me from the baseline -- I mean, he was just basically cranking on every ball. I at least want to give him a different look. So I think it's important to at least have that option.

Q. How did it feel? What does the court look like from the net? Strange thing for you to find yourself in that position.

ANDY RODDICK: I get up there sometimes. But most of the time it's to shake hands. You know, it's a lot quicker. But I didn't really think about it that much. It just felt like the right thing to do at the time. You know, I was feeling pretty uncomfortable in the baseline rallies, and I think a lot of that had to do with the way he was playing. So at least when I was coming in, I felt like I was taking it to him a little bit more.

Q. Can you go back to last night in the tiebreaker, did he just pick up the pace or do you think your game fell off or a combination of both? How disappointing was it not to have had it finished off then?

ANDY RODDICK: The tiebreaker is one thing. I think after the second set, you know, he was getting his wrist looked at. If I would have stepped up there and really put the clamps down, I don't know if I would have allowed him to play it like that, like he did in the breaker. In the breaker, he played great. I think I missed one bad forehand. But he hit a couple winners off serves, second serves, one on set point on a first serve. I think he played great in the breaker. But I'm going to have to kind of clamp down there if I want to keep going in this event.

Q. He wasn't very happy about the fact that yesterday you packed your bags and you left the Centre Court. What happened? Did you tell him some bad words, because he said he couldn't understand too well, but he understood a bad word, F.

ANDY RODDICK: I have a question for you. Would you try reading in the dark? Would you read a book in the dark?

Q. Well, the thing was that he said it was 10 to 9.

ANDY RODDICK: Would you read a book in the dark?

Q. If I can read, yes.

ANDY RODDICK: You would read a book in the dark?

Q. When I can see it, yes.

ANDY RODDICK: How can you see a book in the dark?

Q. Come on. I'm telling you what he said.

ANDY RODDICK: I'm asking you a question. I'm going to get to my answer here in a second, if you give me an answer that is honest.

Q. You're saying it was dark. He's saying it wasn't dark. Don't ask me if I read a book in the dark. I don't care. I don't read a book not even in the light sometimes.

ANDY RODDICK: You should try it sometimes. It's good. You can't see the title of the book, that's the point.

Q. The day before they played until 9:30. Yesterday at 10 minutes before 9, you packed before the umpire says the match is suspended. That is what happened.

ANDY RODDICK: No, the umpire said, "Play is suspended." You think I make the decision if we walk off or not?

Q. I'm just asking you.

ANDY RODDICK: No, you're not. You made a statement.

Q. Did you say a bad word to Bracciali?

ANDY RODDICK: I said a bad word. I don't know if it was to Bracciali. I was walking off and he was throwing a fit. Maybe ask him what he said first. I'm not one to just go at people. That's not my style, okay? If he's upset about it, he can come talk to me about it.

Q. He wanted to.

ANDY RODDICK: He doesn't need to use an interpreter. All I know is that you wouldn't do many things in the dark. Try returning a 135-mile-an-hour serve when you can kind of see the ball. It's not the easiest thing. I don't think there's anything bad about walking off a dark tennis court because you can't see and you can't play. That seems like a pretty logical decision for me.

Q. I just asked if you said a bad word.

ANDY RODDICK: And I'm answering.

Q. Isn't it the rule that Alan Mills can come out and make the decision?

ANDY RODDICK: The chair umpire said, "Play is suspended." Okay? I looked at him, he said, "Play is suspended." Now, next time that happens -- he said it today without Alan Mills there and we walked off during the rain.

Q. The previous day the Johansson/Rusedski match, Alan came on and Johansson said, "It's tough to see the balls." He said, "Play on till the end of the set."

ANDY RODDICK: Well, we did play on. That's what I'm saying. That's why we probably were out there as long as we were because you play till the end of the set. But there's no use in starting a new set if you're not going to finish the match that night. A lot of it depends on where you are in a match. I'm not going to sit here and defend myself on something that's completely obvious.

Q. At one point this match began to resemble rather unpleasantly the French Open. Two and a half sets in, second round, was it passing through your mind also?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I thought about it. I thought about how to avoid that. You know, this is big for me. I know all you guys were there with your stat books counting the last couple losses in fives, all that nonsense. You know, it was definitely big for me to put one on the board.

Q. But you also showed a real fighting spirit, especially in the fifth. When you're trying to do that, how much of it is saying, your self-talk, "This is mine, I'm not going to let him have it," and how much of it is pumping yourself up or thinking about tactics?

ANDY RODDICK: I think -- I don't know how to put percentages. But I think all three of those play a part in it. A lot of it has to do with confidence, as well. If I had come in here having lost a couple matches on grass, who knows what would happen. But, you know, I felt like if I did the right things and maybe tried to be a little bit more aggressive, then things would go my way.

Q. What about the part where you're saying, "This is mine; I'm not going to let him have it"?

ANDY RODDICK: It's nice to say that, but then you have to follow through on it. That's the tough part.

Q. Were you thinking at all or have you been thinking at all about your own record in five-setters and was it important for you to win a five-setter?

ANDY RODDICK: Of course, it crossed my mind because it gets brought up every time I play one. If I saw what you did wrong...

Q. You go out there in the fifth...

ANDY RODDICK: I wanted to prove something out there today, for sure. There was definitely a chip on my shoulder. It's not totally turned around. But the more matches I win that are tough, in tougher circumstances, the more you remember what it's like to do that. You know, I think it was big to get through. It would have been a devastating loss.

Q. When you have a match that you start out really in command and conceivably could close it in straight sets, but it doesn't happen that way, is it hard to put out of your mind the fact, "Why am I here? Why did I let this go on?" Do you waste time berating yourself at all?

ANDY RODDICK: I wasn't happy last night. But I think you have to try to move forward. You know, you have to try to block it out as much as you can. Obviously it's going to creep in there because you just experienced it. The big thing is how you react to it.

Q. There was another big point in this match, 30-40 in the sixth game of the final set. Backhand return to his backhand side. Can you go through the point, what you saw? Was it in your wheelhouse? Did you have to stretch for it?

ANDY RODDICK: Yes, Charlie, it was in my wheelhouse (laughter). I wanted to make sure I got some length on my backhand return because any time I got into a habit in that match of leaving it short, then he was just killing forehands. I was pretty much out of the point before it started. My big thing was length. I got some direction on it, as well. You know, on the forehand, I had been going to his backhand a lot because I thought that was the weaker side for him to pass off of. But I saw him leaning a little bit to that side, and hit a pretty solid ball to his forehand. You know, he wasn't able to come up with a pass. That was a really big point. The fact that I won it aggressively was big for me.

Q. Were you more surprised about his return or about his serve?

ANDY RODDICK: Probably his serve. Credit to him. I mean, he's not a big guy, and he's hitting it 135 up the T pretty much the whole time, whenever he wants. You know, I thought I was going to get more looks at his serve than I did.

Q. Were you happy to get the rain break after he broke your serve in the fourth set? What were you thinking and telling yourself at that point when you went in?

ANDY RODDICK: I don't know if I was happy. I wasn't that upset because he just played a great game. I mean, I think I made four -- five out of six or four out of five first serves or something like that. He came up with a couple winners and a couple backhand passing shots. So I wasn't as upset. I didn't feel like I had kind of let it get away; I felt like he kind of stepped up and played. So I wasn't too upset. Who knows what would have happened if we stayed out there. There's always that "would have, could have" stuff here at Wimbledon when it rains.

Q. Are you getting any static in the locker room from the preppy look of the Lacoste clothes?

ANDY RODDICK: No, just in here (smiling).

End of FastScripts….

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