June 27, 2004
THE MODERATOR: Andy Roddick.
Q. Was that a convincing performance than the first two?
ANDY RODDICK: Absolutely. I thought I played well today. I thought I lifted my game today. I had to. You know, I was forced to. If I wouldn't have, I'd be here in a much worse mood.
Q. Can you talk about your serve. You were hitting your spots it appeared very well.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I felt like I had pretty good control over it today. Again, I had to. You know, if I would have gotten busted once, I mean, it could have been the end of a set, you know. So I definitely had to concentrate hard on it. Luckily I was hitting it pretty well today.
Q. What are you thinking when he's serving at 6-5 in that first tiebreak, comes in on his second serve? Can you take us through that point from your side of the net.
ANDY RODDICK: I think it starts at 6-3. I was thinking, "You know what, if you win these two, you know, win these two points, maybe he had misses a first serve, you're back in with a fighting chance." So I was lucky enough to kind of get a little slimy return down a little bit, he kind of didn't really commit to his volley. He just missed it. You know, I was pretty fortunate. But then I thought I played a couple good points there to close out the second set.
Q. You said before that you're not the best guy to be in the locker room when it's raining, you get sort of frustrated, wearing out sneakers. Has that affected you a little bit for your first two matches?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I think it has an effect on everybody. I don't think it's a positive one for most people. But that being said, I was in the same situation as you, you know, as everyone else here, just waiting around, trying to figure out something to do. You know, but I think you asked me that question yesterday. I said, you know, actually my job's a little easier than yours, because you're busy trying to make something out of nothing. I just have to wait till it's my turn.
Q. Playing a guy you know pretty well, another American, is it any different than just playing someone who is not from the US?
ANDY RODDICK: A little bit, but not -- you know, I think we all have the understanding that once it's on court, you know, it's business. You know, when you're across the net from someone, you're not thinking about, you know, camaraderie, Davis Cup teammate, anything like that. You're thinking about winning. I think that's universally understood in this game.
Q. You have a terrific record against other American guys, lost only 1 in 18, or something.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I've been pretty fortunate. I've squeaked through a couple close matches against them.
Q. How far off a hundred percent do you feel you're playing at the moment?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I'm not good with percentages and stuff. I know I didn't play as well as I would have wanted to in my first two matches. I know I stepped up and played well today. So I was happy. It's definitely progressing in the right direction.
Q. What got you through the tiebreaker? What carried forward from the tiebreak?
ANDY RODDICK: Which tiebreaker?
Q. The second set.
ANDY RODDICK: I'm sorry?
Q. What got you through that, what carried over from that?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, a little bit of luck got me through it, that's for sure. I wasn't happy with the tiebreaker that I played up till 6-3. I felt for the majority of the second set and the tiebreaker, he was the more aggressive player. He probably played better than I did in the second set. You know, I was able to kind of squeak through. I stepped up when I needed to in the second set breaker. I had my back against the wall, but I stayed in there mentally. I think that was key.
Q. Does Brad work on you before a match? Did he talk about, say, the A's blowing the lead?
ANDY RODDICK: They were at 7-3, got a trade, all came in, blew the save, but then they won 8-7 in extra innings. No, he would never mention that (laughter).
Q. Was he outraged?
ANDY RODDICK: No, because they won. He's upset with their closing situation, because 15 blown saves, which is more than any other major league team, blah, blah, blah. Who cares?
Q. You're focusing on your own game at the moment, but how much attention do you pay to the likes of Roger Federer's progress, the way he's playing?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, you know, Roger Federer progressing through matches and playing well isn't exactly a surprise. I'm not focused -- I'm playing my tournament. You know, if that includes him somewhere down the line, then I'll worry about it. But I'm not too concerned, and I'm sure he would say the same thing. You're always curious. But, you know, I'm trying to win my matches.
Q. The way you're playing at the moment, do you feel you can take anybody on this surface?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, I feel like I have the chance to. You know, I feel like if I serve well, I have a chance to beat anybody on a given day.
Q. Playing on the middle Sunday, stadium 3 court is empty, did that affect the atmosphere?
ANDY RODDICK: No, because the people that were there, you know, really wanted to be there. They were pretty loud. You know, by the end, it was a little bit better. That's not something I was too concerned with. I mean, this whole week's been whacky. Why not today, too?
Q. How does it compare to a US Open crowd?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, it was pretty similar. You know, they were getting into -- they were pretty loud and pretty -- you know, even though there was a small crowd, I could definitely feel them, you know. I could feel their energy. It was similar in that aspect.
Q. Yesterday did you watch any of the Olympic torch ceremony with Sir Roger Bannister, Tim running it through the grounds?
ANDY RODDICK: I saw it kind of lined up. I was watching the festival they had outside the palace last night a little bit. I think it's pretty cool how the whole city catches the buzz of the Olympics and they kind of celebrate it, and it's not even here. I thought that was pretty cool.
Q. Patrick said that when he distributed the US Olympic team T-shirts, your eyes lit up. Does it feel like it's getting closer and closer to you?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's definitely getting closer. But, you know, all along I kind of knew I was going to be on the team. But, you know, it's amazing how something as small as a T-shirt makes it real.
Q. Are you playing the way you want to play on grass now or not? You still serve and volley only sometimes or occasionally.
ANDY RODDICK: That's better than nothing. Hell, I'm making progress over two years ago (smiling).
Q. Do you see yourself as a finished article on grass?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not a finished article in any way, shape or form right now regardless of the surface. You know, I have a lot of work to do. If I was sitting here extremely content with myself at 21, then I'd have to question myself.
Q. You've had two rain-outs, we've had two rain-outs this year completely. You've had delays. You've discussed this, but you get wound up a little bit, ready to play. Is this something in the last couple years you've learned to handle, and is that part of any tennis player's maturing process, the up and down, the eagerness to go out there and then you can't play?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I wish I could sit here and tell you that, you know, I don't get nervous anymore, I don't do this, I don't do that, I've learned, I'm so wise. But it's not true. I'm still anxious to get out there. You know, I've always been that way. I really don't want that to change, to be honest.
Q. Talking to some of the people camped out waiting for tickets and stuff, they said a few years ago you went over there and wanted to sort of feel that atmosphere, you actually got in someone's tent or something like that. Do you remember that?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I think it was at night when people were queuing. I just kind of wanted to do the whole atmosphere of it. They were a lot more intoxicated than I expected. I guess that made it easier to fit. No, but I think, you know, I always try to experience something of a tournament. You know, you can't play Wimbledon -- that was my first year. I could go somewhat unrecognized, you know, the random person. I just kind of wanted to feel what was going on. People have the little barbecues. It was cool. It was a good experience.
Q. That was your first time, when you were first here?
ANDY RODDICK: I think that was -- it was either 2001 or 2002. Either my first or second year, I'm not sure.
Q. Were they American fans in the tent or English?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah, that's universal. That's like, yeah.
Q. Have you ever queued up for tennis tickets yourself?
ANDY RODDICK: I have not, no.
Q. Do you look at the fortnight as a progression, and if so where are you in the progress at the end of week one?
ANDY RODDICK: Through, alive. It's definitely a process, you know. The first couple of rounds are always a little bit dicey. Once you make the second week, you start feeling like you're in the trenches. So that's kind of where I feel like I am right now.
Q. Are you superstitious about anything?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. I mean, kind of depends on the situation, but not consistently. I'd say I'm part-time superstitious.
Q. Were there no Sunday play, would you have the normal practice routine or could you have taken a break a little bit to get away from tennis?
ANDY RODDICK: If there was nothing today?
Q. Yes. Like last year.
ANDY RODDICK: I forget what I did last year. Most likely, I wouldn't spend all day here. I wouldn't -- I'd practice and I'd leave. You know, I definitely wouldn't spend time here. You know, if I felt like going into the city and doing something, then I would.
Q. When you found out there was going to be a Sunday round, were you happy or displeased?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I wanted to go, man. I've been sitting around. I feel like I haven't done anything this week. I definitely wanted to get out there and play. I was extremely pleased with the decision, and I think it was the right one. It's perfect weather today. You know, they're getting a lot of matches in.
Q. Have you struck any bets with Brad depending on your progress at this tournament at all?
ANDY RODDICK: No. We're not going to get into the habit of putting something on every tournament. But if we have a discussion and, you know, if it comes up spontaneously, then we will. But I'll keep you posted.
Q. Have you got him the pink shirt yet?
ANDY RODDICK: He has it, yeah. It's coming out soon.
Q. You had another big forehand at a key moment, I think set point down, you ripped a forehand. Your big forehand winner, second set.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't remember. Set point down. I was down 6-3, and I hit a backhand pass. That must have been 6-4.
Q. In any case, what is the most satisfying shot in your repertoire? What shot do you get the most satisfaction out of?
ANDY RODDICK: Probably not my -- my serve. You mean just satisfaction as far as? I mean, I love my serve because it keeps me in matches on a daily basis. But if I do something that people don't expect, like hit a great half volley, do something like that, I get kind of happy when I do that.
Q. What sports do you want to go see at the Olympics outside of tennis? Are there some things you're kind of looking forward to, Opening Ceremonies, seeing other sports?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, Opening Ceremonies, for sure. I'm going to try to do the whole Olympic experience, you know. I'm not sure what the schedule is yet as far as what's going to be going on while I'm there, but I'm definitely going to try to make the rounds and check it out.
Q. Zina Garrison spoke about the thrill of meeting Michael Jordan at the Olympics. If you could meet one particular Olympian, who would you like to?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, that's tough. It's tough to kind of narrow it down to one. Obviously, any of the NBA guys, it's fun because, I mean, obviously I watch them all the time. But I think the Olympics is more about, you know, the track and field events, stuff along those lines. I think I'd like to meet -- I'd love to see Maurice Greene run. I've heard you just watch him and it's insane how fast these guys are. He'd probably be on my top. I'd love to watch him.
Q. What do you do to relax?
ANDY RODDICK: Sleep. When I'm awake, it's not really going to happen.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.