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June 25, 2004

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Andy Roddick.

Q. You kept telling yourself to concentrate out there today. How did you rate your own performance?

ANDY RODDICK: It was okay. You know, I did enough to win. But I still don't feel like I'm playing my best tennis yet. I'm definitely going to have to step it up next round if I want to get through.

Q. Isn't that good, though, that you can win effortlessly?

ANDY RODDICK: Well, there's a difference between not playing your best tennis and effortlessly. There's a big difference there. No, I mean, it's good. I'm happy to get through. The first couple rounds are always a struggle because, you know, you don't really know what to expect. I hadn't seen Peya play that much before, but I'm happy to get through. You know, I'm into the third round. That was the goal at the beginning of the day.

Q. Have you and Taylor discussed at all the match in Australia?


Q. Did it have any effect on the way you guys deal with each other off the court, change anything?

ANDY RODDICK: No, I don't think so. Not from my end.

Q. If you were confronted with a situation like Karolina Sprem was yesterday where your opponent got a free point due to an umpire's error, what would you have done? What's the right thing to do?

ANDY RODDICK: Personally, I'd have trouble just taking a point from someone. You know, I've heard that no one noticed and stuff, but if it's the biggest match of your life, I'm figuring you know what the score is. That just seems like that would be the case. But I'd have a real issue just pretending like nothing was wrong and just taking the point.

Q. What do you think should be done with regard to the umpire who made that call?

ANDY RODDICK: That's not my issue. You know, obviously, you know, if players make mistakes and go over the line, then they get punished. So maybe it should be the same for umpires. But, you know, I mean, we all make mistakes. You'd hope that it's not on Centre Court at Wimbledon. If this had happened on Court 13 with a qualifier playing qualifier, we probably would never have heard of it. You know, it's just unfortunate for him that it happened on a pretty big stage when someone was on the verge of an upset.

Q. Big serves with great location, like Pete Sampras. Then guys who hit big serves. Where do you put Taylor Dent's serve?

ANDY RODDICK: It's a good serve. It's a heavy serve. You know, he's not going to locate it like someone like a Todd Martin, but he hits it heavy enough where, you know, you can really feel it coming off your racquet. You know, it's heavy on your racquet. You really have to make solid contact to be able to do something with it.

Q. What is holding you back right now?

ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I'm not too worried. I feel like I'm hitting the ball really well in practice. You know, maybe it was just getting used to conditions and stuff. You know, I still feel like I'm hitting the ball well, I'm still confident. It hasn't shaken me too much. Maybe I'm just a little anxious. I'm not sure. I'll be all right, though.

Q. When you hear "Court 2," what goes through your mind?

ANDY RODDICK: Nothing. I mean, we were sitting around the house yesterday and we always try to predict what court you'll way play on and when, and I said Court 2. I didn't know it was going to be 11:00, but (laughter). I mean, if they can do it to Pete Sampras, then I should be on Court 18. You know, it's a full schedule. You look at the matches, they have two British players, two former champions playing. Juan Carlos hasn't gotten on the centre or the Court 1 yet, so it's extremely fair. They're very good about it here.

Q. Do people make a bigger deal out of it than the players?

ANDY RODDICK: I don't know.

Q. Graveyard.

ANDY RODDICK: I mean, obviously the players know the history of it. But, you know, I didn't go run and hide when I heard I had to play on Court 2. It's definitely a lot different than Centre Court and Court 1, but that's what happens, man. You play with the cards you're dealt, you put on your hard hat and you go to work. The dimensions of the court are still the same, right, the lines.

Q. Centre Court is obviously preferable. Is there anything redeeming about being on Court 2, part of the experience?

ANDY RODDICK: Sure. It's part of the whole thing. It was fun. I'm not used to being able to hear people eating in the dining room, ordering lunch, all that stuff. You know, it's part of tennis, though. I have no issue with it at all. It's fun to experience everything.

Q. Incidents today, Andy, conversations with fans or anything that happened?

ANDY RODDICK: I could hear people eating potato chips, you know, guys hitting on girls in the front row. No, I didn't really notice anything (smiling).

Q. That was a joke, right?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, Charlie. Oh, that was me. Sorry.

Q. What were you thinking about Venus Williams when she went through this yesterday?

ANDY RODDICK: I mean, I don't...

Q. What were your thoughts for Venus Williams, to have that sort of break against her?

ANDY RODDICK: I thought she handled it with a lot of class. I mean, I don't know what I would have done in that situation. Probably wouldn't have been pretty. But I think she was great about when it did happen. I think she was great afterwards, from what I've read, just saying, "Regardless, I'm still up 6-3." I mean, I definitely have to respect the way she handled it. I mean, it's unfortunate. You know, probably behind the scenes she wants to kick someone. But, you know, I think it was pretty graceful the way she went about things.

Q. Were you surprised she didn't question the score? She obviously looked like, "Wait a minute, something is not right." She said later probably she did know something was wrong but she figured since no one was saying anything, she must have lost track of the score.

ANDY RODDICK: I can understand that maybe. I mean, I still think I'd like to know the score. But if everyone else is just going along with it, you know, obviously doubt creeps into your mind that, "Maybe I just spaced out." Then you have to face the question, "Am I really embarrassed if I ask if it's 3-1 and it's 3-2?" I don't know. I've never been in that situation. Hopefully I won't have to be.

Q. Even more amazing was that the linesman that called the first serve out didn't get up and go to the chair and say, "I called that out, it wasn't a point."

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I don't know. There's a lot of scenarios. Something like that probably shouldn't happen at a tournament of this magnitude, but it did. You know, I guess that's that.

Q. Do you lose track of the score ever or are you pretty focused on that while you're playing?

ANDY RODDICK: I like to think in a tiebreaker I'd know what the score was. I don't recall. I'm sure we've all forgotten the score from time to time. But I don't know in a tiebreaker on Centre Court at Wimbledon if I was threatening to be on my way out, if I'd forget it. That seems to be something that would be on my mind.

Q. How do you feel about your presence here, beginning to almost transcend tennis, quiz show, cartoon strip? A lot of peripherals to your presence here.

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I don't know. You know, I'm not too concerned. I mean, I kind of just want to win matches. You know, I had nothing really to do with the cartoon. They just wrote it. The quiz show, we'll just leave that to the side. I know what a ewe is now.

Q. Did you keep up with the NBA draft last night?


Q. What did you think? All high school kids and foreign players.

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I think that's going to be the case if high school kids are leaving every year. I don't think that's too much of a surprise now. I wouldn't have minded seeing Okafor go one. With Orlando, if they get some good players in a trade - I'm just going on here - but if they get some good players in a trade with McGrady, you throw Okafor into the mix, if Grant Hill finally comes back healthy, they could have had a decent chance at a turnaround season. I just hope the young kid can play right away so they can maybe turn it around a little bit.

Q. Have you played Taylor since Australia?


Q. Are you a bit worried when you have such a one-sided result, will you be doubly vigilant when you play him now?

ANDY RODDICK: What's done is done. It's not anything n my mind. I still have the same amount of respect. I mean, he just had a terrible day. That's about as simple. He just played horrible and I played pretty well. You know, there you go. I'm not expecting that. I'm expecting a very tough match. This is probably his favorite surface. We had a pretty intense match at Queen's last year, and that's probably what I'll try to remember a little bit more than Australia. You know, Australia at this point is pretty much a non-entity to me.

Q. Two guys went out on the court, just tried to hit the serve as hard as possible, would you and he probably finish No. 1 and No. 2?

ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I'm not sure.

Q. Did you check out the Euro Cup last night?


Q. Comments? How would you compare an event like that to our biggest events in America?

ANDY RODDICK: What comment?

Q. What did you think of it? Did you get into it?

ANDY RODDICK: I was jumping up and down. I was going crazy, start to finish. There was no going out for food last night. We were staying in. I think it's great. I mean, I think it's unreal how almost a whole country can stop and just really support, you know, their team. I don't know if I've seen something like that in the States before. I mean, the only thing I can think of that kind of measures up is the Super Bowl, where everybody is somewhere watching it. But lots of times, it's not their teams involved. So maybe it's not as intense. But I love it. I mean, I get a kick out of coming over here and just kind of reading up on it and figuring it out and watching it. I mean, I think it's really cool.

Q. The fact that it all comes down to a shootout.

ANDY RODDICK: They need a good grounds crew. They need the Wimbledon grounds crew to go over there and fix that damn penalty spot. It looked like a beach. David Hasslehof would have made the penalty shot before Beckham.

Q. If Taylor and Tim Henman are the preeminent serve-and-volley players in the game today, is there difference in the way they volley when they come to net?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think Tim is probably the best volleyer in the world. You can throw Roger in there, as well. I think Taylor really kind of tries to stick every volley, plays pretty straightforward. Maybe Tim has a little bit more variety. But also Tim has, you know, eight or nine years more experience in what to do with the volley. You know, who knows.

Q. Can you read where Taylor is going to volley the ball?

ANDY RODDICK: I hope so.

Q. In the old days, people used to come in on the first and second serve. It's rare now to see somebody do it on the second serve. Why do you think it's become so hard?

ANDY RODDICK: The thing that stands out to me, if I do watch the old videos and stuff, is the returns. You know, I've said this before, I think Andre - Connors before him - but Andre really revolutionized taking full cuts at a return. The chip return, it was very prevalent, you know, back in the day. Maybe it was easier to get your racquet on a volley. Today, the guy was chipping a lot of returns, so I served and volleyed almost the whole match. So, I mean, I think that's a big difference. I think the return game has just improved so much.

Q. Anything to do with the balls or equipment?

ANDY RODDICK: Obviously, equipment. I mean, that's the same in any sport. If you take a bat from the '20s and look at the bats now, it's probably a big difference. That's just the way it is. Balls, I don't know. I'd have to hit with what they hit with. I have no basis for comparison.

Q. Did you watch of the replays two days ago during the washout on the BBC?


Q. Old matches.

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, with the Borg, McEnroe, Connors.

Q. You've seen a lot of that stuff before. Any particular revelations this time around?

ANDY RODDICK: No. You know what, I watched the hour-long special on Borg I think they had at the end of the day. That was pretty cool to see his whole groove. Our kind of generation just kind of remembers him as this stoic kind of very serious guy. But they kind of showed a side of him that wasn't so serious all the time, which I thought was pretty cool. I hadn't seen that before.

Q. Borg talked about playing against the backboard. It was him against the United States.

ANDY RODDICK: Playing against the backboard, he probably won.

Q. What were some of the fantasies or games you played as a really young kid?

ANDY RODDICK: I didn't have a backboard. I had a rebound net with springs all around, it was connected to like a metal thing in our garage. I'd play against that. I never lost to him on that.

Q. Was that in Nebraska?

ANDY RODDICK: No, it was Texas.

Q. Back to Euro Cup, do you think the foul against Britain was legitimate on the goal or not?

ANDY RODDICK: As much as I would love to say it was not legitimate, I mean, the guy's arm was on the goalie's shoulder. I'm not going to pretend to know all the rules and regulations, whatnot, but there was some contact there. Usually they're pretty strict with contact with the goalie.

Q. Did you ever play recreational soccer?

ANDY RODDICK: Yes, it was bad.

Q. What position did you play?

ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. The one in the front.

Q. Striker?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Yeah, but when you're like eight and you're the athletic kid, you don't have to pass or anything, you just kick the ball and run around everybody, right? It's not quite as complicated as this.

Q. Have you ever had a major insight of watching video of an old champion, somebody's serve or something?

ANDY RODDICK: Not so much. I've always been a big fan of just playing to what you got. You know, I see a lot of coaches who do this thing with Juniors. "I teach my kids to hit their forehand like Andre, their serve like Pete." I just ask them, "Why aren't your kids a lot better?" I think you have to play with what you've got. You can't make a young kid serve like Pete Sampras. It's just not going to happen. I think you have to play to their strengths. That's kind of always been my belief. I mean, I noticed a lot more kind of what they do in certain times, you know. I used to watch Pete and Andre, how they went about their day-to-day business, making sure they stretch, their icing, their professionalism. I think I picked up on that more so than trying to kind of copy them.

Q. Do you think the game is overcoached?

ANDY RODDICK: "Overcoached"?

Q. In a lot of instances.

ANDY RODDICK: How so? They sit on the sideline.

Q. Picking a style.

ANDY RODDICK: I think people complicate things sometimes. Yeah, absolutely. I think people complicate things. I mean, one of the coolest things about working with Brad was he came in and he's like, "Listen, we're going to simplify things. You're going to take what you got, enforce it on your opponent. We're going to study each opponent, know what they do. We're going to take your game and have a definite game plan." It wasn't all this technical mumbo-jumbo, all that. He just made it very simple.

Q. What did you learn most from the Borg film?

ANDY RODDICK: You mean, the documentary?

Q. Yes.

ANDY RODDICK: I told you earlier. Obviously, I didn't know much about his personality because all I watched was old matches. So they kind of showed some behind-the-scenes stuff. It was pretty cool to see.

Q. How did you develop your distinctive serve, feet together, short swing?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think I told this before. But I was 16 and I was struggling and I used to have the whole serve where you bring the foot up. Basically I just threw it up and hit it hard because I was mad, and it went in. I did it again, and it went in again. And we're here.

End of FastScripts….

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