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June 24, 2004

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Ladies and Gentlemen, Andy Roddick.

Q. So was Wayne the weakest link?

ANDY RODDICK: It was probably me again (laughter).

Q. Have you got your livestock straightened out this year?

ANDY RODDICK: I had no idea, man. But you know what, I knew going in that my ignorance was going to shine through. I was just happy it happened later rather than sooner.

Q. Was it fun? Were you nervous?

ANDY RODDICK: Oh, I was nervous. I was very nervous. You know, you would be shocked at the stuff I don't know (laughter). But it was interesting.

Q. But "forehand"?

ANDY RODDICK: I couldn't understand her accent half the time. She talks fast, and I'm thinking -- I'm thinking she's going to like make fun of me or something. But you're right, there's not much excuse.

Q. When did they film it?

ANDY RODDICK: We did it last Friday.

Q. Who has a sharper wit, Anne Robinson, Brad Gilbert or the Saturday Night Live writers?

ANDY RODDICK: No, the Saturday Night Live writers, for sure. The stuff that went on behind the scenes in the rooms, they stuff they came up with kind of off the top of their head, I was pretty amazed.

Q. Really cutting-edge stuff?

ANDY RODDICK: Just hilarious. I basically just sat in a room and laughed for an entire week. It was pretty fun.

Q. Was it more nerve-wracking to be on that show than it is on a tennis court?

ANDY RODDICK: No, probably not, because worst-case scenario on that show is, you know, I miss questions and I leave, which really won't affect me the next day too much. Whereas, this might.

Q. Happy with your play?

ANDY RODDICK: I felt -- it was tough out there. The conditions, you know, the wind was swirling in there. I was not feeling comfortable out there. I got through it. You know, I feel like there's a lot of room for improvement from today. But, you know, I had a lot of, you know, built-up, you know, kind of energy. You know, I mean, I had to play on it, too. I got through. That's the thing I was looking for.

Q. How late were you here yesterday?

ANDY RODDICK: I got here about 10 and left at about 7:30.

Q. Going on those sort of shows, is that part of kind of building up a new image for yourself?

ANDY RODDICK: New image? What was my old image?

Q. I'm not sure.

ANDY RODDICK: No, it was for fun. The winner had a chance to get a lot of money for charity. You know, I'm always willing to do it. I have a foundation, so that was probably the goal. I probably should have known that I didn't have much chance, but...

Q. Harassment in the locker room yesterday? Were people talking about it to you?

ANDY RODDICK: You guys think you're clever with your livestock questions. I've heard it six times already (laughter). Anything you guys are coming up with, yeah.

Q. After the second set, was that a fist pump and a "come on"?


Q. I thought Lleyton had that sort of trademarked.

ANDY RODDICK: He's the only person that ever says "come on" on a tennis court?

Q. With a fist pump and the "come on."

ANDY RODDICK: Trademarking? That would be like trying to trademark taking a sip of Coke in the tennis world. I didn't realize you weren't allowed to fist pump and say "come on." I don't know if I kind of got the thing right, but I kind of tried to do it my way. I didn't really realize I did it.

Q. Is it a strange feeling, it's Thursday and you've only played one match?

ANDY RODDICK: That doesn't happen often, no. But, you know, it's Wimbledon. I think you kind of have to expect it sometimes, and just do your best to roll with the punches.

Q. What did you do yesterday all day waiting it out?

ANDY RODDICK: I struggle. I mean, I'm not good for sitting around with nothing to do. My boredom was killing me. But got through it, I guess.

Q. In addition to starring in the TV series, you became a star in the Beano.

ANDY RODDICK: That's the cartoon?

Q. Can you tell us how that came about?

ANDY RODDICK: I really didn't know much about it, obviously being from the States. But my PR people came and said they wanted to do a cartoon. I really didn't have much to do with it, to be honest. You know, it sounded like a cool thing. It was for kids. You know, so, it sounded like a good idea.

Q. Dennis the Menace is a huge star in this country.

ANDY RODDICK: That's what I was called when I was younger. It's fitting.

Q. Anything you learned in the last year that helped go through the day maybe a year or two ago you would have gone nuts, but able to show your patience a little better because of Brad or anything like that?

ANDY RODDICK: No. I was equally nuts. I always have to be doing something. So yesterday was a struggle. I was walking around the players lounge, you know, wear out my shoes.

Q. Roger Federer was very impressive on Monday. What do you think he'd have made of your performance today?

ANDY RODDICK: Don't know. It really doesn't matter, to be honest. You know, it's early on. You know, there's a lot of tennis to be played before, you know, that becomes relevant.

Q. What memories do you have of watching Martina Navratilova play when you were a kid?

ANDY RODDICK: I remember I think the one year she beat Garrison in the final. I think that was one of the first times I had watched her play and sat through a whole match. But she's amazing. You know, I mean, there's not much more you can say. It's pretty incredible what she did. And she's probably the only one who thought it was a good idea, and she kind of proved a lot of people wrong.

Q. Are you rooting for her now as she plays her second-round match and perhaps goes even more distant into the draw?

ANDY RODDICK: Oh, sure. It will create interest. You know, anything that brings interest to this game and gives people something to talk about is healthy. I'm cheering for her.

Q. What does age 47, this kind of performance, say to you?

ANDY RODDICK: She's a -- not every 47-year-old can do that, huh? I mean, she's a pretty special woman.

Q. Who do you think has it harder, you during the US Open, or Tim here?

ANDY RODDICK: Oh, hands down Tim.

Q. Can you talk about, since you know a bit about what it's like to be in that kind of spotlight, when you observe just how people react to him.

ANDY RODDICK: I mean, I think I can relate to it but on a much, much smaller stage. I was kind of the favorite going into the US Open last year, so it was at an all-time high for me. But at the same time they're talking about me a little bit, and other sports a lot. Whereas I think this year's a little bit different with the Euro2004 going on. It's not as bad as I've seen the other years. I mean, it's pretty intense. You know, I don't think I've ever been through something, you know, quite as large as that.

Q. You were out on the practice courts with Sjeng Schalken the other day. Can you talk about what that fire in Italy, how it's affected you, if there's kind of a unique bond that you and Sjeng have developed?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think there is. I mean, anytime you share an experience that's pretty traumatic, with someone, there's always something there. I've been asked that question this week. I don't know what that bond is, but there's something a little different there. That's kind of neat.

Q. How did that affect you, that experience?

ANDY RODDICK: It rattled me for about a week. Rome was probably the first time in my life, I was out on the court and could care less if I won or lost. I wanted to go home and I wanted to see my family. After about a week of that, you know, my boredom set in and I was ready to go again.

Q. Looking back psychologically on that US Open, how important was it for you to actually win a Slam?

ANDY RODDICK: It was huge. Now I bought myself some time so you guys can't get on me for another, what, Slam or two at least.

Q. But beyond that, beyond us, to you personally, being able to actually achieve that goal?

ANDY RODDICK: It was amazing. It was my ultimate dream in tennis. You know, I wanted to win the US Open. To be able to achieve that, you know, I really proved something to myself. Going in as a favorite, then backing it up, you know, it was a big confidence builder for me.

Q. Any sense among the American men here to sort of show that Paris was a fluke?

ANDY RODDICK: Fluke would imply that we had been doing well on the clay leading up to it and then bombed out there. I don't think so. We don't have this kind of thing going against Paris. We just didn't play well this year. You know, it's as simple as that. I haven't talked about it with any of the other young guys or Andre or anybody. I mean, it's not brought up. You know, there's no reason to dwell on it for us. It's new tournament. Wimbledon has nothing to do with a month ago.

Q. You've had an interesting year, a public romance, your Q rating is rising. Have you learned anything about being a celebrity outside of being a tennis player this year that you would maybe do differently in the future or just things you're going to have to deal with?

ANDY RODDICK: There were a lot of questions in there.

Q. Have you learned anything about being a celebrity that you're going to have to deal with from here on out?

ANDY RODDICK: I mean, people try to make a big deal of it, I sit here and cry, talk about how hard it is, but it's not. You know, it's all right. It's just something you deal with. Whether it means stopping, taking a couple more pictures, that's about it. That's the way I see it. When I am home, I kind of live a -- I try to live a quiet life. You know, I don't try to bait the media into a, you know, frenzy or anything like that. You know, that's just the way it is. Obviously, it's a learning experience. But for me it hasn't been a really difficult one.

Q. It's not just the English at Wimbledon, it's the Australians in Melbourne and the French in Paris. I mean, it's been a long time since any of the home countries have won, except for the Americans. Why do you think it is that Americans don't have a problem winning their own Slam, and everybody else seems to have a problem?

ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I mean, I think it has something to do with the fact that we've had a couple of guys named Agassi and Sampras come along. You know, in any country, they were a couple of the best players in the world. You know, I think it has a lot more to do with players, you know, the depth of players. I mean, we've had -- we've been lucky enough to have tons of guys who have been No. 1 in the world or are contending consistently. I think it's just a battle of odds. I mean, if you have eight guys throughout a span of 20 years who are contending every year, some are going to win.

Q. Because they're there, does that take pressure off the next generation? It's happened so often, there's not that pressure?

ANDY RODDICK: I don't think so. I think, just judging from my experience, I think there's pressure to uphold the tradition of it.

Q. You seem to understand that personality is a big part of tennis, that allowing the public and the media in is an important part of this sport. Is that fair to say? Do you think you maybe understand that, whereas some of the others don't?

ANDY RODDICK: I'm not going to speak for anybody else. I think as players and as, you know, the stars of the sport, personally I live this amazing life because of what tennis has given to me. You know, it's as simple as that. I feel like it is one of my responsibilities to give back and help where I can. You know, I'm still learning what that is and how to go about it. But, you know, if I can do anything to kind of help promote the game and make it bigger, then I will.

Q. Is tennis like boxing in that people need to feel like they know the person a little bit before they can get behind them?

ANDY RODDICK: Maybe. I don't know. I'm not sure. It's tough from the inside looking out. So I guess you guys would know better than me.

Q. Back to Tuesday, or maybe even Monday, this was a match that you were supposed to win. As you know, last year at this tournament Lleyton Hewitt had a match he was supposed to win.

ANDY RODDICK: My guy was only 5'9" today.

Q. Asking Roger Federer a couple of days ago what sort of mental preparation he goes through before that key first-round match at a Grand Slam, he was talking about how much he thinks about the match, gets him out of the sense of "I'm going to win this because I'm favoured." What is your mental preparation knowing that first-round match is difficult?

ANDY RODDICK: First rounds at Slams, they're always a bit jittery. I don't ever feel totally comfortable. There's a lot of buildup. There's a lot of hype around obviously the Grand Slams. You can't wait to get out there. You're anxious. So there's a lot that goes into it. You know, if someone comes out and they have no pressure and they're just trying to knock off a big name, you know, it can create for some interesting things sometimes.

End of FastScripts….

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