August 18, 2004
THE MODERATOR: First question.
Q. How flat were you feeling out there after yesterday?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I felt okay, you know, physically, mentally. You know, that's not a factor. You know, we're here playing. He was here late also. He played one more match than I did yesterday, so that's not a reason or an excuse.
Q. What is the reason then?
ANDY RODDICK: I think you have to tip your hat to Fernando, first of all. You know, normally when you play Fernando, there's a couple more valleys along with those peaks. You know he's going to hit some amazing shots, but sometimes it will get away from him a little bit. Today he just played great all the way through. When I saw he was playing offense on my offense, I knew it was going to be a long day.
Q. You played such an outstanding match last night. When you played those matches in the past, is there any -- something you tell yourself about a match you have to play the next day because you do expend so much energy?
ANDY RODDICK: No. You just do the normal things, you know, hydrate, make sure you get yourself food, make sure, you know, you're ready as much as possible. But normally, you know, if you're in a new tournament and you kind of have a tough one and you get through it, you know, my history has been to kind of come out and play a little bit better the next day. You know, unfortunately it just wasn't the case today.
Q. You talked last night about the emotional rollercoaster of the Olympics. How big, therefore, is the disappointment today?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm gutted right now. You know, it's not every day we get to play this. You can't say "next year." So, you know, it's tough. But, you know, that's part of it. I'm thankful that I got the opportunity to play here. I just didn't capitalize on it. But, you know, it was a great experience anyways.
Q. On that same subject, can you compare this loss to others? A lot of people will say it's not the biggest thing in your sport, not like losing the US Open.
ANDY RODDICK: I've lost the US Open, you know. This is tough. I mean, I think with each player, it's personal, how big it is. Some guys really don't care that much. I cared a lot, you know, so... It's not the biggest thing in our sport, but it's the biggest thing in sports. So, you know, there's not a whole lot of consolation with saying it's not the biggest thing in our sport right now.
Q. How big a role did the high temperatures here in Athens play, at least in your first match and since then? Has that been affecting you at all?
ANDY RODDICK: Zero for me. I mean, we played, you know, in Indianapolis in the summer, then Toronto in the summer, then Cincinnati in the summer. I mean, it's not a whole lot different. I'm from Florida and Texas, so I've seen hot weather before.
Q. Will you be staying on to support Mardy, assuming he wins tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, absolutely. And Taylor just won. I definitely think I'm going to stay a couple of days and support those guys, maybe try to catch some other events, as well. I definitely want to come out and watch them and help them as much as I can.
Q. Gonzalez, we all know, is a fine player with explosive shots, but there are also times when he plays that he can go off the boil. Were you expecting that at any stage?
ANDY RODDICK: Like I said, normally there are a lot more valleys with his peaks. You know, I've seen him play like this before. This isn't just a total, you know, fluke match for him. He's capable of doing this. He's beaten a lot of good players. You know, but I'm a little upset with the service game I played in the first set. He's definitely a confidence player. You know, I played one bad service game, and, you know, he was just -- he was pretty much on fire after that. But, you know, I may have brought it on myself or at least helped with it a little bit.
Q. What was the discussion you were having with the chair umpire?
ANDY RODDICK: I was just asking where he was staying.
Q. Were you trying to get yourself fired up a little bit?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I don't know what I was doing.
Q. Is there anything that you particularly want to do or experience about the Olympics while you're still here?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. But I got all the time in the world now, so I'll probably figure that out.
Q. One of the themes of the Games has been with the basketball team losing, then barely winning, this whole idea of countries aren't afraid of the United States. Tennis is different because you play everybody. Is there a difference, though, playing here against somebody versus playing somebody at the US Open, French Open, somewhere else? Does that take on more of an importance?
ANDY RODDICK: For?
Q. For you being from the United States.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think so. You know, I mean, obviously countries matter more here because you're playing for your country. But if you're asking if it's like people really want to beat Americans here, I don't know. I think Fernando would have wanted to beat anybody he was playing against today. Like you said, I don't think that's as much of a factor in tennis because we see each other every week. You know, it's not like these people are jonesing for four years to play against the US. I mean, we play each other every week. So I don't think that that's much of a factor here in tennis.
Q. The overrule at 5-4, did that become a distraction to you later during the changeovers, then after the first game in the second set?
ANDY RODDICK: Was that when I was talking to him?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, it wasn't a distraction. It happens, you know, once a match with someone talking to an umpire. It's not like it's that big of a deal. I wasn't going crazy. I was pretty even-keeled. You know, I just had a question. I just wanted to discuss it a little bit.
Q. Was winning a medal something you thought about since you were a kid? Is it something that has been a goal for you?
ANDY RODDICK: It still is. It's disappointing, you know, especially you see some of the American athletes that already have their hardware. Yeah, I mean, it's definitely something that, you know, I thought of. But I think everybody here thinks of it, so... You know, I'm not in a different boat than a lot of other athletes here.
Q. You were mentioning a while back in a conference call that you were watching the Sydney Olympics thinking it would be great to be there. Do you think your generation might be the first generation of tennis players, particularly men, who really began to focus on this, it will become a bigger deal than it has been?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it seems that way. You know, like years past, no one's taken a pass on an invitation to the Olympics. I know we had three, four guys fighting their tails off for the last spot. You know, it wasn't like, "Okay, we'll go play." We were all really, really excited to go play. So, you know, I can't speak on behalf of generations past, but we were pretty excited to come here.
Q. How long will it take to put this aside? When do you start preparing for and thinking about the US Open?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, right now. That's what's ahead of me. I'm not big on looking back. You know, there's nothing I can do now about the match that I just played. You know, obviously you think about it and stuff, but I'm not going to kill myself. I have no control over what just happened now. On the court, maybe I can get upset because I'm out there and I have, you know, a little bit of control. But right now I'm looking forward. You know, I got a pretty big tournament coming up right now. So, you know, I'll definitely focus on that.
Q. Have you thought at all yet about or can you tell us now your thoughts on defending a Grand Slam title for the first time?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I don't know. I don't know how it's going to feel because I haven't done it before. Obviously, it's a very special place for me and I'm sure, you know, some great memories will come back when I'm walking through there. But at the same time, that's not a time to reminisce. You know, I want to go in there and give it a run.
Q. Could you say again what this Olympic experience was like for you, meeting people like Rulon Gardner, whether it was worth it in a busy schedule?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, absolutely. With the exception of today's match, possibly more victories, I wouldn't change a thing. It's definitely been one of the cooler experiences in my life. You know, obviously I'm disappointed now, but when I look back on it, you know, I'll have a lot of fond memories, as well.
Q. How is the atmosphere different? US Open, Wimbledon, French, how is this atmosphere different competitively?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, there's not a whole lot of fans that are in the middle. You're either for one guy or you're for another guy. But, I mean, do you mean as far as fan support?
Q. Just the whole atmosphere.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's different. It's totally different. In other tournaments, we're allowed to be selfish and just be with our team and pretty much do what we want. You know, here it's a lot more team-oriented, which I've had a blast with, which has been a lot of fun. You know, I've had a great time, you know, basically staying in a college dorm room and kind of getting back to it. It's been great, and it really makes me realize how lucky I am on a regular basis. I mean, I'm pretty spoiled. But I've had an absolute blast with it. It's been great.
Q. You were just saying moments ago about seeing other athletes with "hardware." Who have you seen? Have you spoken to any of the other athletes that have won medals so far?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Our men's gymnastics team had a silver. That looked real nice. I'm sure gold looks even better.
Q. Has the Australian water polo team won their bet yet?
ANDY RODDICK: No, and they're not going to.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.