August 17, 2004
THE MODERATOR: First question for Andy, please.
Q. Were you aware before you came in that Federer lost?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. How did you get that information?
ANDY RODDICK: I made the mistake of Roger said, "Good match." And I said, "What was your score?" He said, "I lost 7-5 in the third." I said, "Sorry."
Q. During the match?
ANDY RODDICK: When I was playing?
ANDY RODDICK: You said, "Before you came in here."
Q. Oh, I'm sorry.
ANDY RODDICK: No, I asked him in the locker room. Sorry.
Q. What were your impressions? Kind of opens the door for you.
ANDY RODDICK: Like I've said all week and all month and for the last two months, all this talk of Roger and I is irrelevant until it actually comes to fruition. Coming into today, we were four matches away from not even being relevant to the situation. You know, so I still have to play my tournament, you know. I have a long ways to go, whether Roger is in the tournament or not.
Q. What is your feelings from this match against Haas?
ANDY RODDICK: It was tough. I mean, felt like it was up and down, like the momentum was changing all the time. You know, this Olympic tennis thing is a lot different than anything I've encountered, you know. I was pretty nervous out there tonight. You know, but we both fought so hard, it's tough to see someone lose. But I'm happy to still be alive in this tournament.
Q. Do you think that could be the reason - one of the reasons - why Roger lost today?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know, I'm not the one to ask about that, you know. You probably have to ask him. I can only speak for what I was feeling, and it's a totally different thing than anything I've played in.
Q. In which respect?
ANDY RODDICK: It's hard to pinpoint it. I mean, with the crowd, you are not playing for yourself, you know. You're playing for your country. It's a lot easier to accept defeat when it's just on you. But, you know, when you're with all the athletes in the village, there's this hope around the village everywhere - not just for myself but for all the athletes. It's exciting and it's a fun nervous - don't get me wrong. It's really exciting but nerve-wracking nonetheless.
Q. Is this something you didn't expect coming in to Athens?
ANDY RODDICK: I had no idea what to expect because I had never been through it before, you know. You have expectations and you think you know. I've been in pretty much every situation in tennis already - except this one. So I really didn't know what to expect. I was trying to come in with an open mind. I think this match was good for me because maybe I got -- usually when you have a really tough match, the next day you can come back a little more relaxed. Hopefully that will be the case for me.
Q. What do you think of Fernando Gonzalez, your next opponent?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, he's a good player. He hits the ball huge. These fast conditions, he's very dangerous because he hits the ball so hard. We've had some tough matches in the past so I'm expecting another one tomorrow.
Q. Tommy has been off the tour. Talk about do you feel that he'll be a real force in '05, should he stay healthy?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I don't see any reason why not. I mean, Tommy Haas is a Top 10, Top 15 player for sure. That's not the greatest compliment he should ever receive by me saying that, to be honest. I mean, he's playing well. You know, if you look at the people that he's lost to, he's only been losing to the guys that have been doing really well in tournaments. And, you know, I don't see any reason why he shouldn't be a force in '05.
Q. Did the shouting of the crowd bother you?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. You know, it's Olympic tennis. Maybe the clap right before I served every time was a little nerve -- was a little much. I figured that would get boring after two hours. But maybe that's just me (smiling).
Q. Is it a change of pace to look out there and see Venus cheering you on, even Mardy cheering you on? You've got all the American players up there.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. You don't ever see them unless it's Davis Cup.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I'd like to disagree with you. I mean, I think we -- the young American male players, we're always pretty much behind each other. It's been tougher and tougher for me to go out and watch them as much as I used to. But I think we always have that support. But, you know, to have the whole women's team out there and the whole men's team out there and other US Olympians, it's part of that whole thing that I've been talking about.
Q. There was some talk today about water polo from Mardy, the whole pin thing.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. Are you playing on staying in the village the whole time through should you make it to the finals?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, absolutely. There's no reason not to. You know, it's a great experience. I've been having a lot of fun. I've been getting great nights' rests. Yeah, I mean, that's about it. I'm not gonna do the flip-flop on hotels to village. I'm just going to stay in one place.
Q. Any of the water polo Australian women's team got to you yet?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I'm quicker than they are (smiling).
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.