March 19, 2004
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.
Q. As you said yesterday, there's not much between you when you two play. Same again today.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I told him when we shook hands that next time we'll have to play a close one.
Q. What did he say?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. He kind of just really didn't say much. I don't know. I really wasn't listening.
Q. How are you feeling after this match?
ANDY RODDICK: Obviously, I'm pissed off, I'm disappointed. I didn't play horribly. You know, I played pretty well. I gave myself a chance to win there in the second set. He played an amazing game to break up until I duffed that overhead in the third. But to get to Love-40, I mean, there wasn't much I could have done to prevent it. I hit a 113 serve up the T, he kind of hit it like there wasn't a whole lot behind it, came in, you know, hit a clean winner off the next one. Credit goes to him. He just toughed me out.
Q. In a sense you read the match perfectly because you said he gets so much good ball back in play, gives himself a chance in so many rallies that other players wouldn't do.
ANDY RODDICK: Absolutely. I don't know quite how to explain it, but he has insane control of his racquet head where he can take a 130 serve and almost just swing about that much and poke it deep. You know, that's what makes him such a good player, I guess, or one of the things that makes him such a good player.
Q. What are the others?
ANDY RODDICK: There's lots. He volleys okay, in case you didn't notice that (smiling). He can hit a couple half-volley dropshot winners that aren't very annoying at all.
Q. Your little volley winner for the first set.
ANDY RODDICK: Did you like that? That's my quota for the year.
Q. Did you play that match on your terms or was it played on his?
ANDY RODDICK: I think I played it more on my terms than maybe, you know, a couple of the other ones. In the second set breaker, started off with a double, pulled a forehand. If I make those, maybe it's 3-1. Such little difference. But, you know, he just took it to me in that 4-All game. I don't know, whatever, whenever I got broken. But, you know, he was just too good in that game.
Q. He started very well, the match, didn't he, getting to 4-2?
ANDY RODDICK: It's tough, that first game, you know, I started with a double, missed a forehand. When you're in a hole against Tim, you know you're going to have to play at least a -- I'm not going to just have my serve to bail me out against Tim. He's going to get something in play. He's going to make you hit it. That's definitely not the way I wanted to start.
Q. Did you have a good look at the on match point, his serve? Were you handcuffed?
ANDY RODDICK: I thought I had a pretty good read on it. I think I was just a little out in front of it. It was weird because it wasn't quite a kick and it wasn't flat, which is kind of what he was going to, either one or the other. You know, I was a little bit out in front of it. It was probably, you know, this much difference. I just pulled it.
Q. The fact that he's a serve-and-volleyer, very consistently, that's such a rare look, is that a factor?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, yes and no. I played Escude the round before, so that was a pretty good almost warm-up for Tim because he does play serve and volley, as well. You know, serve-and-volleyers, it's tough and then it's not tough because you don't know what to expect. I don't think he beat me with his serve and volley today. His shot that he hit great today when I was returning was he'd stay back, take the first forehand, kind of bully it to one of the corners, then come in. He wasn't going pure serve and volley all the time. I though he played that shot great today a couple times today. I thought I had him handcuffed on the baseline. He was able to do something with it, and on big points, as well.
Q. His variety is hard to read?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, he's not predictable at all.
Q. You've been full of compliments for him for the last two or three days. Does it surprise you that over the years he's won one Masters Series and no slams, with the class and quality he's got?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, but, you know, if you look at almost who he's lost to in the slams, they're pretty good players. Surprised me that maybe he hadn't just broken through to get one. But, you know, if it was that easy, everyone would do it, you know.
Q. What do you think you did differently when you beat him at The Open that you didn't do today?
ANDY RODDICK: It was just a matter of winning the bigger points. I don't think I lost one big point at The Open. You know, I don't think he played as well. You know, our matches have been so close. I could easily just as easily be up 4-0 as down 3-1. But that's just the way the -- the nature of the beast. That's the way it goes. Luckily at The Open, kind of everything just went my way in that match, a little bit more so than the others.
Q. Were the lady fans distracting you or just him getting to you?
ANDY RODDICK: No, it was probably just me not wanting to blame myself.
Q. Just assess your season. I know we're not that deep in. One title, I think you've lost four close matches.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. Do you feel like you're progressing? What else do you have to do to get to where you want to go?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's -- you know, it's been a little frustrating because it surprised the heck out of me yesterday. I was watching -- I don't feel like I've played my best tennis. I feel like I'm really on the verge of playing really good ball. It's just, you know, losing matches like today, where I feel like I have a chance, maybe just not getting to that next step. So it's a little frustrating. But I'm not too worried. I mean, maybe I'm just making up for all the close matches I won last summer, I don't know. Maybe it's evening out. But it surprised me because -- I really haven't paid too much attention to the race or anything like that. I was watching yesterday. They showed the graphic that before Andre's match I was three in the race still somehow. So that was kind of -- that was nice to see, that, you know, even though I feel like I can still definitely improve upon the results that I've had so far this year, that I'm kind of still in the top little echelon.
Q. When did you last play your very best tennis, would you say?
ANDY RODDICK: That's tough to say. Maybe I've only played my best tennis once in my life. It's tough to say. But I don't know. That's a tough question.
Q. Would you use the run into The Open and The Open?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think so. I think anytime you can win 19 matches in a row, I think that's kind of the standard - at least for me. But, you know, at the same time that's not what I'm looking to get to. I'm looking to try to kind of get past that.
Q. 7 of 11 sets against Henman with you have gone into tiebreakers. Why do you think so many go into tiebreakers?
ANDY RODDICK: Because we each get to 6.
Q. You seem very evenly matched up?
ANDY RODDICK: We are very evenly matched up, like we've talked about. You know, in two of my three losses, I've had match point against him. In the other, I lost 6-6. I'm not sure why. Obviously it's a good match-up. Besides that, I'm not really sure.
Q. Does this make Miami a I don't want to say mandatory title run, but given what's happened over the past month and a half, how important is it for you to go to Miami and make another statement?
ANDY RODDICK: I love the crisis now, it's great.
Q. We have to have something to write about.
ANDY RODDICK: I guess so. That must mean I'm getting good. No, I mean, I'd love to get through to a semi where you really feel like you're within striking distance of getting a title. But more importantly, I just need to pull out a couple tough wins. I feel like I'm playing a lot better now than when I came to that tournament. You know, I just got to try to keep that up, keep that going into Miami.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.