June 30, 2003
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy Roddick, please.
Q. That very difficult game early in the third where your second serve bailed you out. The final breakpoint, did you get a good kicker on that, help from the lawn?
ANDY RODDICK: Which one?
Q. Third game, four breakpoints.
ANDY RODDICK: I hit a serve, and it did what? He missed it?
Q. Yes, fourth breakpoint, held serve for you.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't remember, to be honest. I was hitting a lot of second serves that game. The part I do remember, maybe a little bit in the second set and early in the third, I wasn't making many first serves for about a four-game stretch. You know, so a lot of second serves to remember.
Q. Can you talk about getting through? You've had a very tough draw to this point, and you're still standing.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, you know, came in. Brad's philosophy is if you want to win a Grand Slam, you've got to win seven matches. You've got to knock people down as they come, regardless, anytime, you've got to win seven matches. That's kind of the approach that I've taken. Win three sets every other day, do that seven times.
Q. You had 24 net winners, 29 times coming in. Seems like that -- every match you're showing yourself.
ANDY RODDICK: I came in more today?
Q. Yes. Most importantly, it looks like you won all but five.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, early on, I mean, he was hitting the ball very big from the baseline. And he kind of got into a groove there for a little while, so I thought I wanted to try to do something to mix it up. You know, the other matches I had kind of been controlling the points from the baseline, kind of doing what I wanted. But he's a big, strong guy. Even when I try to bully him to one of the corners, he can still come up with good shots of his own. It's definitely something I tried to do the more the match went on.
Q. Obviously, in every champion's career, a time where he goes from talented potential to champion. What do you think is the most important part of making that step? Do you think perhaps this is your step?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. Ask me in six days.
Q. When your first serve goes off like that, what is your mental game plan to get it back?
ANDY RODDICK: I just tried to, you know, concentrate on the things -- I'm trying not to miss-hit it in the net, at least give it a chance to go in. Luckily enough, you know, my second serve's big enough, it's not a total crisis. I try to get it back on. I'm not trying to fix things technically. I think maybe ball placement or ball toss or something. You know, you just kind of try little things until you get in your groove again.
Q. Ever take something off of it a couple times?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. When I take off of it, I miss more. Maybe during those games I wasn't going for it enough.
Q. You must have been really pleased with your mental toughness early in the third. It looked like you were maybe on the ropes. He was playing well.
ANDY RODDICK: He definitely could have taken the match over had he gotten one of those breaks. A little bit to do with me, a little bit to do with him. I held. And he didn't play a very good game later on in the third set. I got a break then. I mean, he was missing balls. I didn't do much to break him there. You know, I didn't mind it.
Q. Do you think he ran out of steam a bit today?
ANDY RODDICK: He?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think so. Didn't seem like it from my end. He had a couple days to rest. I'm sure he didn't do too much strenuous activity this weekend. He had a two-day weekend. You know, he's in such good shape, I doubt it.
Q. When you look at your opponents, Agassi is having a bit of a tough time, Tim has expectation from the public. Do you see that for you now as an advantage? Now you have a slight edge.
ANDY RODDICK: Slight edge in the fact they're still out there playing and I'm through. That could change in less than an hour. You know, I don't think so. I mean, people talk about, you know, Tim's expectations and all that. But this is the tournament he's done his best at throughout his career as far as Grand Slams go. I don't know if it helps him or hurts him or what. By far, he's performed best at Grand Slams here at this tournament.
Q. When you're on your home turf, when you're playing in the US, how difficult is it when everyone says that you're the man?
ANDY RODDICK: See, I've never been the man in the US. There's always been a couple guys named Pete and Andre. So I really wouldn't know.
Q. On your home turf, do you feel any kind of pressure?
ANDY RODDICK: I've always played better in the States. Last couple weeks, I've started playing pretty well in Europe. But for the most part, you know, I've done better in the States.
Q. Andre has gone out, so you might be the main man.
ANDY RODDICK: There are eight guys still in it at the end of the day. I'm just one of them. I'm just going to try to win three sets in two days. That's the game plan; I'm sticking to it.
ANDY RODDICK: He's a good player. Won matches for years and years and years and years. Good volleys. He's going to try to be all over the net. He's not going to want to stay back too much. Good returns. Takes them really early. Kind of different from what I've seen so far. You know, I lost to him last year on grass. I'm definitely looking to get a win here.
Q. You seem to be enjoying a great working relationship with Brad. Do you talk to Tarik?
ANDY RODDICK: I got an e-mail from Tarik this morning. You know, he said, "Good job. Keep going. Try to take it all the way." We have plans to go to dinner when I get back. My friendship with Tarik will never be gone.
Q. Your loss to Bjorkman last year was where?
ANDY RODDICK: Nottingham.
Q. Is that the only time you've met with him?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. I understand it is the third time you play with Paradorn. Did you find him different from the previous play with him?
ANDY RODDICK: For sure. The first time I played him was before he had his big rise into the Top 15 in the world. I played him last year kind of when he was on his hot streak, winning tournaments at the end of the year. I played him in Paris and lost. Obviously, it's different because it's a different court surface. You know, a little different surroundings. Here at Centre Court at Wimbledon here. All these different things.
Q. You said there are other guys left in the draw. Of those guys, is there one you could say could possibly be the biggest threat outside the obvious ones?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes, the next one, Jonas Bjorkman. He's my biggest threat right now because he's the guy I got to play next.
Q. How does it feel to be the only American left?
ANDY RODDICK: Little weird, huh?
Q. Usually a couple other guys around.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, for sure. You know, I don't know. I haven't really thought about it. I don't think it's going to be too much of a factor. I'm just here playing my tournament. I'm not really worried about the way anybody else is going.
Q. Mark Philippoussis has been injured a lot the last couple years. Is there a sense in the locker room that he's a really dangerous guy because obviously he has the big serve, that if he's healthy, you can never discount him? Do you think maybe people in the locker room are less surprised by this result than outsiders might be?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, as long as you have a serve like his, you're going to be in matches. Maybe a little bit of the match toughness is tough to get back when you first come back. In a tiebreaker, it's a point here or there. He's been playing pretty much all year healthy. You know, he's had his time to get it back. Before his injuries, he was always a Top 15 player. He won tournaments and beat big names. You know, it's not too much of a surprise. He's always had the game.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.