June 23, 2003
MODERATOR: Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. Can I present Andy Roddick.
Q. That must have been a nice way to start.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, for sure. You know, it's always difficult getting out of the gates at a tournament. I started off pretty fast, finished off the first set pretty quick and stayed strong through.
Q. There's a good piece today in the Herald Tribune about your work with Brad. How did you guys connect? Where has he helped you?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, after Tarik and I came to the conclusion we weren't going to work anymore, you know, I had a couple coaches that I was thinking of. You know, I really thought about it. And his name excited me the most. When I talked to him, he was really excited, really passionate about it. He said he could be there in a day from the States. So that was pretty impressive for me. You know, he's just very positive all the time. You know, I can sense his excitement about things. So it rubs off.
Q. This hasn't been a tournament in the past that necessarily you walk on the grounds and you have great confidence, but the surface is so good for you, and then Queen's. Did you walk in thinking, "I like the grass, this place is okay"?
ANDY RODDICK: I feel like I have a bit more of an edge this year than I have in Wimbledons past. Sometimes I came in here , I knew the surface was good for me, but it's a matter of doing it, as well. After Queen's I was feeling very confident. I'm pleased with the way I started off here.
Q. Brad said the only thing he really changed is your hat. The Freddie Couples visor. Can you talk about that?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, he said I looked too much like Freddie Couples with my visor. I couldn't take that. I had to ditch it.
Q. Brad said all he wanted to do was have you thinking about hold serve, break serve when you can. Is it really that easy to explain?
ANDY RODDICK: There's probably some stuff that he doesn't want written in the papers, as well. You know, he says maybe take more chances on return games, you're going to hold serve 90-something percent of the time. It's ridiculous that you're playing bump-n-run tennis on somebody else's serve. That's one of the first things he told me.
Q. Your first serve percentage was good today. Can you talk about your serve.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I feel good. My percentages were pretty high in Queen's. I just tried to maintain that over the week of practice. And any time I'm in the high 60s, on a great day low 70s, I'm feeling good about my chances to hold.
Q. There's a lot of talk about the boycott of a future Grand Slam event. How do you feel about that? How do you think the public would feel about most of the men not showing up for something like the US Open?
ANDY RODDICK: To be honest, I wasn't even at the meeting. But I think the players are working with the ATP. The stuff I've heard is that they're going to do something like a charity event, so it's not totally about all that. But I'm honestly in the dark about a lot of the stuff. I'm here to play tennis.
Q. There's a lot of talk about the way the courts played last year. Obviously a great result to start with. How was the court playing? Were the bounces good?
ANDY RODDICK: A little tough to tell against Davide because his balls come through different than most players. He hits pretty flat. The ball comes through a little different. But it felt pretty slow out there. Compared to Queen's even, it was a little bit slower.
Q. There's a possibility you could be playing Greg Rusedski again. Are you looking forward to that?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah. Now I got through the first round. I think it's a tough draw for both of us. You know, it's probably worthy of being a quarterfinal, you know, round match. But, you know, that's the way it goes. I'm ready, I feel good. And, you know, I'm confident that he's going to have to play a good match to beat me. You know, go in there, who knows what's going to happen. But, you know, I feel good right now.
Q. Given what happened against Rusedski here last year, how big was that win for you in Queen's?
ANDY RODDICK: It was pretty big. You know, my draw at Queen's, I think I was something like 1-7 against the last four guys that I beat going into the tournament. So it was pretty big for me to go through and take out some of the people that I had struggled with before.
Q. If you play against Rusedski, it's going to be two of the biggest servers in the world. Who would you say is responsible for the serve that you have, which coach that you've worked with is most responsible, the technique you have with it? Is it possible to pin it to one coach or is it a combination? If so, which coaches?
ANDY RODDICK: Tarik was great in teaching me how to use it. Are you talking more technique?
Q. Yeah, maybe when you were much younger.
ANDY RODDICK: No, man, I just got pissed off in practice one day and went to the half motion. I hit two serves like, that worked for two serves, the rest is history.
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not lying to you. I promise.
Q. Looks like the defending champion is on his way out. Hewitt is down 30-Love, 5-4 in the third, two sets to one -- fourth set. We often get upsets at Grand Slams. This is a pretty big one, isn't it?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes and no. If you play a guy who is serving out of a tree, it's kind of tough to break consistently. Then, you know, you play maybe one or two bad games and that's the match. Normally Lleyton's great at, you know, getting through those tough matches and stuff. But every once in a while, it's going to catch you.
Q. Brad said on a radio station he was going to have you work with the Warriors trainer. Have you done that yet?
ANDY RODDICK: I flew back to San Francisco in between Queen's and Wimbledon (laughter). No.
Q. Is there anything from the game against Rusedski last year that you will use to your advantage?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, selective memory (smiling). Try to forget it.
Q. Over the years you praised Tarik a lot, you are close personally. How tough was it for you after the French to separate?
ANDY RODDICK: It was one of the toughest things I think both of us had to do. You know, it's tough to look at something when you're so close to someone on a personal base - such good friends with someone, you spend holidays with them - to kind of separate maybe business, you know, and personal life. You know, it's even tougher when the only reason I can give him is, you know, maybe I need a fresh voice. It's tough. I mean, I think he's a great coach. I was seconds -- days away from signing to a college. He just said, "Give me a couple months." I did. A couple months later, I was No. 1 in the world in Juniors. It was definitely a whirlwind with him. I definitely wouldn't be talking to you guys on a regular basis if it wasn't for him.
Q. How much do you credit Brad for Queen's and your good play today or how much of it is just you focusing on the things you need to focus on individually?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's great. He's definitely a spark. You know, I don't know if I would have split up with Tarik and gone no coach, I don't think I would have done as well as Queen's. Brad came in. It's exciting for both of us. It's almost rejuvenating. That makes it a lot of fun.
Q. It was interesting at Queen's when you said you'd eaten at the same restaurant six nights running. Can I ask where you're going to be eating tonight, if they have a few variations on the menu?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I haven't made up my mind yet. You know, I just felt it. I didn't have to go back there last night. I didn't try to push my luck. Good thing about the Grand Slams is you can split it up, because you got a day in between. Maybe I won't have to go to the same place every night.
Q. Since Queen's, have you been getting out and about a little bit?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. I just kind of have been hanging out, going out to dinner and stuff. But, you know, I haven't had much time for sight-seeing or anything like that.
Q. Do you feel over the last three or four weeks you have a different approach, become more focused?
ANDY RODDICK: More focused, more relaxed. You know, on the court I'm not getting as into it maybe. But maybe that keeps me into it over the long haul, instead of having peaks and valleys.
Q. You're on a lot of people's short list of favorites here. There's always so much attention here anyway. There are more distractions? Are you having to circumvent more of a circus-type atmosphere?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, I definitely notice more attention on me after Queen's. You know, I had a lot of media requests and stuff. But, you know, the same token, I'm confident in myself right now. You know, if I had, you know, six, seven, eight guys that I had to pick to win the tournament, I might throw myself in there at this point. You know, it comes with the territory. It's expected. It's not like it's a total shock.
Q. Hadn't had to ditch any Paparazzi?
ANDY RODDICK: No. They don't know who I am (smiling).
Q. Have you ever felt more confident going into a Grand Slam than you do now?
ANDY RODDICK: Not that I remember.
Q. Would a satisfactory result against Greg be just a tough five-setter even if you lost or is the only thing you're going to be satisfied with is actually winning the match and moving into the second week?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, for sure. I mean, you want to win. You know, it's a fine line. If I win 8-6 in the fifth, I'm going to be ecstatic. If I lose 8-6 in the fifth, I'm going to be very upset. I'm sure he would say the same thing. We're here to win, we're not here to lose close matches.
Q. Your fitness trainer, Decastro, can you briefly describe the amount of time you'd spend with Brad as opposed to Decastro and how crucial it is in your training?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, we're all together. We're staying in the same house. We're all hanging out together. So time is pretty same. You know, there are different jobs. Brad does all the coaching, on-court stuff. Cicero takes care of massages, stretching, you know, make sure little nicks and knacks don't stick around for long.
Q. Will he sort of go running with you, be alongside you in the gym?
ANDY RODDICK: No, he'd tell me to go for a run. No, he kind of quarterbacks my routines.
Q. It's fair to say 50/50 time-wise?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
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