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March 12, 2006

Andy Roddick


Q. How did you feel about tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: I felt good. I felt like I only played one really bad game, when I got broke in the first set. But besides that, I felt like I played pretty well and kind of forced the issue, and, you know, I was happy to get through.
Q. Pretty aggressive, Andy, huh? For the most part it looks like you got into the ball most of the match?
ANDY RODDICK: It was good. It was good. Even if when I was missing, I felt like I was forcing the issue and at least making him think about it for a little bit. And I definitely did not let him get any rhythm out there, which has been something I haven't really done well this year.
I've been kind of letting people get in their grooves and play their way into form, so it felt good. It actually did feel real good.
Q. Andy, at one point there were 13 errors on the forehand, which may or may not be dramatic in lieu of the winners, but have you -- do you keep records of that sort of thing, errors and air ratios?
ANDY RODDICK: Air ratios?
Q. Yeah.
ANDY RODDICK: No. I don't think you can play tennis on a piece of paper or on, you know, in a book or whatever that is. I mean, a lot of them -- the bulk of them came in the beginning of the first set, but I kept hitting it. You know, at 3-2 down in the tie breaker, hit a winner, at 5-all hit a winner to break, in the first game of the second set hit a winner. If I would have stopped hitting them, tried to put the ball in the court, I don't know if that would have happened.
I think that's maybe what I've been doing wrong a little bit. So, you know, that stat tells me I was going for it and I had a bunch of them in probably a two- or three-game span early on. But with the exception of that, I felt like it was -- you know, I feel like that number is inflated just because of that little period.
Q. What was -- was there a kind of a good deal riding on the result, not just because of who it is, but where you are, and the tournament, and having and wanted to get off to a good start?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, of course. I mean obviously the story du jour is how I'm doing, what I'm going to do, and if I'm going to come back and start playing well, and blah, blah, blah. But that doesn't really make a difference to me too much. That doesn't affect -- if that story is there or if it's not, I want to go out and try to win a tennis match.
I'm more focused on how I played and, you know, I feel like I did a lot of the right things. I mixed in some different looks on the return. I didn't just kind of get settled into doing one thing. Mixed up my serves a little bit, felt like hit my kick serve a little better. I established that as opposed to more of a slice serve.
You know, I feel like there were a lot of good things out there and kind of once I found my groove a little bit, you know, it got better and better as the match progressed.
Q. And how helpful were those tapes in tonight's --
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know, it's funny because you say something like that, and all of a sudden, if I start playing well, that's going to be the be-all, end-all of coming back. And I can just imagine three years from now, if I lose two matches in a row, you're going to tell me to go look at tapes again.
So like I said, regardless of the outcome, I feel like it helped, you know, last week as far as just giving a visual and kind of remembering how I'm -- what I'm capable of out there. Was I thinking about them out there today? No, I wasn't. They kind of set the tone last week in practice.
I feel like they helped and did their job and, you know, most of all, I just kind of opened my eyes again and maybe it helped to go outside of the box a little bit and kind of see yourself objectively up on a screen instead of maybe just between the lines, you know, when you're thinking about so many things already.
Q. I got one unforced error?
ANDY RODDICK: Vic got 14 forehand errors in the first set, so that makes my point true that I was in bulk in the first set. All right. Good. So I'm not crazy.
Q. Andy, you did a pretty good job refocusing in the break. You went down 3-1, missed the backhand, seemed to get yourself pretty well collected?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I competed well and I didn't get too up and down with my emotions tonight, and I thought that was good. The volley, I was just pissed because I missed it but, it was the right play. And, you know, I had it and I just -- I should have just stuck it more, you know. That was the only bad volley really hit tonight.
I thought I hit a bunch of good ones, even made a couple touch ones, which is always fun (laughter). "Ha, ha, ha," says Neal, "Ha, ha." Shut up, Neal (laughter).
I did keep it together because I felt like even the points I was losing, I was doing the right things. So that helps sometimes.
Q. How do you go on court against him and not think about Roland Garros at all?
ANDY RODDICK: It's just completely different. I think, you know, it's not three-out-of-five. It's not clay. It's not in France. I mean there's -- well, I mean, there's a lot. It's just a completely different match, I think. To be honest, I didn't. I didn't really think of it that much, and if anything, that made me want to go out and beat him more.
Q. It actually said this court is slower than clay?
Q. What would your reaction be to that?
ANDY RODDICK: I'd rather play on this. I don't -- it's cold, so obviously that -- I don't know if that helps, and I know the conditions were slow out there tonight. But I also know when we were practicing last week when it was rather hot, the ball was jumping off the court a lot.
So in all fairness, I think, you know, they always say Hamburg is the slowest, but I think a great deal of that has to do with the weather there also. You know, it just makes sense, the colder it gets, the harder it is for the ball to move. So I think in order to make a kind of fair comparison, I think you'd have to see the weather change a bit, and if it gets a little hotter, I think I can give you a better answer.
Q. Were you doubly satisfied tonight that you played the way you played in the conditions the way they were, because it wasn't exactly conducive to good tennis, was it?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, it just wasn't going to be -- you know there were some long rallies early on. He was comfortable doing what he had to do, and I feel like the cold weather definitely favored him a little bit. But that being said, you know, there's not much you can do.
So, you know, I just felt like I wanted to go out there and try some things and I'm happy, you know. By no means am I going to get overly excite about it, but it felt good tonight. Now we'll see about tomorrow.
Q. Keeping your emotions in check, is that something that you should have planned post Davis Cup, where you were emotional and had the effects of that sort of just the way tonight went?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I don't know if it's so much being -- I'm never going to be, you know, complacent out there. I got pretty fired up in the first set breaker. But always competitive, not so much the rollercoaster ride. And I think that's where it hurts. If I'm up. Then great. If I get pissed. That's fine. But. You know, get back and you know not kind of this -- this one and -- you know, kind of the constant -- the constant struggle, I think, is a fine line, and, you know, tonight it was okay.
Q. Andy, Bjorn Borg is selling his trophies. It's been a bit of a subject of conversation today, and Andre said he might even put together some people to try to buy some of them for the museum or something. But what do you sort of think? What's your reaction to the fact he's doing that?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I think that's typical Andre, thinking of something like that. And I think that's a great idea, and I'd be on board for that, for sure, if that idea did come to fruition.
But, you know, it's too bad. You never really want to see that, and that kind of just makes you realize how lucky we are to be reaping the benefits of something he created. You know, that's unfortunate. I don't really know Bjorn more than a couple hellos throughout our life, but, you know, you don't really want to see that - especially something that I'm sure he cherishes that much.
Q. Andy, in regards to your charitable ventures, can you give me an update on what's planned for this year, especially, please, correct me, if your mother is still the director of your foundation and is 2.2 still the number you raised in 2001 at this point?
ANDY RODDICK: No, no. We raised -- we raised one and a half in one weekend last year. 2.2 is probably a number we raised last year alone. We're probably up closer to 4 or somewhere around there. My mom's still in charge and still working every day and calling me, and she gets so excited about someone donating a $20 item and keeps me -- I mean, it's great to see, you know. She has a real good heart, and it's a pleasure to be around.
This year we're still working on -- last year we had Elton John in Austin. That was a great event. Now it's tough to -- tough to come up with a follow-up act, which we're working on a couple of things, and I can't say 'cause obviously they'd be pissed before the committee, I'm saying it. But we'll have our annual event in Florida, as well.
Q. Andy, what's it like to have your big brother in the coach's corner?
ANDY RODDICK: It's nice. I mean, he's -- you know, I really don't know how to answer this question too much. I mean, it's -- it's been good so far. He's brought some new energy. You know, there's not much he can do on the fly, you know. With San Jose and Memphis, we kind of started and then all of a sudden, you're at tournaments. And when you're at tournament, I'm kind of stuck and set in my ways.
It was good. We had a good practice week last week. He had some kind of fresh ideas. Like I said, there's no real transition period as far as getting to know someone, which, I think, for lack of a better term, saves a lot of time.
Q. When you're having problems with your forehand, is there something you tell yourself to keep aggressive with it, not shy away?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. That's one thing, and I felt like it was the same ball, I was missing the first ball in the middle of the court. Maybe I just focused on driving my legs down into the court a little bit more. I was missing them all along. It was the same sort of mistakes. So, you know, I just focused on maybe staying -- staying lower and staying down through it as opposed to maybe jumping up a little bit.
Q. Andy, the thought amongst some of the other guys is maybe it's time for Donald Young to stop the ATP tour experiment for a while, and I know you've had comments on it before, for him to go back and replace some satellites.
ANDY RODDICK: In all fairness, we need to -- we need to probably make note that he's probably not the one making the decision to play in an ATP event every week. So I don't know if he deserves, you know, all of the criticism.
But, you know, the thing that struck me most about Donald two years ago was, even when you're just watching, was every close match he won, then he would just win tournaments. He just won and won and won and won. And I'm not sure what the benefit is of kind of losing that winning edge and just taking tough loss after tough loss after tough loss after tough loss.
I'm a big believer in his skills and his hands and, you know, in his potential. But I wouldn't disagree with someone if they said, you know, go kind of, let's make your way a little bit, let's go, let's go play the minors a little bit, let's keep winning junior tournaments.
He finished one. He was still losing a little bit in injuries last year. You know, he won the Australian. I think it's maybe just go back to basics and find your comfort zone a little bit more. He'll be fine. I mean he just -- you know, I don't know if, you know, getting a free ride the whole way is the way it's going to be most beneficial for him right now. And that's not to say he shouldn't play at all, but, you know, when it's always lined up five, six weeks in a row, it could be a bit excessive.

End of FastScripts...

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