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March 15, 2006

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.
Q. People coming in said nobody wants to ask the first question. Talk about what you're feeling, what you're thinking.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. A lot of thoughts. Not feeling too good. Feel a little bit empty right now. I don't know what the hell happened. I don't know. Probably everything you're thinking.
Q. You tough out the tiebreaker, seem to be in good position. Can you take yourself to the beginning of the third, sort of take us from there.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, that would be easy. It would only last another 15 minutes.
I mean, basically, I mean, it came down to I had a forehand pass there, nursed hit. He hit a volley. If I get up a break, it's a different -- I think it's different moment-wise. I don't know what the hell I did. I went on walkabout and gave up the next game.
I don't know. I mean, it's only -- you know, I'm the only one to blame. I don't know what the hell I did. It was just like a blur.
Q. Has this particular tournament been a struggle for you throughout the years?
Q. Have you ever played before where a microphone goes off in the middle of a match and the umpire didn't hear it?
ANDY RODDICK: He admittedly heard it, but he said it's no different than a fan yelling. I said, "Yes, it is, it's a microphone." It's probably not the same thing, right, unless I'm missing something.
Whatever, that's a footnote in this match.
Q. So where does all the frustration come from at the end of the match?
ANDY RODDICK: Where does it come from?
Q. What is it coming from? It's all pouring out.
ANDY RODDICK: It's coming from playing like shit. I don't know what else you want?
Q. I get it.
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, it's pretty simple. It's not coming from joy or from being thrilled with what I was doing out there. You know, it's just frustration. We've all been there, except I have people watching when I break something. When you break something against the wall.
Q. It's only my wife and kids.
ANDY RODDICK: There you go. Only your wife and kids. Maybe the kids have to duck out of the way. That's not something I have to worry about now. Maybe ballkids.
Q. How much was the frustration because he was playing well from the baseline?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, it's frustrating. But like I said at the beginning of the week, and I'm going to stick to it, I don't think it's coincidental that guys are coming out playing good matches, are lighting up stat sheets, are doing whatever.
Obviously something's different. And I don't know. I mean, it's frustrating. His style of play was very effective here. His ball was really jumping up. I thought he served pretty well. You know, there's only so many times you can say a guy played really well, too good, before you start questioning what it is you're doing.
Q. What are you going to do with those tapes?
ANDY RODDICK: That's a stupid question looking for something. I don't know. Like I said, it was just something that we went to. It's going to become overblown, become like a monster thing. I don't know.
Q. So what are you questioning now?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I mean, like I said, we need to go back and talk and kind of start from square one. I wish I had a better answer for you right now.
Q. Did you think after you won the second set, you had a couple opportunities at the start of the third, maybe Andreev would start to go away a little bit?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, he was starting. I mean, he was starting. In the breaker, he missed a couple forehands. The first game of the third set, he missed a couple balls. Like I said, I had a great look at a pass that, you know, I hit -- I mean, I made it, but it was pretty terrible. I could have hit it with authority pretty much anywhere and won the point, and I didn't. You only get so many chances. Those are the chances that you have to take. Those are the chances that I'm not taking.
It's just annoying. I mean, I was Love-40 on another service game late in the second set and missed two just stupid balls. Those are the mistakes that you can't make if you want to go deep in professional tennis tournaments.
Q. Playing three sets as opposed to best of five makes it a different event, makes it a little more challenging?
ANDY RODDICK: Playing three instead of five? How is playing three more challenging than playing five?
Q. You have a chance to come back if you're down.
ANDY RODDICK: No. I don't think playing -- I don't think playing three sets is more difficult than playing five. I mean, five is tougher physically, mentally. See, if I was playing five, I would have just been beginning my frustration out there, so that wouldn't have been good.
Q. Do you sense there's a target on your back?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know what, if there is, there is. But it's been there for two years. So it's not all of a sudden some new thing. I mean, first I was the punk kid that nobody wanted to lose to. It goes on, so on and so forth. I don't think that's some new thing or valid reason why I'm not going deep in tennis tournaments.
Q. Do you think he was dictating the pace? A lot of the points you were about 15 feet behind the baseline. In the second set, when you had the three breaks, you were two or three feet, when you were dictating?
ANDY RODDICK: Go check yourself. Go look. I think that's wrong. I was forcing early. I was missing from up close. Then when I got into it, just check it out. I was back making him play a little bit.
Q. No loss is ever something to accept. You seem to have taken this one a little bit harder than some of the other ones. If that is the case, how long will it take you to get over something like this?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I'm not Miss Cleo. I don't know. I'm just pissed right now. I'm just leveling with you guys. I'm not happy. I'm not going to sit here and put on my fun face. I don't know. I'm not happy. I'm mad with the way I played out there. I was competing well, then just let it get away for no apparent reason. I mean, that's baffling to me. I can only be mad at myself.
Q. Courier famously said the ability to go for a big shot at crunch time is a great skill and ability. Is that something that you think you can work on? How would you approach that? Something that can be worked on in practice? Is it mental?
ANDY RODDICK: What did he say about it?
Q. He said the ability to go for a winner, a big shot.
ANDY RODDICK: Anybody can go for a winner. Going for it and making it is two entirely different things.
Q. I misspoke.
ANDY RODDICK: We all have the ability. You have the ability to go for a winner; doesn't mean it's going to do much.
Q. To execute is what he said.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah. That's pretty obvious. That just seems like a painfully obvious statement to me. I mean, the ability to go for a winner and make it at crunch time...
I think it has to do with confidence more than anything. I think that comes through at big moments. When someone is a confident player, you see it at 5-All when they're executing it.
I think the majority of the players out here have it, but it's just a matter if they're confident and using it at the time. You know, it's there. We've all done it before on big points, we've all played well. It's just a matter of repetition. When you're playing well, it feels like secondhand, it's not a big deal, it's like riding a bike.
Q. Are you confident right now? Are you feeling confident right now?
ANDY RODDICK: Why would I feel confident right now? If that was the case, I don't think we'd be sitting here having this funeral-like press conference. It's just weird because, you know, I don't know, I used to like hit for a half hour and then go eat Cheetos the rest of the day, come out and drill forehands. Now I'm really trying to make it happen, being professional, really going for it, and I miss my Cheetos.
Q. Is it possibly that you're overthinking?
ANDY RODDICK: Of course, there's such a thing as overthinking. You guys have writers block sometimes? No? Well, maybe if you wrote like novels or something and you had to create something, you couldn't just write on what happened.
I'm sure there is.
Q. The last few weeks, you've been discussing consistently maintaining your normal intensity on court versus being a little more calm. That seems to be a work in progress.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, for the most part I was fine today until I just, you know, went mental at the end. That's 5-1, so it's not really going to matter. I mean, I could have, you know, reached Gandhi-like peace of mind and it wouldn't have mattered then, 5-1 down.
Like I said, I competed well. That wasn't the problem. I think it's just sticking there, staying the course. I'm just mad because I let it get away from me. You're out there for two hours, and I let it get away from me in five minutes. It's just frustrating. There wasn't really a reason for it because I felt like I was finally -- when I went away, I finally felt like I was starting to get the best of him. That's just unacceptable.
Q. Are you out of practice?
ANDY RODDICK: Out of what?
Q. Out of practice at that kind of thing, having to close it out.
ANDY RODDICK: No. When I lose third round every week, I have a ton of time to practice.
I don't think so. I mean, every question that I'm hearing right now, when you ask something like that, I think back to a time where it wasn't a problem and I'd go in after not playing for three weeks and win a tournament.
For every question you're asking, it's a scenario where, okay, today it was terrible and I didn't do it, and possibly, but it's been done before, and not too long ago. It's tough for me to go hardcore either way.
Q. Is it too early to panic?
ANDY RODDICK: Panic? No, it's not really a panic. I'm going to be fine whether or not I win tennis matches. I'm just mad. I'd love to perform at my best. That's the frustrating part. I'm not -- I have no reason to really panic in the grand scheme of things.
It's just frustrating. I'm irked. I'm really upset about it. You know, it's not fun going into that locker room afterwards, you know, again and feeling that way. It's not something I'm accustomed to. It's not something I want to become accustomed to.
I'm glad that it really kind of hurts me this deep. It sucks short-term. You know, if I was okay with it, I think we'd have more of a problem.
Q. How long will it take before you put it behind you?
ANDY RODDICK: I think that's the same question I answered before when I threw out my Miss Cleo line. I'm going to start predicting things and get a 1-800 number (smiling).
I don't know. I don't know how I'm going to feel when I wake up tomorrow. I promise you, I'm not going to be fun to be around the rest of the day, though. I'm not the captain of Team Fun right now.
Q. Are you at the point where you tear up the game, start serving and volleying, try some different tactics, slice more? Are you at that point at all, change things radically?
ANDY RODDICK: No. Because I said, the thing was, I was finally getting the best of him. I felt like I had kind of found my range, and I was doing well. I think it was more between the ears than something physical. I did come in a lot more. I got exactly the ball I want, and I put it in the net.
I don't know if it's physical at this point. I don't know why I just checked out, you know, in the middle of the damn third set when I feel like I'm finally getting the best of him. I don't know if I'd just go Kamikaze. That's sort of a sign of giving up for me. Bonds is not going to begin laying down sack bunts. By no means am I comparing myself to him, but I don't think you can go totally against the grain of who you are and what you do.
Q. I know you're trying to put it all on yourself that you lost this match, but it's Andreev's biggest win of his career, so there's a story there.
ANDY RODDICK: I'm taking responsibility for my actions. By no means am I taking away from the way Igor played. Like I said, I thought his ball was jumping off the court. I was extremely impressed with the way he served.
He won the match. Let's not mix emotions. They're asking questions about how I feel about myself right now. I'm answering candidly. He's an impressive player. He just beat me. There's no doubt about that.
Q. Is he making a splash right now? Is he somebody to watch out for?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, yeah. I mean, yeah, how old is he? 22? One year younger. I mean, he's been around for a couple of years, so it's not like all of a sudden at the beginning of last year we didn't know who he was or we didn't know that he could hit a forehand really hard.
But he's someone who is starting to do it on a consistent basis. You know, it's not a surprising result to see him in the semis. It's like, okay, he's in the semis. There's something to be said for consistency, and he's definitely starting to develop that.
Q. Is his head one of his weapons? His forehand and his head?
Q. Does he have a good head?
ANDY RODDICK: What, does he like throw it at people?
Q. Was he better than you mentally today and is that a weapon, as far as you know?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I don't know if I've seen him play enough. Judging from by the way he went and attacked the net in the middle of the tiebreaker, went Sideshow Bob on it, I don't know. I feel like I had him against the grain a little bit, but I don't know if I can answer that in the affirmative or the negative there. Sorry.
Q. If you don't mind another question.
ANDY RODDICK: I can't wait (smiling).
Q. Is it good to have Marat Safin back? Is it fun?
ANDY RODDICK: Most of the time it's not fun for his opponents. I've always said he's good for the game. He's got personality. He's intriguing. You never know what you're going to get from him. That makes him even more intriguing.
He's a superstar in this game. The more people we have kind of in the same tournaments, the more draws, I don't see how that's ever a bad thing.
Q. Obviously you haven't had time to think about it, but do you think you'll go to Rancho Mirage and check out the courts there before Florida?
Q. Next few days.
ANDY RODDICK: No. Sorry, no. I mean, I don't know.
Q. Maybe utilize the time in between.
ANDY RODDICK: No. I mean, I pretty much don't know how that would go. I'd go look, it would be grass, I'd walk on it, go to Miami. No. Sorry.

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