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March 28, 2006

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How are you doing in the NCAA pool?
ANDY RODDICK: You know what, I was doing super until three days ago. I was right in there. Then I lost four games in a row. So I'm less interested than I was, selfishly.
Q. Who's winning?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not sure right now. I'd have to check the standings. Not me.
Q. Is it easy to see why he got into Tim a little bit yesterday? Can you understand that result now? We were a bit shocked by it. But clearly the way he played today, he got under your skin a little bit today as well, didn't he?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's a little awkward. Like he plays some points where he just crushes every ball and then, you know, does the big grunt thing. Then some points he kind of stays back and doesn't really hit the ball. You're kind of like, you don't know what part of him is going to come out in a point really.
You know, I let him into the second set a little bit, then he started playing great towards the end of it. It's definitely a little bit of an awkward matchup.
Q. Is the grunt annoying or amusing?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't -- I mean, it's amusing when you're winning and annoying when you're losing.
Q. How about the instant replays? On that one they didn't replay the point because you had no play on the ball. Is that right?
ANDY RODDICK: They were right. They were right. I was just hoping.
Q. The lines man called the ball good then?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes and he overruled and then he challenged the overrule (laughing).
Something like that.
Q. Then you took it to the Supreme Court.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, exactly. Then Rumsfeld came down and I don't know...
Q. What do you think about instant replay?
ANDY RODDICK: I think it's great. I think it's great. You know, I think it's great for TV. I think it leaves you with a feeling that you're not getting the short end of it. Basically, it helps me selfishly because I can't just whine about stuff. Basically, it's on me whether or not I want to challenge it or not. I think it actually helps me a little bit.
Great for the fans. When he challenged those two and were right, they were going nuts. So it just adds another element.
It adds another element to the tennis on TV, to the live tennis. I think -- I don't think there are a lot of negatives to it.
Q. That sequence had the potential to have a huge impact on the match?
ANDY RODDICK: I can't be angry about it because the right call was made. I'm sure there are going to be times when it's going to be the situation reversed and, you know, I think you're okay with it as long as you know it's the -- the correct call is being made.
Q. Considering about 25% of the challenge calls are wrong, the lines people are making the wrong call, is that good officiating in your opinion, or not?
ANDY RODDICK: I think it's tough, also. I mean, we're talking about like quarters of inches on some of them going 130 miles an hour. You know, you'd like to think you give them the benefit of the doubt. I do know that there haven't been any crazy obvious ones so I actually think they're doing okay. I think the good thing about challenging calls is now that they have to be - what's the word I'm looking for? - accountable for something, which is like -- used to drive me up the wall. Because they could make a decision and not really care about it. At least they look stupid in front of 15,000 people now if they make the wrong call. That's more fun, right.
Q. Do you sense they'll be more alert?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know how to judge, you know, alertness. But like I said, I think there's a lot more motivation to make the right call now when you are accountable for something.
Q. Especially for the chair?
ANDY RODDICK: Absolutely. You know, I think it's -- I think it's good. I think it's good.
You know, it takes a lot of the question out of it, which is great, as far as peace of mind goes.
Q. How many times have you challenged?
ANDY RODDICK: I am 0-for-1 in three matches. Damnit.
Q. Given how you felt and spoke after Indian Wells last week, how do you feel you're playing now? What's your emotions at the moment, the way you've recovered apparently from that?
ANDY RODDICK: I can still play better. You know, I'm kind of going -- finding my way like this through matches. I played terrible at the beginning of the second set. I didn't put returns in the court and kind of took my foot off the gas, which is a mistake, and he got back into it.
I think I'm playing a lot calmer now. I'm competing a little bit better. I'm not worried trying to win every point or win the match in every point. I'm kind of just staying a little bit even-keel and I'm serving ten times better than I have been this year, which is a big, big plus for me, 'cause I feel like I can -- I almost feel more comfortable with those peaks and valleys knowing that my serve is going to keep me in it, still going to be a dominant shot.
Q. Are you resisting taking your temperature after every match?
ANDY RODDICK: Resisting what?
Q. Taking your temperature after every match. Each result, is this progress, is it not progress?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. Basically, I don't know if it's that complicated. I lose a match and I'm pissed off if I didn't do the things I wanted to do. I'm mad, I'm mad at myself. I'm not analyzing this, that and the other. I mean, tennis matches are normally pretty straightforward. You pulled the trigger here, you didn't here, you play like a, you know, whatever here.
You know, it was just frustrating. I was just mad. You know, I don't know if it was a whole bunch of psychosis and all this stuff, and I didn't want it to turn into that.
Q. Having said that, today did you feel in control even though you said you let off the gas in the second set?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, yeah. I knew I didn't want him to keep up his momentum. The way he finished that second set was very convincing.
Then he went and took a bathroom break which was a little surprising. Normally if you have momentum, you don't want to freeze yourself a little bit, so I was fine with that.
Q. He did that against Tim.
ANDY RODDICK: Did he? Yeah, I don't know. Small bladder, I don't know.
That surprised me. I knew if I could get through the first couple of games, and at least hold easily, maybe he'd start thinking about it. Then he got annoyed with me or whatever, and that was good too because that means he was thinking about something - something, period. So it was good to kind of get my feet in early in the third set, otherwise that could have gotten ugly.
Q. Is that your experience now, you're feeling more comfortable with peaks and valleys?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, just I'm not getting too worked up in a negative way. I haven't really gotten upset this week, which is not normal. And that helps right now.
Q. Is there a reason you're serving better?
ANDY RODDICK: I think I'm just -- I focused on relaxing a little bit more. I think I was trying to force a little bit. Maybe I remembered that I've always been able to hit a big serve and I haven't always been, you know, gripping my racquet, you know, this tight, trying to break the grip. I've kind of relaxed a little bit more. As a result of that, I've gotten a lot of the action back in it.
Q. Thinking back to Queen's 2003, do you believe a tournament can change a season, turn a season around?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. You know, I'm never going to get too excited over a bad two-month stretch. I'm going to be mad about it. But I'm mad if I'm playing well and I play a bad match. There's no difference.
But the way I see it, my two favorite times of the year are still ahead of me, you know, so there's a lot of time left. I've always said that, you know, when I finish 2 in the world, when I finish 3 in the world, those are very, very good years. I always said I'd rather finish 7 or 8 and win a Slam. That's a great year as opposed to those other ones being very good years.
There's a lot of tennis left in this season. It's impossible for it to be a wash after two months.
Q. Back to the Cheetos remark, do you feel things got too complicated and now you're just trying to simplify things?
ANDY RODDICK: Possibly, yeah. This week I've been pretty simple. You know, I haven't been doing the extra, you know, two hours on the practice court, obsessing over one thing. I've just kind of, "Okay, let's just chill out, let's make it simple, put a couple balls in the court, serve well." It's been working a little bit. I don't know if I'm playing tricks on myself, but it's comfortable right now.
Q. Is it ever a little disconcerting when you walk back to serve or receive serve and you see a chap all in black talking into a microphone who you recognize?
ANDY RODDICK: (Laughing) no.
Q. Can you hear him sometimes?
ANDY RODDICK: No. We had one incident, Cincinnati last year, where I could hear him. I haven't been able to hear him since.
He's talking about Brad sitting on the side of the court.
I had issue with commentators being on the court as, you know -- but if he's in the pit, he's just doing his job and I'm fine with it. I can't hear him.
I think obviously it's gonna be a little awkward, you know, considering. But I don't think it's a big deal as long as it's done in the right way. It's not a big deal.
Q. How would you characterize John's approach versus Brad or Dean?
ANDY RODDICK: They're a lot different. John is somewhere in the middle. Brad and Dean, they're extremely different, you know. Whereas Dean was about, you know, preparation and, you know, meticulous. He taught me how to be real professional as far as fitness and all this stuff. Brad was like, "Okay, that's great, you show up and you try to win on the day and I'll see you in two weeks," and whatever.
It was different. John is kind of somewhere in the middle. It's nice that he's in Austin all the time so it's not a process of, "Okay, that's great, we'll put it on hold and then start again in two or three weeks."
You know, him and Dean are actually out watching the guys I play right now. So they're kind of similar, similar wavelengths there. But he's somewhere in the middle.
Q. Your thoughts on James against Roger if it comes to that.
ANDY RODDICK: If it comes to that, you know, obviously, James is playing great. Roger is playing better right now, I mean, than anybody. It will be an exciting matchup. That's a popcorn match, get some popcorn, sit down and watch it.
He got up on him early last week, so we'll see. But, I mean, I think obviously - James would probably tell you the same thing - Roger is the favorite in any match he plays. That's about the most obvious statement I've ever made.
Q. When you said you had an issue with commentators being on the court, what do you mean by that? Actually on the --
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, like behind the benches, which is how they started that. I think it's great to have someone kind of court side and commentating from court side. When I've watched it on TV, I think it adds something to it.
But when they're kind of like directly behind the chair and the bench, I said something about that, and some other players had said something about that. But if they're in the pit, like where the hustle and bustle kind of goes on and you don't really notice it too much, I think it's a good move for TV.
Q. Question about Davis Cup. What kind of tie do you expect against Chile?
ANDY RODDICK: In what regard?
Q. Davis Cup.
ANDY RODDICK: I understand. What do you mean?
Q. What kind of match? Do you think it will be a close series? Do you have so much advantage playing on grass?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, we picked the surface trying to give ourselves the biggest advantage possible. Hopefully, that will happen.
But they play very well for their country, and I know they're not going to concede anything. I mean, they're two very tough players who have had success against me and the Bryan brothers before. I think James has done okay against them, but, you know, we expect it to be very tough.
Q. What will be the key of the series? They think that they have some chance against James and not against you.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I'll answer these questions in a week. How's that? I'm still thinking about Miami.
Thank you.

End of FastScripts...

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