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May 9, 2006

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.
Q. You looked pretty impressive today. Were you feeling extra confident about your clay court game?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. Let's not overreact over one match.
I feel like I hit the ball pretty well. I would have liked to have served better. But I don't know if Victor had his best form today. I think he's been off. I think this is his first tournament back after a couple of months of injury, so I don't know if he played his best today.
Q. I got the impression late on that you actually wanted more of a match. Is that fair to say? You actually wanted to perhaps get into more rallies and play more shots.
ANDY RODDICK: No. I mean, I don't know. I was having fun out there because I thought I was hitting the ball pretty well. I would have liked to have hit some more serves, like I said.
But, you know, you take the wins when you can get them.
Q. The manner of it must be good for your confidence, though, irrespective of how Victor was playing.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I'm happy to have gotten through. You know, I don't know if it makes much of a difference going into tomorrow. I feel like I played okay, you know, my last couple of tournaments. So, you know, it's nice to feel like progress is being made a little bit.
Q. You will play against Baghdatis. What does it mean for you compared to the Australian Open?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I'm excited. It's a lot different matchup than Australia. No one -- he kind of came out of nowhere there and played really well. So I'm excited to get a chance to try to turn it this time. You know, he's a tough player, he's a nice kid, and, you know, should be a good one.
Q. What about the surface? On clay do you think you have an advantage?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I haven't -- I honestly haven't seen Marcos play much on clay. One of the big things that he does very, very well on a hard court is move. So it will be interesting to see how his movement translates to the clay courts. That will be interesting for me.
Q. Were you pleased with your movement today, crosscourt and everything?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I felt like a couple times I was out of position and I was able to get there and get myself back into points. I felt okay out there.
Q. I know it's not at the top of your mind right now and maybe you didn't see his match today, but what does it take to beat Nadal on clay these days?
ANDY RODDICK: Uh... (smiling). I don't know. We're 0 for the last 48, right?
I'm not sure, you know. I don't know. I don't know if I'd be the guy to ask on clay, first of all. And, second of all, I don't know if we're allowed to use any weapons, so I don't know (smiling).
I mean, he's playing remarkable, and especially, you know, it's nice for him to be able to play on clay so much, to be able to play four, five, six months of the year on clay. You can tell he lives for this time of the year. He brings out his best game. He's very tough.
Q. Would you say it's more difficult to play like Nadal on clay or like Federer on grass?
ANDY RODDICK: Is it more what?
Q. What is more difficult?
ANDY RODDICK: To play against?
Q. Yeah, both. Play as they play.
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not understanding. To...?
Q. Do you think it's more difficult?
ANDY RODDICK: To dominate on grass or dominate on clay?
Q. Yeah, like Federer does on grass and Nadal does on clay. What do you think is more difficult to reach as a level on different surfaces?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I'm really not sure. You know, it's been done before on both, you know, with different guys. Kuerten dominated on clay for a while. Pete Sampras dominated on grass for a while. Borg dominated on everything for a while. So I don't know. I think that's an impossible question. It's just a matter of preference.
Q. Do you remember your match last year here when you had that matchpoint and all that stuff? Did it stay in your mind or after, as soon as you lost, you forgot?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I didn't pay much attention to it. Everybody made a bigger deal about it than should have been made. I mean, the only thing that was wrong was that the umpire said "game, set and match" right away. So if I wanted to cheat and just walk up on a technicality - I mean, the ball was in - but if I wanted to cheat and walk up on a technicality and shake hands, then I could have. But I don't know. I don't think many players on tour would have done that. I think it got blown out of proportion a little bit.
Q. Going back to Federer for a moment, do you guys give any credence to this so-called "Federer Slam," if he wins the French?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, yeah, I didn't even think of that.
Q. Like how Serena did it.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I understand. What are you asking me exactly?
Q. Does it have any special significance?
Q. Just in general.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't really care.
Q. Tennis in general.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I think it's pretty amazing what Roger has been able to do for the last couple years, I mean. If he wins that tournament, you know, you'd have a hard time not saying he's the best ever, you know.
He's definitely capable of it. So, I mean, that would be an amazing feat, but I don't know if it would surprise anybody - except maybe Nadal.
Q. You don't think it would be a surprise for him to win the French on clay?
ANDY RODDICK: He's won how many Masters Series events on clay and he made the semis last year. It would surprise you if he won a tennis tournament?
Q. Not a tennis tournament, but to win on clay. It's the one he hasn't won.
ANDY RODDICK: Well... (smiling). Gosh, what was he thinking (smiling)?
No, I mean, he's won in Hamburg twice. It's the slowest --
Q. Three times.
ANDY RODDICK: Three times? See what I know. Okay, three times. Even better than I thought.
But it's the slowest, coldest, probably worst conditions for him, and he's won three times. So besides Nadal, he's probably the next favorite, right?
I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if Roger won a tennis tournament (laughing).
Q. Would you be surprised if you would win a tournament on clay, a major tournament on clay, or you wouldn't be surprised at all? I mean, I'm talking about European clay.
Q. Yes.
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, I thought you were asking about Roger again. I'm like, "Am I not being clear enough?"
Well, yeah, 'cause I haven't done it yet.
Q. Still, do you believe in yourself that you can do it?
ANDY RODDICK: I think I can win -- if I enter a tennis tournament, I'm entering it to win. I haven't proven it yet, so I think it would be a surprise to everybody. On a given day, though, anybody can beat anybody. The last time -- the only time I played Nadal on clay, I had set points to go up two sets to one. I've played well on clay, but it's definitely my most difficult surface.

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