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May 10, 2006

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Have you ever been in a match like that with so many dropshots?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it happens about every third match I play on clay (smiling).
You know, he definitely wasn't hitting his forehand very well, so I guess he figured that was the most effective shot. You know, I was trying to play a lot of defense and put the ball high, so I was giving up a lot of court short. But I figured if I had to pick a shot for him to beat me with, that was the one that I wanted to go with.
Q. Is it not just the victory but the way you played, the opponent, the whole thing together, that is a nice package?
ANDY RODDICK: It was satisfying just 'cause I don't think either one of us had our best stuff by any means, and I served absolutely terribly for the first set and a half, two sets. I mean, it was just, you know, more so than before. I just found a way to somehow compete and somehow get through it.
You know, so that's satisfying, I guess.
Q. Andy, you have been No. 1. Now it looks like you lost contact a little bit with the two guys on top of the rankings. Is a question of time or is a question of confidence or whatever?
Q. Is a question of confidence? It looks like you lost contact with the two guys that are on top of the rankings right now.
ANDY RODDICK: I think me and everybody else. Uhm, I think it's, you know, a combination. You know, Nadal is able to dominate, he knows, three months every year for sure. There's three Masters Series events on clay, you know, so he's going to put a lot of points on the board, that's for sure. He's playing very, very well.
And Roger is Roger.
I haven't had my best year so far this year, but, you know, I still feel capable. It's just a matter of, you know, getting it all to go together.
Q. In your mind, you think you can get back on top?
ANDY RODDICK: On top, I mean, I don't know. I mean, we'll see. I'm gonna try. With Roger playing the way he is and able to play on all surfaces, I think it will be difficult for anybody.
But, you know, as far as Nadal goes, you know, if I'm playing well on any surface but clay, you know, I feel okay about my chances.
Q. But "clay," capital letters?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, well there's -- fortunately, we can play seven months a year on clay, right? My favorite surface, I can play about three weeks.
Q. What's the feeling when you come over here to this European tour? Is it dread? Is it hope? What's the feeling?
ANDY RODDICK: It just depends, Bud. There are some years where I've played so many matches early on in the year, you know, on hard and stuff that you know you kind of have to take more of a break after the hard court season. I've come over here not feeling prepared for this stuff.
But this year I haven't played many matches, and I had three weeks off after Houston to really train on it. So this is the first time in my career I really, really needed - needed - to do well on this surface.
So, you know, I'm coming out here and I'm going to try my best.
Q. Where did you train?
ANDY RODDICK: I was in Austin.
Q. On clay?
Q. Is it red clay? What do they have?
ANDY RODDICK: There's no -- no. Red clay in the United States is pretty much green clay that's colored (smiling). They do, they dye it. We don't have it. The closest red clay court is about 12 hours away.
Q. Houston?
ANDY RODDICK: Houston is a legit clay court, but everything else is not.
Q. When you reach the third round of the Italian Open, you don't expect to play Greg Rusedski, do you?
ANDY RODDICK: That's what I said in the other interview room. I said if you would have taken a poll in the locker room on Round of 16 matchups, I don't think Rusedski and I would have been one of them.
But that's the way it goes. I mean, weirder things have happened. I'm sure we're both looking at it as a good opportunity for us.
Q. He has never won back-to-back matches here. He's only ever got to the fourth round of the French once. Suddenly at 32 he's playing freely and winning good matches.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, for sure. I mean, to beat Robredo on clay is no easy task. And beating, you know, an Italian second round in their home country is not an easy task either.
So, you know, you don't get to the third round by luck; you have to win matches. So, you know, you have to give him his credit, that's for sure.
Q. You think you'll have to step up your serve?
ANDY RODDICK: I served a little bit better in the third set. You know, just keep tinkering with it and try to find something that clicks. I'd be curious to see my percentages in the third set, but I might have creeped it up around 65, I'm not sure. So hopefully that will stick.
Q. Is John with you?

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