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June 14, 2006

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy, please.

Q. Bit of a challenge, wasn't it?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it was. I think it was a combination of things, but let's give credit to him. I mean, the first set he played unbelievable. You know, at the beginning of the second set I felt like we hadn't been out there very long. I knew the beginning of the second set was going to be crucial, so it was nice to get that early break in the second.

Q. Not quite the conditions to play your best tennis, were they, today?
ANDY RODDICK: No, it was tough.

Q. Wind especially tough?
ANDY RODDICK: It was tough. I think the key to the match was once I started making first serve returns and making him play every time, if he's gonna go for broke like that, the more chances I can give him to bust, the better.
And I think that's where the match really turned. I started giving him looks every single time, so eventually he's gonna miss a couple. And I was able to hit a good pass there in the third set to break. You know, I felt good from there.

Q. Pretty much satisfied with the way you're playing for your first match on grass?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, like I said, I didn't return first serves very well early on. I don't know if I made him play much. I think that led to him being a little bit more free with his swings.
But besides that, I feel okay. I've been hitting the ball really well in practice, and, you know, I feel okay. I feel good.

Q. When was the last time you hit an air shot?
ANDY RODDICK: I did what?

Q. The air shot in the first -- when the ball died on you, you were coming forward and you missed it completely, went underneath your racquet.
ANDY RODDICK: Did it go underneath my racquet? I thought it bounced twice in front of me. I don't even think I swung.

Q. I think you swung at it.
ANDY RODDICK: Did I swing?
THE MODERATOR: I didn't see it.
ANDY RODDICK: Did I swing?

Q. I was watching.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't care what you were...(laughing).
I don't even...

Q. Maybe you actually just stopped there. It was extraordinary.
ANDY RODDICK: I'll put some quid down that says I didn't finish my swing.

Q. When was the last time you didn't finish your swing on a shot like that?
ANDY RODDICK: Uh, I don't know. I try to forget those as quickly as possible.

Q. Was that the surface, the ball just died on you, or wind, or what?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think it just took a little bit of a hop, which is rare. I think it's the first bad bounce I've had on that court in five years. I mean, that court's so impeccable. It was doubly surprising.

Q. One of those days where you'd rather just get off the court with a win?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, absolutely. I felt good. But, you know, I felt like I struggled a little bit early. I wasn't totally comfortable. As the match went on, I played better and better and better. It's one of those where you feel like if it would have kept going, we'd have played another set, I would have found my range even more.
That's the way you want it to go. You want to finish strong, especially if you start out ordinary.

Q. I mean, it hasn't happened to you here, but would it have been a terrible upset to the preparation to have lost?

Q. It doesn't happen to you here, but would it have been a real shocker?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, then you try to figure out what the best preparation is. I mean, I know what the best preparation is for me, is trying to win some matches here, get over to Wimbledon, get used to conditions, and then tee it up there.
You know, I don't know what would have taken place had I gone down here. I'm sure that would have been adjusted a little bit.
But, hopefully, we won't have to worry about that.

Q. How long does it take you to really get a hundred percent on grass?
ANDY RODDICK: I normally switch over pretty quickly. You know, I can hit once and then start playing sets. It's, you know -- it feels fine to me. It's just a little bit different in a match environment, you know.
You know, I feel like I started getting into the match midway through the second set, and then the third set I felt like I played pretty well.

Q. Are you following the World Cup at the moment?
ANDY RODDICK: Unfortunately, for me, I saw our first game. But, yeah, I'm following all of it. It's good fun. I'm glad I'm over here following it as opposed to in the States following it just because it's so manic over here.

Q. So much of it on television?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's great. I love it. I'm getting into, you know, all the teams. I'll watch all the games. It's pretty fun.

Q. Do you have a fall-back team?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I'll go for England just 'cause I see them so much. I mean, I watched them in the Euro couple years ago, so I know the players on the team more so than any other country save the U.S.
So, you know, I'll pull for them - just not if they play the States, you know (smiling).

End of FastScripts...

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