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April 9, 2004

Patrick McEnroe

Andy Roddick

DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA, A. RODDICK/T. Enqvist 6-4, 7-5, 6-2


Q. Andy, did you kind of want to win for Mardy because he won for you back in Slovakia?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, definitely. Right before I went on the court, you know, he gave me a high-five and said "sorry." I said, "You know what, you got my back last time, I'm gonna get your back this time." That's the way team competitions work.

Q. You talk about the Davis Cup and, you know, you talk about the rigors of the regular schedule. There's a different kind of pressure here. In a way, is this kind of a fun outlet for you as opposed to the regular grind?

ANDY RODDICK: Probably during the week it is. It's fun being with the team and being with friends and guys I get along with. But once it starts, you know, it's a grind, too. It's three-out-of-five sets. I'm living and dying every point when I'm watching my teammates, so that's, you know, that makes it double. It's a grind once the weekend comes. But these are weeks I definitely look forward to because I get to spend time with some of my buds as well.

Q. Andy, Mardy had played, obviously, in Davis Cup matches before, but never on US soil. Do you think there's a bit of a difference?

ANDY RODDICK: He played Oklahoma City.


Q. He talked about feeling nervous and it being different. I was wondering if you can speak to if there is some kind of a difference.

ANDY RODDICK: There's definitely a difference. You know, luckily, I haven't lost at home yet, so I kind of enjoy that. And, you know, it's no secret that I do play my best tennis on US soil, even throughout the year. But I think he's already handled the tough part. He won a big road match on his least favorite surface, so it's definitely just a matter of time before he figures it out on the home soil, too.

Q. Andy, how does your mindset change, if it does at all, when you're down 1-love?

ANDY RODDICK: I try really hard not to think about numbers. You know, regardless of what the score is, I still have to go out there and play my match, you know. I don't know. I mean, I didn't really think about it that much. Obviously, they put us in a position where our backs were kind of against the wall. There's not much you can do except go out there and try to win a tennis match.

Q. Patrick, Mardy had a particularly rough day with his forehand today.

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Well, I think probably what he said to you is he's feeling the pressure a little bit, of playing at home in singles the first time. I think trying to just -- I think the thing that happens if you get a little bit nervous is sometimes your footwork suffers a little bit. I felt like he wasn't as quick with his feet, you know, just setting up for every shot, as he could have been. You know, Mardy's an explosive player. He's just got to find that balance between playing aggressively and playing, you know, with a little bit of margin, as I call it. I think he struggled a little bit with that today Look, Bjorkman is a veteran player. There's a reason the guy's been near the top of the game for as many years as he's been. He knows how to win. He knows how to play. You have to beat him...

ANDY RODDICK: The guy's won 34 Davis Cup matches.

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Yeah, and he's played in Davis Cup a lot. So you put all that together, and, you know, you can understand why Mardy struggled a little bit and didn't play his best. But there's no doubt that this will help him down the road.

Q. Andy, no matter what happens tomorrow, you're in position to be the hammer on Sunday. How much do you relish that kind of position?

ANDY RODDICK: Either way, regardless of what happens tomorrow, I mean, my match is huge on Sunday. That's what Davis Cup is about. That's why you sign up to play. It's no fun playing dead rubbers, you want to play for something; that's for sure.

Q. Patrick, how much of a relief is it Andy won and you weren't facing a 0-2 deficit tomorrow?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: It's a lot better (laughter). That's pretty obvious. You know, as I said when I was interviewed just after the match, if you're down 0-1, this is the guy you want coming out. And I think even if you're down 0-2, this is the doubles team you want coming out. Certainly, we have 1-all, I still feel like we're in a real good position with the Bryans coming out to play doubles.

Q. Andy, last couple years, you've matured a lot and changed a lot, probably mentally and your game. How have you matured that allows you to take a guy like Mardy and pick him back up again? What have you learned that has allowed you to pick other people back up?

ANDY RODDICK: I don't know if I've come to the place where I can actually advise someone on it. You know, I still have a lot of learning to do myself. With me, it's just, you know, the more you do something, the more comfortable you become doing it. The more big matches you play, you know, the easier it is. That just comes with the territory. You know, there are many great players, you know - Andre and Lendl - who kind of knocked on the door for a while. Once they got the hang of playing big matches and winning big matches, then it became second nature. Luckily for me, I was kind of able to win a couple early on in my career. Hopefully, that will set the tone. But, you know, Mardy just has to do it more. Like Patrick said, he'll learn from this. He's a smart guy. He's got a big game. If anything, this will just motivate him.

Q. A big factor today was how well you played when you had breakpoints against Enqvist. You converted all but two of them.


Q. Yeah.


Q. Can you give us a couple remarks on your confidence level.

ANDY RODDICK: Obviously, I played a lot of matches. I think that stat just shows that I'm match tough right now. I have a lot of tough matches under my belt from Palm Springs, from Key Biscayne, and in the last eight, nine months. That's just the way it goes. I thought one of the big things was I was putting almost every return in play today. You know, he wasn't going through games, you know, without having to play lots of balls. You know, eventually, that wears on someone. I've had it happen against me before. You feel like it's a matter of time before, you know, an error or two slips in there. That's kind of what happened tonight.

Q. Patrick, this surface plays well into Andy's kick serve, but wouldn't a slightly faster surface have helped Mardy without really hurting Andy?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: It's a good question. I think that it helps overall our team, overall. Obviously, you have to balance some of those things. You also have to think a little bit about the opposition. But, you know, I think it's a good surface for our doubles guys. But, you know what, you got to line it up, you got to tee it up, and you got to play. And you got to execute no matter what surface it is.

ANDY RODDICK: I know I wasn't asked, but I'm going to say something. I mean, you got to look at where these guys have had success in the past. Enqvist is a great fast court player. Bjorkman is most comfortable on fast courts. As I kind of showed a little bit tonight, they're more comfortable when the ball's in the strike zone and not up. So I think you have to take those factors into consideration as well.

Q. Patrick, if this tie is still alive with Mardy playing on Sunday, he really picked up his aggressiveness after the long rain delay, came in and tried to take Bjorkman's second serve a lot earlier. Can you see that strategy against Enqvist continuing?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Well, as I said, it's a balance for Mardy. I think he can do both. I think in the long run, I think it's positive for him to step back and rip some, and also to come in. But, yeah, I think that's a big part of his game - to step in, to be aggressive, to take some shots on some second serves. It's a tough surface here to come in off a second serve because it is relatively slow. But in saying that, that's certainly a part of Mardy's game that he probably does well enough that he can at least be more aggressive on some second serves. As I said, it's finding that balance. I mean, Mardy, to me, is just, you know, figuring out more and more how to use his game and use his weapons. Sometimes that can be confusing for a player, because you can do a lot of different things. And, you know, as he said to you guys earlier, you know, when you're a little bit nervous and you're playing a big pressure match, you want to be able to have certain things you can count on in your game that you can go to. I think his go-to is probably being a little more aggressive.

Q. Let me ask you this, Patrick. From the course of time, your experience with Andy, you may have had - not like Brad - but you've had maybe some heart-to-hearts with Andy from time to time. What do you like most about what he does and the way he presents himself on the court and his overall professionalism?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: Well, he's a fighter. He just loves the battle. He loves the competition. He wants to fight, and that's the way he's always been since I've known him, since the first time I saw him in a Davis Cup tie in Switzerland, you know, whether it's playing a baseline game in practice or playing a match or whatever it is. I mean, you can't teach that; you just have that.

Q. How hyper are the Bryan brothers before a match?

CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: They're hyper before they eat breakfast (laughter).

End of FastScripts….

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