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August 16, 2006

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. On the court you talked about you had a good conversation with Jimmy Connors. Can you go over that a little bit. Did that kind of motivate you?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, I talked to you guys yesterday. I told you I wasn't real pleased with that. I felt like I was lucky to get through.
But, you know, I also said that getting through, I gave myself a chance to play better tonight, which I did. Jimmy just thought the same thing. The first words out of his mouth were, What the... What was that.
I didn't really have an answer for him.

Q. Did he call you, or you called him?
ANDY RODDICK: I just called him after the match. We normally talk after the matches, especially when they're on TV.

Q. How did you guys hook up? When did you start working together?
ANDY RODDICK: Just after Paris I knew that I was still looking for a coach, and I just had a list of people and he was on it. I decided to call him, and I decided if he said no, then I'd be no worse off. He expressed interest, to my surprise, and we decided we were gonna meet after Wimbledon and we did. That's pretty much it.

Q. How are you feeling? You looked like you moved a lot better. I don't know if the injury has been bothering you. You kind of came into the net pretty often and early?
ANDY RODDICK: I hit the ball well tonight. I felt like the match was played on my terms, which was good. I felt like I was forcing the issue. Even when he was holding, his service games were real tough. So I'm happy, and I hope I can keep that going.

Q. Are you still feeling any discomfort, or has it gone?
ANDY RODDICK: No, it's still there. But, you know, you don't notice it as much when you're playing well (smiling).

Q. What were your expectations coming into this week, if any, coming off the injury and everything?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, you know, I couldn't serve last week but I could still hit. I could practice. And, you know, I don't feel like I fell out of shape at all, and I was hitting the ball great in practice, you know, kind of like I felt like I hit the ball tonight. I actually had pretty good expectations coming in. Obviously, yesterday I wasn't real pleased, and that was pretty disappointing.
You know, it was a little weird coming in off an injury, but I was definitely eager to get out here and play.

Q. What about your next match? I'm not sure of your record or how many times you might have played him. What do you think?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, we've played a bunch, actually. I want to say the last time we played was here last year in the same round, in the third round. But he's beaten me once, and he's a tough player. He makes you go in. He's beaten a lot of the top guys. I'm definitely going to have to be aggressive because he's pretty consistent.

Q. Does this match help your confidence to win in straight sets, not really having too much trouble?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it did. It definitely did. I needed to come out and hit the ball well.

Q. Out of the eight Americans that entered the draw this week, only two are left, you and Robby Ginepri. Do you have thoughts about being the only two Americans left?
ANDY RODDICK: No, not really. I don't know. I don't know what to say, you know. I don't know.

Q. Did you feel like tonight you could grab out of your bag a big serve when you needed it? It seemed like a couple times, you got yourself going, you got good serves in.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, but the thing, I served well yesterday. That was pretty much the only saving grace for me yesterday. I wasn't expecting to come in here and serve well because I didn't serve well until about the day before the tournament. I hadn't hit a serve for two and a half, three weeks. I'm definitely pleasantly surprised with it through the first couple rounds.

Q. When you're looking for a new coach, and now that you and Jimmy are working together, what do you hope that he can add to your game? What was it about him that you think you can learn from?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, there's -- I don't know how much time we have as far as what I can learn from Jimmy Connors.
Uhm, but it just excited me the most. It intrigued me the most. I could see myself getting on to the practice court and really trying to soak up what he says. He's been there before. He's tenacious. He's aggressive. You know, there's so many things.
I honestly thought if he said yes that he would really be committed to it and that he really would think that he could make a difference, and I think he does. You know, every day we go out to the practice court I'm just so excited to get out there, and that's a good thing.

Q. Where do you train with him?
ANDY RODDICK: I've been out there once. I've been out there, he lives in California. He was in Austin with me last week. I don't know if there's one set place. We kind of just, you know, cruise around to different places.

Q. Can you give us your take on the young guys, the guys under 21 who are in the top 30 right now like Berdych and obviously Nadal, Murray, Gasquet. You were once there, about three years ago we were talking about you as the young guy in the top 30.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, there's definitely been a lot of change of face the last couple years, especially the last two years, on tour. You know, I think this generation is pretty talented and they just kind of go out and they're pretty tenacious. You know, but that's pretty much the way it is all the time, you know.

Q. Any advice you can offer them? You've been there before, like I said.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, not really. They seem like they're doing okay right now, uhm, you know. I don't know what I would say to Nadal to change him at all (smiling).
You know, I don't know. It seems like all of them compete pretty well and work pretty hard, so my stuff would probably be more along the lines of keeping yourself, you know, doing exercises to keep your shoulder fine and doing stuff kind of looking long term as opposed to on the court. They're fine on the court.

Q. Does the defeat of Federer alter the feeling of what it's like to play in a tournament, or are you too occupied with your next step?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I haven't played well enough this year to really look that far ahead, to be honest with you. Doesn't really change my tournament right now. If it does down the line, then so be it.
But, you know, I don't think any of us here play a tournament for someone else. I mean, obviously it's weird when he's out of a tournament. It's a big shock for everybody, but, uhm, we still have to go out and play our matches.

End of FastScripts...

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