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November 12, 2006

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: First question.

Q. I'd like to know your comment on the HawkEye technology, because during the ATP tournaments and today's match you've had some arguments with the umpire. So what's your comment on that new technology?
ANDY RODDICK: No, my argument wasn't about the actual call. I think HawkEye is great, and I've always been one of its biggest supporters.
My argument was that the ball was called out and I didn't try for it. He was given the point. I just asked the umpire if he was a hundred percent sure I couldn't have gotten a racquet on the ball. I was thinking it was a possibility that we would replay the point considering the ball was called out and then, you know, I didn't really make much of an effort for it.
My argument wasn't with the HawkEye or with, you know, the umpire's call at all.

Q. You've got a lot of aces. This is your strong point. Do you plan to play more aces in the following match?
ANDY RODDICK: I wish that was under my control where I could just decide when I wanted to hit aces and when I didn't. That would be a lot more fun for me if I had that choice going in.
But I hope so.

Q. You had 20 aces in the game. You came to the net 60 times. Are you trying to play serve and volley?
ANDY RODDICK: What gave it away (smiling)?

Q. Serve and volley.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I know. I understand (smiling).
Yeah, you answered your own question there. I went in 60 times. It would probably be tough for me to convince you that I wasn't trying to serve and volley, right?
It's definitely something that I wanted to try against Ivan because he's pretty good at -- I didn't want him to get comfortable trying to block the returns back in the court and get back into baseline rallies. I felt like I took that aspect of his game away today with the serve-and-volley play.

Q. Are you going to serve and volley against Roger?
ANDY RODDICK: Okay, like he needs to know any more information, I mean... (smiling)

Q. Congratulations for the win.

Q. Tonight you only got some problem in the tiebreak. So what make you not so consistent and invincible like Federer in the tiebreak?
ANDY RODDICK: I remember you from the other day. You're the most positive reporter I've ever met in my life (laughter).
You know, I think we have to give Ivan credit there, you know. I had breakpoints in the second set and I had a matchpoint or two there, and he came up with big serves every time.
If I'm not mistaken, Roger lost a set today, as well.

Q. Do you think this match actually is the most crucial match in your team? Do you consider this victory decisive that you will come out to the balance?
ANDY RODDICK: I hope so, but that's the plan. I hear that everybody was calling this group "the group of death." The way I see it, only two people are dying, so I don't want to be one of them.

Q. What was the most pleasing aspect of your performance today?
ANDY RODDICK: I thought I served well and I thought I returned well. I still think I can hit the ball a little bit better from the baseline, and I felt that's what kind of separated it in the third set. I started doing that a lot better.
But, uhm, you know, couple shots here and there, but overall I thought it was a pretty solid performance.

Q. You lost too many times against Roger. You're playing again against him. Does it make any fun playing against him, or is it rather something you dread?
ANDY RODDICK: I definitely don't dread it. I look at it as an opportunity every time. You know, the more opportunities I get, the more I learn and the better chance I have.
If you keep putting yourself in positions, you know, it's -- you know, there's not a whole lot of difference between 1-11 and 1-12, but there's a whole lot of difference between 1-11 and 2-11. That's definitely how I'm looking at it. I'm excited about the opportunity every time I get to play him.

Q. My coach showed up here. Did you see him? (Michael Chang). Have you actually seen him? Do you feel the pressure from the No. 1 player in the world, Michael Chang?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't know he was here. I haven't seen him. I haven't seen him yet.

Q. Roger said that his game became a champion's game when he learned not to panic on the court when he was down or having trouble. Do you think that's a similar thing for most top players that they've experienced, that the game turns around?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, for sure.

Q. If you had that one, has it changed for you?
ANDY RODDICK: What are you talking about? I'm always cool and collected on the court (smiling).
Yeah, I mean, I can't, you know, speak for Roger. Obviously, his answer is his answer. But I feel like when I'm playing best is when I'm confident enough to kind of keep it back. I mean, even today I'm always gonna be emotional, that's not gonna change. But, you know, I avoided a big blowup today which I was flirting with for a little while there.
I definitely feel like when I'm playing well, I'm able to kind of be aware enough to bring it back when I need to and use it when I need to.

Q. Nikolay Davydenko said he thought you would rather like a home state guy because you have a better record on U.S. soil.
ANDY RODDICK: Who said this?

Q. Nikolay Davydenko said it, that you're going to be better in your home state because you have better records on your U.S. soil.
ANDY RODDICK: I'm a home state guy who's beaten him every time we played on U.S. soil and off U.S. soil. Lucky for me, we play a lot in the U.S. I guess.

Q. You played really good the second half of the year. Do you think this is the effect that Jimmy Connors brings to you?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, it's a combination of things. I definitely don't think that Jimmy played a small part in that. You know, he was definitely a big influence on me and, you know, a breath of fresh air. The first six months of the year probably wasn't that much fun for me.

Q. We sorry you changed your cap from black to white. Is white your lucky color or something that the cap is meaning something to you?
ANDY RODDICK: No, not really. It was just a little loose in the back, so I changed it.

Q. Took you more than two hours to win this game. Is it a little tough for you for next maybe two games?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, it's, you know, a lot of times we play in places where we play three hours and it's in really hot weather. I have the day off tomorrow. I think the schedule changes to nighttime, as well. So I should have plenty of time to rest.

Q. What do you actually think about the fan reaction to you here and how you seem to be going down with the Chinese population?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, I don't know. I don't really -- I don't know.

Q. It's been quite dramatic outside the place yesterday, inside here today. Sort of rock star-ish appreciation.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know about that. I don't know. I mean, I kind of -- I was excited to come over here and interact with the people here. I haven't been here before. And, uhm, you know, I've had a good time. You know, I'm enjoying everything. I'm enjoying playing on the court. I'm enjoying experiencing the culture, as well. You know, it's definitely -- I'm definitely having a great time since I've been here in China.

Q. When you first broke on to the scene you talked to us and said that the reason was the confidence that your coach at that time had given you. Do you contribute that same type of thing that Jimmy brought to you?
ANDY RODDICK: I think so. You know, I also think I was able to, you know, in retrospect and not speaking as an 18-year-old anymore, I was able to kind of learn on the job because I had a weapon that would keep me in matches in my serve. That helped a lot.
You know, but it definitely sticks with you when a guy who's won Grand Slam after Grand Slam, you know, honestly looks you in the eye and says that he thinks you could really do some special things in this game. I mean, that hits home, you know, a little bit more than average. So, you know, it's definitely a big thing.

Q. Did you ever before miss a chair in a changeover?
ANDY RODDICK: (Laughing).

Q. What was Ivan's reaction when he saw you sitting there?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. He should have told me to get out of his chair. But, you know, the thing, I'd been sitting in that chair every day during practice, and so I think it was just habit to kind of migrate towards that chair. I didn't notice until Ivan sat down next to me and then I figured I should probably go to my own chair.
But I don't think I've ever done that before.

Q. You said you served well. You said you returned well. We could see you more and more at the net. The final at the US Open you were at the net as much as you could. Is being a serve and volleyer the way to go for you?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, I don't -- you know, it's weird because when I talk to the media a lot of times it's either, You're a serve and volleyer or, You're a baseliner. I promise you there's some ground in here where you can kind of play both together. And I don't know, you know. I want to get more away from just being a baseliner but I don't think I'll ever be all the way over here. Hopefully, I can find that right mix in the middle ground.
I want to be capable of serving and volleying, which is good.

Q. Is part of that, though, Andy, the actual timing, deciding when to come in? How pleased are you with that part of your game? Your selection of when to come into the net and when to stay back seems to be improving all the time.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, you know what, I think, you know, if you come in 500 times over one summer, you maybe learn the nuances of it a little bit more as opposed to, you know, using it as a panic play. The more you do it, I think the more you learn about when to come in and the right times to come in. You know, I'm learning that, and I'm committed to trying to learn that.
You know, it's been going pretty well so far. But I'm, you know, far from a great net player. I think the most important thing for me is to put myself in good positions to succeed at the net, which I think is what you were trying to touch on, hitting good approach shots so I don't have to be a good volleyer.

Q. I think many people focus more on your strategy, your technology, they're talking about whether you are baseliner or some serve and volleyer just because you are the No. 1 singles player in America. Up to 10 years ago, America have Sampras and Agassi, but they retire now. You are the No. 1 now. Does this put more pressure on you just because you won only one Grand Slam?
ANDY RODDICK: (Smiling). How many have you won?

Q. Doesn't matter. I'm not American. America cares about that?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I'm just joking. Sorry (smiling).
I mean, it is what it is, you know. America has been spoiled in the best possible way, and I've said this a million times, you know, with the champions that they've been able to produce.
But I think, you know, across the board, you know, it used to be, you know, an American-dominated sport but it's become more and more international. If you look back in the '20s and '30s, it was America, Australia and maybe a little will bit of France, as well. They pretty much dominated. You'd have a couple players from here and there. Now it's from every country. And I think tennis has grown so much internationally. That's kind of what we're seeing now.
As far as pressure goes, I mean, you know, it's a huge Catch-22 to be the No. 1 American because it presents so many opportunities. I love it. It's a lot of fun, you know. But at the same time, the expectations are very high, you know. I think you just kind of have to learn to take the good with the bad. I realize that being No. 1 in any country, much less America and one with such a great tennis tradition, it's a good problem to have.

Q. Today you chose red for your shirt. As you know, in China, so many people are in love with crocodiles. Also I notice there's a blue bracelet around your wrist, as Ivan did. What's the meaning behind all this red shirt and blue bracelet?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, the red shirt, it was laundry day so I didn't have anything else. The blue bracelet, I run a charitable foundation for kids. It's been on my wrist for over two years and I haven't taken it off. It definitely wasn't just for today.

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