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November 14, 2006

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. That was a very fine performance. If you agree with that assessment, does it make it harder or easier to bear the defeat?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, if you're asking me whether it's better to play well or play badly, I'll pick play well most times.

Q. What is your comment on your own net play this time? We thought actually your net strategy was not working effectively against Federer, but you stuck to the strategy. Why?
ANDY RODDICK: You're saying it didn't work tonight? I put myself in the position one point away, and you're saying my serve-and-volley strategy didn't work?
I suggest learning something about tennis before you comment on it.

Q. You nearly beat him. It's nearly impossible to beat Roger Federer in a covered court. You've been near some other people, but so near as tonight, it's nearly impossible. An explanation or perhaps you can't do it. Why not?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, if I don't believe now, then I never will. You know, I put myself in a position to win tonight. You know, right now with the progress I've made over the last four or five months, I feel like I'm only getting better each time I step out there on the court.
It's tough right now, you know. But at the same time I remember where I was four or five months ago as far as my career. It's definitely -- it definitely feels like it's on the upswing tonight. You know, I felt like I was unlucky not to win that one tonight.

Q. I think tonight is the closest match we've ever had up to now. You actually have a big following, admirers. Does that boost your morale a little bit?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, it was an absolute pleasure to play in that environment tonight and to play that level of tennis. The fans here are great. They were supporting both players. Nights like tonight, you almost feel like there's something in the air. I'll probably have a better sense of perspective, you know, maybe when I'm not coming right off the court after a loss.
But, yeah, it definitely helps. You know, you play tennis so you can try to play well on the biggest stages. And tonight was definitely one of those.

Q. I know it's very hard to be analytical at a time like this. When you're 6-4 in a tiebreak, and Federer is at the other side of the net, is there a different mindset than if it was, say, Joe Smith?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, obviously. I mean, but at the same time one of the only things I probably would have changed about that point at 6-4 is putting a first serve in. You know, high approach to his backhand, made him hit a couple passing shots, and he hit it.
You know, it's obviously different. But, you know, it's different playing him at 4-All as well in a regular set at 30-All.
That being said, for the first time in a while, I'm not getting further away.

Q. In the last conference you had two days ago, you said the more opportunities you get, you take in every match against Roger. More opportunities I get, the more I learn and the better chance I have. Now the record became 1-12. What did you learn from this match?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I'm definitely going to take away a little bit more of a sense of belief from today. You know, like I said, I'm getting closer as opposed to further away, so that's a trend I hope to continue. You know, like I said, if I don't believe after tonight, then there's a problem.

Q. You served fantastic today. Do you think this was one of your best exhibitions of serving this year? Secondly, do you think the first serve is the key to beat Roger Federer when he's playing this good?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, obviously it helps. You know, I was up in the 80s, I think, 80 percentile as far as when I got my first serve in and points won, so that's key. I'm glad I served a little bit better tonight because in the past I felt like I maybe hadn't had my best serving days against Roger. That definitely makes a big difference.

Q. Outside of the positives you're taking away from this match, and you did play well, can you talk a little bit about the frustrations of playing that well and yet not coming through?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, you know, I wish I could give you some really deep and insightful answer. But like you said, it's just frustrating. You know, I was real close tonight. I think that makes it a little bit harder, knowing you're one of your best shots away, you know, one serve away. That's not easy. I'm sure it won't be the last time I think of it tonight.

Q. I want to know, you always wear your hat on the court and out of the court. Would you think when you are wearing your hat you look more handsome than you don't wear it? Another question is, compared with Roger Federer, what's the distance you think between him or the differences?
ANDY RODDICK: What's the difference?

Q. Yeah.
ANDY RODDICK: Not a lot tonight.

Q. Do you remember the first question? You seem easy to be stimulated in the court. Would you think the performance --
ANDY RODDICK: I can't remember all these questions. Which one do we want to talk about? The hat? Let's talk about the hat.
Well, on the court I've worn a hat since I was about six years old. Used to play outside in hot places, so it just feels normal. Pretty much the last thing I'm concerned about after a match is looking after my hair. I don't wear a hat to dinner. Maybe if you take me to dinner some time, I won't wear a hat.

Q. Today actually you played very well, but still you lost against Federer. In which area do you think you should improve your technology in order to beat Federer in the future?
ANDY RODDICK: Kind of more of the same of what I did tonight. I played well enough to win tonight. Let's not let that be lost. Obviously, there's a big difference. But, you know, I felt like I was the better player for two sets tonight. If I can keep building on that, keep improving at the rate that I have over the last four or five months, then, you know, hopefully we can get over that last little hump, that last little point.

Q. I've learned that on the first day of the Masters Cup you gave away a set of tickets to your fans in Hong Kong. We know you have a good relationship with your fans. How important are they in your heart, in your mind?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, it's a very small effort on my part to tell someone to distribute tickets. There are a lot of fans who go to my website every day from this part of the world, are very loyal. They're just as happy with me losing this match as me winning this match. Those are few and far between.
You know, it was a small gesture. I just hope they had fun.

Q. It was a great effort. It's true you played well enough to win in two sets. My question is, what did your brother John and Jimmy tell you right after the match? What was their assessment?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, they had their opinions, but there's a reason why we have those conversations in a closed-off locker room.

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