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January 23, 2007
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Is that the way you treat your friends?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know, I tried my best to kind of put our friendship to the back of my head before we went out there. You know, it's always difficult. It's a weird, weird situation.
Q. He said that's the best you've ever played against him. Agreed?
ANDY RODDICK: He said that?
ANDY RODDICK: That's probably true. I played him once in Washington. I remember I played pretty well also. That was probably the best I played against him, yeah.
Q. You came into the tournament with good form. You've had some great games up till now. Any chance of peaking too early?
ANDY RODDICK: Peaking too early? I've been lucky to get by in every match except this one (smiling).
No, I don't think so. I struggled through my first round, been playing five sets. You know, I think you want to be playing well by the quarters.
Q. At the end you weren't celebrating. Were you almost embarrassed for him or you didn't want to show him up?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, to be honest, like I said, it's a little bit of a weird situation. Being that we're close, I think it takes away maybe a little bit of the elation 'cause you're not really solely focused on your side of the court. Maybe you're a little bit more conscious of both sides.
It wasn't a planned reaction not to do anything. It was just kind of what I felt.
Q. How much better is it to go into a semifinal after a match like that than the El Aynaoui match?
ANDY RODDICK: I was going into that semifinal hurt, so it's a lot better. I felt great going in physically today. I felt fantastic after the five-setter the other day. I feel like I'm hitting the ball well. I feel good going into the semis.
Q. (Indiscernible) a little more because you didn't get the court time today?
ANDY RODDICK: Maybe tomorrow. At the same time I don't necessarily feel like -- you know, sometimes players, you know, they keep practicing until they find something wrong. I don't want to do that either.
Q. Any aspects of your game that you feel you need to improve on heading into the semis?
ANDY RODDICK: Today I played pretty flawless, I thought. I did everything pretty well. I'm guessing there's going to be some stuff that Jimmy probably wants to work on based on matchups.
As far as generally, I feel pretty confident with most of my game. If I'm nitpicking, my first-serve percentage was a little low for the first two sets today. Besides that, I felt good.
Q. Mardy has given you a great shot against Roger. Break down the match-up.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know, I said for the past probably five or six months, the gap has either been closing a little bit or just he hasn't been extending it, which he's probably done the last three years or so. That's a good thing.
With the match in Shanghai, I'm going to go in with a shot. I like going up and competing against him, I really do. I'm looking forward to the opportunity, assuming he gets through.
Q. Have you ever had only four unforced errors in a match?
ANDY RODDICK: Probably not.
Q. You are supposed to play Roger in the semi. Do you enjoy it?
ANDY RODDICK: I look forward to it. You know, we've done it before. I'm sure we'll do it again. I feel like I'm in good form. I'd love to see where I match up.
Q. Match points in Shanghai. You beat him in Kooyong. Do you feel that gives you confidence?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, obviously. I said before we played in Kooyong, if I had won there I'm not going to come in acting like it's some huge match.
But given the choice going in to win a match or lose a match, you choose to win it. That's kind of the way I've been looking at it.
Q. What were your misgivings way back when the process started about whether Jimmy would work out for you? How have things sort of worked out in sort of what your reservations may have been way back when?
ANDY RODDICK: When I was thinking about people - I said it before - his name just intrigued me the most. When I'm looking at it, if I'm being frank, I looked at it and said, Okay, this one could have a great upside or it could just be terrible from the beginning. We didn't know each other on a personal level. He had never expressed any interest in coaching at all.
I didn't think it would happen. I figured I'd throw it out there. He'd say, Thanks but no thanks, and we'd most of on. When he expressed interest, I was really excited about it. We had the four- or five-day period before Indianapolis where I guess he kind of wanted to get a gauge for me a little bit more, and I guess vice versa. I was nervous going into that.
You don't know how you're going to react to someone. We had zero prior relationship. We had a conversation at Wimbledon. Before that, I don't know if we'd ever really had a talk before. That's a little intimidating, you know.
Q. Why do you think Mardy caved in so easily?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know if he caved in so easily. I think he might have been a bit nervous in the beginning. He missed some balls like he probably hasn't been missing lately. I think after that I got some confidence and played about as well as I can.
Q. In your next match against Roger --
ANDY RODDICK: Has he played yet?
Q. In your match with Roger.
ANDY RODDICK: In my next match?
Q. Yes, against Roger.
ANDY RODDICK: Has he played yet?
Q. No, he hasn't. If he does win, you play Roger in the next round, are you going to be doing something different in your game plan, or are you going to do what you do best basically?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I've been a little bit more successful the last couple times I played him. I don't feel like you can sit back and let him create. I think that's when you get in trouble. I'm going to have to go with what I do well and try to attack him, at least make him come up with shots from uncomfortable positions.
If he's comfortable and set while hitting the ball, that makes it tough.
Q. If Roger does go down tonight, how will that affect your preparation for the semi? Any change?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah, it will be a completely different player. It's a tough question to answer. I think you just have to watch and see. I've played Tommy I think eight times or something also. I'm pretty familiar with his game, as well.
Q. Do you think sometimes the media exaggerates on the importance of the coach?
ANDY RODDICK: The media? They wouldn't exaggerate something (smiling). Are you kidding me?
Q. What is the percentage of the influence of a coach on a tennis match or career?
ANDY RODDICK: Those are two entirely different questions.
On an individual tennis match, I'd say probably not as much. I think the real impact is made in practice, in preparation, that sort of thing. You know, I know how most guys play. But if I don't have the confidence to go out and implement the game plan that I need to, it makes the task a lot more difficult.
In Jimmy's case, I don't know if it's been exaggerated. I'll be the first to say it was a welcomed change, almost a new life, just the way he puts things, it just clicked. I don't know if you can minimize the effect that he's had on me.
Q. Tennis is an individual sport. Do you think a coach is more important in a team effort or for an individual?
ANDY RODDICK: It's tough for me to say because I've never been at any sort of level in a team sport. I don't know if I'm educated enough on the importance of a coach in team sports to make a comparison.
Q. In team sports normally there is a strategy that involves 11 players or 15.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I understand that. And sometimes in basketball it's five players. I get that. But what I'm saying is I'm not going to sit here and pretend to know how a basketball player is affected by his coach. I don't know if I can say one's more important than the other because I don't know one whole side of it.
Q. What did you and Mardy have to say at the net?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I think he just wished me luck. I might have said it was a real good tournament for him. He beat some real quality players here. Hopefully he'll be able to build on that momentum.
Q. Is there a fine line to walk with attacking Roger and not getting away from your base sometimes?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, there is a fine line. Whatever is done, if it doesn't work, all you smart people will sit up there and say I should have done the opposite. But there is a fine line. You can't go out there and just rush everything.
But I think it's just a matter of, you know, if you are going to come to the net, getting a little bit more on your approach shots. Little things like that, making every second serve return count. Just kind of little adjustments.
I think the most important thing is you can have a game plan, but just executing it. There's not a lot of room for error in the execution of it.
Q. Can you read his serve better now?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I feel like I'm just returning a little bit better now. If I am getting a racquet on it or something, I feel like I'm maybe doing a little more with it. I'm able to attack second serves a little bit better, which doesn't put him on the offensive all the time on that first ball, with that little middle forehand. That's a killer shot.
I feel like I've been able to return a little bit more firm, which might take that away a little bit.
Q. Does it being a night match factor at all?
ANDY RODDICK: The conditions are a little bit different at night. I feel like it's a little bit slower at night. But not really 'cause, you know, normally a first- or second-round night match adds a little more electricity to the match and stuff. But I feel like that's not going to be lacking. I feel that might be there at 9:00 in the morning.
I don't know if it will make that big of a difference.
Q. The fact that you played Marat in such a hyped up match sort of help out going into another big one?
ANDY RODDICK: Certainly doesn't hurt.
End of FastScripts