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February 9, 2007

Andy Roddick



Q. Must feel good to get the first point, especially on clay, on the road?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it does. I didn't know this fact before the match, but I guess we had been down 1-0 eight out of nine times, something like that. So it's nice to have that be a little bit different, especially in a tough match.
I mean, at one-set-all, it was looking a little dicey. It was nice to come through in those last two sets.

Q. Did Minar surprise you, how he played? There were no surprises for you?
ANDY RODDICK: I knew he played very aggressively. I knew he was going to play high-risk tennis. I felt like maybe that was his best chance to win. You know, when you're playing a big match like that for the first time, in those circumstances, you're either going to play really well or very badly. It's rare that you kind of play in the middle.
I thought for the first two sets he played very well. I felt like I was putting him in some difficult positions. He was coming up with some good shots.

Q. Thank God for your mighty serve today. That's what made the difference?
ANDY RODDICK: Was that a question or a statement (laughter)?

Q. The second part was.
ANDY RODDICK: Okay (laughter).
Yeah, I mean, I thought I've been hitting my serve really well during the week - probably as well as I have since last summer. Even in Australia I don't feel like I served that well. You know, it was good. It got me out of some tough situations today definitely.

Q. How was your footing out there? Looked a lot better than it was in Moscow.
ANDY RODDICK: I think the court is in a lot better shape here than it was in Moscow. Moscow was disappointing, to say the least, as far as the condition of the court. It was a lot better here. The grip was a little bit better. You weren't taking huge chunks out of the court.
You know, a couple bad bounces, but that's normal on clay. I think you just hope you don't get them on big points. So kudos, I guess, to the court crew.

Q. Have you noticed that one of your aces or hard hits, you hit the Czech president?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't notice that. I actually said in warmup, because most of the time they have a net behind the ball, and I saw that this one didn't, so I said, Uh-Oh, someone might be dodging some tennis balls today.
I promise you it was nothing personal.

Q. Were you in a sense frustrated that you couldn't dominate more in the rallies against a player who is ranked so far below you?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know if I really saw the match like that. I still don't know if I saw the match like that. I think a lot of his shots, he was serving well early on, but a lot of his shots came from difficult positions where he was trying to force the ball into some tight spots and making it.
I think even as the match went on I felt like it would be very impressive if he was able to keep that up over five sets. Fortunately, he wasn't.

Q. Did you count on the situation Minar couldn't be ready physically for a five-set battle, concerning the state of game he was playing?
ANDY RODDICK: I think I was conscious of it in the first set. I was trying to make him move a lot. Also when you're on a big stage, you use a lot of extra energy and adrenaline. You're feeding off the crowd. I think maybe I had an advantage there where I've been in those situations a little bit more before.
I was conscious of that.

Q. (Question regarding the crowd.)
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it was great. Regardless if the crowd is for or against you, it's always nice to see an enthusiastic crowd. It's nice to see not a lot of empty seats. You know, I thought the crowd was very respectful. It was good to see the fans come out for this tie.

Q. Looking into the future, after today's match, do you feel even more confident before your match with Tomas Berdych? How do you see this match? Will it be different than if you had started?
ANDY RODDICK: Personally I like the fact I'm playing him second. I'll probably feel a little bit more comfortable on the clay after that. You know, it's tough. He's played well on clay in the past. There's no doubt, I said it the other day, he's one of the young stars in the game. He's only going to get better.
It will definitely be tough.

Q. Didn't come to net a lot. When you did, you were effective. Do you feel confident with your game up there?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think early on I was actually waiting back, like I said. I had him running a lot early in the first set. I liked the way the points were being constructed there. Later on in the match, I tried to come forward a little bit more and maybe he wasn't in the positions that he was in in the first set.
Overall, I felt great up at net. I don't know what my conversion rate was up there, but I'm assuming it was pretty high. That was definitely much needed today.

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