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March 21, 2007

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. According to my statistics, you've got 43 points in the ATP NCAA poll and Connors says 47. Is that possible?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's very possible. I committed bracket suicide a few days ago because I took Texas to go really far, and I bet with my heart and not with my mind. I was envisioning something along the lines of Carmelo-ish '03 Syracuse, and that did not happen.
So I am officially useless in the ATP bracket.

Q. (Indiscernible) also says 43. Are you copying each other's score cards?
ANDY RODDICK: No, it's funny, we couldn't have been more opposite. I think he's actually in the lead because, like I said, I messed up that whole side of the bracket.

Q. Can you compare where you are this year to where you were a year ago in terms of your game?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I don't know if there's a lot of comparison. I mean, last year I was struggling to put balls on the court, really, just really struggling with confidence. I was kind of thinking about everything. Nothing was coming real easy.
This year I've been -- I still feel like I can play a lot better, but I'm winning the matches I'm supposed to. I've played four tournaments and gotten to the semis or better and ended up losing to the guys who have won the tournaments.
Now it's just a matter of trying to take that next step and getting a couple titles.

Q. Is this tournament special to you, being here?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I have a lot of memories. I was at this venue when it opened. You know, I was one of the juniors that they let come down and we played here for -- it's hard to believe that was coming up on 15 years ago.
You know, it does have a special place. I played a lot of junior matches here, as well, and had my first great pro tournament here. So there are a lot of memories. So it's always nice to come back.

Q. How do you like purple tennis courts?
ANDY RODDICK: (Laughing) you know, I think it's good. I think it is easier to watch on television at least. To be honest, I don't know if -- I can't speak for anybody else, but I don't know if that matters too much to the players, if it helps in any way. As far as how it translates to TV, then I think it's a good move.

Q. Does the ball look the same to you whether it's on green, purple backdrop, whatever?
ANDY RODDICK: The ball is still yellow.

Q. But the contrast of purple doesn't make a difference?
ANDY RODDICK: We've played -- I remember tournaments that we've played on these type of courts before. It was a little weird walking out there yesterday. I didn't know they were going to do it yesterday. I walked out, and you're always used to this one being green on green, so it was a little odd.
But as far as between the lines and how it's going to affect the matches, I don't really see it affecting the matches too much.

Q. Talk about Fernando Gonzalez is really playing well. He always had the great forehand and everyone would say that, but there are parts of his game that he's really improved in the last year.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, he's not playing himself out of points anymore. He always had the fire power and he was always fun to watch. You know, I think he's slicing a lot more, he's putting a lot more balls on the courts.
Even on days when maybe his forehand is not firing on all cylinders he's still putting balls on the court and finding ways to win matches. I think him hooking up with Larry was a good thing for him.

Q. Tiger Woods is in town this week, which, again, raises the subject of who's better: Tiger or Roger? Your thoughts?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, obviously I'm partial to Roger, I think, because I've been on the other end of a lot of unfortunate things, for me anyway.
But what Roger has done over the last three years is pretty impressive. It's a big deal when he loses a match, like it was last week in Palm Springs. I don't remember the last time, or even as a fan growing up, when that was the case. Pete and Andre still lost matches.
You know, I'd have to go with Roger, but I might be a little biased towards that one.

Q. Do you play golf?
ANDY RODDICK: Badly (laughing).

Q. But a lot of times players become good golfers.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know if I'm going to be one of those (laughing). Every time I play golf I'm buying a new set of clubs (laughing).

Q. Would you talk about the round-robin system after what happened in Las Vegas?
ANDY RODDICK: What about it?

Q. That problem with Blake. Do you like the system? Do you think the ATP should review the system?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I don't see it continuing personally. I think there's a lot of -- I said it last week in Palm Springs, but I think there's a lot of room for error in that system, whether it be between the players or whether it be a situation like there was in Vegas, where either way you handle it someone is, for lack of a better term, getting screwed. I don't see us playing another round-robin event personally.

Q. Do you think Roger will be any different coming in off a loss versus coming in off the wins? Is there any difference do you think?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah. I mean, one is losing and one is winning.

Q. But referring to his attitude or anything.
ANDY RODDICK: I'm sure the first match he wants to get out and get off to a good start. He's not kind of rolling in off of another win, and ho-hum. But do I foresee any problems for him or am I really concerned for him, not really (laughing).

Q. How do you as an opponent, when you look at the records of him against everybody else, it's obviously phenomenal. How do you get past that when you're seeing him across the court and get over that little hump of thinking, I can beat this guy? What would make you think that I can beat him?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I came close a couple times at the end of last year, and it's just -- you've just got to go out there and hope to play a good match. That's pretty much all I can do, and just keep working.
You hope that sometime, some way, all of us can maybe affect his confidence somehow, because that's just his thing. When he gets to 4-All in a breaker, for him it seems like it's the same as 2-All in the first set. That's the difference.
If you can get the guy thinking a little bit more, I think that would be the Key. But obviously that's easier said than done.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

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