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March 25, 2007

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions please.

Q. How'd it go today?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, got a win, but it definitely wasn't a pretty win out there. It's tough, because he hits a little bit of a knuckleball.
Still, with the wind it's a little tough to find your rhythm. But I definitely have a lot that I can improve on before the next match.

Q. What was lacking today?
ANDY RODDICK: Just a little bit of rhythm. I just felt like I was a little bit out of sorts and kind of playing one point well, one point badly. So it's just a matter of finding that consistency on every point.
But, you know, that being said, I haven't felt great, and I'm through 3 and 2 and 4 and 4, so I guess that's a good thing.

Q. Is that a good sign of the way you're playing now?
ANDY RODDICK: I hope so. Even if it means I'm not hitting the ball as well as I want to, I'm still finding the ways to get through matches. Whereas last year, it felt the other way around.
I was hitting the ball well in practice and finding ways to lose matches, so I'd rather have it this way.

Q. How much is Davis Cup in the back of your mind, or do you allow yourself to think about that at all?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's tough. You don't really want to think about it during a tournament like this, but it is such a big part of our year. You know, from what I've heard from Winston-Salem it's going to be a pretty big event.
But you kind of have to guard against thinking that far ahead. We kind of take it week to week. But I guess it is in the back of our minds.

Q. What do you think is going on with James?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know what, there's such a fine line -- and I try to convince you guys of all of this all the time -- between playing well and maybe just losing a couple of matches. Couple of close matches. It can turn like that, and I'm proof of that.
It turned in one week for me last year. So it's just a matter of him finding his source, and I think he'll get back and work hard for the next couple of days. Hopefully he'll be ready to go by the time Davis Cup comes around.

Q. Have you spoken to him?
ANDY RODDICK: I talked to him yesterday, but we didn't talk about tennis. We just kind of chatted about this and that. I'll probably talk to him in the next couple of days, but I don't know if he -- you know, we haven't talked about tennis yet.

Q. How much does that weigh on your head, like when you're going into a Davis Cup? Because you've been in a similar situation where you're not playing that well. You don't want to let the team down. Is that something that he's going to start to think about and it's going to build up?
ANDY RODDICK: I think it's almost good he's playing someone like Rafa the first day. The pressure's almost not going to be on him. It's almost better that he's playing someone that everyone would expect him to beat all the time.
You know, he can go out and swing free, and you know, he's no worse off. That's part of the Davis Cup team atmosphere is picking guys up. I have full confidence that James will come out and he'll play well. The crowd, you can't put too much into what a crowd can do for you. He gets fired up.
He had taken a couple of tough losses going into the US Open last year, and all of a sudden you put him out there in some night matches and I thought he played great at the US Open last year, almost as well as anybody.
So I don't know if you can put too much on, like we said, getting the support and turning it around like that.

Q. What is your best guesstimate for the No. 2 player?
ANDY RODDICK: I honestly don't know. I have a very good record against Robredo, so I might even be surprised if they put him in there. It seems like Verdasco and Lopez have been a pretty good doubles team. So if I had to guess, maybe Federer.

Q. Little tune-up then?
ANDY RODDICK: We might as well get right into it the next couple of days then. Maybe some of it will depend on that, too. That's what I would lean towards but I'm not sure. Then again, Tommy's been a lot more consistent than the rest of the guys.
You kind of know what you're going to get going in from him, And he's played well against James before. So I'm glad I'm not Emilio Sanchez at this point.

Q. You mentioned at Indian Wells that you have a little bit different surface than what you played out there. Can you kind of describe what would be ideal for the American team?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I just don't know if you want the ball bouncing up above your shoulder every time. Indians Wells is tough because the air's so thin and the court was jumping so much.
I didn't feel like I was getting a lot of clean hits on the ball. His average ball was really jumping off the court and taking off. It's one of the advantages of Davis Cup. You get to pick the surface.
So just something that allows us to put a little better hit on the ball a little more comfortably would be nice.

Q. Andy, do you agree that Murray and Djokovic are separating themselves from the other talented 21 and unders? What would you say is separating those two right now?
ANDY RODDICK: Just consistency. They're coming to play every week now. I think Berdych is still in that mix, but he's a little more up and down. But he's spectacular when he plays well, and he's capable of knocking off big names, as evidenced by his record, against a lot of the top players.
But I think it's just consistency, so you might have to contribute that to mentally being there every week.

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