home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 3, 2007

James Blake

Patrick McEnroe

Andy Roddick


TIM CURRY: Questions, please.

Q. How is the leg?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's fine. I mean, I've been practicing. And, you know, I don't know if it's a hundred percent, but it's getting better daily, so that's a good thing.

Q. Are you still feeling any sort of tweaks or irritations or pains or anything?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, a little bit. I mean, it's, you know, not too bad. You know, as long as it doesn't get worse, I should be all right.

Q. (No microphone).
ANDY RODDICK: Well, you're fearful until you know what happens. You know, you kind of always just fear the worst, you know, when it pops into your head. I didn't know much. Then when we got the MRI, I guess it was as good as it could have been for that type of injury. We left the hospital that day knowing that it was going to be, you know -- there was a chance that I could play, so that was welcomed news at that point.

Q. You didn't hit again until you got here?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't hit until I got here.

Q. Are you ready to play?
ANDY RODDICK: That's the plan right now, yeah.

Q. You've travelled all over playing Davis Cup. For us locally, how big is it around the world? How big a competition is Davis Cup?
ANDY RODDICK: It's huge, you know. It's tough to kind of spread that word here in the States. You know, last time we played Spain away, I think we played close to 30,000 people. You know, it's national news, you know, every night, and it's the lead story a lot of times.
So, you know, we'd love to kind of get a little bit of that interest here. I guess here in Winston-Salem it has been like that from what I understand so far. So we're looking forward to having a good crowd around.

Q. Another quick local question. You've only been here a few days. What are your impressions of Winston-Salem, the venue? It's been sold out.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, we played at this venue in 2001 in a Davis Cup tie, so I'm familiar with it. I was here in '99 for a tennis exhibition also - Mardy and I both were. So I'm pretty familiar with Winston-Salem. It's a great venue. So I think we're glad to be here.

Q. Talk about being on the team with these guys.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's great. I mean, you know, we hang out. I think, you know, I speak for all of us. You know, it's just nice. We support each other even on weeks that we're not in Davis Cup.
But I think it makes us just as hungry, because I think we all want to win it for each other as much as anything else. So it's a pleasure to be on this team.

Q. (No microphone).
ANDY RODDICK: Possibly. Uhm, possibly it might be. Probably be safer.
But, you know, at this time Davis Cup is, you know, one of my biggest priorities, and, you know, I want to be here. If I can go out and try to get a win, then I'm going to try to do that.

Q. (No microphone).
ANDY RODDICK: Well, first of all, we haven't won it, you know. I think that's a big thing for all of us. It is, I think, one of sport's ultimate honors, to be asked to represent your country. There are a lot of athletes and a lot of tennis players out there, and I think we all kind of are honored by the fact that we get asked to participate.

Q. (No microphone).
ANDY RODDICK: Well, right now I'm gonna play, you know. Barring some setback, I'm gonna play. I started playing some points this morning, and those went okay so, you know, right now I'm gonna play.

Q. (No microphone).
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, there's daily ice and electrical stim and laser treatments and all sorts of stuff. I mean, three days after Miami, I literally spent about three or four hours a day on a table just with my trainer - our trainer - Doug Spreen, just working on it. That was our goal. You know, I think that expedited the recovery process.

Q. How were you playing before the injury?
ANDY RODDICK: I was playing well. You know, I think I definitely could have -- I've actually been hitting the ball better here I think since I got here, which is odd considering I hadn't played for three or four days.
I was playing okay. I didn't feel like I was hitting the ball as well as I could, but I was still kind of getting through matches, which is a good thing. You know, compared to a year ago, that's, you know, a nice problem to have.
I felt fine about it.

Q. (No microphone).
JAMES BLAKE: Yeah, those two tournaments are definitely a little disappointing. Any athlete knows throughout a long career, you know - I'm pretty happy to be 27 and still have a career, and hopefully will have many more years - I know there's gonna be ups and downs. I'm lucky enough to have had some ups and downs already to know that two weeks isn't gonna make or break my career.
It was very disappointing at the time. Being a competitor, obviously coming in the locker room, I'm pretty upset and not happy about what happened or how I played or chances gone by. But once I got through that and took a day or two off, I was right back to training and then feeling great. That's what I need to do, is learn from those and learn from the disappointment. Sometimes that pushes you further. I feel like I played some of my best tennis after my biggest disappointment, so I hope I can learn from that and get better, as I've done before.
Right now I feel like I'm hitting the ball well. Coming indoors, I always feel pretty comfortable, having grown up playing a lot indoors. I feel good so far this week, and hopefully it will just get better and better throughout the week and we'll get some wins.

Q. James or Andy, I mean, I believe that this was - what are you saying?
JAMES BLAKE: He said he's done (laughing).
ANDY RODDICK: Given the option...

Q. This was a Davis Cup debut venue for both of you. How does it feel coming back? Do you think about a few years back when you return to these courts?
JAMES BLAKE: I'll answer that since Andy's debut was in Basel, I think. He played his first live match here, I think.
For me, it was actually my debut. It was exciting. I was thrilled to get the opportunity from Patrick when he let me know. I wasn't even sure I was playing until the middle of the week, and I couldn't really hold in my excitement at that point, just to be playing for my country. The atmosphere was amazing being just a few months after 9/11. To have that kind of patriotism, to have two teams that got along well and fought as hard as we did. But we realized that the essence of it was just sports, and the intention of Davis Cup was to promote good sportsmanship. To have that kind of an atmosphere was just thrilling for me in my first Davis Cup tie.
To come back here definitely brings back fond memories of that tie. Obviously, we won it, so it was a great feeling for that reason. But also just the whole atmosphere of having good sportsmanship and having classy players. Hopefully, we've continued that tradition with this team - with the exception of Andy. No, I'm just kidding.
But, no, we've had a lot of fun. Hopefully, we'll have more fun this year in the same venue.

Q. Do you see Davis Cup as a good venue for tennis?
JAMES BLAKE: I'd like to hope so. I think it's an unbelievable event. You don't get as many completely biased crowds in tennis as you do in most sports where you have a home and away team. In this, you have a very biased crowd. I've always enjoyed that in sports whether you're kind of "you against the crowd," or you're with the crowd and you're getting picked up by them.
I've always enjoyed that, so I think fans that aren't necessarily tennis fans that come to this event would enjoy it much more. I think the format is sometimes difficult to follow with being spread out throughout the whole year as opposed to, for instance, a Ryder Cup situation where it's just one week out of every two years and you know when it's coming. For this to be spread out, you don't know if you're going to -- if you lose, you're out of it in the relegation round. Everything that goes into it might be tough for a casual fan to figure out.
But if it's ever in anyone's area, I would suggest they buy a ticket and come out because it is extremely exciting. And I hope the more we win, the more places we can show off our talents and our team and expose more people to being fans of this event and of tennis.

Q. How do you think Andy looks?
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: I think he looks pretty good. I think, as he said, our intention is that he's going to play. The court is suiting all of our guys really well, so the guys are really comfortable and happy with the conditions. I think Andy's going to be -- I think he'll be a hundred percent. I think he's very close right now. So a couple more good days of practice, and he's certainly not going to -- I'm not going to let him go out there if he's not a hundred percent.
So certainly all signs point to him being a hundred percent to play two matches.

Q. You're in the heart of basketball country. It seems like tennis has caught on here locally. You've watched the sport grow through the years. Can you talk about it seems like you're getting support at various spots you go, including here in Winston-Salem.
CAPTAIN PATRICK McENROE: I'll tell you what, I think it's a credit to the guys on the team if we're being perfectly honest. Obviously, the sport is a big part of it, but I think that people have sensed the camaraderie that the guys have, their dedication to playing Davis Cup in good times and bad, you know.
Just the fact that all the guys have always been there every single time they've been asked, I think people respect that, and it inspires people to want to be part of it. So I give them the credit for, you know, this place selling out as quickly as it did.
We were excited the last time we were here. Bob and Mike weren't here that time, but, you know, them being on the team now for the last few years has just been awesome. I think they're going to enjoy the fans here as much as the fans are going to enjoy them.
So it's sort of setting up to be a really fun weekend, and we're playing against a great team that has a great tradition that they've built, you know, especially in the last ten years. So I think it makes for a great setting. When we heard that we could come back here and play, all the guys were very excited about coming back here.
TIM CURRY: Thank you.

End of FastScripts
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297