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May 9, 2007

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was the strangest thing that happened there? He hit that drop volley at matchpoint. There were a lot of goofy things going on.
ANDY RODDICK: I was just talking to my trainer, Doug, and I said, This is strange because it's probably the first time in -- it would be odds on to be the last time where you ask, What was your best shot today? And have my respond with my dropshot. So it was strange.

Q. Have you been practicing the forehand drop?
ANDY RODDICK: I've been hitting it in practice, but I always hit it in practice, just not well. We've been trying to work on it a little bit more. But, you know I was hitting them and I hit a pretty decent backhand one at 5-3 in the breaker also. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but today was fun.

Q. How much stock are you putting in this win? This guy is a former French Open winner, and at the same time he's down to 71 in the rankings and considering retirement?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know, I don't really think about it in those terms. I know he's very capable on clay. You know, I don't think he's long on confidence right now. But at the at the same time, this is the most challenging surface for me as well.
So if there was a time to, you know, beat him and be, you know, I guess a little bit proud of it it's on this surface. I get to play another day so that's a good thing.

Q. You had matchpoints. Did you think back to that screwy match with Verdasco a couple years ago. You had matchpoints and it got away from you.
ANDY RODDICK: Actually, no. I probably should have. To be honest I hadn't thought of it until just now. You know, the first one I made a first serve, he put the return in play and then guessed forehand and hit a passing shot. I think you win that point the majority of the time. The next one he probably hit his best return of the match.
First time he was able to get on my kick serve and hit it at my feet. The next matchpoints I just really missed a backhand horribly and we're back at square one. But it happens and, you know, I was thankful to get through in two after that.

Q. A tennis year can turn on one match, good or bad. Your reaction at the end there I think spoke volumes of how much it means to you to win a match like that.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. You got to take what you can get out here, that's for sure. You know, but you always have a saying, It can turn on one point and all that, but, you know, it's true.
In a match like that, if we're in the third set -- and he probably played better than I did in the second set. He was getting the better of me in some rallies.
So to win the third might have been a tall ask. It does hinge on a couple points.

Q. Any changes in your clay court game coming in more, about the same?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I don't -- the biggest thing with clay for me is when I'm playing well on clay I do okay. I've won some tournaments and stuff. It's just these middle ground matches that I feel are huge.
On a hard court if I'm playing decent I still feel like I can get through, and on clay they're just a little more challenging. Just a matter of trying to find form to be a little more effective.

Q. Did you like the challenge? Americans have not done well here. Or do you say well, it's Masters event and I've got it play them?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I've actually done okay here: Semi and a quarter. This is probably been the best European clay court tournament for me. But I think, you know, if you ask me in the middle of a bad practice if I enjoy the challenge I'd probably temp you no.
But overall I probably do. You know, and it's tough for us just because the movement is something that we probably didn't acquire at a young age. Kind of like a language. If you learn it at three and four years old it's going to be a lot easier for you. But if you're trying to get it at 16, 17, it's going to be tougher to learn. I think that's the same with us on clay.
I just got make a not. If one guy walks out with a phone on, if you're the second guy wouldn't you turn it off? Right? Sorry.

Q. When in Rome Andy.
ANDY RODDICK: Okay, sorry.

Q. Have you ever had a guy save a mathchpoint on you with a drop volley from behind the service line?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I wasn't even looking for that shot, and it was unfortunate, because the return would have been tough to deal with. That's why I kind of looked at him, because I didn't -- I don't know if he was really relaxed at all at 8-All in the breaker, 7-8 or whatever it was, mathchpoint down.

Q. I think he thought it might have been a double fought and it hit the back of the line.
ANDY RODDICK: That's what I think, but normally that would require a call of some sort, you know. I don't know. I was a little surprised by that shot selection.

Q. Would have been a real bummer to be in a third set after that.
ANDY RODDICK: Yes. Understatement of the day, yes.

Q. (In Italian) Two questions. The first one is that we have seen you playing some good shots at the net, so is it Connor's influence, and is he here with you in Rome?
ANDY RODDICK: He is not here, and, you know, I could do some things, you know, before Jimmy and I met up. I think moving forward has become a little bit more prevalent in our day-to-day game plan since we got together.

Q. Bearing in mind what you said about today, do you actually prefer, say, a Grand Slam best-of-five, or do you like that you're getting your quick chances?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, if I said I enjoyed it, you know, the three-out-of-five sets on clay, the only time I really play it is in Roland Garros where my record has been suspect.
I don't mind it. I enjoy the most Grand Slams, but my record has been less than stellar at Roland Garros. So you know, it's something that we're going try to fix.

Q. Do you like playing on this court? There's a good atmosphere, a bit of a fan club as well. Is this a court where you think you really do enjoy it?
ANDY RODDICK: I like this court because it's very intimate. You can feel the fans a little bit more because they're close to you. So I enjoy playing in it.
But that being said -- what, do you got like a baseball game? I like this court. So I don't know what I was saying, but I'm done, I guess. I'll leave it at that.

Q. Are you going to see the football match tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: Tonight? Unfortunately this -- I'd actually be interested in it, but unfortunately this tennis thing takes precedence. I'm probably going to be home eating and then going to bed.

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