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June 14, 2007

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.

Q. The Hawk-Eye system has had some debate. A great example today of how it can make a real positive difference?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, sure. I mean, we both -- we both kind of got initially screwed a bit. I had set point on him in the second. Would have gotten a look at a second serve instead of an ace. Then 5-All in the breaker.
I've always been a supporter because you don't want to walk off the court, you know, with a loss because you feel like it was maybe someone else's error besides the player.
You know, I've always liked it.

Q. What were your impressions of our chap out there today?
ANDY RODDICK: He played well. I mean, if he can play close to that consistently, you know, you'll have another top 40 player on your hands. At the same time I think it's easier to go out there with nothing to lose and play that kind of match.

Q. He said that.
ANDY RODDICK: Even more impressively maybe was when he was down yesterday to maybe a player like he felt he should beat a set and a break and was able to kind of get through that, win a match that he was maybe looked at to win, I think those are even more important.
But he's definitely improved.

Q. What are his weapons?
ANDY RODDICK: His serve, it's not huge, but he hits his spots well, especially on the ad side. You're having to cover the T one, which he was all over the line on that one, then two or three feet beyond the alley, which doesn't make it easy. Today he didn't make a lot of errors. He was taking the first ball, hitting it clean. I was on my heels after the return a lot of the times.
He kind of stayed in it mentally and didn't play himself out of the match at all.

Q. How about your game? How close do you think your game is to where it needs to be at for Wimbledon?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, to be honest, I'm not even thinking about Wimbledon right now. I mean, we have the rest of the tournament here, then an entire practice week. Maybe start answering that question in about 10 days.
I'm happy with where it is. First round I played great. Today I probably didn't have my best stuff. But, you know, to get a win over a player who was playing well - I mean, Alex played really well today - that's a good feeling, too. That's a good sign.

Q. How high should he set his bar, do you think?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, I think the biggest thing is not to get carried away.

Q. We wouldn't dream of it (smiling).
ANDY RODDICK: There was a reason why I said it (smiling).
But he should legitimately I think set maybe being top 50 by the end of the year, I think is a very realistic goal for Alex, and then go from there.
He has to play like that on a weekly basis, not just one tournament or one match. That's the difference. I mean, he showed what he's capable of doing today I think, and now it's just a matter of kind of recreating that more often.

Q. You hadn't actually used the technology up till that point?
ANDY RODDICK: Ever (laughter)?

Q. In the match, had you actually called for it?

Q. A couple of quite close calls you just let go.
ANDY RODDICK: If I don't believe -- even on the one I challenged and I was wrong, I said to the people in the stands, I'm wrong on this one but I might as well.
I think it's good because you haven't seen players abuse it too much. You rarely see the players challenge more than once or twice a set. You know, you normally know if it's in or out before you challenge.

Q. Americans of quite a recent generation always used to try and get back for a bit of NBC for at least three or four days in between the French and British grass. You spent all last week here.
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't quite understand.

Q. I'm trying to be funny.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't follow humor that well (smiling).

Q. They used to like to get home, go back to the States, even if it was four days, whereas you have stayed through.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, there's not much grass back in Texas. Well, there is, but the cows lay around and shit on it all day so it's not really the kind of grass you would play tennis on (laughter).
I mean, it was kind of a group decision. We thought we'd get better practice here. I think there's more players over here right now. We had practice with top 50 guys pretty much every day. That's kind of what we were looking for. We just decided to stick. We felt like it was better. I went home after Rome, so it's not like I've been over here for a month and a half before the French or anything like that.
It was a pretty easy decision. There wasn't a lot of debate about it.

Q. You don't feel over- Europeaned?
ANDY RODDICK: "Over- Europeaned" (smiling)? No, I like it here. I really like it here in London. It's one of my favorite places. It's a very easy place for me to be.

Q. Did you get to the net as much as you wanted to today?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I wasn't dictating out there today. That bothered me. It was Jimmy's main concern. In practice I've been doing it real well. The other day I did it real well. That's something that's going to have to be worked on. Even if it doesn't end up in getting to the net, it's just controlling rallies a little bit more.

Q. You practiced with Alex before Christmas in Florida. When you were hitting with him, did you think to yourself, This guy has a nice feel for the ball?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think his feel for the ball or his strokes or anything like that have been in question. You know, I think with Alex it's been a little bit between the ears, you know, how much he's willing to put into it on a daily basis. There's a lot of work on practice courts to come out and try to perform on that court. I think he's learning that.
You're not going to find a more experienced guy than Peter Lundgren to help him on his way. It seems like that pairing has done pretty well so far.

Q. Your working relationship with Jimmy, is it still evolving? Is it in a groove now?
ANDY RODDICK: I would say both. I think we're definitely -- it's not new anymore, but we're comfortable around each other. Hopefully there are still better things to come.

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