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June 15, 2007

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.

Q. You seemed disappointed with your performance on television.
ANDY RODDICK: Not disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I mean, it was tough out there today because you had a 15- or 20-mile-an-hour wind going at your back on one side.
I was more upset. I just had some pretty bad concentration lapses in the second set: when I lost my serve, then I almost lost it again. I was up Love-30, had an easy shot, kind of just, you know, dumped it.
I was hitting the ball fine. I hit the ball better than I did yesterday I think. It was just, you know, I need to bear down a little bit more.

Q. As the season goes on, you're on your favorite surfaces, do you feel more pressure because you haven't won a title and you want to win towards the end of the season or the second half of the season?
ANDY RODDICK: No. To be honest, I don't think about that much. I think the big thing is just getting as much preparation as you can so you can make a run at the slams, you know, which I've done with the exception of the French. It's just putting yourself in good position, in good form before that.
But, you know, that being said, the best way to do that is to win a tournament.

Q. You talked about your lapses in concentration. How much of a worry is that with Wimbledon just around the corner?
ANDY RODDICK: Luckily, that's something you can control. You know, it's not problems with any certain shot or stroke. It's not great, but if you could pick your problems, that's probably one that is the most in your hands.

Q. What was causing you to kind of drift off from the match?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know.

Q. How is it playing out there compared with other years? The same?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's the same. Today was tough because, you know, there's not normally that breeze. You saw both of us kind of blow shots from that one side. The wind was giving it an extra four or five feet of length, which is tough. You're playing one side and you could hit through the ball, then the next side the wind's at your back and you kind of have to play a little bit more inside yourself.
I don't know if that has as much to do with the surface as it does just the conditions.

Q. What did you make of your opponent? Do you think he's someone that could be quite dangerous on this surface?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, he serves pretty big. He hits the ball through the court. Yeah, I mean, he's young, so he'll be fine.

Q. With the majors still to go, do you feel in order to live up to your expectations, you need to make the final or the semifinals of one of those tournaments to compete with Nadal and Federer that have been so dominant this season?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, that's what you're aiming to do. My expectations are to go out there and to try to play well and do the right things. I'd love to win a Wimbledon sometime. I've been so close before. That's probably my primary goal in my career at this point.
Right now my focus is on this tournament and preparing for that. I'm not really thinking about Wimbledon yet. US Open's a long way away as far as my thought process goes.

Q. When you're playing at a club like this where you're so close to the fans, what has it been like this week walking around with a coach that's arguably more famous than you?
ANDY RODDICK: It's not "arguably" (laughter). There's no argument there.
My brother and I laugh. We'll be walking around. They'll come up, "Remember that match you played against this guy in 1977?" He kind of has a running history of every match he's played. I don't know if he remembers all of them, but he pretends to (smiling).

Q. Does he spend a lot of time talking to you about his time at Wimbledon and giving you advice?
ANDY RODDICK: Never. You have to ask him questions about his playing career for him to talk about it. At the Open last year, it wasn't, "I use the crowd to get you going." It's like, "Use the New York crowd to your advantage." It's never really about him, which I guess is the purpose of a coach.
It's amazing kind of how little he discusses it.

Q. Do you have any television recollections of him on Wimbledon grass?
ANDY RODDICK: Probably not Wimbledon, besides videos. You know, I'm not sure when he made his last run at Wimbledon. I was actually at the Open in '91 when he made his run. Kind of just what I've seen on tapes and stuff. I don't remember it from when I was younger.

Q. Have you ever seen the old racquet?

Q. Yes.
ANDY RODDICK: I've actually hit some with it. He brought that to practice one day, one of our first days, had me hit 10 minutes with it. He goes, "Good, you can hit with this thing, you can hit with anything" (imitating Jimmy Connors' voice).

Q. How was it?
ANDY RODDICK: You can hit through the ball. You just can't get these massive topspin shots that people do now. I don't think Rafa would like it, that's for sure. I hit through the ball a little bit. I didn't mind it too much. It's heavy, though.

Q. You say your primary objective is still to win Wimbledon. You've been close twice. Are you closer now or further away from achieving that aim?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, I kind of put last year aside a little bit just 'cause it was probably the worst tennis I played in the last four or five years. Every other time on grass I've been right there, you know, with these tournaments. I lost to Roger three times in the final weekend.
It makes no point to compare and contrast. You probably put Roger as the favorite. Outside of that, I feel like I'm right there.

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