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June 25, 2007
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.
Q. Relieved to finally put that match away?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it feels like that one game in the third set took longer than the rest of the match. It was tough.
It was a weird match because I felt like, you know, the best set I played was the toughest one. I started to kind of find my rhythm on my returns a little bit in the third set, and, you know, didn't have a lot of to show for it there for the majority of it.
It's always nice to get through.
Q. 74% first serves in, no breaks. This is the way you win on grass courts?
ANDY RODDICK: Sure. You give me the option to have that number for the tournament, and I would take it right now. If you're taking care of your own serve, that only puts more pressure on the other guy.
I felt like it was a pretty good serving day, especially considering the conditions were a little bit cold, a little bit unpredictable. That was all right.
Q. How soon in a match do you know you're going to have a big day serving?
ANDY RODDICK: It just depends. Today I felt like I had to work into it a little bit. I'm just guessing here because I haven't seen it, but the first set was, yeah -- never mind, I don't know anything (laughter).
Q. Justin said you guys had some bets, you were betting over/under on dives and different things.
ANDY RODDICK: We had dives, which I'm not sure of the total number, but it was really close.
Q. I think it was eight.
ANDY RODDICK: My brother set it at eight. It was real close. A couple of them he didn't have to dive. He actually said at one point, that was for John's over/under.
Then we had a bet, he said he would be the first person in history to dive during the warmup. I actually messed that one up 'cause I was supposed to hit a ball away from him that he could dive to, and I missed three passing shots instead. Unfortunately.
He does not own that dubious distinction because of me.
Q. What was the bet? Gentlemen's bet?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I wanted to see if he would actually dive. He was trying real hard in warmup, but I couldn't get the ball in the right spot for him.
Q. Do you consider yourselves friends over the years?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think so. You know, Justin was -- he used to play doubles with my brother in juniors. I've known him since I was nine running around tournaments. He was actually playing in 'em. I've known Justin a long time.
Q. He boasted and claimed he was the best diver in the game these days. Would you comment on that?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I'd be curious to know what you guys -- how do you define the word "best"? Frequency?
Q. Dives per match, explosiveness, length.
ANDY RODDICK: Explosiveness, he's not going to win that one. Frequency, he's good. He does a pretty good job. The weird thing is you actually feel it. If he dives and stabs one, you're all of a sudden a little tight when you're hitting the next ball. I'll give him top three.
Q. What about artistic merit?
ANDY RODDICK: Boris was good because he would get the roll sometimes, get up real quick. He was probably good as far as the artistry goes.
Q. His half gainers sucked, though, on the dive, Boris'.
ANDY RODDICK: You know, opinions. I don't know if I'm the best dive analyst.
Q. You have a very good relationship with Justin, but how easy do you find it to focus on knocking this guy out of Wimbledon?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, as Justin will, he was playing to the crowd a little bit, doing all that stuff, even kind of talking on switch overs. I was trying as hard as I can, because I think he's hilarious, right or wrong with his opinions, which he's been right or wrong plenty of times.
I was trying to keep it together and kind of focus in. He makes that a little tough for you sometimes.
Q. Do you read his column on the Internet?
ANDY RODDICK: I do. I do. I'm the first one -- I agree with a lot of it. I'm the first one to get on him when I don't. I thought this week's column was a little ironic for him.
Q. If you had to vote for the board of directors, would you have voted for him or Perry Rogers?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I don't know what the position -- to be honest, that whole system is a little bit defunct just because the council -- you're talking about the board or council?
ANDY RODDICK: Board is the one with three?
ANDY RODDICK: They don't have a player on that, do they?
Q. They could. There's nothing forbidding it, but they never have.
ANDY RODDICK: Weird.
Q. Justin made the first call of Hawk-Eye in Wimbledon history as well. Did you have a bet about that before the game, who would be the first challenge?
ANDY RODDICK: No. But when he did it, I thought of that. Did he miss it, though?
ANDY RODDICK: So he has the first miss with Hawk-Eye in Wimbledon history as well.
Q. Do you think it's a good thing that it's been introduced here this year?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, I'm kind of like a broken record in my support of Hawk-Eye. I feel like it's not only good for the players, I feel like it translates well to TV. Kind of the anticipation when you challenge, when you kind of see the ball, the court doing this thing, it finally lands. I feel like the crowd enjoys that. I'm for it.
Q. When you read Justin's column about you, what were your thoughts there? He propped you pretty good as the obvious No.2 coming in here.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I probably wouldn't have seen it besides the fact that we had talked last week just for a second. He's normally pretty humorous in his blog. I don't know.
I mean, if someone was to say that Raf was the No. 2, I wouldn't throw a huge argument about it. If they were to say I was the No. 2, I wouldn't necessarily disagree with it.
At the end of the day, what's No. 2? You know, I think it's kind of an irrelevant conversation.
Q. Do you like the support of your fellow players? Does it mean something to you? Either way does it not matter?
ANDY RODDICK: The support of your fellow players? In what sense?
Q. Like Justin saying Andy is coming into Wimbledon hot, playing at this level.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, I think it's good because it means you haven't been playing like a schmuck recently, right? From that point. For every Justin saying I'm playing well, there's going to be some guy who's not that impressed.
It's nice, but at the same time if someone says you're not very good, that kind of gives you that extra motivation as well. It's kind of a Catch-22.
Q. A lot of people in the era of Roger Federer might say a conversation on who's No. 2 does have some relevance.
ANDY RODDICK: I was speaking more specifically to this tournament and the grass. I don't think you can argue with Rafa's Grand Slam titles. I don't think you can. At the end of the day, I'm really talking about this tournament.
At this point in my career, you don't play for finals; you play to give yourself a shot. That's what we're here for.
Q. Is it a big deal to have gotten your match in first on court on a day when there's rain, some people pushed to tomorrow? At the beginning of a tournament, does that matter?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Giving me the option to play a match or sit and wait around, I'll play a match. It was interesting because we were supposed to be -- the rumor was late Sunday night I was going to be third on Court 1. The schedule flipped and Murray was third on Court 1. Maybe I can thank him for doing something to switch the schedule up.
Q. How many Wimbledon titles do you think you would have if Roger Federer were not your contemporary?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You figure I was in the last weekend three times, at least one, possibly two.
Q. Aesthetically, in terms of the effect it will have on play, what do guys feel about the open Centre Court?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, I think -- I think most people would agree it's not as aesthetically pleasing as it normally is. It just looks weird just 'cause, I mean, we've all grown to kind of be accustomed to kind of the roof. It just doesn't look like the Wimbledon Centre Court right now. But it's kind of a necessary evil. You take it as it is.
Q. Was the footing treacherous out there?
ANDY RODDICK: It was tough early on. There was a little bit of mist going on still. Early on in the first set, it was -- it probably wasn't the best, but it got better as the match went on.
Q. Even without rain, the first few days can be slick.
ANDY RODDICK: When it's green, not played on, it's going to be a little more slick. It was misting a little bit in the first set. The first five, six, seven games were a little bit uncomfortable.
Q. Looking way ahead to Davis Cup, are you surprised that the Swedes are going hard court and are you pleased?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's weird because they're maybe one of the teams where playing away on clay doesn't maybe give them that much of an advantage. Maybe a little bit surprised, but not shocked.
End of FastScripts