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July 4, 2007

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Andy Roddick.

Q. Can you go over that rather amazing tiebreak with us.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I got down quick but, you know, I felt like I had -- I didn't make first serves, but I did make him hit two pretty good passing shots to get up.
You know, he doesn't have a serve where he's going to hit aces the whole time. So I never felt like I was completely out of it.
That being said, you're obviously not confident down 5-0 in a breaker. I know my serve can go in bunches, two at a time sometimes. So I was just concentrating on trying to get a point each time on his serve.

Q. Talk about the whole ordeal of the rain, on and off. Rafa was talking about why we didn't play on Sunday. Can you talk about how you deal with that, what you thought.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, it is what it is. You know, the things that you love about Wimbledon with the tradition ended up making it tough this time. But, you know, I still love the tradition and I still love kind of everything about it, the prestige. I think that's what kind of makes the aura of this tournament.
Unfortunately, you know, it made it tougher on especially Rafa's side. Maybe that's why I'm sitting here saying it's okay (smiling). But, you know, there's no question it's tough. You know, you're sitting in the locker room the whole time knowing if it clears you could be on the court in 20 minutes. That's quite a prospect to carry on for three and four days.
Then boredom takes over. We all start getting a little loopy. You know, it is what it is.

Q. Could it get to the point with Roger not playing so many days - people have been talking about it as an advantage - but that it could be something of a liability for him?
ANDY RODDICK: It could work either way. You know, for me to sit here and predict it is tough. I've said all along, I'm not worried for Roger. I'm really not.

Q. How would you feel about that much inactivity for your own game on a surface like this?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, in one hand, you don't have to play a fourth-round match, you're guaranteed a spot, so that's nice. But at the same time it would be really weird to go five or six days during a Slam without playing a match.
If I'm given the choice, I'm going to take the guaranteed entry into the quarterfinals. Like I said, I'm not worried about Roger. I'm not worried for him. I think he'll do okay. I'm going to spare the tears on that one.

Q. Would you not lose momentum that way?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, there's no question he's probably not going to be as sharp coming off of a five-day layoff than playing every day. But, you know, fortunately for him that five-day layoff came at the best possible time. It's not like it's been sunny, we've all been getting practice in. We've been stuck in a locker room for nine hours a day, and he's been chilling out taking the double decker bus red thing tour maybe.
Given the choice, I'll take a living room over a locker room.

Q. What was the loopiest thing that happened in the locker room?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, gosh. We can't print that stuff. I can't sit here and tell what goes on in the locker room, even if it was for a profitable book or something like that.

Q. Or not for a profitable book.
ANDY RODDICK: Or not a profitable book, whatever.

Q. During the rain delay, who's the most fun to be around?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, we're probably the most annoying corner. Me, Jimmy, Gimel. There's certainly not a lack of dumb conversation going on between us. Gimel always has something funny to say or sarcastic.
It is what it is.

Q. How does Gimel compare as a talker with Brad?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm going to, for the first time in my career, stay silent on that one.

Q. You have a tough match ahead of you, but possibly Roger the round after that. Any lingering effects from Australia? Do you think about that match, or do you take anything positive out of it?
ANDY RODDICK: Positive out of it, no. Yeah, it's something positive: it's not going to get worse (laughter).
I'm going to stick with what I've been doing. I'm not going to talk about it till it's there.

Q. There are a lot of quotes floating around from Pete Sampras the last few days talking about the lack of attack tennis at Wimbledon. He wanted his opponents to stay back. You seem to be trying to get to the net more. Do you agree with him that's the way to win?
ANDY RODDICK: I agree that's the best way for him to win, yeah. But is it the best way for a lot of guys to win? No.
You know, obviously you can't sit here and question Pete's opinions on how to play grass court tennis. But I don't know if you can generalize it by saying that's the best way for everybody to play.

Q. On your match, given the quality of the opponent today, you had essentially one bad service game. Is this your best tennis of the tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: Today was little spotty. I could have been a little bit tighter. But overall I think it was my best match. I mean, the guy was rolling pretty good players. You know, Stepanek's pretty good on grass. Ferrer is tough any time. Kind of really dominated Ljubicic in the last three sets of that match. It was pretty impressive.
So to get through him in straight sets I thought was a good thing.

Q. What about the way you came out at the start of this to wrap up the second set?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, it's tough 'cause you feel like all the pressure's on you to go out. He's already feeling like he's pretty much in a two-set hole. You still got to go out there and get through a service game.
You know, I'm glad I was able to get out to a 40-Love lead there. It made me feel a little bit more comfortable.

Q. The next match against Gasquet or Tsonga. You know them well.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, you know, I think it will be - correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't know if Gasquet has been in the quarters before of a Slam - but I think it will be the first time for either one of them. That's probably not going to hurt me.
I just hope they play for about 12 hours today.

Q. The Brazilian team, 28-26, they said you congratulated them or something. Could you believe that score? Have you ever seen a match like that?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, yes, I have seen a match like that. Been part of one before. You know, it's weird 'cause where I was sitting in the locker room I could see Kevin Ullyett here, I can see the Brazilians down there.
They're kind of coming off and you're checking the score. They're all good guys. You hate to see someone have to lose after that, and especially the drama of four and five days.
You know, but at the same time I think matches like that, that's what makes a Grand Slam. That's what makes it different than just going to see a regular tour event, is the possibility of something crazy like that happening.

Q. Have you found yourself making significant adjustments on grass, or is it just tweaking a little bit, coming in a little bit more?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, the adjustments that I make on grass are the adjustments that fit my game anyways. When I come from clay to grass, I feel like, okay, automatically my ball's getting more stick.
I go out even on a hard court and try to -- now I try to drive the ball through the court. I think it has to do more with volleys. You know, you can get away with shorter volleys on grass. You know, maybe kind of squirty slice up the line is a little bit more effective on grass.
With my game, I don't feel like I have to make that many adjustments for it to be successful on grass. It's the surface that kind of fits for me.

Q. You're coming up on 25 in a couple months. A lot of people call that the midpoint of your career - not if your Jimmy Connors. Where are you at this point in your career if it's sort of the midpoint?
ANDY RODDICK: Are you asking me if it's a midpoint, or are you asking me for a report card?

Q. 25, mid-career.
ANDY RODDICK: That's scary that I'm getting these questions.
No, I plan on being here and annoying you guys for much longer.

Q. But assess your career at this point. How do you feel about it?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, you know, I've said from the beginning if you would have told me at 12 that I could just play tennis forever for a living, I would have been the happiest little boy you've ever seen.
You know, I feel like I've done really well. I had four goals when I started that were kind of my best-case scenario for my career, ever, beyond my wildest dreams, was to win the Open, to be No. 1, to win Wimbledon, and to win Davis Cup.
At the midpoint I'm about two for four, so if I can keep on that pace, I'm doing okay.

Q. After the Nadal/Soderling match, Soderling raised and issue about Nadal's delaying tactics. What is Nadal's reputation as far as the pace of his play, and does it ever get to you when you play him?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. It hasn't bothered me when I faced him. You know, don't ask me a question that you know the answer to. It's been brought up before. But it doesn't bother me when we play.

Q. After so many wins in a tiebreak, so many tiebreakers won consecutively, would you like more to have a fifth set always with a tiebreaker in all slams, like it is at the US Open, or do you like better a long final set?
ANDY RODDICK: I like the mix, to be honest. I don't know if it's really that much of an advantage either way. Because if I'm in a fifth I got to feel like I'm going to hold serve more than most of the guys I'm going to play against. In a tiebreaker it's a little bit more of a crapshoot, for lack of a better term.
I kind of like it the way it is. I feel like the tiebreaker in the fifth set in New York kind of fits the tournament with the big lights and the music and everything. All of a sudden it's kind of all or nothing there in the last three or four minutes. I like that.
I like the tradition here of playing it out. I feel like it fits the tournament. I feel like there's the right balance there.

Q. Who is the person that you look up to, whether you follow their steps in the past or now?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, sporting heroes?

Q. Sporting heroes.
ANDY RODDICK: Sporting heroes. That's a big difference. Yeah, I mean, it's tough 'cause you look at -- from sporting heroes I look at people who have -- there have been a lot of great champions in a lot of sport, but I kind of look towards the people who have taken that and done something positive with it away from the sport as well. I think Andre's done that as well as anybody.
I admire kind of the guts that Mohammed Ali had to kind of forego the prime of his career, regardless if we agree with him or not, but to forego it to kind of really stand by what he believed in I thought was pretty amazing. I feel like kind of the awareness that Lance Armstrong has brought to cancer is pretty amazing as well.

Q. In tennis?
ANDY RODDICK: As far as tennis, I was pretty spoiled growing watching the generation that I did. I don't know if I ever really picked one of the guys over the other. I was lucky enough to see the tail end of Mack and Jimmy. I was probably a little bit of a fairweather fan. We normally had someone in the last four of a tournament, so they were my favorite player on that day.

Q. Didn't your expectations change once you accomplished two of the four? Sort of the natural thing, you win the Open, become No. 1.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know if he was asking me about my expectations. But, yeah, they changed. Are you looking for me to bash myself here since then?

Q. No. You can prop yourself and say, I did these two things and then figured maybe I can win Australia, maybe two Wimbledons.
ANDY RODDICK: I'm just telling you what my absolute dreams were in this sport. I still have a lot there on the table. You know, if you're asking me if I don't care about another US Open title when I'm going into the final last year, that's not the case.
I'm just as passionate about it as I was. Those were kind of my dreams that I wrote down when I turned pro at 17 years old.

Q. You've been with Jimmy at four majors now. Is he different at the different majors? If so, how?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I think obviously he brings maybe a different knowledge from each of the Slams. In New York last year, he kind of shared a little bit more how he would get the crowd involved in New York, how he remembered the crowd reacting in certain situations, how to use that to your advantage.
Here it's a little bit different. I feel like it is a little bit unique to each Slam.

Q. If this Wimbledon goes into a third week because of the rain, are you available? Does it cause you any problems?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't have much of a life outside of what you're seeing here. I wouldn't even mind it. I got nothing to do at home. Hell, let's just play Wimbledon for like 12 weeks a year.

Q. Do you believe organizers have done enough to get the tournament back on track after all the delays?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. What else are they going to do? You can't play on a wet tennis court and you can't play while it's raining. Obviously the only thing that I feel like that's up for debate, that we've already covered, is whether or not to play on Sunday. That's up to personal opinion.

Q. If there's a Monday final, you'll definitely stay here and play, you won't go home?

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