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August 14, 2007

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Nice way to start the tournament, huh?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, was. I don't think I hit the ball great early, but it got better as the match went on, which is, like I had on the court, it's better than the alternative.
I thought I served better. I haven't been serving well the last couple weeks. So kind of when I get those two things together it should be a lot better.

Q. Last year this time it was kind of a different attitude out of you as far as where you were in the rankings and kind of your approach. I guess a year later it's a lot different.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. You know, last year I was a couple points from dropping out of the top 20, and here I'm solidly at, I don't know, 4 or somewhere around there. So it is a big difference. But this is kind of where the big turnaround took place.

Q. You really felt that after you won here and just kind of started playing up to I guess where you are?
ANDY RODDICK: I felt like I was back after here. I felt like things were normal again. I wasn't forcing it. After my first round I kind of handled the event pretty convincingly. So one of my fondest memories of my career is last year's run here. I didn't take winning matches for granted after the last six months of last year, so I'm just excited to be back.

Q. Last year was about trying to regain some things. Is this year about trying to maintain where you are, maybe add to it a little bit?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I want to add to it. Given the position a year ago, you know, on this night and now with this night I'm happy. But it's by no means the ultimate goal.
You know, a year later I feel like I made a lot of progress with Jimmy, but I feel like we're still building and working towards something.

Q. When you come here, do you come here with kind of a sense of confidence knowing how you've dominated here?
ANDY RODDICK: It doesn't hurt. You know, you go out there and you just kind of -- it feels like home. You know the court, you know the atmosphere, you know the dimensions, kind of everything about the feel.
You know the people's names that work at the tournament. Just little things like that go a long way. And you know, I definitely feel that here, feel that kind of familiarity.

Q. Did you feel it last year, too?
ANDY RODDICK: Sure. I knew even before last year I had had a pretty good three-year run with a win and a final and a semi. But like I said, everything last year was kind of, Yeah, but...
But I haven't played well. So I think last year's win was probably the most significant that I've had.

Q. Coming in did you feel like, Well, this place has always been good for me and does feel like home?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. But I had kind of been resting my head on that sort of thinking at Queen's and Wimbledon as well because I had always played well there and that didn't exactly work out.
So, yes, I felt comfortable here. Once I got into the tournament everything started becoming normal again. But coming in there was definitely a since of apprehension. But if you want to turn things around, this is as good a place as any for me.

Q. Obviously your a hard court specialist, but is there any special thing you point to as to why you've had such great success here?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, in addition to the stuff I just touched on, obviously, you know, the court surface suits me. It's probably one of my favorite surfaces: Outdoor hard court.
In the past years I've had a lot of friends and family here. Normally I just have a couple of guys and we travel all the time and that's always nice.
You know, and traditionally I've done pretty well on the home soil. So, you know, you put all those things together and it's definitely not going to hurt at all.

Q. You have a lot of family and friends here this week, too?
ANDY RODDICK: No. No my parents are moving into a new house so they said Cincy is going to have to wait this year. Unfortunately.

Q. There was a lot made when you hired Jimmy as your coach.
ANDY RODDICK: A lot made? Okay. I thought you said a law made.

Q. What does he bring to you? I can't imagine it is maybe a lot of technical stuff.
ANDY RODDICK: At first it was technical. He saw some stuff that he wanted to fix and iron out. You know, the biggest thing is just there's a very small group of people I think that understand what it's like to play in a Grand Slam final or to have those aspirations or to have been at the top of the game.
You know, and a smaller group who -- anything that I'm going to go through he's been through and then some. I think that helps when it comes from a person of his stature.

Q. But at the same time, Federer is a guy who's had a lot success without anybody. It's just a matter of player by player?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I don't think you can generalize anything. I'm sure there have been baseball teams that have fired a manager and played great and I'm sure there have been some that have fired a manager and played horrible. Different things help different personalities.
Jimmy's not all here all the time. It's not like we're together every day. But it's nice to have kind of a mentor and have someone to bounce ideas off, especially someone that's that knowledgeable about tennis.

Q. Is he here this week?

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