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August 26, 2007

Andy Roddick



Q. How was that hit today?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it was good. I got here a week ago. I've gotten in a lot of practices. So feeling good.

Q. What was the US Open Series shoot like? Was it as much fun as it looked? Other players? Just you?
ANDY RODDICK: No, we all did it. I think everybody did it alone, with the exception of the Bryans.
It was fun. It was pretty quick. I think they did a pretty good job. I don't know if any of us knew they were going to show out-takes. But, you know, it's nice. It kind of takes us out of our element a little bit.

Q. Was it mostly off the cuff or scripted?
ANDY RODDICK: Mostly scripted. I guess they used more of the stuff we said in between takes.

Q. What were you working on in practice after Cincinnati?
ANDY RODDICK: Just getting forward. Just staying my ground. You know, Washington and Montréal, I felt like I was hitting the ball pretty well. Even when I lost to Djokovic I felt like I was hitting the ball decent.
In Cincinnati, played just a really bad match against Ferrer. That's annoying in itself. But also the way I played was bad. It was reverting back to standing too far back, kind of letting him control points.
This whole week we've just been working on that. I feel a lot better.

Q. John Isner is a guy that went to the same school your brother did. Had a chance to see him in Washington. Can you give us a scouting report?
ANDY RODDICK: It's going to be tough for Isner not to win tennis matches just because of the way he serves. You know, he can be playing terribly in every other aspect and still have a chance to win a match just because, you know, he's gonna be in service games.
That being said, he can do other things out there, as well. You know, to come on the tour and win matches and beat good players right away is impressive. He was winning tight matches as well, which is a good sign.

Q. The first year, could he have a lot of success, maybe fall back just a little bit? Sam Querrey might have had a bit of that.
ANDY RODDICK: Let's have him have the success before we have already having him falling back.

Q. You mentioned standing too far back. Is this something you constantly have to remind yourself on?
ANDY RODDICK: Sure. You know, growing up I was pretty small, so that was my natural way of playing. Just kind of running around. Know I've kind of grown into myself. It's something I have to work on. It's something that Jimmy and I have to work on.
In that match things didn't feel good. I kind of reverted back. That's the things that probably upset both of us the most. That's why I was pretty mad after that one. Losing is part -- it happens, but losing in the wrong ways isn't acceptable.
So I'm glad we've been able to get up here and get repetitions in. I feel a lot better about where my game is than I did a week ago.

Q. Do you feel comfortable, though, when you're moving forward all the time? You're saying you grew up playing a particular way.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I do. I feel fine doing it. I've had success doing it over the last year, but it's something that I have to practice. It's something that I have to work on, you know, and remind myself to do.

Q. As first-round matches go, does Justin offer a more difficult challenge than other players?
ANDY RODDICK: Justin's tough because you know you're not going to get that match where you're hitting a lot of balls, kind of work your way into a match. He's going to play a little bit kamikaze. First ball he gets, he's just going to crush it, crush it, get in, be all arms and legs up there.
It is a little bit uncomfortable.

Q. Federer has owned this tournament for a while now. What is it going to take for you to get on that roll you've been on before here?
ANDY RODDICK: What question are you asking me? Because Federer has nothing to do with me getting on a roll.

Q. You've won here before.

Q. Getting on the roll, is your game where it can be to get on that roll again and take this?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, well, the thing about getting on a roll is getting through the first round, then getting through the second round, so on and so forth.
I feel fine. I've been hitting the ball really well in practice. I've started serving well in practice. I've been playing the right way in practice. So, you know, there's no reason why I can't make a run here.

Q. How do you compare your championship year 2003 to last year when you were playing extremely well and lost in four sets in the final?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it depends on what aspect you're asking about. Are you asking tennis-wise?

Q. Your style changed. New coach.
ANDY RODDICK: Style is a lot different. I think the game from '03, I could stand back and kind of muscle my way out of positions. Since then, I think a lot of our people are predicting big serving taking over, all that.
It actually went the opposite way with people moving, becoming better athletes on the court. When that happened I don't know if I was able to stay back as much, so I kind of had to adjust. So I feel like I played different ways in those two runs.

Q. How much do you think injuries in tennis are the result of tennis mechanics as opposed to the body? Roger Federer we kind of think of as a fluid player, seems to have avoided a lot of the injuries that other players on the tour have suffered. Do you think that's a factor at all?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, but I don't know if that's specific to tennis. I feel like that has a lot to do with things in most sports. You know, if someone has good technique and they do things the right way, I think there's a lot less room for error as far as injury goes.

Q. Did you watch Mardy and James?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't. I was getting dinner. I don't know, that's a match that's uncomfortable for me to watch personally. I didn't watch it.

Q. You've been here a long time in this spot. Are you just as excited now as you were five years ago sitting in this chair getting ready for the US Open?
ANDY RODDICK: Sure. You know, there's no tennis event like this one, you know, with the electricity and the buzz, the tennis at night. When I'm driving in and I'm 10 days out of the tournament still, you first get in the city and you still get those butterflies, you still get a little anxious. When that feeling goes away, then I'll worry.

Q. Have you been up to the new weight room?

Q. What do you think?
ANDY RODDICK: I think it's great. The transformations this place has made over this last year is just night and day for the players. The locker rooms are huge now.
We went through and counted, and I think there's like 18 flat screens in the locker room now. We're very spoiled in there. We got our fix of different sports. With the weight room, I think the food's a lot better, you know, credit to the USTA. I guess they've listened to the players' complaints and done their best to adjust.

Q. Could you rate the weight room here with the other Grand Slam weight rooms?
ANDY RODDICK: I think the locker room and the weight room, it might have gone from worst to first. I mean, I think in comparison to the other slams there's not a weight room like it, no.

Q. You were talking about the night matches before. Do you prefer the night matches to the day matches here?
ANDY RODDICK: Uhm, I don't know. I look forward to the night matches just because they're such a part of the US Open. But, you know, I don't know if I have a strong preference either way. I like watching the night matches. I think they definitely have a little bit more buzz than the day matches.
But, you know, either way is fine.

Q. Do they help the big server, do you think?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I don't know if playing when the sun's up or playing under the lights really affects a serve too much.

Q. I mean, picking it up for the return?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, the lights are so good out there that it's not tough to pick up the ball at night.

Q. Besides tennis, what do you like to do in New York?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, there's no better city for people watching, that's for sure. You know, they have great restaurants. I could probably think of a lot of other boring things to tell you guys.
I don't know. I mean, when we're here, you're kind of focused on business. But there's so many cool aspects of New York. Personally, like I said, I just enjoy walking around and people watching.

Q. Do you feel like you're working the point a little more nowadays as opposed to three years ago when you might have ended points quicker?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know, when I'm playing well, I feel like I can -- I have the ability to work the point a little bit more. You know, that's the point -- when I'm playing my best tennis is when I feel like I have options, you know, to play the way I need to dependent upon how I need to, who I'm playing.

Q. Something you and Jimmy talk about?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. You know, it's all part of basic strategy. Against some guys you're going to be able to be a little bit more patient, against some guys you're going to have to take some risks.

Q. Do you think stadium court is tailored for you: Fast enough to get through, but gritty enough for your kick serve?
ANDY RODDICK: I like the stadium court. I feel like the ball bounces up. I've always felt pretty comfortable out there. I kind of know the ins-and-outs, the little things, like the wind out there, the way the ball sounds.
I remember the first time I walked out there. It just seemed so big. It's unlike any other court. So I think, you know, that's a bit of an advantage for me if I'm going against someone who hasn't played a lot out there.

Q. Do you think Roger is as big a favorite as he was last year?
ANDY RODDICK: As he was last year?

Q. Here.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I mean, how do you rate that?

Q. Three out of four Masters Series on hard courts. Wins Cincy, but loses Montréal, Indian Wells and Miami. He wins Cincinnati, so maybe he has all the momentum, but maybe he doesn't because Djokovic is playing well.
ANDY RODDICK: That's a lot more thinking than I think we put into it, to be honest (laughter).
I mean, he's the favorite. The way I see it, there's the favorite and then there's people trying to unseat the favorite. He's the favorite.

Q. What was your reaction to the draw, possible match-up with Federer in the quarters?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I mean, it's not -- I think everybody else is making -- you know, it's more relevant for you guys to write about. I have to get there before it becomes relevant to me. That's kind of the way I see it.

Q. Does this feel like the same situation you were in last year coming in, you kind of struggled a bit during the summer, then came in here and got to the final? Do you feel you're in a similar situation?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. Last year, my struggle, I would have loved to say was a tournament or two. This year I feel like maybe it was maybe a tournament. I don't feel like they're that similar.

Q. Any irony in playing Justin two slams in a row? Looks like this might be his last one.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think the odds are like 1 in 9600 or something when you do the math. That's not as much as, what did they pull six qualifiers in a row the top of the draw? That's like one in 120,000, 130,000 something.
Yeah, obviously you see it and you have a quick laugh. I sent him a quick note, said, What do you think of that? He didn't know what I was talking about. He hadn't seen the draw yet, so... I guess I informed him.

Q. Any discussion of the Davydenko match at the meeting yesterday?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think so. I was playing rock, paper, scissors in the back with the guy next to me (smiling).
No, I think Etienne has been pretty straightforward. I think we learned about the same time as you guys do that there's an investigation going on, that there's three people involved. I think, to his credit, he's been pretty forthcoming with details. I don't know if we know anything more than you guys do right now.

Q. Does that concern you, that issue?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I'm pretty confident it's an isolated event. Until we know something, until due process takes its course, you can't really say anything. It would worry me if they found there was something going on and nothing happened then.
But it's disappointing. You don't want to hear about it. You don't want tennis' story lines to be that. It is what it is.
I'm happy that at least they're putting forth the effort to investigate it and to kind of take care of it and try to make sure it's an isolated event.

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