|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
August 30, 2007
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Yesterday Mardy Fish said that if a guy named Roger wasn't around, Andy might have a couple more Slams. I think Andy for sure would have two or three more, and James might have won the US Open last year or the year before. Any comment on that?
ANDY RODDICK: No.
Q. Can you talk about Acasuso in the first set, his game, how he played a little bit against you?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I thought he was hitting the ball pretty well. You know, one break. I had chances. I didn't convert. Even after the first set, I wasn't panicked.
I felt like, you know, I didn't mind the way the points were going. I was going to see if he could keep it up for an entire five-set match.
Q. Can you talk about playing here in New York, how this tournament might be a little bit different from other tournaments.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I've been saying it since I got here. But there's a buzz around this tournament that you don't get around most tennis events. I don't think New York City plays a small part in that at all.
I think having night sessions and the way they kind of promote the history of the game here with Billie Jean last year and obviously Arthur's name on the stadium, with the Althea Gibson tribute here, I think it adds another dimension where it's not just another tennis tournament, but an event as well.
Q. How long did it take for you to get over the 2005 mojo debacle? Did it wear on you to meet with the American Express people after it was over and say, You guys don't ever do that again?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. I feel like you take your lumps and move on. I can honestly say I probably haven't thought about it since.
You know, in the grand scheme of things it really wasn't a big deal for me.
Q. When you broke for 5-2 in that third set, it was a wonderful volley exchange. You said something afterwards. Do you remember what you said?
ANDY RODDICK: No.
Q. It seems a better competition this one if the past was only Federer/Nadal. Now it also seems like you, Djokovic, Blake in good form. How do you think on this?
ANDY RODDICK: The fact that there are other people in good form?
Q. There are a lot of players in good form during this one.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, you know, I feel like some of the top guys, like James and Novak, are hitting their stride at the right time coming into the US Open, which is giving people maybe a little bit more to talk about.
Q. You really seemed to have a lot of momentum after that volley exchange, the love service game. Is any disappointment that you couldn't keep playing, that he did have to default?
ANDY RODDICK: Sure. I don't think you like winning matches like that. Especially I felt like I was starting to play okay and make returns and react. But at the end of the day, your goal is to get through and to give yourself a chance to play in the third round.
I'm going to be able to. It's all right.
Q. You have a pretty stellar tiebreak record this year. Can you talk about the importance of managing tiebreaks tactically and mentally, particularly at a Slam where you could take one in the fifth set?
ANDY RODDICK: I feel like I have a bit of an advantage playing tiebreakers just because I've played so many in my career. I got on a little bit of a hot streak I think after the French where I reeled off 17 or 18 in a row. That will pad the stats a little bit as far as tiebreakers go.
It's not a new position for me, especially in big tournaments, playing breakers. It's something I'm used to. Obviously I think having a big serve where you can get a couple maybe free points in a breaker helps as well.
Q. Do you practice it more coming into the hard court season?
ANDY RODDICK: Not really. You play practice sets. Sometimes you get to a breaker, then you practice them.
To be honest, I feel like it's really tough to just say, Okay, we're going to play a tiebreaker without playing the set leading up and just we're going to start. It's tough to really simulate that kind of atmosphere.
Q. If you were giving a scouting report on Federer against John Isner, how do you see that match playing out?
ANDY RODDICK: Isner's going to be very tall and Roger's going to be very good.
You know, it's going to be interesting. I think if John can get -- try to get to some breakers, you know, at least hold his serve, then who knows. John probably has a game that can make Roger a little bit more uncomfortable than most people just because -- you can go game sometimes without hitting a ball.
That being said, Roger's done well against big servers, myself included. It will be interesting to watch. I think Roger's going to definitely try to get that early break in the first set, just kind of get out in front. I think that's going to be a key.
Q. You play so much tennis, so much on hard courts. I don't think you have tendinitis issues. If not, why not? Is there an obvious reason to you why that hasn't been an issue for you?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I've had knee tendinitis for five or six years now.
Q. Sorry, I didn't know that.
ANDY RODDICK: But it's something, depending how severe it is, that you can play through. You know, you're not risking months of playing by playing on it. It's going to be really sore. It's going to be really uncomfortable.
Like I said, you're not really risking long-term damage, which really begs the question, Are you willing to go out there and just fight it out? Playing a lot on the hard courts, I think it beats you up a little bit.
Q. In basketball, baseball, the whole key is making adjustments for the other team. In this tournament, the day, night, heat, cooler, are there greater adjustments than any of the other slams?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, possibly. I mean, I feel like a hard court just by nature reacts to the weather a lot more. If it's hot out it becomes really fast. If it's cold out it's a little bit slower.
There's a lot more in-match adjustments because I feel like it's the most neutral surface. Obviously, you brought up the day tennis versus the night tennis. The conditions always feel a little bit different.
The wind doesn't get talked about a lot here, but it's a sneaky wind which you can definitely notice from side to side. That's something that gets dealt with, as well.
Q. How about playing under the lights? Are the lights here good enough that it doesn't matter?
ANDY RODDICK: No, it doesn't affect you picking up the ball here. The lights are amazing here.
Q. When you were a kid, I have to assume you had birthday parties. Are there any particular that stand out as most memorable for you other than the last five years here?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, geez. I don't really have birthday parties here because I always have to play. Yeah, I mean, I actually spent a couple of -- two years of my birthdays up here with my mom. She brought me up here for my birthday to this tournament.
One year was the year Jimmy made his run to the semis. I would -- I'd get here for the first match and I wouldn't leave till it was over. Those are probably my fondest memories, just sneaking into the nosebleed sections. I actually snuck into the players lounge one time and stole a cheesecake.
Q. Were there any pony rides in your past?
ANDY RODDICK: Pony rides? I'd lie to you if I did take pony rides.
Q. I'm talking about when you were four.
ANDY RODDICK: When I was four? Would you put a four-year-old on a pony?
ANDY RODDICK: Scared, man. I don't know. I mean, I remember going to birthday parties and stuff. We did like push-ups and stuff, not pony rides (smiling).
Q. Ever interviewed by an opponent before?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, Justin interviewed me after I beat him in Wimbledon for ESPN afterwards, but not on court. I didn't know that was going to happen. It was a little awkward because I felt like, you know, it was a big moment for Justin.
I didn't feel like anybody wanted to hear what I had to say just because he was pretty much owning the crowd after the match as far as being humorous and stuff. I kind of the just reversed it and let him talk more, which he'll do.
Q. Have you and James Blake ever sat together and talked about each other's game, even in jest, analyzed it critically at all?
ANDY RODDICK: Analyzed it critically? Have James and I sat down and had serious conversations about each other's games? Not really. I mean, I think we'll make fun of each other sometimes.
Q. What would you make fun of?
ANDY RODDICK: There's too many girls out there for us to sit down and talk critically about tennis (smiling).
No, but in all seriousness, not really. Our friendship, I don't know -- we'll talk about sports, pretty much everything else. I think we kind of leave the -- I don't know if we're in the position to criticize each other.
I'm not going to go tell him to work on this shot, he comes out and beats me next time. It's a little bit of an awkward situation. I feel like we leave that out of it a little bit.
We'll definitely give each other props. He's the first one, if I play well, to send me a text, and vice versa.
Q. You said you weren't panicking after losing the first set, which makes sense. Were you okay with the way you played the first set?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, if you look at the game I got broken, he hit three pretty good passing shots. I don't know if I missed the ball in that game. I made some first serves. Probably more upset when I was up Love-40 and I didn't break back.
But I felt like I was hitting the ball okay. I felt like the points were going -- they weren't going terribly. I didn't feel real uncomfortable out there. I knew that after the first set I could turn it into a long day.
Q. Jonas Bjorkman just said that the Swedes for Davis Cup would not just have a fast court, but it would be like lightening fast, like an ice rink. He said it was because of Johansson's serve. What is your response to that or thoughts on that comment?
ANDY RODDICK: That's fine. That's fine by me. I was surprised when they said they were going to put it on a hard surface.
Q. Do you feel the faster the better in terms of your serve?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, I think the faster the surface, especially if it's insanely fast like he's talking about, it might be is an equalizer for all parties. I don't feel like it hurts me. Obviously, I feel like I'm going to be able to serve through a pretty fast court.
I think they're trying to make the points short and equalize it as much as they can.
Q. Do you think you're better equipped to deal with the effects of tendinitis because you grew up on the hard courts compared to maybe Jose and also Rafa who have been complaining they need to make sure there aren't more hard court tournaments?
ANDY RODDICK: That's funny. No more hard court tournaments.
Q. Adding to the schedule.
ANDY RODDICK: You play seven months a year on clay if you want to. I'm not going to throw a pity party by any means.
I don't know. I'm not sure. You can look at it one way where you're either used to playing on hard courts or you have years and years and years of damage from playing on the hard courts. I'm not really sure.
When I got it early on, it's better than it used to be for me just because you learn certain exercises you can do, the physical training, what you need to build up to kind of deal with it.
Q. Is it patellar tendinitis?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes.
Q. If a guy can come here, do a little press conference, I don't know if you warmed up, do you think he should try to play a match? I'm talking about Gasquet pulling out. Should he have tried to play the match?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, it's tough for me to say just because we're not him. We don't know what he was feeling. I can only answer for myself. I mean, if you're sick, you know, I don't feel like that's going to get worse.
I feel like that's a short-term thing. I'd probably go out there and give it a go. Probably wouldn't be comfortable.
My biggest thing with playing matches versus not playing matches is if you're risking long-term -- if it's going to affect you longer than just that day or a week or two down the road. That's kind of the way I gauge it.
Q. Did you expect him to retire from this match? At one point when he called the trainer he was shaking his head to his player's box.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I saw him kind of jawing to his box after I got up a break in the second. I knew if I could put the pressure on -- but at the same time, you don't want a guy to sit back there and then just start swinging free and not caring, and then all of a sudden he's back in it.
I really wanted to bear down there in that third set. It didn't surprise me.
Q. We've seen a lot of players coming from college tennis. What can you say about this way? That wasn't your way, but what can you say about it?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, are you just asking me what I think about college tennis?
Q. If you don't have potential to be like No. 10 and win the juniors, is that a good way to go?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I think it's -- if you're not ready, it's probably the best place for an American to go if they're not ready to turn pro right out of the juniors. It's nice to have that option.
James and I talk about it a lot. He says, you know, it was perfect for him, whereas it would have -- I don't feel like I would have gotten any better in college.
I think it's just a personal decision. I don't know if you can generalize it with this person should go, this person shouldn't. If there's any doubt, then I think the person maybe should err on the safe side of going to school.
You get someone like Sam Querrey, who was capable of winning matches. I had the conversation with Sam last year when he was thinking about it. I said, Listen, you're going to go in, you're going to be the No. 1 player in the country right away.
You're going to be on a team where you're practicing with guys you're just better than every day. I don't know how much you can improve in that situation.
But, you know, if you're not, you still have something -- if you have something to strive for, then college a tennis isn't a bad play at all.
Q. Isn't that a reason to go to college? Tennis, and an educational aspect?
ANDY RODDICK: Absolutely. But I figured it was a tennis question because he was talking about professional tennis players.
Q. Why don't you play doubles more?
ANDY RODDICK: Why don't I play doubles more? Because I'm not very good at it.
Q. We haven't heard what you're doing for your birthday. If we promise not to show up, will you tell us?
ANDY RODDICK: Probably not. I don't know. My mom's trying to get together a dinner for me. I have never -- I've either always been playing the next day or playing that night. I've never actually had an open night for a birthday here. I'm not sure. Probably just a dinner with some friends.
Q. Is there something new with your charity bracelet?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, we just did a red, white and blue one for the US Open Series, then for the Davis Cup semis, as well. Just switching it up a little.
End of FastScripts