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September 3, 2007
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Is that good or bad, meaning good to win but not much activity?
ANDY RODDICK: You could look at it either way. Unfortunately for Tomas, that's not the way you want to go out. But there's not much I can do about it.
Q. How early did you spot there was something wrong?
ANDY RODDICK: Pretty early. Pretty early in the match.
Q. Was it because he asked for the trainer after the third game?
ANDY RODDICK: I heard him say something to the umpire, I think, early on in the first. Then, of course, I'm trying to eavesdrop on his whole conversation he's having with the trainer, as well, while they're out there, if he's pointing to a leg.
Q. He said he couldn't breathe.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, that's what I heard. That makes tennis difficult.
Q. Do you mind telling us if you went from there to hit some or if you plan to hit any more today?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I went straight out to the practice court from that court.
Q. How long did you spend? Are you feeling you got in a good day?
ANDY RODDICK: 45 minutes, an hour, something like that.
Q. Is it a positive or a negative to be so fresh? You want to be fresh, but do you want to be this fresh?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I don't know if it does too much good to worry about it because it's out of my hands. I know that this is a lot better than being dead tired. Given the two options, I'll take this one.
Q. What did he say to you at the net?
ANDY RODDICK: Nothing. I just asked him what was wrong. He said, you know -- said he was just tired and couldn't really do much. I just told him I hope he got better.
Q. Do you feel like you've been tested? At what points during this tournament do you feel you've been tested? By Johansson?
ANDY RODDICK: I haven't been tested much this tournament so far. I was on the ropes a little bit against Gimel. Acasuso played a good first set. I haven't really played a long, extended match.
Q. Will you watch Federer's match tonight? If so, at this point, do you ever learn anything from watching him on TV?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not sure. I mean, I think we played each other enough, you kind of know. I don't think I'm going to watch him and discover that he's good tonight, you know.
But, yeah, I don't know. I'm not sure.
Q. Will you be rooting one way or another?
ANDY RODDICK: No offense to López, but I'm kind of already preparing for Roger.
Q. Last night Venus was saying either she or her sister could get to the finals. You were playing well, James Blake. She said all of a sudden American tennis is looking pretty good. Could you make a comment on that?
ANDY RODDICK: I just feel like everybody is so fairweather. I feel like it's a process. I don't think it can be judged on a tournament-to-tournament basis. They're winning tournaments. James and I are at the same rankings we have been for the last little while. There's a little bit of youth in this tournament as far as the men's side.
You know, I don't see how it's too much different than it has been. But, you know, there's a good buzz around it, which is a nice change.
Q. Does getting to a quarterfinal mean anything for you? James hasn't been past, but you have. Do you have to make a couple more steps for it to be a successful tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: I'd like to. That's the goal.
Q. You spoke to the physical aspect of not being dead tired, better than the alternative. A Slam usually builds emotionally as well with each round. You haven't gotten into an emotional rhythm.
ANDY RODDICK: An emotional rhythm? You sound like my therapist.
Q. That was my other career goal.
ANDY RODDICK: Congrats.
Q. Can you speak to that? You said you haven't been tested. Now you're going to face the ultimate test maybe. Is that a problem, that you haven't had that mental time to prepare?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. Like I said, you could probably spin it either way you wanted to. You could say I could be fresh mentally or maybe I haven't been freaking out enough over the past two weeks. I don't know.
You guys can run with that any way you want. It's kind of out of my hands. I'm going to kind of focus on the task at hand.
Q. Does strategy matter against Roger or do you pretty much have to be perfect or almost perfect?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I think strategy matters. You know, but you have to have your strategy and then you have to be able to execute it.
Q. Is there a difference playing him in the quarters and playing him in the final? Is there any benefit at all to get him in the quarters?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I've never played him in the quarters.
Q. Anything comparable for him today to the way you felt in the semifinals in Indianapolis?
ANDY RODDICK: Probably. Probably. I don't know exactly. I might be commenting out of complete ignorance here because I'm not actually sure what Tomas' problem was. Indy I felt horrible. You feel like you're kind of going through the motions.
That's kind of what it looked like with him, especially early on in the second set after he kind of lost maybe his even the emotional hope after the first set.
I don't know a tennis player who hasn't been there before when your body's just not reacting. I can definitely sympathize with that.
Q. Did you still worry about him?
ANDY RODDICK: It's tough because you're trying to play a certain way, and then he's taking the first ball and just crushing it. Either way, it kind of takes strategy out of it. You're just trying to fight off balls.
He hits the ball big enough where you can still be relevant doing that. It was a little bit of a tricky situation.
Q. You go into every match with the same preparation, but going into this next match if you play Roger, can you feel the extra weight?
ANDY RODDICK: I think you feel the extra weight of most big matches. That's just the way it is. But I'm excited. I expect a lot of myself. I don't think anybody else really expects much from me (laughter).
I'm excited. To play him, I'm assuming it will be a night session, you know, the crowd will be electric, and I'll be excited. I'm excited about the opportunity.
Q. Eight months have passed now. Can you reflect back on Australia and just talk about what you think happened in that match. Going in there you were playing outstanding.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I was playing well. Pretty even up till 4-All. He got on a hot streak, was able to kind of reel off some breaks. Once Roger gets momentum, it's tough to play catch-up. Just got away from me.
Q. Considering how well you played in the first set, was there any sense of relief he retired?
ANDY RODDICK: There's a big sense of relief to get through that first set because I could tell he was laboring a little bit. The difference between winning the first set and losing the first set as far as his mentality is huge.
But as far as him throwing it in when he did, I felt like I was in control either way.
Q. You say you don't think people expect anything of you in this match. What do you mean?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm saying people are going to call him the favorite. Maybe I misspoke, you know. Trust me, I know you guys expect a lot from me (smiling).
Q. When he gets open a roll like that, now that the Australian Open is over, have you thought what you can do when he starts playing like that?
ANDY RODDICK: The Australian Open is in the past. It's in the past. I mean, it's eight months ago. If you want me to sit here and go through it. You guys can go through it. It only took about 45 minutes. You guys got that much time. You can go back and look at it if you need some retrospect.
Q. Your net game has become an important part of your game. Against Roger it seems like sometimes he's drawing you in when he wants you to come in rather than you coming in on your own terms.
ANDY RODDICK: Okay.
Q. Can you talk about that, because obviously it's not like you're going to play him completely from the baseline.
ANDY RODDICK: What do you want me to talk about? I agree with what you said.
Q. Just talk about your approach to that.
ANDY RODDICK: I think a big thing against Roger's making sure you get something on your approach shot. If he's set, he's going to take a swing at it and he's going to hit it more often than not. Even if he is bringing you in you got to make sure you get some stick on your approaches. I think that's an important factor.
Q. Is coming in to the net getting more instinctive for you?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I think the more you do something, the better you get at it. I'm a lot better at it than I was a couple years ago. So maybe.
Q. Did you watch Isner's match against Federer?
ANDY RODDICK: I watched a little bit of it.
Q. Did you have any impressions?
ANDY RODDICK: I think I missed the good part of it (smiling). I was in here talking to you all.
Q. Didn't see the first set?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I saw it up till about 5-All. I came in here. I saw it was 0-0 in the second. I didn't see the exciting part.
End of FastScripts