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November 12, 2007

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your backhand volley are really improving quite a bit, really excellent. Did you do some practice back in the States on these two categories? Jimmy Connors, your coach, is not here with you. Did that affect you?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, those two shots are something that I try to practice a lot. But I think for the first time this year I've actually had an extended period of time, because of my injuries, you know, to practice.
You know, I haven't been healthy enough to play in a tournament. But because I haven't been able to move as much, maybe I've been able to hit backhands standing still and volleys. So maybe that helped a little.
Even though Jimmy's not here, I'm sure he's watching on TV. I'll be able to call home and get his thoughts.

Q. We see that you gave your racquet to the fans after you finished the match. The backs of the board was broken when the fans were fighting for your racquet. What is your comment on it?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I couldn't use it any more. I didn't have much use for it, so... Better in their hands than a trash can somewhere, right (smiling)?

Q. You smashed the racquet at the end of the second set and the beginning of the third set, and then you played really good. Do you think it's any help to smash racquets? Andre Agassi was the Olympic champion in Atlanta. Do you ever think to recapture this title for the U.S.?
ANDY RODDICK: The Davis Cup title?

Q. The Olympic title.
ANDY RODDICK: Olympic title, excuse me.
Well, yeah, I mean, I think that's something that I think of often. I can't win that this week, so it does me no good to really think about it (smiling). I have enough to think about with these great players here this week.
As far as smashing racquets, you know, for as many times as it's helped me, it's hurt me that many times also. But, you know, it's just part of my personality. I've always been pretty expressive and emotional on the court. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not so much.

Q. What do you think of this year's introducing ceremony which resembles the way of introducing NBA players? How do you like the light and music, the atmosphere?
ANDY RODDICK: At the introduction ceremony?

Q. Yes.
ANDY RODDICK: I thought it was great. You know, to be able to come in in a car and see all the fans there kind of screaming. To be able to get a gift and see all the other players, kind of dress up in traditional Chinese attire, I thought it was neat.
It's not something that we get to do every day, so it definitely was unique, something to be remembered.

Q. I saw the captain Patrick McEnroe somewhere in the stadium. He came here because of you or just to do some television job? Also in the round table interview you said there's no better preparation for Davis Cup than here.

Q. So you defeated the No. 1 Russian player, so it's a perfect start for you for the Davis Cup final.
ANDY RODDICK: First question, Patrick is here to do some commentary for ESPN. But he was a little -- I'm surprised he was in the stands. I didn't know he was there 'cause he's been feeling a little sick since he got here.
But, yeah, I mean, I don't know how much relevance tonight's match is going to have three weeks from now or two weeks from now, whenever the final is. But, you know, I think winning here tonight can't do anything to hurt my chances in the Davis Cup final.

Q. Two weeks ago at Bercy, a lot of speculation was going on whether you would come, whether you wouldn't come. When did you actually make the call and how is the fitness now?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I was always coming. I think the rumor started in your little neck of the woods. Maybe some wishful thinking. If I'm out, maybe someone else is in. You're thinking of something to write (laughter). Am I on to something?
No, okay. I was always coming. I was always coming. You know, I think the reason that I wasn't in Paris was so I could try to prepare for here and get fit and come here healthy, so I'm not sure where that rumor started.
Definitely wasn't out of my mouth. You know, I was always coming to be a part of this and to play here in Shanghai.

Q. With one year of cooperation with Jimmy Connors, do you think you're now a better player than you used to be? Do you have plans to extend the contract with Jimmy?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, you know, I think we're working -- still working towards a common goal. I think I could have played a little bit better this year. I had a lot of momentum coming in from last year. I'm definitely looking to improve upon this year next year. And, yeah, Jimmy and I are still planning to work together.

Q. Davydenko challenged on the last point. Did it make you worry a little bit?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, the thing about the challenge is, no matter how sure you are that the ball's in, there's always this little part of you that thinks that the machine might mess up or something might not go right.
I didn't want him to challenge on match point, because I just wanted to shake hands and have it be over with. But I was pretty sure that I made the shot. But if you're in his position, there's no reason not to.

Q. Last year you and James Blake qualified for the Masters Cup. The year before it was you and Andre Agassi. This year you're the only American player to play the singles. The Bryan brothers are not here. Do you feel a little lonely as the only one American player here?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I don't know about "lonely" (smiling). James isn't my girlfriend. But I think obviously I'd love it if James was here just from the perspective that he's a good friend of mine and I think I always cheer for him to do well and to win matches, and especially here because he had such a special tournament here last year. He played so well to make the final.
You know, I was hoping he would be here. I'm sure he was, as well.

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