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January 14, 2008

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Comfortable way to start the tournament.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it was all right. I mean, I don't know if there was much rhythm to be had with the way he kind of went about the match. You know, so it's weird to kind of feel like you got a lot out of it when some guy's kind of taking the first ball and just charging.
But, you know, I think those are the type of matches where if you're not match-tough can get a little tricky. I just kind of tried to stay the course and get through his kind of peaks and valleys.

Q. I know you played over in Kooyong. What is your sense of what it does for your game, doesn't do for your game, the surface?
ANDY RODDICK: It's all right. It's a slow hard court. You know, I don't know if it's some new surface or anything. You know, on a hot day, it speeds up a lot. I think a lot of it's weather-dependent. Topspin gets up, slice stays down so it's pretty fair.

Q. Any other tournaments around the world you'd compare to how it plays?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's a slow, gritty hard court.

Q. If you have to play Donald next round, is it going to be an advantage you've hit with him so much in the last few months?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know, I think you kind of know what he's going to give to you at this point. You know, you're going to be in his service games, I think. He's not going to come out and blow you off the court. So I think it's just a matter of staying the course and maybe kind of bullying him around a little bit out there during the rallies.
You know, but we'll see if that happens.

Q. Any sense of excitement to start the new year or is it a case of, Here we go again?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I think there's always excitement when you start the new year. I like this event. It's kind of the few where you can map out four weeks to prepare for one tournament, where it's normally kind of you kind of prepare as you go and have to make adjustments dependent upon results, conditioning, so on and so forth. I kind of like that.

Q. Santoro is about to break Agassi's record of Slams played. Do you put much stock in that kind of a record? Why do you think a guy like Santoro would have such longevity and staying power?
ANDY RODDICK: I think you have to put some stock in it. I think it's one thing to stay healthy that long. That doesn't come easily. I don't think that happens by chance or by luck. And also, you know, I think he's been able to do it just 'cause he plays such an awkward game, it kind of has withstood a lot of different patterns in the game.
Third, you got to want to stay out there. You know, to be out there that long, to get up and be motivated every day, it's an accomplishment in itself.

Q. Did you end up playing in the poker tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I didn't. I read that I was playing in it, probably about the same time as you did. But, no, I didn't.

Q. Do you think the Davis Cup could be a real springboard for you this first part of the year?
ANDY RODDICK: I hope so. You know, it's nice to kind of end on a positive. You know, you only get that feeling so many times throughout a career and it definitely makes you want it a little bit more, want to experience it again.
So I hope so.

Q. Andy Murray just lost. I know there's a lot of attention on you as an American in the American media and everything. Do you feel for him a bit? Do you think it is that much more obsessive in Britain with him, compared to, say, guys like you and a lot of other players?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know, there's definitely a lot of focus. You know, I feel like the British, when they're high, they're really high, and when they're low, they're really low. I don't feel like there's a lot of middle ground as far as the media - at least of what I've seen in it. When he won in Doha, I saw how this was going to be an easy tournament for him. I shudder to think what's going to be written tomorrow.
That's not an easy position to be in. But I think I've always kind of taken the approach that when it is such a big market, I promise you he gets as many opportunities because of that market as he does, you know, have to face tough times from that market.
It's a balancing act. You can't really accept one without knowing that you're going to have to deal with the other side of it, as well.

Q. What do you make of the color of the court, the blue compared to the green?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't really care about the color of the court, to be honest. I think that's something where people are watching on TV. I don't think it really matters to us too much. I don't really care. Half my family is colorblind anyway, so it doesn't matter.

Q. Roger said yesterday he prefers the blue. He said there was something strange about playing in the green. I don't know if it was like washed out or something.
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, yeah, because you could tell that it bothered him a lot throughout the years.

Q. What are your thoughts on the balls? Gasquet in Sydney said they fluff up a fair bit.
ANDY RODDICK: They do. I don't know how much of it has to do with the balls and how much of it has to do with the grittiness of the court. But it is what it is. It's the same for everybody. You know, like I said, there's not much to be done about it.

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