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March 16, 2008
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. So the winning streak was broken. Was it mostly him, or was it you weren't hitting the ball the way you wanted to?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, I was hitting the ball the way I wanted to. It was just little things like second set missing the second serve return on break point, stuff that I haven't been doing. You know, I don't know if I adjusted to the changing conditions as well as I should have.
You know, but I don't think my confidence is really affected. I felt like I was hitting the ball well. I just needed to kind of get into it a little bit more and bear down on the big points, which I didn't do today.
Q. He can be tough, too, Andy, huh? He had a reasonably slow start to the year, but he was due for a good match.
ANDY RODDICK: He played well. He played well. We had some rallies that were 20-, 25-ball rallies, moving it around. I thought he played well today.
You know, to get broken in the second, I felt like I actually played a pretty good game. He was coming up with some serious passing shots. He deserved a lot of what came his way and got the breaks today, also.
Q. Did you return like you wanted to, or was he serving that well?
ANDY RODDICK: He served a high percentage. It's weird, first serve returns I was hitting them well. Second serve returns I probably didn't hit them as well as I wanted to.
I struggled a little bit during practice this week with second serve returns. The court is almost comparable to a piece of sandpaper, so they hit and check up. I was out in front of a lot of returns this week, especially coming off of Dubai, which is a slicker surface so they're coming to you a little bit more.
I struggled with that this week in practice and I don't know if I ever really got comfortable on second serve returns.
Q. Now you got a good amount of time off with Miami. You don't play doubles, so what's the plan?
ANDY RODDICK: I'll probably head back to Austin. I'll probably try to find a player here maybe that lost early and maybe get home for four or five days, you know, of good training, and then head down to Miami and get ready for that tournament early next, the week after.
Q. This isn't a flip question, Andy, but good to be home next weekend for the start of the NCAAs?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's good to be pretty much anywhere where you can watch the games. I love March Madness, and this press conference is interrupting the selection show right now, so I'm going to have to get back to that momentarily. I'm going to have short answers from here on out.
Q. How many times have you had a match point be a net cord?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I'm not sure.
Q. It's happened before, though?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think it's like recently, you know, in the last six months or a year, so I've been on the short end of them. But I promised myself I'd never complain again about let cords after the one I pulled on Thomas Johansson in Wimbledon. I think it was '05 in the semis. In the fourth it was 5-All in the breaker, and I hit the ugliest hack return ever straight line drive, and it probably would have gone ten feet out and it hit and just dropped over to give my match point.
So I said I wouldn't complain anymore, but I really, really, really want to.
Q. Sorry to interrupt the flow here, but what's your thoughts on coaches in the near future?
ANDY RODDICK: You can check the monologues. I'm fine with the team I have right now.
Q. Is it kind of strange Dean in the other camp?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it was a little weird. You know, it was weird seeing Max beforehand and his little son and seeing the whole crew.
But, you know, I've always had a lot of respect for Dean, and I'm glad to see him back out here.
Q. Some parting thoughts maybe on Davis Cup? Seem pretty pumped up to see you guys, the French?
ANDY RODDICK: They seem?
ANDY RODDICK: Tsonga has been talking a little bit of stuff, which is fun. You know, it adds to it. And, you know, they should be pumped up, but I think we're pumped up, also. I think we have a lot of respect for whoever their team may be. I think there's a little bit of a question right now over who the second player is, and I see a potential third-round matchup between those two here.
I'm sure there might be some implications there. You might want to plant that seed, you guys, with the pressure that might be on that match as far as be sure to ask them about that. But I think we're excited.
You know, I've lost to Richard before, and their team is one of the few that's beat the Bryans. It's probably the toughest second round that's going, and we have a lot of respect for their team, that's for sure.
Q. Is there something about Haas that give you a little bit of trouble?
ANDY RODDICK: Apparently.
Q. You had ups and downs now and then, and because you're such a vet, you seem to handle it now to come back after a downer or you get back up again.
ANDY RODDICK: Uh-huh.
Q. Is that accurate?
ANDY RODDICK: It's going to happen in tennis. You know, there's probably very few guys, you know, probably just Roger, who's been consistently on top for the last -- for a while.
But guys are so good -- you're going to have a week where you -- like today. I don't feel like I hit the ball badly. I maybe didn't play as well as I should have on the points I should have won well on.
Whenever that happens and someone is in form and plays a good match, you're going to get beat. That being said, I've been playing very, very well for the last month, and so I'm not going to freak out over this loss and forget everything I've been able to kind of work towards in the last month.
My confidence is fine. I feel fine and I feel optimistic about the tournaments coming up.
Q. Do you think that Haas still has the potential to come back to the top 10?
ANDY RODDICK: It's a long road. It's a long road to the top 10, and the players there aren't getting any -- it's not getting any easier. You have to put a lot of weeks together consistently.
There's no question he can beat anybody on a given day, as evidenced by today. It's a long road back to the top 10, but, you know, he's certainly been there before.
Q. Judging by the fact that you pulled out of the Olympic team to concentrate on the US Open, do you have any attitude towards the French Open and the clay court season, something that you don't concentrate on as much as Wimbledon?
ANDY RODDICK: What relevance does the Olympics have with the French Open?
Q. I'm just talking about the preparation for a major event.
ANDY RODDICK: Sure.
Q. Like Wimbledon is a priority, I imagine, as is the US Open.
ANDY RODDICK: Sure.
Q. Does the French Open clay court season not favor as highly in your priorities?
ANDY RODDICK: I think -- I think it's the one that, if I'm being completely frank with you, it's the one that I believe I can win the least, you know. So obviously that factors in.
I feel like my best chances are probably at Wimbledon and at the US Open. So preparations probably are different. You're not going to see, you know, Rafa not preparing for the French not playing every week in the leadup. He knows that's his best chance, and I think it's only professional to prepare that way and give yourself the best chance when you think that you have, you know, a chance to do it.
Q. You mentioned that everyone's going to have an awful match every once in a while. Seems to be kind of a top tier right now in tennis with Nadal and Federer and Djokovic. Is it eating at you a little bit about you're on the outside looking in a little bit?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I should try beating those guys sometime in the last 10 days.
Q. Andy, this is about as calm after a loss you've been in quite some time, at least in my memory. Does that mean your confidence is at an all-time high?
ANDY RODDICK: I feel pretty confident. I feel good about the way I've been playing. Since that loss in Australia, I'd probably say this is the only bad match I've played out of 16 or 17 since then, or whatever the number's been.
Even when I lost in Memphis I feel I got outplayed, but I played okay. It's a lot easier sitting here after this loss today, you know, kind of having put together the body of work I have over the last month. It's probably easier to take and probably affects your confidence a lot less.
Back to your question, sure. You know, I know I have some work to get back to that top echelon, but I did beat two of the guys last week and feel like it's a possibility.
Q. You got sort of ambushed in here the other day. Any lingering effects of that could have affected your play? (laughter.)
ANDY RODDICK: No, no.
Q. Weirdest press conference ever?
ANDY RODDICK: Weirdest press conference ever?
Q. I know there's been some.
ANDY RODDICK: I think you're asking the right guy for that one. (laughter.)
You know, I have trouble generalizing that as a whole, because the English ones are pretty good sometimes. They got some good press conferences over there. That was just kind of one question that lasted forever. Weirdest question, I'll go with that. I'm still on the fence about weirdest press conference, though.
Q. Exactly what did Tsonga say that caught your attention? I missed it.
ANDY RODDICK: What did he say? Do you recall -- he said, They should fear us, I think. Right? That's the -- you said that in San Jose, right? He said, They should fear us. Last I checked, we were the champions.
Q. Respect them?
ANDY RODDICK: Of course we respect them, but I think I might be able to get out there and play a tennis match without shaking. You know, we have a lot of respect for them, and I think he's he still has to earn a spot. Last I checked, there's two guys ahead of him in France.
Q. So are press conferences more fun or more of a pain in the neck for you?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, gosh, it really depends on what kind of mood I'm in. Haven't you heard? You just don't know. You don't know what you're going to get.
Q. It's part of the fun.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I'd say 95% of the time they are. They're a lot of fun.
End of FastScripts