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June 11, 2008

Andy Roddick


A. RODDICK/R. Ginepri
6-7, 6-1, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.

Q. Happy with that?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. You know, after the first set, I thought it was actually really good. You know, that was pretty much it. It was a tale of kind of two matches. Almost the first set I was, you know, feeling like I was a little bit behind on everything, a little bit slow, just from not having played. The next two I actually pick it up and played probably better than I thought I could right now, considering.

Q. What aspect of your game requires the most adjustment coming to grass? What do you work on most?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, fortunately my game translates to grass pretty well, as opposed to like a clay court or something like, that it's not as much of, you know, tinkering and trying to figure out the best possible way.
I like to hit the ball pretty flat and through the court and serve and I can use my slice. Fortunately it translates pretty well. I think the biggest adjustment is just the movement. You know, it's totally different than hard or a clay court.

Q. With the shoulder, is it a case of you still receiving treatment or do you just play and hope that it's fine the following day?
ANDY RODDICK: Both. You know, you play and you hope it's fine, then you treat it a lot. You know, we'll see how it's pulled up. I haven't practiced for more than an hour at a given time. So, you know, we got through three sets and I was feeling okay and I actually served decent. So, you know, hopefully it will pull up okay tomorrow.

Q. How do you work on the movement aspect? Is it just something that comes as you play matches?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's just learned. My first two years here, you know, it's not like a hard court where you kind of really grind into the court and stop and start really quick. You know, you kind of have to almost run through your shots a little bit more. It's more of almost like a rhythm thing on grass.
I think it's just something that's learned.

Q. Given the restricted amount of practice you're allowed, are you going to view after each match how the shoulder's reacting just to gauge yourself? You want to be in the best possible shape for Wimbledon, but you don't want to not defend properly here either.
ANDY RODDICK: My mind is just to play through this tournament. You know, going into Wimbledon with no preparation isn't ideal. And I think I really do need this week. And I think we have it under control now. I've been hitting, you know, four, five days in a row, and it's pulled up all right since I've been here.
Hopefully we're on top of it. But we just kind of -- you know, it's going to be a little bit here and there. I'm obviously going to be a little bit more sensitive to it just because of the nature of it. But, you know, I definitely need this week to prepare.

Q. What will you do next week? Are you practicing?

Q. Just talk us through the time scale between pulling up at Rome, then you were saying the other day it was a compensatory injury that kept you out of the French. How long did you not touch a racquet for?
ANDY RODDICK: A couple weeks. Especially I've never had a problem with my shoulder before in eight years. It's probably been the best part of me physically. Especially with the way I play, I think if we were going to err, we were going to err on the side of being overly cautious with it, which I think long-term was a smart way to go.
My goal was just to be able to be ready to play here. We accomplished that. I feel healthy. You know, the strength is coming back. It's tough to shut it down. I didn't hit too many serves before Rome. Then for five days, I really haven't served much, except for a week in the last six week or so. It will come back.
But, yeah, we definitely erred on the side of caution.

Q. When did you start hitting again before coming over here?
ANDY RODDICK: It was touch-and-go. A couple weeks ago. You know, one day on, two days off. You kind of have to work back into it.
I hadn't played a set until I got here.

Q. That was just hitting in Austin?
ANDY RODDICK: Uh-huh, yeah.

Q. How would you rate your form compared to the same sort of time period going into Wimbledon other years?
ANDY RODDICK: This year, I've played some of the best stuff I have in the last couple when I've been on the court. And there have been times this year where I played very well. You know, I always feel like I'm gonna be able to grind out matches, kind of figure out a way to win sometimes. But I've been in good form a couple times this year.
So I feel probably a little bit better than the last couple years.

Q. Do you drop your tension for the grass court season?
ANDY RODDICK: I did this year just because of dealing with the shoulder or anything. I don't know if I had as much back there as I'd like. I'm still building it up. I think the ball's a little bit heavier on the grass, so I have this year.

Q. How big a factor was playing here, the fact that you hold the title?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think it was a factor. Obviously I love playing here. Had it been closer to the day of or something, maybe that would have played a factor or played a role. By not being able to play the French, it gave us a pretty considerable timetable to deal with. I was always going to try to play here.

Q. Those days you weren't hitting, what were you doing?
ANDY RODDICK: Driving my fiancée crazy (laughter). Too many Scrabble games. It was horrible. I'm not really good at sitting around doing nothing. I could be the top five most annoying people ever when they have to sit around and do nothing.

Q. Are you a good Scrabble player?
ANDY RODDICK: Very, very, very average. Limited amount of school in my life.

Q. Did you get the two-letter words?
ANDY RODDICK: I got the two-letter words.

Q. You're slightly above average.
ANDY RODDICK: That's what I aim for, slightly above average. You got to have goals (smiling).

Q. Does being in London again, putting on this jacket, you feel comfortable in it, does that keep you...
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's great. It's great coming back to a place where you have great memories. I really enjoy this club. We don't really have clubs like this in the States, so it's great to come here and kind of see the history of it, even check out the real tennis courts, kind of where tennis originated, came from. You know, I think it's nice to have an appreciation for that also.

Q. Have you tried playing there?
ANDY RODDICK: No. You know, I walk around and most people would probably think I'm decent at it. I just want to keep that stigma (laughter).

Q. Do you think the Wimbledon draw is any more open than the last few years?
ANDY RODDICK: Possibly. I mean, I don't know if Roger's been as dominant as he has the last couple of years. But that being said, he's still been, you know, ridiculously good. So I think more so than even dealing with Roger is just, you know, the emergence of someone like Djokovic, Rafa having proven himself on grass. Even after he made the finals two years ago, I remember people saying, Let's see how he does the next year. He's obviously proven himself a very good grass court player.
So I think by other people just improving maybe it's affected the level a little bit.

Q. You have to see yourself up there with those two or three at the top?
ANDY RODDICK: I think so. I think if you were to pick five guys to win, I'd like to think of myself in those five.

Q. Yesterday Sam Querrey was obviously disappointed with his result. When you started on grass, you didn't like the surface. He's going through the same thing at the moment. How many years did it actually take you to feel you were comfortable and like the surface?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I felt okay. '01 I did all right. I made the semi of Nottingham, lost to Goran at Wimbledon the year he won. I lost to Rusedski when he was a pretty formidable opponent.
Sam will be fine. It's just kind of the subtleties on grass. Like I was talking about it, little chip shots, keeping the ball down, driving through it. It's tough because it's just a matter of getting through that first round, that second round, to get matches, then you're comfortable.
I was able to do that here for the first time probably in 2003. Then since then it's been a lot easier adjustment when I come back. It's just a matter of him getting a couple matches in and he'll improve tons.

Q. Those shots you talked about, is that stuff that you just learned as the points go on or is it stuff you work on with coaches?
ANDY RODDICK: Probably both. Yeah, probably both. At the end of the day, you can work on stuff as much as you want. You can never replicate a match situation in practice. You can try as hard as you want. But bottom line is, I've played practice sets in the last three or four days. It's just far from actually going out there and doing it with all the surroundings of a crowd, and the court's a little bit different.
I think it's just important for someone like Sam to get a couple of matches in. Even if it's just a mindset, it will change it for him.

Q. Do you find this idea that because Roger took such a beating on clay, somehow when he walks onto a grass court he's any less formidable?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I think that would be irresponsible journalism just from the fact that they're completely different. That would be like -- I don't even know a proper analogy.
The guy's won Wimbledon five times in a row. What else does he need to do? If that doesn't answer any questions, you know, hell, I must really suck if he's getting questioned about how he's feeling about grass. If I was him, I'd be feeling really well. I'd be feeling really good.

Q. I meant more from the mental side of it. We know he can play on grass, but...
ANDY RODDICK: Look at the years he's won. One of years he won Wimbledon, he lost third round of Roland Garros. Came in and ran through the tournament.
Yeah, I think more so than kind of dealing with Roger and what he had to do in that final, I mean, he had to play high risk. You know, he might have gotten more game staying back and rallying with Rafa. But he's the best in the world at that. That's like, you know, Chinese water torture: a little drop of water on your head long enough starts hurting. It's like banging your head against the wall.
He had to play high risk. That creates more errors. It's going to go one way to either it makes it really competitive or another way where it's rough - and it was rough.
You know, people lose sight of the fact that he's making the final year after year on a surface that probably his least favorite. I mean, I think that's pretty impressive.

Q. With that sort of thing in mind, do you therefore forget all about last year's match with Gasquet in the quarterfinals? Is that something you don't think about at all?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I wish (smiling).
No, I mean, what makes you forget about it is by getting there and getting through it. I haven't forgotten about that match last year. You know, I haven't forgotten about the successes I've had on grass either. I think it all plays into it.
It definitely left a sour taste in my mouth. I'm sure I'll think about it from time to time. But once you get out there, it's not something that is in my thought process when I'm having breakfast in the morning.

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