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June 24, 2008

Andy Roddick


A. RODDICK/E. Schwank
7-5, 6-4, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, Andy Roddick.

Q. You played a pretty scrappy match. Got to be fairly pleased. Good rallies, did some things you wanted to do.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I actually hit the ball probably better than the score indicates. It seems like every game I was at, I was 30 on his serve and kind of cruising on mine. He would come up with something creative a lot of the times.
You know, I actually felt all right.

Q. The guy on the BBC as you walked off the court asked you about cardigans, all that stuff. Everybody has been talking about fashion, both men and women. Do you think that's sort of like, Who cares? Do you enjoy the whole atmosphere here with that?
ANDY RODDICK: I personally don't care. But, you know, if it gets -- you know, I think any attention drawn to tennis for whatever reason is good. If that means wearing the Mr. Rogers' sweater, whatever else you got, then so be it. I don't know if it would be a good look for me or any of my friends - or relatives (smiling).

Q. Cardigans?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm sure they're the best cardigans out there.

Q. How are you feeling, your shoulder and all that?
ANDY RODDICK: Shoulder feels all right. Yeah, I feel good. Yeah, I don't know if it's going to be perfect. But, you know, I did all right considering. You know, it pulled up all right. Yeah, I mean, probably as good as can be expected.

Q. Is it because you're afraid to really to go into it, or you can actually feel it a little bit sometimes when you're serving?
ANDY RODDICK: No, you know what it is, it's literally for about a six-week period I served for five days in row, from Davis Cup till then. It's just, you know -- I think from just not doing something. I didn't feel pain today, so that's good.

Q. Do you feel as a two-time finalist you're kind of, maybe not forgotton, but not the one that everyone is talking about? Is that good for you?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, I don't know if I've ever been the one that everyone's talking about. You know what, I don't really care. I just want to win matches. You know, to be honest, it's probably nice.

Q. Do you approach first-round matches at slams any differently than you did, say, four years ago, five years ago?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I mean, I think, you know, experience helps a little bit. But first-round matches are always a little uncomfortable at any slam. It's just new surroundings, kind of you normally have the week before to get all hyped up and kind of -- you know, it's a battle with nerves. It's a battle with kind of anxiety and wanting to get out there and start. So it's never really that comfortable.

Q. You're going to have a second match with Tipsarevic. He's a real pesky player. What makes him so difficult to play?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, he just hits a pure ball. He's able to kind of attack off of both sides. Doesn't really play himself out of points. Has some pretty cool tattoos.
No, I mean, and he actually serves pretty big for someone who is not super tall. If he's playing well, I mean, that's a lot to deal with.

Q. He was a little bit of a problem in that match for a while, wasn't he?

Q. He was a bit of a problem in that match two years ago.
ANDY RODDICK: There were a lot bit of a problem in lots of matches two years ago (smiling).
I know it was four sets. Yeah, I remember I pretty much scraped by that one. We could have very easily been in a fifth set there.

Q. How do you come to terms with how you exited last year? Was that just one of those crazy matches where you're totally in control and somehow it unravels?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I let it go. I was in control of it and I didn't bear down. After I let him back in he outplayed me and played really well.
But, you know, I gave him that opportunity. I played a sloppy game on my serve. It just shows you at this level, you know, it can start getting away from you. After that game, he kind of just started swinging for the fence and outplayed me.
It's not something you come to terms with. You lose. It's pretty straightforward. But, you know, that one was tough.

Q. Do you learn from that at all? Next time you're a little more leery or tighter in your game when you get in a situation like that?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, I think you always want to be that way. You know, I think historically I've won a lot of matches I was supposed to win, and I've done a decent job of closing matches out throughout my career. You know, I don't know what you chalk that one up to. It kind of just happened.

Q. Is it hard for you not to point ahead towards that match?

Q. Towards a rematch with Gasquet.
ANDY RODDICK: I haven't even looked at anything so I wouldn't know. Is that like even -- I don't know even if that's a possibility.

Q. Semis.
ANDY RODDICK: Semis, okay. Well, that's good. I have to get there and he has to beat Rafa. I look forward to it. That would be great (laughter).

Q. Did you speak to Mardy at all after his match?
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't get to see him. We didn't cross paths.

Q. Are you surprised he hasn't done better here over the years?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes and no. I mean, he's had some rough opening matches here. I mean, playing Rafa last year. You know, from what I saw of Richard today he came out and kind of saved all his good tennis for the year and used it today.
I think that was unfortunate. I actually thought they were playing pretty decent tennis. I watched the first set and kind of from then on was kind of peeking in before and after warmup and whatnot.
I am surprised. But, you know, I think the one time he had an opening in the draw I think he had food poisoning against Labadze maybe in the third round or something. That's unfortunate.
But I think it is surprising, because I think his game was or does, should, translate well to grass.

Q. What would you think are some of the keys for you to have a great tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: Winning matches (smiling).

Q. Within your game, what really has to be working?
ANDY RODDICK: I think it has -- I have to kind of pick and choose my spots to be pretty aggressive. I think I just have to hit the ball pretty firm. I don't know how to explain it better than that.
But kind of, you know, even today on some of the bigger ones, the points that I was winning, I was at least hitting the ball pretty firm. You know, he was having to come up with just, you know, either bail-out shots that work sometimes. I think that's important, not to let the person get the upper hand.

Q. If you the board and council elections this past weekend...
ANDY RODDICK: The board and council?

Q. Board of directors of the ATP. Where do you think the ATP is headed?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. Really, I haven't paid much attention. I don't know how much stock we can put into it until the Hamburg lawsuit is settled. Personally I think we're in a holding pattern until we figure out what happens with that.

Q. Are you a better player now than when you made the finals in '04 and '05?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, of course I'm going to tell you I'm better (smiling).
No, in '04 I thought I played really well and thought I could have won here and was unfortunate not to. '05, I don't think I played great. I was scrapping through matches. You know, I think, you know, '04 I played well. '05 I kind of had a little bit of luck on my side throughout.
But the way I played so far this year, I'm pretty happy with it, for the most part. I've had some pretty encouraging results, you know, beaten the right players for the first time in a couple years, which is good.

Q. Are you feeling this is the right coaching situation for you, you're more comfortable in this, being with family?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, it's been that way. I'm lucky enough to have, you know, people that I can use as a sounding board, but I pretty much know what I have to do to win tennis matches. The good thing is I've been able to draw a little bit from some great coaches. So I'm happy right now.

Q. Do you know Jesse Levine pretty well? He won today. What would you say about his game?
ANDY RODDICK: He actually went to my high school. You know, he's a worker, which is refreshing, you know, especially from the young Americans. You know, he gets out there. He traveled to Dubai to hit with Roger for 15 days.
Every time I've asked him to hit, it's almost like he wants to learn. He wants to be a really good player. He's not just content to be kind of traveling around and doing that. You know, you can't really put, you know, a price on that. You can't really teach that. That's just something that's there. That's probably the most impressive thing about him.

Q. Mardy was saying a little while ago that you were skipping the Olympics, carrying the load at the U.S. tournaments.

Q. The events this summer in the U.S. the US Open Series, that you guys are going to be carrying the load there.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I think I've been in that position before at some of the -- not so much the Masters Series events, but some of the other ones. Maybe it's a little bit more intense this year.
You know, frankly, I think I've been in that situation at American tournaments before.

Q. It's a long ways off, but some of the Spaniards were upset at the Davis Cup tie being put in Madrid.
ANDY RODDICK: Did they feel better after watching the French Open final?

Q. I would imagine.
ANDY RODDICK: All right.

Q. Your thoughts? Do you think that is an issue at all? Do you think that will help us in any way in the altitude?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, if we're calling a spade a spade, we're not going to go in as favorites. There's no question about that. This is probably the most uphill battle we've had in Davis Cup to date. But that being said, I mean, you give us altitude where the ball's traveling a little bit faster, it can only help.
Now, if that can be enough, we'll see. But, you know, I think they're still the clear-cut favorites. I think the thing that, for lack of a better term would piss me off, is if all the players gave their opinion, and the powers that be, the businessmen or whatever, put no stock in that.
I know we were in a similar situation in '06. We wanted to play Chile on grass. That meant a small venue. When they could have gotten probably 10, 12; we looked at 4 and 5. Luckily for us, they took it into consideration and we were able to get a win.

Q. Does Patrick play a big role in that? Is he the fighter in the boardrooms?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm assuming he is. I mean, I have a pretty good relationship with Arlen Kantarian, too. I know he makes a lot of those decisions. I think there's an open line of communication between myself and him and the rest of the team. I can see why they're upset.

Q. Have you found a difference in how the ball travels in Madrid?
ANDY RODDICK: It does float a little bit. I've never really gotten used to it, to be honest. I've had crappy results in Madrid. But given the option of having the ball scoot a little bit more...

Q. But you felt it scoot a little bit more?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. There's no question. I mean, when you play in thin air, in altitude, it's just like anything. It's like Coors Field in Colorado. You look at the home and away stats, and there's a difference.

Q. Have you heard or read the term "the big three" as it refers to Federer, Nadal and Djokovic?
ANDY RODDICK: " The big three"?

Q. As it's referred to now, in tennis. Do you react saying, No, it's not really like that; tennis is much deeper? Do you think the guys deserve it?
ANDY RODDICK: They've played pretty well, but it goes in waves, dude. You know, people are gonna come in and out. I think Roger and Rafa and Novak have established themselves as the best players so far. There's no question about that.
Now, as far as fun nicknames, headlines and whatever, you know, I don't really care. Everyone's beatable. I've beaten the three of them. But if you're asking if it pisses me off at all, I don't really care. I just want to win tennis matches.

End of FastScripts

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