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June 26, 2008

Andy Roddick


6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Andy Roddick. Questions, please.

Q. Last year when you talked to us here in this room after your last match you were pretty distraught. What is your feeling right now?
ANDY RODDICK: Uhm, you know, pretty distraught. But, I mean, you know, probably -- I don't know what I am. Uhm, probably just disappointed.
You know, I literally -- I mean, you know, any chance I got I pretty much just choked it. So, you know, that's tough to deal with, and that's not something that you really want to do, you know.
So that's probably -- that's disappointing, you know. It's not an easy thing to say, but it's pretty much what happened.
I could sit here and try to dance around it all night, but, I mean, you guys watched it. It was what it was. It's like you want something so bad you almost squeeze too tight.

Q. Did you feel you had clean shots at those three set points in the fourth?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. The guy hit average serves in the middle of the box at about 90 miles an hour. There's no excuse. You know, if I consider myself, you know, a top player or whatever, you make those. You make those in your sleep.
And I just -- you know, I not only didn't make them, there was nothing even positive in the misses.

Q. What were you trying to do with the flat-footed shot you tapped back into the net?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, obviously I think you're looking backhand there. I don't know if you go forehand at all. That was probably a good play by him.
Once I was fooled. I was literally trying to make him play. I thought he was pretty tight also. That's not the way -- you just got to reverse the mentality of putting it in and hoping he's going to miss. I just didn't make anything happen out there tonight. Zero, zero, zero.

Q. The kind of surplus of emotion you talking about something you learned how to handle in Davis Cup. Is this the one spot where it's still hard for you to overcome?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I don't know. I don't know. You know, different scenario. Possibly. I mean, it's twice in a row here that I've completely blanked. '06, I was just playing like crap. But the last two years, I feel like I've actually been hitting the ball decent.
Obviously I didn't have great preparation, but that doesn't have anything to do with dumping the balls that I did tonight.

Q. Do you feel like you played like crap the whole match or just like crap on the big points?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know the stats. I probably won more total points, or I was winning more total points up until the last one or two. I mean, you know, when you feel like you're playing bad and you're still winning more points, I mean, it comes down to the big points.
I played just horrific shots on breakpoints both ways. He was a hundred percent on breakpoints, I was O for 58. I put myself in position to win that match in straight sets, you know. I served huge tonight. You know, I actually returned well in spots.
I don't feel like -- it's not like -- it's not the same as '06 where I couldn't have hit the ball into an ocean from the beach. It was just the big moments. I blinked. You know, there's no way of getting around that.

Q. After the match, was it more right away anger at yourself, disappointment, shock?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I don't think it's shock. I mean, you know if you do that you should lose. No one's going to give you anything. Especially he's played well before. I mean, he's capable of playing well, especially when you give him opportunity after opportunity and kind of let him off the hook. I mean, that's not shocking.
Angry and disappointed in myself? Absolutely, yeah.

Q. How do you correct the tightness?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, it's -- I think it's tougher when you're not match tough. I kind of came in hoping, you know, hoping it was going to be okay. Obviously, I've won big matches before, you know, so, that probably has something to do with it.
Just letting it go. I think it's a mentality, and I just didn't have it tonight. I was just -- it was just bad.

Q. What within the match did you try to do to correct it?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, you know, in the fourth set it was a little better. I started to hit -- I probably hit the ball better in the fourth set than I did the rest of the match. I just started trying to compete and forget about everything else. You know, it wasn't enough, but it felt a little bit better.

Q. Outside of the breakpoints, you get into the breaker there, it's a whole different match. Take us through the tiebreak there.
ANDY RODDICK: The last one?

Q. Yes.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, it pretty much comes down to, you know, I missed a forehand. I hit the top of the tape. I missed a backhand. Hit the top of the tape.
You know, that's not -- the tiebreaker's not what angers me the most. You know, that wasn't horrendous. He actually won that. He hit some good shots up the line. He played a good tiebreaker.

Q. On the third set point, did he surprise you with the serve and volley? Did that have any affect on the return?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I mean, I think you're set in on your return. If he hasn't serve and volleyed the whole match and then he hits 130 and comes in behind it, you're not noticing until, you know, he's already up there. I mean, you're looking to hit a firm return either way.
That makes me upset, because, you know, if someone doesn't do something the whole match, all of a sudden does it on breakpoint, they're panicking, too, and don't want to hit a shot. So I'm noticing all these things and not able to capitalize. It's just frustrating and it's, you know -- yeah, it's just frustrating.

Q. You said before about just wanting this so much. Can you try to explain to us how much you want this? When you come into this tournament, what are you feeling?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, it's a weird situation 'cause, you know, by no means am I going to complain about anything that I've been blessed with, but it's almost at this point win another slam or what. You know, that's also a tough -- you know, it's a tough thing to kind of deal with.
Either you win a slam or what, you're disappointing? You kind of have to deal with that every day. And I think I was trying to press so much, even from practice, just trying to get to a level where I thought I could compete for this title.
You know, kind of try to squeeze it in and play catch-up. You know, maybe that even came through tonight, 'cause I was trying to press so much and get ready. You know, it's unfortunate timing for not being prepared. You know, I think I did pretty much everything in my power to be here and to give it a go and to try.
I hope that has something to do with it. I'll probably have a better read on it in a couple days. Right now, you know, you kind of have to try to give it time to settle.

Q. Given that you have set up your whole summer to give yourself the best chance at the US Open, that's putting a lot of eggs in the basket. Will it be hard to not put too much pressure on yourself?
ANDY RODDICK: What's the other option, not to play at all? Then I'm in the same position I was here. I'm gonna have pressure on myself regardless. And it's not from anybody else, it's from within. You know, I want to win another slam and I want to, you know -- I could probably coast and not train and be a top 10 player and kind of have a cushy lifestyle and be set for as long as I need to be set for. I'm happy as I can be away from losing tennis matches.
But I don't know if I'll be -- I don't know if that appeals to me. I don't know if I'm satisfied with that. So, you know, you do what you can and you kind of try to put yourself in that position.
Historically I've played well when I've had a lot of matches going into a slam.

Q. So you think that is a fair question we should be asking you? Win another slam or what? Or that is your feeling inside?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I put the analogy to John and Doug. We were just talking in there. I said, You know, when you've seen the Rolling Stones from the front row, and then all of a sudden you're like, you know, seven or eight rows back and there's a really tall guy in front of you waving his hands and screaming, you can't see much, it's not going to be as good as the other show.
That's kind of what you're going to remember. Maybe you got to kind of get some baby steps to get back there. I know I was in that position in '06. Kind of almost started enjoying every single match I won again because it was void. It's a little bit of a different situation.
I mean, you can ask whatever you want. I'm telling you, you know, that's where my head's at. I want to win another slam. You know, if I'm being honest with you guys, and if you guys are being honest with me, if I go and win a tour event, what are you guys going to say? Who cares?

Q. You've been on top before, so right.
ANDY RODDICK: I'm aware of that. I'm aware of the situation I'm in.

Q. Taking the Rolling Stones analogy a step further, is it sometimes better to get that seat in the front row when you're a little bit older than getting it when you're younger?
ANDY RODDICK: I wouldn't trade anything I've been through. I know you guys probably aren't going to believe any of that, but I wish you would, because I've been pretty much brutally honest throughout my entire career.
Tennis is hugely important because it's what I do and it's what I take pride in. If I'm going to sit here and tell you, you know, would I have liked to have struggled, you know, early on and then come through in this moment of glory later on?
I don't know. Is that even worth talking about? It's not a realistic situation. You know, we're not Peter Pan, the Sta-Puff Marshmallow Man or whatever. We're not living in a fantasy world. I'm very proud of what I've accomplished so far in my career. I wouldn't trade it.

Q. Have you seen the Stones?
ANDY RODDICK: I saw them in Austin one time.

Q. What row were you in?
ANDY RODDICK: I was at the bar bunny. No, I don't know. I wasn't in the front row.

Q. If you do get to the front row, how do you think that will change things?
ANDY RODDICK: As far as what?

Q. As far as wanting to win another Grand Slam, how do you think that would feel?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, I mean, it would be -- it would probably be -- I don't know. You know, tennis is different, too. It's ups and downs. I think a couple days removed I'll have a little bit more perspective.
You know, playing well in Dubai, winning those matches, the feeling you have for that 10 seconds after I beat Roger for the first time in however long, you know, those are the good moments that should counteract ones like this.
It probably would be better than anything I've felt in tennis before. Maybe Davis Cup along those lines. That was like a couple days of euphoria after that. But it would probably feel better than the US Open just because, you know, kind of took a lot more to get to that point if it does happen.

Q. It was kind of a bizarre day. Davenport pulls out, Blake loses, Maria gets upset, you. Do you ever get a sense of that, or are you within your own world, all these other things are happening around me?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think they have an effect on each other, if that's what you're asking. Sometimes it happens. Sometimes you have favorites through to the semis. It's the way sports is. It's not going to be the first day of upsets. It's certainly not going to be the last time it's happened.

Q. You've given up the Olympics to get ready for the US Open and hard court season. Is it going to be easy to stay loose playing the Open with that kind of a decision behind you, to go in there and feel like you can play?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, let's not get nuts. I mean, I've played plenty of US Opens and have done just fine. No, I mean, I want to be prepared, and I want to be -- you know, physically and mentally.
You know, when I've done well at the Open in the past, I've played a pretty heavy schedule and a lot of matches going in.
I think if you run the track record, when I've done well leading up, I've normally done well in a slam. It's kind of like, you know, I don't know, something you do every day. If you don't do it for six weeks it's gonna take you a second.
Unfortunately, my second takes place out there on Centre Court at Wimbledon. But playing a lot of matches going into a slam and playing weeks has worked before, so that's the best way I know how to go about it.

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