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July 29, 2008

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you just kind of retrace the afternoon and what led up to not being able to play tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I've been feeling fine. I got in practices yesterday and the days before. I fell asleep last night. I was pretty tired. I fell asleep and woke up and I still had the lights on in my room.
I just kind of passed out. I think when I did, we're guessing it was in had the wrong position or whatnot. I work up this morning and something in my neck and kind of any activity is causing it to flare up.
I went out and tried to warm for about five minutes at about 5:00. I mean, we've been getting treatment all day. You asked what was leading up. Went to a chiropractor and we had Doug work on it. We've had kind of everyone take a crack at it today.
Tried to hit at 5:00; didn't go so hot. Went out for some more treatment. Tried to take some painkillers and whatnot. You know, I thought I might be able to give it a go if it didn't get any worse.
My second or third serve in warm up out there just got infinitely worse, kind of just to the point where it's tough to move my head right now.

Q. So is it up in like here?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, like upper -- a little bit further than you were just pointing. Down the back on the other side.

Q. Did the chiropractor say exactly what it was, if it's just muscle or anything else?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah, I mean, I don't know if it's anything serious. They said it's jammed up. We got a massage and said I got to work on it. He said I had something the size of -- he said it felt like a golf ball in there. I assume that wasn't good.
But we haven't had really time to look into it any further.

Q. How is this a letdown for you? You come to Masters event like this and are unable to go on the court.
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, here especially, because I really do love playing here. Everybody here's been so great to me over the years. But even just in general the last three or four months is the first time I've ever had to deal with injuries, you know.
Before that, if it was a sprained ankle it was a three- or four-day thing and it was done and you didn't think about it. So having to deal with it and -- you know, playing bad tennis is one thing, but not giving your -- not having a chance to kind of get better and play better and feel like you're prepared...
You know, after Wimbledon I put in good three or four weeks worth of work and treatment every day, and I was probably as professional as I could have been as far as getting healthy.
I feel like this is some sort of kind of fluke thing. It's terrible. I hate not playing and I hate withdrawing from tournaments. It's the most hollow feeling every when you have to walk off because you're hurt and you know people have come to watch you play.
It's a little bit of a helpless feeling. I don't know what else you can do about it. It's something that's kind of out of my control, which is very frustrating.
You know, at least if you play bad and you come off and it's a bad match or whatever you have yourself to blame and you know where to go, what to work on. Here it's kind of you're at the mercy of the injury here, which is just tough.

Q. How good have you felt the last couple days?
ANDY RODDICK: I felt fine. Physically?

Q. Yeah.
ANDY RODDICK: Yes. I felt fine. There was nothing. You know my shoulder, which I had been dealing with for a while, is fine. That was a relief. That seems like it's in the rearview mirror.
You know, I play well when I can get matches in, and I haven't been able to get a couple matches in because I've been playing a tournament, having a month off, and playing here or there. It's just a cycle that's been going on for three or four months.
It's frustrating. I mean, it's probably more frustrating than not playing well. You know, that at least you have a day-to-day routine where you can work on something. This is just -- this sucks.

Q. You said it was a fluke thing, so you don't think it's related to the shoulder?
ANDY RODDICK: No. It's the opposite side of the body and it's -- no.

Q. What's in the plans then next week, week after that?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, hopefully I can -- I'm scheduled to play L.A. and Washington. I'd love to play those tournaments and actually get some matches in both weeks and actually feel like a tennis player again where you go to the courts and play a match and go home and get ready for the next day.
That's a better routine to have. That's the one I like. I know L.A. is only a 28 draw, which means I could probably get a late start there, which will probably be a good thing.

Q. How many matches do you think you need to get in between now and New York?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I don't know if there's a number. I just need to play. I think it's -- I need to go deep in these next couple tournaments. I need to play well.

Q. When you finally get out there, do you think it'll be kind of second...
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's not so much of a long-term confidence thing. With the exception of a stretch in '06, when I've been healthy and on the court playing a lot I've played well.
I was playing really well this year through April. Probably the best I had in three or four years to start a year, you know. So I know I'm going to play good tennis again.
But when you haven't played a lot of matches you and you go out there and you expect the best from yourself right away, that's where the diciness comes in.
I know it'll be all right, but if I told you I was going to go out and play great in my first round next week, you know, I don't know if I believe that.
But the players that are really, really good players, which I've been at that point in my career, kind of find a way to get through those matches and find form, which is what needed to.

Q. Do you feel these are the type of things that happen when a player's career progresses?
ANDY RODDICK: I guess so. I think the shoulder thing was maybe a little bit more of a -- that probably scared me more than this. But it's come clean, and the doctor's say it's as strong as ever. But at the same time I'm 25, not 35. I've put in the work.
That's not something that's going to be the norm, but I'm sure that you don't -- doesn't get better with age, I'm sure.

Q. Just to clarify, this is the left side?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Like actually close to the spine.

Q. So it's in no way related to the shoulder issue?
ANDY RODDICK: No. The shoulder has not been brought up. It was more of an inflamed cuff-type thing. This is a neck spasm something. I mean, it hasn't been brought up today, not even as far as questions from the doctors or whatever.

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