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August 27, 2008

Andy Roddick


A. RODDICK/F. Santoro
6-2, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you and John come to your decision that it was time to make changes?
ANDY RODDICK: We just met in Washington afterwards, and, you know, I think John's, he's been feeling the effects of the road for a little while. When we first got together, it was temporary, you know. And he was kind of just helping me out and was going to help, and then all of a sudden it's two-and-a-half years later. I think he was spent, and I was struggling, and so it was a very -- it was an easy conversation, you know. He was just like, "I'm kind of tapped," and it's pretty intense day to day, and I'm pretty intense day to day. It's probably not the easiest.
But he's been here the whole time, and we've been hanging out, so it's not too big of a deal, and we'll always be brothers. It wasn't a long, drawn out, dramatic conversation. It was something he got to before I did.

Q. At any time had you floated the idea of Patrick serving in this capacity?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it was basically what are we going to do on short notice? I'm not going to go with someone that I don't know. I know Patrick's just more than busy with the Davis Cup captain and taking over everything, but I figured if someone who knew my game, knew my personality, and so it was -- I think it was pretty obvious who would be the best fit to help me out for this, just this tournament.

Q. Were you surprised by Fabrice's reaction to your second-to-last serve? What was said at the net?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I just said I wasn't -- I mean, I wasn't going for him. I'm not going to go for someone up 6-2, 6-2, 5-2. It was a bad miss, but a miss that I hit very hard. It took a little bit -- I was really excited about the way I was playing, and then, you know, to kind of end it like that, it was a little, I guess, disappointing. And I can definitely probably understand where he's coming from. If I was in the same situation I'd probably be momentarily pissed off, too.
It is what it is. I think I'll probably try to find him here in the next couple of days, and at least tell him that. It wasn't my intention. It was my intention to hit it hard, you know, but it's a serve I rarely hit actually, you know, body there flat. It's unfortunate, but it happens.
We've always gotten along pretty well. I'm sure it will be fine, but I definitely probably will seek him out and try to talk to him.

Q. When you talked to John in Washington, did you talk specifically about what was going to happen here? And was the plan for him actually to come over or do you think he was going to stay at home?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, we finished our conversation as far as, you know, what was going to happen here as far as professional relationship. And then at the end of it, I said, "Well, what are you going to do?" His wife's up here actually working right now, so he said, you know, "I'm going to go up there." I said, Well, all right. We leave at such-and-such a time. He was on the plane with us the next day.
He's staying two blocks away, so he came with us, and we even talked this morning. And I reached out to him, and I said, "I'm assuming you're planning on coming, but, you know, just so you know, I'd like you to be there," and he said "Great. I was actually just about to call you and see, you know, what you thought."
You know, it's fine. There's zero drama there.

Q. How did you intend to go about a search, if I can call it that? You've had a lot of great coaches, and I'm sure your standards are very high. Are you going to do this personally? Are you going to make calls? What's your process?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't really know. My focus isn't there right now. You know, it's not on that right now.
I'm more than happy with Patrick for this tournament. You know, I'm glad that he -- he has so much to do here, to kind of take up a guy for the tournament, also, was nice of him.
But I'll probably get to that decision. I have a fair amount of time after this to figure it out.

Q. If he weren't the busiest man in tennis, would you hire him?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. He is the busiest man in tennis, so it's irrelevant. I obviously respect his opinion, and we get along great, and, you know, we're pretty close. I know his family well, and his baby girl and his wife. You know, but at the same time, he captains our Davis Cup team. So who knows if that's a conflict of interest in any way, shape or form with the other players.
There's no way he can be in a position to be Davis Cup captain and coach against one of his players. That's just impossible. So it's not really even worth discussing, because I don't think it's in the realm of possibility.

Q. You've worked with Patrick for a long time. Can he tell you anything different here, or is he just here observing kind of saying, this is what I know about your game today, this is the strategy you might want to take tomorrow?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, a week before the Open, we're not going to go into complete overhaul mode and start changing stuff. It's about making adjustments. "I think you can be doing this better than you have recently," you know. "I think you look for this against this opponent. This person has a tendency to do this. This is what you've done successfully."
It's more along those lines. I don't think where it's Jimmy where we're actually changing technique on a backhand or anything like that. I think Patrick is the absolute best, obvious short-term solution for me at this event.

Q. What do you think is the biggest difference in your game now as opposed to five years ago when you walked in here?
ANDY RODDICK: It's probably just confidence. You know, when I've been playing well this year, I think before I got hurt I was doing fine, and I was competing week in and week out and putting up results, and winning the matches I should. I think the biggest thing is when you're confident, you win even when you feel you're not playing well. You see guys do it a lot.
That's the thing that just comes with matches and winning matches, and unfortunately, I haven't been doing that in the last couple of months. You know, but it has been nice this week to actually prepare and work on stuff without being hurt. I've kind of been going from injured reserve straight into a tournament pretty regularly, and that's been a little bit of a habit, which is not an easy way to go about it. I feel a little bit more prepared, probably, than I have been for most of the events.

Q. And no rehab assignments?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't have a lot of choice a lot of times.

Q. So how can you be more confident now than you were when you won a Grand Slam?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, I didn't say I was. You said how was it different.

Q. How is it different?
ANDY RODDICK: I was probably more confident going into that tournament. I won a bunch of tournaments going into that one.

Q. You obviously played great, but you've got a hot young player coming up, so will that be a step up or just an entirely different type of match?
ANDY RODDICK: It's a different type of match. I knew with Fabrice tonight, if you let him in, then you have a tough match. I wanted to try and bully the ball around and try and get on top of him early. I felt I did that.
Gulbis serves a little bit bigger, so it's going to be a couple of points. He is a little streaky; come up with big shots in a row. You have to just kind of be ready for that moment where maybe he takes a break mentally.
I was glad with the way I served tonight because I haven't been serving that well. If I can do that, I like my chances of holding, which puts pressure on the other guy. The first two rounds here I'm sure all of you when the draw came out, you said, that's definitely not easy. I got through a very small part of the tournament tonight.

Q. What prompted your shout-out to Phelps?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, nothing. Olympics. If I say "Beijing," what do you think of? It's pretty much the same thing that happened to me except I was on a mic in front of a bunch of people.

Q. Having said what you said about your confidence in bringing Patrick on board, does that give you the necessary boost to hopefully propel you further into this tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, we'll see. It's the best we could do with what we had as far as health preparation, everything. I'm not going to pretend like it's been a perfect summer by any chance, but I feel good now, and it's the best decision that could have been made with that time frame.

Q. Is it clarity he can give you, then, in the short term? Is that the best...

Q. Like you were saying earlier, you know, I think you should do more this and...
ANDY RODDICK: No, I don't know if we should get carried away. I mean, we've spent a lot of time together over the years with Davis Cup and stuff, and I think it's basically having someone who knows my personality. Like I said, there's not getting to know someone in a week where you feel like you're cramming and lunches and dinners.
And he knows my game, you know. He's seen me play in a lot of big moments. That's it.

Q. What part of the game except the serve you're most satisfied with tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: My forehand. Yeah, I hit the ones that I needed to, and, you know, I wasn't missing them, which was good.

Q. What about the backhand passing shot?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, that one, too.

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