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September 4, 2008

Andy Roddick


N. DJOKOVIC/A. Roddick
6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You've clearly ticked him off with comments about SARS and bird flu and everything. He took himself to bring it up in front of a stadium that booed him loudly and even Michael tried to steer it and he just kept it going. Is that a bad call on his part?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, listen, here's the deal: I mean, if you guys haven't ever seen me joke in a press conference, I'd be shocked, okay?
I think you guys know it was completely meant in jest. Listen, I had four questions from each one, I had eight questions about all the other ones. Finally after 12 questions I decided to make light of the situation and it actually stopped after that. Or it screwed me up and you guys got me out of it.
I'm willing to talk about it. I don't know if, you know -- he took it as seriously. I figure if you're going to joke and imitate other people and do the whole deal, then you should take it. Listen, if someone makes fun of me I'm most likely going to laugh. If I'm over the line I'm going to come in here and say I was ridiculous. And I was wrong. I've been the worst of it in the past. By no means am I sitting here trying to be holier than thou or anything like that. But I promise you that if somebody makes a joke about it I'll probably laugh.
I'm sorry he took it that way. There's nothing else to say. I don't think I was over the line. It wasn't my intention, and, you know, I'm sorry he felt that way. Maybe I did him a favor tonight.

Q. It was our comments back and forth, and to be honest with you, today I heard from five or six or seven people, I heard it on ESPN, I heard it on USA, those types of things have legs, whether you like it...
ANDY RODDICK: I should know better, but listen, I joke all the time. I don't think anybody in their right mind takes me serious. I think it's very clear when I give a serious answer and when I don't give a serious answer.
Maybe that part -- maybe I should know better, you know, but in my eyes it's an innocent comment. I felt that most people found it funny and I tried to build it up -- if you look at the transcript, I'm saying, I'm 3, he's 8. It's straightforward. I'm trying to build it up as like I'm the favorite. I said listen, if you want to go last 10 days or go the last 10 months, he's been the best hardcourt player. I'm throwing truthful things the whole time. If someone wants to focus in on that and use it, then by all means, but especially in Novak's case, if you're going to dish out all the stuff, then be able to take it with a smile, is the only part that I don't quite agree with.

Q. Have you had an opportunity to talk to him afterward?
ANDY RODDICK: Anything that's going to be said between Novak and I is going to stay between Novak and I because I'm not going to air out private conversations in front of you guys, because I just don't feel like that's necessary.

Q. You were serving 5-4, it looked like it was going to go into a fifth set. You had two really good serves to start. What happened from there on?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I doubled twice, but you know what? I honestly don't feel like they were super-tight doubles, and I've been going for bigger second serves kind of the whole way back because he was jumping on my second serve early. Just missed them. He had a really good shot on break point.
I've been playing pretty high-risk, high-reward tennis and I probably wasn't about to stop.
Given the choice again, I'd probably go for them, you know. That's what got me back in the match.

Q. You looked pretty nervous at the start of the match. Was there something bothering you or just the pressure?
ANDY RODDICK: I just wasn't seeing the ball. I felt like everything was a little bit rushed, and it was unfortunate. By the time I got my legs under me he was on a little bit of a roll. The fourth set I hit the ball as well as I have this whole tournament. Credit to him on the tiebreaker, he really beared down on a couple of points where I really hit the ball well to win it. He's great at winning those tough matches, and I'm disappointed that I spotted him a set before I actually got my feet under me, but, you know, I'm happy with the effort I made to try to come back.

Q. Matches can turn on a dime, but if you hold, going into the fifth set it's a whole different match.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I know that.

Q. But I mean, it turned that quick for you.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it turned that quick for me to get back into it, also. That's tennis. It's a service break. A service break and stuff changes. You know, especially about -- I get someone who's not going to let you make mistakes.
I probably would get out of that game against a lot of people with a serve-and-volley player and they don't hit a topspin lob for a winner. You've got to give credit there. Like I said I missed those two serves but I don't feel like I nursed them. I feel like I hit them okay.
You know, there's not a whole lot of regret in the way I played the last two sets. The first two is another story. Like I said, I dug myself a hole that was real tough to get out of. I gave it my best shot to get out them but I think it was too little too late.

Q. Are you, you know, the way you played the way you gutted it out, if you look back, I know it's a little bit difficult because the tournament just ended for you, but are you happy, can you look back and reflect and take some positives out of this tournament, Andy?
ANDY RODDICK: I think. I was playing like absolute crap when I got here. I mean, really, really bad. Not confident after coming back from the injuries, and it was, you know, I just didn't feel clean with anything, and, you know, I played some good tennis here, and ended playing good tennis.
You know, it was just the front part of the match today that got me. So, you know, it's disappointing. It's really disappointing.
But I feel better now than I did, you know, at the beginning of the summer, like Wimbledon and then through those tournaments and Toronto where I played pretty bad and Cincy where I had to pull out. I never got started. This tournament was better than that.
I said the other day you can go in two directions, and I feel like I'm going in the better direction now than I was, you know, when we first talked in that press conference on that Saturday.

Q. Do you feel like handicapping that semifinal match between Roger and Novak at all?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not touching anything. (laughter.)

Q. He played high level in the breaker, but anything you think you could have done differently or just the 5-All point you played tremendous defense?
ANDY RODDICK: I played a bad shot there but honestly I felt like I bested him back enough. I got with a short one a couple of times. I probably didn't hit it. It's probably the only shot I nursed in the last two sets. But I mean I played a couple of great points up to, and credit to him, at 5-All point he just beared down and played big. I don't know how long the rally was but I felt like I hit four or five huge balls and he fought them off and that's why he's been successful.

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