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March 15, 2009

Andy Roddick


A. RODDICK/D. Koellerer
6-1, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I didn't know much about him, did you?
ANDY RODDICK: I had heard some stuff going into the match, but I hadn't really seen him play at all before.
You know, I was kind of -- Larry came out and watched about a set and a half of his match the other day, and, you know, I was just going on what I had heard a lot.

Q. What do you think of him?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, he certainly tried everything in his power to get a win. Umm, I heard there was going to be, you know, possibly an injury time out or six.
And, you know, I kind of just knew that I was going to have to really stay focused and kind of stay the course and try not to get caught up in the histrionics of it all.

Q. You thought you played well?
ANDY RODDICK: I played okay. Um, it was -- when you get a night here and it's a little cooler, it's tough to make the ball move at all. So what you saw was a lot more kind of extended rallies.
I'm happy because I feel like I've certainly been doing that a lot better this year. Kind of added that option, so that's a good thing. There's certainly room for improvement, but a win is a win.

Q. What have you been adding to your game in the course of this year with the fitness and Larry? I mean, about three weeks into the year, what do you bring into your game?
ANDY RODDICK: I think it's just different options, you know. You can play different matches different ways. Tonight I was able to stay back. I wasn't really too concerned about getting into long rallies. I didn't mind it. Being able to move the ball around a little bit more. He wants me to maybe trust my instincts a little bit more and kind of get a feel for the match.
No, it's been working so far. You know, I know that I can win some points on my legs now. It helps a lot on return games, you know, kind of digging out that first ball after a return, and I think that showed.

Q. What do you think about Nicolas Kiefer, your next opponent?
ANDY RODDICK: He's certainly accomplished. He's a veteran. There's not going to be anything I'm going to show him that he hasn't seen before, and probably vice versa. I think we've played each other four or five times, you know.
He's certainly -- he plays aggressively, and he's going -- he's going to certainly -- he's tough. He's not going to be intimidated by a situation. He's played on big courts before and big matches. It's going to be tough.

Q. If you were in charge of marketing for the game of tennis, how would you make it more popular than it already is?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, you're going to have to -- I'm going to preface this by saying if you look at numbers, whether it's TV ratings or racquet sales, even in this economy, whether it's USTA memberships, you know, so on and so forth, tennis is doing pretty well.
We're not taking $175 million loans, this, that, and the other. So that being said, you know, I think they're doing an okay job. I'm always a fan of the US Open because on top of the tennis, I think you draw fans because it's an event.
You know, they have kick-off concerts and there's stuff going on around the grounds. There's constantly music being played around the grounds. It's free entertainment for kids. There's places you can play. There's merchandise.
There's a whole punch of stuff going on that makes it fun, even if, let's say, you're not a hard core tennis fan. I think it certainly wouldn't hurt if that was, you know, a weekly thing. I think they do a pretty good job with it here with the tennis garden and the whole thing in the back. You can kind of come and hang out. I think the more of that the better.

Q. Tonight, as you mentioned, he's got quite a reputation, but what do you think of his game, and how do you think he'd do without all that extra stuff?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I mean, he certainly, you know, tries hard. He never quit, you know. I'm not really sure that, you know, all that other stuff is super necessary. You know, probably lose you as many matches it was wins.
It's either going to pump the guy up to play better or you get under his skin a little bit. You know, I don't know if it's necessary. I don't know.

Q. You're one of the rare players who mentioned the economy, the bad economy. Is it difficult now to raise the money for your charity, funds? As I said, the economy is bad. You're nice to mention that. Other players don't.

Q. Is it difficult to raise the money for your charity? Do you feel that?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, I think it's noticeable. You know, more than anything, I think you just have to get more creative. I mean, I don't think people's spirits have changed in how much they want to give. It just may affect how much they can.
You know, we looked at different avenues, like we did a, you know, kind of an all-night food drive in New York where it's through Facebook and you have 25,000 fans and you're trying to get each of them to donate a dollar.
You just kind of have to -- we're trying new and exciting ways to, clever ways, to raise money and raise funds. I mean, people are less likely to write blank checks. We're certainly conscious of that.
I mean, we try to give, you know, some free stuff, also. Obviously, at our events in Florida we have free kids day, you know, where you can come and get entertainment and there's moon walks and free tennis clinics and the whole deal.
So it is tough, but, you know, that just means you have to kind of come up with new ways.

Q. After the first set, which you won fairly comfortably and against an opponent who was barely breaking 100 miles an hour on his serve, were you surprised only to get one break in the second set?
ANDY RODDICK: One break would have been fine as long as I hadn't lost my own serve. I was surprised to lose serve. I don't think I should have lost that game. I'm a little upset with -- I remember hitting three pretty ordinary shots in that game.
You know, if you think about it, if I hold there, there's only one more opportunity for me to break and we're not having this discussion. So I'm probably more concerned with getting broken in the second set.

Q. Regarding the Dubai visa thing, do you think the response of the tennis world was appropriate, and what do you think it accomplished?
ANDY RODDICK: I think you're going to have to be more specific with your question. You know, I don't know if I am really aware what the response was. I mean...

Q. I'm asking it for a buddy. That's fine.
ANDY RODDICK: Okay. Sorry.

Q. As far as that event goes, what are your feelings about playing it next year?
ANDY RODDICK: It's not -- the thing that I didn't want to get lost in translation with that whole thing it's just an equal rights thing. I don't think you should mix sports and politics too much. It has nothing to do with Dubai as a country. I thought I was -- I definitely tried to go out of my way in saying when I was there I enjoyed my time. Everybody treated me great. I think it's a fantastic event.
It's just unfortunate that, you know, that circumstance took place. I don't feel there's a place for that in our sport. If anything, I mean, she's -- I don't really know Shahar that well, but from what I've heard, she would be an asset to everything going on there. She's pretty articulate. From all accounts, she's a nice girl.
It had nothing to do with anything political going on between the countries. I feel like just every person, if they're -- you know, it goes back to if you're good enough you should be allowed to play and not, you know, subjected to your nationality or race or gender or anything like that.
I just feel like it should be an open field in our sport.

End of FastScripts

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