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July 3, 2009
A. RODDICK/A. Murray
6-4, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Where does that rate amongst your performances in recent years?
ANDY RODDICK: In recent years, it's, I mean -- I think overall it's certainly up there. You know, playing a player of his rank, his caliber, you know, in kind of his atmosphere. He was certainly in form going into the match. I had to play my best tennis to win.
Q. It seems like a lot of streams came together to make the river today: fitness, the backhand working. Can you address that.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, you know, you don't go back to a Wimbledon final by accident. It certainly is a process. And it's probably been a longer process than I would have liked.
But, you know, I've enjoyed, you know, everything that has kind of gone into it.
Q. Want to talk about Larry's contribution to the success this week.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, sure. He's certainly, you know, is well-studied. Kind of picks the right times to discuss stuff. You know, it's not always the same -- it doesn't feel monotonous. Not always the same time that he picks and chooses to talk about an upcoming match.
You know, I certainly got the sense that, you know, he believed that we could get back to this point. You know, that was large.
Q. In previous matches with Roger, how varied have your game plans been? He spoke earlier today that he felt as though almost every time he played you that you were trying different things, that it wasn't necessarily one approach. Can you describe how varied your approaches have been?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, they've been varied. You know, but I think maybe now more than ever I can vary it and maybe have some confidence playing out of my element a little bit. You know, today I was able to come in, I think it was 68 times. It wasn't, you know, kind of all in on a pair of twos. It was -- I felt like I was doing the right things and picking the right shots, so that's an encouraging sign.
Q. In the third set tiebreaker, there were 16 points; you came to net eight times. What enabled you to pull the trigger?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I don't think -- with the exception of coming in behind first serves, I don't think I was -- you know, with Andy, his passing shots are so good that a lot of times he almost, you know, invites you in.
You know, I think more so than the coming in, the thing that Larry was stressing was, you know, against Andy, if you do come in, you have to hit a good approach shot, otherwise the ball's gonna be passing you all day.
That's probably the thing that I did best today, was come in, but behind really good approach shots.
Q. A lot of good movement out there. Also a lot of calm amidst the storm. Talk about your feeling out there.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, you know, I'm just trying to stay the course. I'm just going about it. You know, I haven't really gotten too up or too down at any point in this event, or this year for that matter.
So, you know, I'm just gonna go try to do the same thing, just on to the next point.
Q. You said when you came off the court that you weren't sure, it's been a little while since you thought you'd make a Grand Slam final. Did you ever really seriously doubt that you would be back here?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, yeah, yeah. Last year after I played here, I mean, that was a hard, hard couple of weeks.
You know, Brook and I had a lot of talks on where I thought -- if I still thought I could play and at least be, you know, towards the top of the game. I definitely openly questioned it at that point. You know, then the rest of the year I was kind of hurt.
So this off-season, we said, You know what, if you're not gonna be up there, let's at least not wonder. Let's prepare yourself and give yourself every opportunity.
You know, I did work real hard and, you know, was committed, and have been committed, you know, from everything to diet to sleep to everything. So, you know, I certainly gave myself every opportunity to succeed.
Q. Has this era of Roger and Nadal been a bit demoralizing for players at your level?
ANDY RODDICK: What's a player at my level?
Q. Fantastic, but they seem to pick it up. They've cleared the Grand Slam circuit for a few years.
ANDY RODDICK: No, 'cause, you know, a lot of times I've lost way before that.
I'm not -- I've never been one to begrudge anyone of their success or be jealous of someone else's success. You know, I have a lot of respect for what they've been able to do. You know, more often than not they haven't had to go through me to win any of those.
A lot of times they haven't had a direct effect on how I've been playing at the moment.
Q. The thing that most pleased you today was the level of restraint and focus that you were able to keep against a player like Murray, who sometimes draws lots of errors out of his opponents?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I knew going in that getting all hyped up and up and down, especially in an atmosphere that probably wasn't gonna be super favorable to me, wasn't probably the way to go. And especially, you know, he was probably gonna have the edge as far as, you know, kind of the adrenaline and the emotion.
So I kind of just wanted to stay the course. I was fully aware that there might be ups and downs. You know, I just wanted to kind of keep the same face regardless.
Q. Am I correct in saying that a year ago you were just coming through an airport lounge and you saw the last set of the Federer/Nadal final; is that correct?
ANDY RODDICK: Hmm, yeah.
Q. Were you coming back from here?
ANDY RODDICK: Coming back from here? Dude, I didn't stick around for two weeks after I lost last year. I like London, but not...
I'm trying to think. I think I spent the 4th of July with Brooklyn's family, and I think we were coming back from North Carolina and landed and they were heading into the fifth set.
You know, I didn't want to watch, 'cause it's tough watching 'cause you wish you were there. Especially kind of the mental state I was in at that point, it hurt to watch.
And then, you know, I landed and it was the match that it was. You know, there was no chance of me getting out of the airport before it was finished.
Q. You're coming off two huge wins. What is going to be your approach for the next match against a tough competitor?
ANDY RODDICK: We haven't discussed it yet.
Q. Within yourself, what are your thoughts about the upcoming final?
ANDY RODDICK: We still haven't discussed it yet (smiling).
Q. You talked about your family. Roger is a married man, too. How much of a role does your family play in your success of this year?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, I don't know. I know that kind of being happy and not having any worries away from the court, in my mind it can only help things. You know, Brook has been a very calming influence, and someone that I can kind of confide in and not have to put up, you know, a super brave front in front of.
So it's been real good. And, you know, certainly makes the box better looking.
Q. In the third set you were down a triple breakpoint early. Looked like maybe it could get away from you. That set had a couple of ups and downs. Do you think that was a decisive moment there?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it could have been, yeah. I mean, you know, yeah. Any time you can kind of save it and keep it on serve is a good thing.
And, you know, you're probably not gonna get out of a Love-40 hole too often against a guy who returns like him.
So that was definitely key to get through that.
Q. In your mind, how do you change as a person and as a player since you got the chance winning a Grand Slam last time three years ago in the US Open?
ANDY RODDICK: What was the beginning of that?
Q. In your own mind, how have you changed as a person and as a player since the last time you got a chance of winning a Grand Slam?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I mean, obviously a lot's changed personally since then. You know, but as far as -- I may have grown up a little bit as far as how I go about things.
But, you know, as far as me, you never really have to ask twice to see where I'm at at any given moment. You know, the meat and potatoes is probably still the same. But obviously, you know, kind of personally I've grown up a lot.
Q. Can you describe to us how much you want this title, how much it means to you?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I probably couldn't (smiling).
Q. Could you try?
ANDY RODDICK: No.
Q. What memories stay with you most from when you were in the finals here before?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. Maybe it's not one. I don't look back on them negatively at all, you know. I've never made any apologies for making a Grand Slam final before. I certainly don't look back on those like that.
I know how tough it is. But, you know, I'm excited about this one. I didn't know if I was gonna get to play a final of Wimbledon again. You know, I'm certainly thankful to have that opportunity.
Q. What is your take on what the next three or four years hold for Andy Murray?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, he's going to break through and win one of these titles, and probably numerous ones. He's too good not to. In my mind it's a matter of time. It's not if, but when.
Q. Back to the conversation you had with your wife at the end of last year of whether you could play or not. What side did you take and what side did she take?
ANDY RODDICK: It was a year ago here. I was probably leaning towards not really playing that well. She didn't really know much about tennis, so she thought I was playing real great (laughter).
Q. And she convinced you?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, she thought I looked cute in the shorts.
Q. Remember the line about not wanting to shoot Bambi? Was it weird playing a guy who was such an overwhelming sentimental favorite? And how much did you kind of make taking the crowd out of it part of your game plan?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, it's a lot easier to deal with something when you kind of know how it's gonna be. You know, I went in, and if I would have acted like I was surprised by the crowd support for him or acted like -- you know, he's their guy. They should support him and they should be going crazy for him, and they did.
You know, that's something that I've been lucky enough to experience at the Open before. So, you know, you just try to take it with a grain of salt. I just tried to go about my business.
I think playing away Davis Cup ties definitely helps that situation. You know, every time we're away, it's the same deal.
Q. You're obviously focused on what you're trying to accomplish here, winning your first Wimbledon title and second Grand Slam. What sort of appreciation do you have for what your opponent is trying to do with getting his 15th and breaking that record of Pete's?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, obviously you can't really say enough to kind of signify what Roger's career has been to this point. I'd love to delay it for another Grand Slam.
Q. Does it help mentally that he finally lost the final here last year?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I don't think it matters as far as Sunday goes.
Q. The other day you said in terms of the Stones concert you had a better view of the action. Not up to the first row yet, or where are you in the seating pattern?
ANDY RODDICK: Trying to get backstage.
Q. Did you feel you had the edge in vitality out there?
ANDY RODDICK: In vitality? Like what? What does that mean?
Q. Well, you just seemed more ready for the whole thing.
ANDY RODDICK: More ready for the whole thing?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I haven't really thought about it much. You know, I think one thing that helps for being out here for a long time is I'm not gonna get real surprised by most situations. You know, I've been through most of 'em before, the good ones and the bad ones.
You know, it's not new for me. It's not a new emotion. I think that maybe that helps sometimes.
Q. What's given you the greatest satisfaction as far as how you're playing in this tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: I think just getting through. I mean, if I'm being honest, before today I was kind of getting -- just getting through matches, you know, playing some good patches but some very ordinary patches as well.
So being able to kind of navigate your way through a major tournament kind of feeling that way, you know, I guess that's a pretty good sign.
Q. What happened to you on the stairs as you were leaving?
ANDY RODDICK: On the stairs? Oh, yeah. I think I just kind of wanted a moment maybe for myself. You know, as soon as you finish up a match like that, thanking the crowd and acknowledging the crowd, then you get shoved into this little room with a camera in your face and you get asked a bunch of questions.
I didn't know anybody saw that on the stairs. It was just kind of me taking a second to kind of try to make myself maybe believe that I was actually going to locker room having done that.
Q. Can you envision yourself lifting that trophy on Sunday as the winner here?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, I've done that many times (laughter).
Q. When was the first time?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. We used to wake up and watch the old HBO Breakfast at Wimbledon. I'm sure I thought about it even then.
Q. You're obviously thrilled to be in the final. It means so much to you. How do you guard against being the happy-to-be-there guy?
ANDY RODDICK: That's never really been my MO. You know, that won't be the case. You know, it's too close.
Q. You said it was important to know what to expect when you go out there. Have you any idea on Sunday what the crowd will react to, maybe you beating the British guy?
ANDY RODDICK: No, no. I hope not. But, you know, I think here maybe more so than anyplace outside of the States I've developed a little bit of rapport with the fans. Maybe you guys helping me by asking me a bunch of goofy questions and me giving a bunch of goofy answers.
But certainly, you know, Roger's earned their respect many, many, many times over. You know, hopefully they'll like both of us a little bit.
End of FastScripts