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August 17, 2009

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. To what you do you attribute your incredible run of success here? You're 25 and 6 and you've won 80% of your matches.
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, I don't know. You know, I feel like I've normally played pretty well this part of the year. I've gotten really good fan support here over the years, especially -- I remember especially in '06 when I hadn't been playing that well. Just kind of got me back on the right track.
So it's a combination of things, but it's definitely a place where I've enjoyed playing.

Q. You recently committed to playing Brisbane next year. You were scheduled to play Indy but pulled out of that; played Washington. I was wondering regarding your success at Roland Garros this year, best since '01, if you'd consider playing Monte-Carlo next year, a longer clay-court season leading into Roland Garros?
ANDY RODDICK: I promise you, the last thing I've thought about the my clay court schedule for next year.

Q. You talked about your evolution as a person and a player. But since you were 19, for example, has your definition of success changed or evolved?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I don't think my definition for success has ever been anybody else's definition for success. If you go out there and execute and compete and give yourself chances, I mean, it's all relative.
When I was playing horribly in '06, a quarterfinal then would probably be a lot better than, you know, now maybe when I feel like I'm playing a little bit better. So it's tough to generalize over the course of seven years.

Q. To follow on that, you have been in the spotlight where America has a definite, concrete, black and white definition of success. Has it been hard to sort of follow your own journey when you have people who will define success or failure for you in such a public fashion?
ANDY RODDICK: Um, yeah, I mean, to be honest, from the beginning of my career, you know, you've been up against it. I'm following probably the greatest generation ever from one place, so, you know, that was never gonna be an easy task.
But, you know, had you told me at 17 that -- if you would have thrown up some the stats that I had accomplished, I probably would have taken it then. It's all relative. Like I said, the barometer, you know, I kind of -- I don't know if I'll look at it as a four- or five-year thing as opposed to a bunch of little small two- and three-month processes. That's kind of the way that I approached it.

Q. What specific improvements have you made? For instance, since Federer in '05, I think you played the championship match here with Federer and he beat you. In Wimbledon this year you were really close, so you've obviously improved tremendously. What do you think have to do to beat him or what do you think you have to work on, that type of thing?
ANDY RODDICK: Um, well, I need to win, you know, two more points. (Laughter.) I don't know. I mean, it's tough to compare one specific match to another one and say you're a lot better overall.
Actually, in the '05 final I feel like I really didn't play well here, but I don't think he played well either. If I had put together some of the performances I have against him in that final, it probably would have ended a little bit differently.
Overall, I've been playing better. You know, if we're gonna break down one matchup against the greatest of all-time, obviously it's a very -- what's the world I'm looking for? It's a very specific difference sometimes.

Q. In terms of playing better now, how different do you feel on the court, whether it's a measure of confidence or comfort or what?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, I feel pretty good going into matches right now. I'm not worrying right now how I'm gonna go out there and hit the ball. The last two weeks I've actually hit the ball really well.
I haven't served that well, so I've been kind of getting through matches, you know, kind of just kind of grinding through them a bit more. But I'd rather have it that way than the other way. I feel like the serve will come around fine. It always has.
You know, so I feel pretty good about where my preparations are right now.

Q. Could you share a couple points maybe that Larry Stefanki has identified in your game and asked you to concentrate on and you've made those adjustments and you've had a better result for you?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, you know, if you kind of -- I feel like a lot of people have opinions about what I should be doing on court. You know, everybody kind of knows best. But a lot of them revolve around hitting one shot and then going for another shot, and that's fine.
Larry said, You know what, that's fine, but that's gonna be kind of hit or miss and your results might be a little spotty and you'll have patches where you don't play well and patches where you do.
I think he was the first to actually have more faith in my game overall. You don't need it force the issue all the time. You can kind of let it come to you sometimes, if need be.
He has faith in me being able to chip the ball around and put returns in play and rely on my legs a little bit more. That was nice, because at times I think I had forgotten that I was actually a pretty good tennis player besides all the rest.

Q. Do you have any specific goals this week? Obviously you can say win the title. Obviously it's most important for to you prepare for the Open. If you could win the Open and lose in the quarterfinals here you probably would take that.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, no offense to this great tournament.

Q. Absolutely. None taken. I'm just saying, do you have any specific goals? Is there anything you want to get out of this week?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I just want to kind of -- like I said, I like where my preparation is heading into the Open as of this point. Playing eight matches in ten days is a good thing coming off a month off and being able to come out and -- I lost a couple tight ones but won a lot tight ones, too, in the last couple weeks.
I felt like I was in position in pretty much all the matches. You know, I just want to kind of continue on that. I like where I'm at.
Like I said, I hope I can start serving the way I'm used to. I'm confident I can do that. But beyond that, it's just a matter of competing and trying to play good tennis again.

Q. What did the Wimbledon final tell you about where you are in your career?
ANDY RODDICK: That's a vague question. I just need maybe an avenue to go down on that one. As far as like longevity?

Q. It's been looked at as some sort of a breakthrough. I'm guessing it was probably a culmination of some hard work that was put in beforehand.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I don't know if -- you know, I didn't wake up on Friday morning of the semis and just play a good match. You know, same thing for Sunday. You know, we started it in November of last year.
You know, I feel like I've been playing a lot better this year overall. I don't think I have a loss outside of the top 15 or so, so, you know, it's a good thing. And I've been putting it together a lot more consistently than I have in the last three or four years, so that's a good sign.
Wimbledon obviously was kind of beating the in-form player in Murray. And having a shot against Roger was a good sign. I took a couple top 10 wins last week, and I got Novak again. Winning those matches maybe more than I have the last couple years.

Q. If I could ask your point of view about injury time-outs and what seems to be a frequent use of them. In your mind, is there a difference between an injury and a discomfort? And should there be some clarity ideally on the sorts of occasions where players can call for an injury time-out? Or is that just between players and your conscious?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think you're ever gonna get a clear-cut line, because it's a matter of someone telling the truth and not telling the truth. You can't put the trainers in the position where they're basically gonna call someone a liar. That's never gonna work.
My personal opinion was in Australia this year we saw a lot of kind of -- I think for physical conditioning, if it is for cramping, you know, I'm not here to talk about, you know, whether or not you should be able to get treatment for that. I'm not a medical professional.
But I do think that -- let's say -- I think you'd see a lot less. Let's say the guy calls the trainer on a switchover before your serve. I think he should have to concede that game so the guy who's -- you know, so you're not sitting down for 15 minutes and having to come out and serve a game.

Q. Yeah. Put the other guy in.
ANDY RODDICK: I think so. I mean, I think if you're gonna call for physical conditioning, that is a lot more in your control than, let's say, an injury. I don't think the guy who's not hurt should be punished by having to sit and then come out cold.
I mean, if you guys have ever gone for a jog for 30 minutes, sat down for ten minutes, and then stand up and try to sprint, it's not something that works out too well. I.
So can see a rule like that maybe being put in, and I think it would make sense.
The other one, regardless of opinion, it's just tough to put anything in place that would take out it being subjective to someone's opinion.

Q. You mentioned crowd support here. It's been really good. Do you feed off that when you're playing, or do you just totally forget about it and focus on the match?
ANDY RODDICK: No, obviously crowds affect a sporting event. That's the way it is. You can be as focused as you want to be, but you can't help but kind of be very aware of the atmosphere that's around.
That being said, you can also have all the crowd support in the world, and if you walk out and play like a bum, doesn't really matter. It's definitely something that you would want than not have, but you still have to go out and execute.

Q. Have you surprised yourself in your response to what happened in Wimbledon? Sort of understandably shell shocked afterwards. Are you surprised by the way you reacted on the court, off the court?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, you know, it's -- I think a lot was made of it, and a lot was -- I would be lying if I said the only reason I thought about it was because it was talked about. I'm like, Jeez, I'll be back. I'll be fine.
God forbid I lose second round to Querrey in Washington who was playing great. They're gonna have me retired. (Laughter.)
So I've not been a lot of things during my career, but I have been extremely resilient and been able to kind of get over talk and just go about my business the way I feel like I need to. I don't feel like the last two weeks have been much different.
If we're being honest, my worst day there is playing one of the greatest Wimbledon finals. It's a pretty good worst day.

Q. On the heels of winning six good matches before that.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. It wasn't one loss. I told people I was there for two weeks before we played the final. (Laughter.) If that's my worst day, I don't think I'm gonna lose perspective on that. It was definitely the hardest loss I've ever had. Even the next day, I don't feel like I was throwing a pity part for myself.

Q. Do you feel like there was more of an out-swelling of support in that loss than you've ever had in some of your biggest wins?

Q. How did you respond to that?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I don't know if it's something I've overthought. I'm very thankful for the support that I have right now, because it's been fleeting throughout my career. I hope it stays.
I'm certainly -- you know, I think people maybe appreciate the fact that kind of the way I go about my career. Maybe that showed through somehow with kind of just, you know, not being at my best but still going, still working.
You know, I think that was nice. You know, I don't know -- I would be lying if I sat here and said I totally understood it, but it definitely made it easier to kind of motivate to get back on the court. It was pretty humbling.

Q. Can I ask a quick follow. It almost seems like you got more respect and admiration from people outside of the tennis world after the loss at Wimbledon than when you won the US Open.

Q. Do you feel that at all? And do you think you were maybe seen as this young guy, and now it's like, oh, he's paid his dues and been through some tough times and come out at the other end?
ANDY RODDICK: Sure. Well, it's tough to feel like you have a developed relationship with someone who's been on tour for a year. And maybe not so much, you know, with someone who's been out there nine or ten years and who maybe hasn't had their best go of things in the last two or three years.
You know, I don't know. Again, I don't know really how to explain it. I knew what it was like in London when I was there, because you're obviously kind of in a bubble, especially with the Murray match. That's like Super Bowl Sunday here. The whole country is kind of watching. You read the news articles, and it's like, Andy blew his noes at 10:23 this morning on the practice court. I knew that people were paying attention there.
But to come back here and kind of not be able to go get coffee without people wanting to talk about tennis, I was sad, but that was awesome, because that's not something I've been a part of here before. It was really cool that for a couple days kind of tennis was at the forefront of water cooler talk.

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