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August 29, 2009

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Novak made these comments last week he felt he was born at the wrong year or wrong time because of Roger's and Rafa's dominance. Just curious about your thoughts to that. Do you relate to that at all or do you think he was making an excuse?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I'm not really going to talk about what he feels because I feel like he'd probably be the best one for that, but you play the hand you're dealt. I don't think at any point that I sit around and feel sorry for myself. I feel pretty fortunate. Obviously titles would probably be a little bit easier but there have been great champions that you have to go through every era in tennis.

Q. Have you been in any way surprised to see Federer coming back so fast and so eager to do so well after having won Wimbledon?

Q. Where do you think he finds that motivation?
ANDY RODDICK: Again that's a question he'd probably answer better than I would. I'm not surprised to see him come back and play well. That's actually very not surprising for me.

Q. What was the challenge for you after Wimbledon and the way it ended, and how has it played out for you?
ANDY RODDICK: I feel like maybe a bigger story was made of it than what I was feeling. There was never a point where I was going to just lay down afterwards or not come back and play hard or, you know, anything like that. You know, if you look at the tournament as a whole, it was a very good event, you know. I would have loved to have changed the last five minutes of it, but, you know, you look forward to another opportunity.

Q. How's the rest of your summer been since then?
ANDY RODDICK: It's been good. I feel like I've been hitting the ball real well. It was probably pretty ambitious going three weeks in a row after playing deep the first two. I feel fine. I had enough time to kind of rest up a little bit, and kind of get ready to go again after Wimbledon, and, yeah, I feel good.

Q. What are your thoughts about the length of the season? The other day Rafa commented that maybe that's a big problem for players with their physical stress.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I've never been shy about saying that I think that the season is too long. I think of all the things that are taken into consideration, I think the product should be right up there, and a lot of times in tennis that's not the case. And, you know, I wish it was. But there's only so much that we can do, especially with now imposing where if you miss events, not only fined but you can get suspended from next events, and I don't understand how anyone wins in that scenario, you know.
So you just sit here and kind of wander and wish it was another way.

Q. By 2014 the US Open will be the only Grand Slam without a roof. Should the USTA add a roof to here at Flushing Meadows?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, I don't know. You know, we've played -- all the Grand Slams have been played a pretty long time without one. I think it's a rarity that it gets backed up enough to where it becomes a real problem. Plus then when would we watch Connors and Krickstein again?

Q. You're also not too shy about being on social media. You are on Twitter a lot and this morning I noticed you were reacting to the warning that was given out about Tweeting inside information.

Q. Any further thoughts on that?
ANDY RODDICK: No, it was fine. I found the warning humorous. I understand the precautions being taken as far as the anti-gambling laws and the inside information, but I feel like the last place you would put inside information is on a public site for everybody to see.
Secondly, the part where it's like, we'll be monitoring, watch what you do besides tennis, also, I thought that was a little bit much. And the best part about it was I went to the US Open website and found a link to my Twitter page, and they have an iPhone app that connects you to their Twitter page, which I thought was amusing. (laughter.) Whoops.

Q. You've had time now to digest what happened at Wimbledon. Has your perspective on that changed? I mean, is that something from, you know, in the immediate aftermath I would imagine nothing but heartbreak and disappointment.
ANDY RODDICK: Sure, yeah.
Yeah, I mean, I think for the first two or three weeks afterwards I think it changed daily. But like anything, kind of the more you distance yourself from it, you start remembering, you know, the better things about it as opposed to the most disappointing things about it. You know, I promise you, I wish more than anything that I would have won that tournament, but at the same time, I'm still going to move on and keep going with the plan that we've set in place, because I feel like it is working.

Q. How are you, say, compared to a year ago a different player when you step on the court?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, comparatively speaking to last year, at this point last year I felt like I was playing catchup, and not just from a tennis perspective but I was behind the ball as far as fitness and health, and I was coming in here literally hoping to win a couple matches, and you know, this year I feel, you know, a lot more confident of my ability to go out there and play well and execute.

Q. You probably don't remember watching Super Saturday, but that day come into your consciousness or do you have any memories of...
ANDY RODDICK: The first match I actually remember seeing was Chang-Lendl in '89. Anything before that was purely something that I saw after the fact, but, you know, Super Saturday, that day was amazing because it went till -- it was after midnight or something, right?

Q. 11:15. Whew, late.
ANDY RODDICK: Insane. I think it was great for tennis. I don't know if I would have wanted to get off the court at 11:15, and have to come back and play a final the next day. As far as generating buzz, I thought it was good for the sport.

Q. You have a place in the city now. How has that affected how you approach preparing for the tournament and being here? Does it seem more familiar?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Yeah. I'm not as worried about my dog pooping on the carpet. (laughter.)
But that's about it. Aren't you glad you asked?

Q. Yeah.

Q. How was your Yankee Stadium experience? I know your pitch...
ANDY RODDICK: It was average at best.

Q. Did you meet any of the Yankees?
ANDY RODDICK: No. They said I could have gone and like gone in the dugout before the game. Last thing I want to do is bother them before they had to play, but it was pretty cool. I mean, obviously going to history and going and seeing the new stadium, yeah, it was a very fun and cool experience.

Q. Have you ever met that other A-Rod?

Q. What's he like?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I don't know him well. I've seen him in passing at dinner, you know, same restaurant a couple of times.

Q. In Manhattan or...
ANDY RODDICK: No, in Manhattan. During the tournament. That's about it.

Q. Have you ever gotten a lot of feedback from fans in these tournaments you've played related to Wimbledon, heard stuff from people that surprised you or thought was nice to hear?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes. Yes. The kind of the support I got from fans, from peers, from everybody. It was pretty surprising in the best way possible, and pretty humbling. For some reason I think that match hit home with a lot of people, and you know, maybe -- I didn't realize it. Obviously when you're in London, you kind of realize that it's a big deal there and you kind of understand it, but I was really surprised when I had got back here as to how many people watched it and kind of were affected by it. To be honest, that really helped the process.

Q. Any more advice from members of the U.S. Postal Service?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I'm scared to go home and see what my mailman has done.

Q. Sort of an SNL theme here, Will Ferrell and Alec Baldwin and Kenan. Is that the case, are a lot of cast members fans of tennis? What about your experience as a guest host?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, gosh, that was a long time ago, but I was pretty nervous that whole week, because I had no idea what I was doing. Probably similar to what they felt out there on the court today. (laughter.)
But it was a good memory. It's something that I'm glad I did.

Q. So with Sam Querrey, with Mardy Fish, kind of creeping up in the rankings, what do you think about the state of American men's tennis now versus last year? Like what is your kind of take on the big picture?
ANDY RODDICK: I feel like it's -- I think it's going in the right direction. I think Sam's made a serious move this summer. You know, he's playing a lot better and he's winning some tough matches. I think he's really stepped it up a level, which is good.
Also, kind of -- I think with even the younger kids going back to the 14, you know, 15, 16 years old in Florida, you know, from what I hear, it's a lot more argued, and I know Patrick has been very diligent as far as putting that together. I think that's necessary, as well.

Q. Do you think having the hometown crowd behind you could help you, or is it overrated?
ANDY RODDICK: No, it's certainly never going to hurt. And also, a lot of it falls on me, you know. They can be cheering as loud as they want, if I go out there and lay an egg, it doesn't affect the match too much. It's going to help a lot more than the other way around.

Q. Do you have any sense that players arriving here this year are fresher, more eager, more prepared than they were a year ago?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I really don't. To be honest, no. I haven't even thought about it.

Q. You mentioned how the support and the nice messages from people really helped you after Wimbledon. What do you take away now with the distance of a couple of months most from that match?
ANDY RODDICK: It's tough for me to just kind of pick one thing. You know, I break it down into kind of tennis -- it's weird, because it's tough for me to kind of think about, for me that Wimbledon almost starts in a practice week when you get to Queens. It's a month-long process and throughout that month process I was pretty happy with the way it went. It just didn't turn out with the way I wanted to in the end, but I was pretty happy the way I was able to navigate throughout the draw and happy with the way I played throughout.

Q. There is a young kid named Britton playing Federer in the first round. If he were to come to you and ask for advice about playing here, Grand Slam, first round against Federer, what would you say?
ANDY RODDICK: First thing I would say is warm up, try to warm up on the Stadium Court in between the finish-of-day session versus the night session. There's nothing like going out on that court and playing. I know I've actually played Scoville Jenkins here when he was in the same situation, and it took him a little while to kind of get his bearings. So I think that would be important.
I think second I would tell him to be sure to have a look around when he walks out on the court, you know, kind of take it all in, take your time before you go start warmup, so that when you don't catch yourself looking around too much when you start.

Q. When you said the Wimbledon match you think kind of hit home for people here, what do you think, you know, hit home about it? Do you think that will help you here?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not sure. I still -- it's tough for me to be objective in that situation, because I obviously view it different than someone else would. I'm not sure what kind of made people, you know, kind of emotionally invested in it, if you will. You know, I don't know. Obviously I think it was a very high-level match. I think we were both trying our hardest, but beyond that, I think that that's for you experts to decipher.

Q. Are you as confident about your game now as you were like in that week when you came back in Washington and got to the finals? You seemed like you were pretty happy about everything and reflecting on, you know, getting all the way deep into Wimbledon. You seemed pleased. Is there anything in the last few weeks that's changed that?
ANDY RODDICK: No, no. I feel like I got the matches in this summer that I needed to, coming into the Open.
You know, I enjoy playing Grand Slam tennis. I enjoy trying to figure out a way to get through the draw and kind of everything that goes along with it. I'm just anxious to get started.

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