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January 26, 2010

Andy Roddick


M. CILIC/A. Roddick
7-6, 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Down two sets, was it a matter of playing catch-up tennis that proved too much for you?
ANDY RODDICK: No, because I caught up. I did catch him, then he went ahead again. No, I caught him.
Yeah, I mean, I guess it's always a case of playing catch-up tennis when you're down two sets, right?

Q. What was the story in the fifth? Talk about the shoulder or arm or whatever was bothering you.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, the arm was -- I don't know what happened. I felt it a little bit the other night, the cold weather, trying to hit through those for a little while. I didn't hit yesterday. Felt pretty good today in warmup, the first couple games, then I think I aggravated something.
The trainer said it was stemming from the neck down. By the end of the first set, I was pretty numb in the bottom two fingers. I could still hit it pretty hard; I was just having trouble controlling it, you know. I didn't really have full deal.
So that was unfortunate. I started kind of almost going sidearm for a little bit, or at least what it felt like. That was working for a while, I think until he realized I was having trouble kind of pronating out that way.
On the flipside, I hit the ball about as well as I could, you know, throughout the whole match. You know, I felt like in the fifth, I was always going to need, you know, a break or two with the way I was kind of chunking my serve around.
I think the difference was in the third and fourth set. He was under 50%. I was getting a look at a lot of second serves and I was able to take big swings at them and try to finish points. I didn't see the stats, but he had to be up there pretty far in the fifth as far as making serves. He hit some aces. With the way I was serving, he was going to get looks at my serve.

Q. You fought hard and clawed your way back into it. You had Love-40 in the first game of the fifth. Did that kind of suck the wind out of you a little bit?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I mean, I had one really good look at a return, a forehand. Kind of pulled up on it. I was sitting on it. I think I got a little overexcited, was actually out in front of it. You know, he hit a good off-forehand, which is the one you want to make him hit. It's his least favorite. He hit it well.
If anything, I don't know that it affected me that much. I still hit the ball pretty well in the fifth. I think maybe he calmed down a little bit after he was able to get out of that hole.

Q. Ever played in a match with so many twists and turns?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I'm sure I have. I can't remember right now. You know, that's the way it is sometimes.

Q. Were you forced to flatten the ball out more off the ground on the forehand? Was it hurting your hand hitting topspin?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Yeah, I was having trouble when it was up a little bit, kind of when I had to kind of hit it and pull back.
But, you know, I was playing pretty high-risk and the ball was dropping in for a couple of sets. Like I said, I even think I hit it pretty decent in the fifth. The two balls, the two forehands, that I missed to get broken were after I hit five or six balls pretty firm before that.
It ended up, you know, working out for me okay from the baseline. I was just having to break too many times.

Q. Did you feel after the second set you might not play the third?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I asked Paul Ness, the trainer - obviously anytime there's something with an arm, a shoulder, numbness with your fingers, I'm going to be a little bit concerned. My arm is pretty much my livelihood. I asked him if there was any risk involved with going further. He said he didn't think so. So from that point it was just a matter of just go.

Q. What are your impressions of him as a young player coming through?
ANDY RODDICK: He keeps it together real well. Unlike a lot of the young guys who are very emotionally up and down, he doesn't beat on his chest, he stays the course, he's very deliberate, he hits the ball very well. Doesn't give an inch on the baseline. He literally sets up shop right behind the baseline and isn't going to be moved.
That's something to be dealt with when you're out there.

Q. Disappointment or do you just say to yourself you hurt the arm, just leave this one behind?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think it has to be either/or. You know, from the end of the first set, I mean, I honestly was -- he came out and I was having trouble feeling to the touch. You know, at that point I didn't know how much I was going to be -- once he said there was no risk, I knew I wasn't going to stop, but I didn't know what I was going to be able to come up with.
To be able to push it and have a shot, uhm, I thought it was a pretty good effort.

Q. Did they explain to you in medical terms what it is? Is it a muscle? Tendon?
ANDY RODDICK: They said something like a nerve on a T1. Does that make any sense to you?

Q. No.
ANDY RODDICK: Didn't make any sense to me either (smiling).
Something I guess that was resonating from the neck on down.

Q. You'll get further attention?

Q. Further examination.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. All signs at this point are good. Sounds like something, you know, whether it was a nerve that was compressed or something, I don't know, cutting off something. But they don't think it's going to be anything too serious long-term.
I'm sure we'll take the proper precautions and check it out. But at this point I'm not real, real scared about it.

Q. Cilic has played two five-setters in a row, three in the tournament. How much of a factor do you think that will be for him in the next round, two five-setters?
ANDY RODDICK: It will be a factor. Guessing how much, I'm not sure. The good thing for him is that he doesn't -- because he stands so close to the baseline and kind of directs traffic, there's not a whole -- he rarely gets outside the sidelines. Similar to what Andre used to do as far as minimizing his movement because he's controlling the points. Similar to how Del Potro plays a lot. So that's good for him. I don't think he's going to be able to -- he doesn't really spread the court too much.
That being said, five-setters are five-setters. I'm sure he'll be a little tired. He'll probably be cheering for those guys to go long tonight.

Q. In terms of the young players you've seen coming through this game, his ability to get through the fifth sets, be unflappable, resilient, where would you put him in the group of young players you've seen in the game?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, I don't know. He's definitely composed. I mean, I don't know where to rank people 'cause, you know...
I mean, he was the same after he lost two sets as when he won two sets. I think that will definitely serve him well over the course of his career. I feel like, you know, there's a lot to like about him. He just goes about his business, does it the right way, and seems like a very hard worker. You know, like you said, he doesn't give you any encouragement, like the feeling you're on top of him, even though I probably was for a little while.

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