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January 22, 2010

Andy Roddick


6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You've played a lot of excruciating matches, but where would this one rate?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, in the sense of physically or?

Q. No, not at all. Things couldn't have gone very wrong.
ANDY RODDICK: A lot of times you feel like maybe some things go your way. I felt if there was a let cord, I felt like I was real close to getting on top of the match and making it, turning it, to kind of make it a little bit more comfortable. Just didn't quite get there.
But, you know, the only thing that matters, you're just trying to get through a day, and that happened, so no complaints.

Q. You had 21 unforced errors in the whole match. He said that was the thing that made the difference for him. You just didn't miss from the baseline. Do you have the same feeling?
ANDY RODDICK: Uhm, yeah. I mean, I thought that's the best he's played against me, for sure.

Q. He said that.
ANDY RODDICK: I had a pretty clear strategy going in, you know. Eight, nine years, I wanted -- in the rallies, you know he's going to chip. I wanted to take my chances with approaches on his backhand side. He was sticking passing shots pretty regularly. I was kind of fighting my own intuition there.
I actually ended up doing most of the damage going to his forehand side later in the match. But, credit to him, he served big points really well. You know, I thought he played pretty well from the baseline. Definitely I was lucky to get through that in four.

Q. Anything about your game that you liked?
ANDY RODDICK: I needed to convert. You know, I had a lot of breakpoints there in that fourth set. And I needed to bear down on one of those. He's such a tough ad-court server. I wasn't getting a good read. You're dealing with 215 down the T, then 185 wide where it's going outside of the sideline every time. I probably had an opportunity or two where I could have played it a little bit.
But I was getting pretty frustrated just with the way he was serving on that ad side. But, you know, that's probably the one thing I could have done a little bit better.

Q. Beyond just this match, how do you strike the balance between playing with passion but managing emotion?
ANDY RODDICK: Is, I don't know, an acceptable answer (laughter)?
As far as point to point, I think I approach matches maybe a lot more even keel than I used to. I kind of negotiate my way through the match. I'm assuming this is in reference to the other day.

Q. Overall.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, overall I'd say I've definitely learned the balance. You know, obviously some things change in the heat of the moment. But what was a little bit lost the other day was the fact that, you know, it happened. I went and finished the match, then had my - we'll call it an episode.

Q. Are the stakes higher now that you're older than when you were younger because there's a finite window of opportunity to win this second slam?
ANDY RODDICK: You know what, I don't deal in that big of a picture, I don't think. You know, as boring as this for all of you, literally we go -- today we finish up here, tomorrow we talk and we game plan and we discuss what we're gonna do. Two days from now we go and try to apply it. How we negotiate this tournament has nothing to do with two or three years from now.
That's honestly the way I think. I'm going to try everything. I'm going to put in the hard yards before I get to a tournament. But once you're there, you're just trying to get through some days.

Q. How long do you think the window is open for that?
ANDY RODDICK: It's tough to predict health. But, you know, certainly I'm looking at I'd probably say at least three, four more years - I hope.

Q. Have you talked to Larry tonight since the match?

Q. Was there something going on in the box during the match? I couldn't tell.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know anything about that. Sorry. I don't know. I wish I knew something for you.

Q. That strange shot where you reached over the net. Seems like you forget the rules for a second or were going to get into a jawing match with the umpire.
ANDY RODDICK: I was not going to get into a jawing match with the umpire. I didn't know. Reaching, not reaching. I guess you're not allowed to reach unless the ball hits his side and then goes over. I wasn't that sure about it. I just wanted to make sure he saw the replay. If it was a reaching thing, I guess at that point he wouldn't have changed anyways.
I wasn't going to get too involved there.

Q. Talk about Gonzo. Good record against him. Talk about that matchup.
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, he's a very dangerous player. Some days he comes out, looks like he's playing ping-pong the way he can sling the ball around.
I mean, it's going to be a completely different matchup than I've had the last couple. Obviously the returning will probably be a little bit easier, but everything besides that will probably be a little bit more difficult.
You know, we'll see. I think I'm going to have to keep serving the way that I have been, kind of try to control the pace of the match with my first serve. We'll see.
I mean, I don't think there are going to be a lot of secrets out there. I think we played each other 11 times or something like that. So, you know, I don't think anybody's going to be real shocked with what they're seeing.

Q. In the fifth game of the second set, you finished, get a second ball ace on the sideline. Kind of daring at that stage. Then you finally broke him to get ahead. Do you think that was a critical point?
ANDY RODDICK: It wasn't a breakpoint? I didn't have a second-serve ace on a breakpoint?

Q. No. It was 40-30.
ANDY RODDICK: I wasn't going for an ace. It came off better than I was trying. It was a kick serve. I think it was about mid 150s. I think I got a little bit of action on it.
I think as the match wore on, I was it hitting that kick out to the forehand a little bit more because it was rewarding me a little bit more than going into his chip return.
I don't know if I was going for too much there. I think it just came off pretty well.

Q. Tiebreakers are usually your friend. You lost the first one. How much concern was there after the first set?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah, I mean, you're playing uphill from there. That being said, I mean, I was talking about it a little bit earlier. The point I lost on serve, I had a forehand. You know, I wanted to hit it heavy, make him pass up the line. He ran. Sometimes you play the point the way you want to and you get beat.
Then on his set point to put it back on serve, I hit another approach that was pretty close to the baseline. He took it on the rise and hit an angle cross-court.
I was concerned about the scoreline, but I wasn't really beating myself up as far as tactics in the tiebreaker. He came up with the goods on two backhand passes, which is, you know, normally his least favorite shot. You know, I couldn't really second guess my decision-making in that breaker.

Q. Can I ask you about a German junior named Dominik Schulz. You've been practicing with him during the off-season.

Q. What is your opinion on him?
ANDY RODDICK: I practiced with him for a little bit for a couple days. I think we were in Florida. You know, he's got some potential. Obviously being left-handed will help a little bit. He's got a fair ways to go as far as fitness goes. He certainly has some potential.

Q. Is this the most sound you've been in terms of coach and now being married as a package?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't really think about coach and marriage. I don't put those together too often (smiling).
You know what, I've been getting a lot of questions. This is the natural flow of events even when you're not a tennis player. Obviously you're going to be probably a little bit more put together when you're 27 as opposed to when you're 20 or 21. I just did it all in front of you, you know. I think it's pretty normal.

Q. You were talking a moment ago about controlling the match on your serve. Is that related to first-serve percentage?
ANDY RODDICK: A lot of the times. I certainly feel a lot better about my prospects of holding when the first ball's going in.

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