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March 16, 2010

Andy Roddick


A. RODDICK/T. De Bakker
6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Seemed about as clean of a match as you can play. Did you feel that way today?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I felt pretty good. I felt like the points he was winning he was either having to play a pretty high-risk shot, maybe go for a winner, or he was having to go deep into rallies.
So if you do that over the course of a match, you normally like your chances.

Q. You have had really good success against Melzer and you know him well. What kind of match do you expect?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, Jurgen is always tough. He's capable of playing a couple different ways. He was capable of coming forward, attacking, really being the aggressor, which is always a little bit uncomfortable. So with him it's important to hang on to your service games.

Q. As a leading American player, you know what it's like to get the attention. I'm just wondering, Tiger Woods says he is coming back and he's playing the Masters. Do you have any feeling what it's like playing on the other side?
ANDY RODDICK: Not like that, no. (laughter.) I'm not going to pretend to understand what it's like to be in that sort of situation.
Yeah, I don't know. I don't know that any athlete can really relate to what's going on right there. It's been such a story on so many different levels for an extended period of time. You know, normally stories come and go. This is turning into a six-month story already.

Q. When you were No. 1, was it different than it is now? In other words, were people chasing you and demanding stuff?
ANDY RODDICK: It was probably less then. I think you build a relationship with people over, you know, the course of seven or eight years. You know, the longer you're around probably the more you're recognized, the more I think people maybe feel like they know you a little bit.
At that point, it was kind of -- they might have known the name, but I don't know -- I probably could still cruise around just fine.

Q. Is playing out here a test in the sense of the elements? Because the other day when you and James were playing doubles, the wind was blowing from like two different directions at once; starts out cold in the beginning when sometimes you play at night. This afternoon the conditions were pretty good. You think Southern California, it's going to be sunny and warm, right?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think that's accurate. Similar to what we get in Melbourne sometimes, actually. You know, a lot of it's dependent upon the time you play. Like you said, the heat index can -- it can almost fluctuate 40 degrees in a day.
So, yeah, I think it is a little bit of a test, and I think you have to kind of just be mentally prepared for whatever might come.

Q. Are you confident about the next generation coming up behind you of American players? Because right now, people, the average sports fan walking down the street, they don't know some of the other guys. What can be done to get some of these guys out there, you know, ESPN more stuff like that?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, they could dye their hair red, you know. I think just consistent results will do that for you.
I think all of us are probably a lot more optimistic about Sam and John, you know, than we were a year ago. There's a lot of upside right there right now. So I think that is exciting.

Q. This is a great time of year for sports. Tiger was mentioned. The tournament is going to start tomorrow. If you had to list your top five favorite sports, maybe college football first, I'm guessing, but what would be your five list?
ANDY RODDICK: Gosh, that's tough. In no particular order, because that's obviously dependent upon the time of year. NFL is great, you know. Anything I can play fantasy sports in is fantastic.
March Madness is great. This is probably my favorite event just because it lasts a little bit of time and it seems like everybody can get involved. You don't need to be a sports fan to fill out a bracket. I've been beaten by someone choosing Jersey colors before, so... (laughter.)
You don't really need much of that. I would like to go to the Masters some day, and I think Wimbledon is up there, as well.

Q. I know you're a Wimbledon fan. You love the allure. Any similarity you think to Augusta, even though you haven't been there?
ANDY RODDICK: I think so, just as far as, you know, Augusta having committee and having complete control over their own event. You know, you're hearing a lot of talk today about how they can control their media access, how they can control a lot of the stuff. It all sounds a little familiar to me.
You know, how they've kept their traditions for so long. You know, to a lot of people it either rubs you the wrong way, or like you mentioned earlier, you buy in and embrace the tradition of a place.
I think there are probably a lot of parallels between that and Wimbledon.

Q. Finally, you're pretty proud of hoops picks. Who's gonna cut down the nets?
ANDY RODDICK: Gosh, I haven't filled out my bracket yet. I am pretty proud, though. I finished second out of about 400 in the ATP pool last four years. I'm really not optimistic about doing that ever again.

Q. You have had a decent year. You lost to Verdasco, you won in Brisbane, and then reached two quarters. Do you like the way you're going? Are you healthy now that the nerve thing is gone?
ANDY RODDICK: I like the way I played in Australia. I thought with the exception of getting banged up there a little bit on kind of a flukish thing, I played well.
I don't think I played very well in San Jose and Memphis. I wasn't a 100%. I very easily could have -- I pulled out of Dubai to get myself right. That very easily could have been San Jose, you know, two weeks earlier.
You know, I felt like I was kind of just trying to get by in those two events, and now I feel as healthy as you have since last summer.

Q. Was that sort of out of an obligation because they're U.S.-based events?
ANDY RODDICK: Sure. There's a lot of obligations. I mean, I don't think it's all on me, but I pulled out of Indy two years in a row and they went belly up. I certainly know that there's a responsibility there, you know, which makes me cheer for Isner and Querrey even more.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about any new wrinkles you and Larry are working on? Just the relationship, kind of an update on that.
ANDY RODDICK: We're fine. We still enjoy each other's company. You know, I think now it's just a matter of kind of getting back, getting healthy first of all. It's tough to do so much when you're fighting it a little bit. That's what we've been doing for the majority of the last six months, in all honesty.
You know, I think in the last couple weeks we've gotten back to neutral and been able to put in some time and work. It's shown through the first couple of rounds here.

Q. You've worked with some pretty good minds in tennis. Would you ever think about going coachless for a while?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think so. You know, I'm -- I need to -- I like the energy that Larry brings on a daily basis. I don't need someone to watch over my practices to make sure that I work hard or to make sure that I'm eating right. I don't need a caretaker.
But I do enjoy having someone to talk tennis with whose IQ I respect and who I feel maybe understands the game and has seen it, played in a lot of different ways for a long time.
I certainly, you know, make the most of that.

Q. Larry's known for a lot of things: fitness, core, core elements, techniques, cutting down errors. How would you categorize his coaching philosophy?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, again, I'm probably different than some of the guys he's worked with. He had to push Marcello pretty hard, and he had to push some of his other guys pretty hard.
Ours is probably more about Xs and Os and swings and how I'm hitting the ball. I don't think he worries too much about what I'm doing when I'm home or if I'm working or not.
Good thing about Larry, I think he -- I don't think he -- he's able to adapt to each player. I think that's why he has had some success with so many different styles and personalities.

Q. You have had pretty decent results here, semis last three out of the six years, but you've also indicated that it's hard for you to get a feel here. Do you find you're starting to get a better gauge here at Indian Wells under these conditions here?
ANDY RODDICK: I think so. I think it's gotten better. The first -- you know, I think it's been a good thing I've played doubles here the last couple of years, because you get the awkward matches. Obviously my priority is singles whenever I enter a tournament.
We played well here in doubles last year, but it's nice to be able to get out there in match conditions without having your singles tournament on the line.
I think that's been a good move for me.

Q. You've been at the top for America for a long time. It's a very difficult task, and obviously everybody appreciates it. To what do you attribute your ability to stay up there?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know, there's -- it's tough to really choose. I think, you know, you have to -- a lot of times hard work means preparation meets a little bit of luck.
You know, before last, what was it, October or whatever, I hadn't had a serious injury throughout my career. You know, so that was something I dealt with the first time.
I think if you would have told me 10 years ago that I'd miss, you know, three months maximum at any given time over the next 10 years, I probably would have taken that.
You know, beyond that, I don't know. I don't think I've been too proud to adapt to the way the game changes, you know. And obviously I've been presented with a lot of opportunity.

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