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March 19, 2010
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
A. RODDICK/T. Robredo
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Besides sort of the generosity on his last service game, you have to feel pretty good about the performance today.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I feel good about his generosity, also. Let's not leave that out.
I felt pretty good. I feel like I'm playing really well on my own serve. You know, I think I've been broken once, but I don't know that I've had that many break points against me throughout the week.
That's always a good thing in that, you know, holding that easily makes my returns better.
Q. Did you see him trying to do anything different? Because you figure coming into the match given his record against you he might try to change it up. Did you feel him do that, or was it pretty much the same kind of thing?
ANDY RODDICK: I felt like he was trying to hit his first serve a little bit bigger and win some cheaper points. Second set he actually served pretty well; he was hitting some aces. He wasn't just kicking it in like he does sometimes, and that's the major thing I noticed.
Q. Is it a challenge for you when you go into a match and you've dominated the guy?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, you still have to go out and execute. He's still seeded 18 here. He's beaten a lot of players throughout his career. He's been in the top 10 or 20 for six, seven years now.
You know, what you have to do, but each time you have to go and execute it.
Q. Little extra psych-out for a match like that?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I'm pretty much always there mentally. I don't really take much for granted or take mental breaks too often.
Q. So you've been happy with the return overall?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, today -- yeah. It's different here. You know, the ball sails a little bit more, and so you feel like kick serves and all that are a little bit more in play.
But, yeah, I've been getting breaks for the most part. There's only one set I haven't broken in, so that's a good thing.
Q. You hit the ball on your serve about five feet in front of the baseline. Were you taught that? Is that something that you learned naturally?
ANDY RODDICK: Um, I don't know. Five feet might be a little bit of a stretch. I didn't -- I actually thought I weighed it back a little bit. To be honest, going into the court on my serve isn't something I think about.
I think if you use your legs, it's inevitable to go forward some, though.
Q. At the research center we have an it right to the inch. Sometimes you're 5'1", sometimes 4'11".
ANDY RODDICK: 4'11". Which one works better?
Q. They're both great.
ANDY RODDICK: They're both good? Okay, then as long as that's the case.
Q. You want to talk about the guys coming up? They both present big challenges, I would think.
ANDY RODDICK: Both big challenges; both completely different challenges. Soderling you're probably going to be on your heels a lot more. He takes a lot of it out of your hands. Never played him outdoors, which is probably the better place to play him. He's not fun to play when he gets a clean hit on the ball.
Murray, he just does -- he doesn't really have any holes in his game. It's just a matter of you have to be able to execute being aggressive.
Q. I saw earlier in the week you were Twittering about how much fun the player parity was. Can you talk about the ambience of that and this event and maybe how that's figuring into your performance?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I actually tweeted about the skateboarding bulldog that was at the player party, and that was one of the cooler things that I had seen. I need to go out and buy a doggy skateboard.
Now what that has to do with my performance this week, I'm not sure what the parallels are.
Q. Lessons coming up from Billie Jean?
ANDY RODDICK: She's gonna -- yeah, she's gonna have the overbearing skateboard father really soon. I mean, how cool would it be if my dog could skateboard around? That would be pretty cool, right? I think so.
Q. Four out of six years you've made the semifinals here. Can you talk about playing here and what kind of works for you and your success?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know, I hear a lot of those stats of, you know, how many times you played in the semi here and there, and it just makes me feel old now (laughter.)
I'd like to get to the first final and try to win here once. It's about the only place in the North American swing that I haven't won before, so that would be nice.
Q. Talking about your age, can you talk about the younger Americans coming, John and Sam, and what you think of their progress and even also their relationship as doubles partners?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, they're going to be good for each other, you know, and I don't mean that emotionally. (laughter.)
Q. I think you do.
ANDY RODDICK: I love the fact that obviously they get along and whatnot. It reminds me a little bit of our group. But also there's going to be a little bit of an envy factor, and I mean that in the best possible way.
If one of them does great one week, it's only gonna want -- they're not gonna want to be behind each other. I think that's a great thing. I think that was the best part of that whole Agassi-Sampras-Courier group is there was almost a jealousy there.
If one did well, if one won a Slam, the other one was like, Hey, I grew up with this guy. I know what to do. I'm around him all the time. There's no reason I can't do that.
I think you're starting to see that a little bit with them, and I think that's a real good thing.
Q. Has Larry talked to you about the fact that he won this title 25 years ago?
ANDY RODDICK: Not today.
Q. Not today?
ANDY RODDICK: No.
Q. When is the last time he talked to you about it?
ANDY RODDICK: Actually, it might have been today. (laughter.)
Q. What kind of things did he say about that title he won here 25 years ago?
ANDY RODDICK: To be honest I'm giving him a hard time, but he doesn't talk about it too much. I know that it was played over at La Quinta, at a different site.
We practice on that court sometimes, and so I know he didn't play on center, I think, until the final. I said, Is that what they thought of you as a draw card? He said, Probably.
He doesn't -- he gets the quick little mention in there, but then doesn't elaborate much.
Q. Can you talk about the evolution of your rivalry with Murray from the first time you played him in '06 all the way up through Wimbledon, how things have changes, how you approach playing him, how you think he's playing?
ANDY RODDICK: It's a lot different. Anybody younger than you, when they first come up -- I remember losing to him at Wimbledon in the third round, and I was having a really rough year. I'm like, Gosh, I just lost to an 18 year old on center court. Then all of a sudden that 18 year old was 2 in the world last year.
You know, I think the dynamic of a rivalry changes a little bit to the point where that was a huge upset. And then a lot of people consider it a big upset when I beat him in the semis at Wimbledon last year.
So obviously it changes. He's improved a ton, and not to the point of where -- he's just there every week now, you know. He's semis, finals. You know, he's gotten to the point where it's not where you have expectations for him anymore. It's just that he's just there, you know. He's there all the time.
Q. Even a guy like him, though, probably forced you to improve? I mean, beyond Roger and Rafa, he got you a couple times in the beginning.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. To be able to beat him at Wimbledon last year, you had to improve, also.
ANDY RODDICK: Sure, yeah. He's one of these guys who came in and could put returns in the court consistently. You know, forced me to, you know, maybe look at ways that once the serve is out of play of trying to win points.
You know, I think with the strings that have changed and the surface and conditions, that's something that I've definitely had to adjust to.
You know, I think kind of his group of Murray and Novak, you know, they've made me have to readjust; they've made Roger have to readjust.
You know, I think the seven or eight guys that you see at the top now are capable of playing pretty high level on a consistent basis now, where it used to be, you know, two and then three and then four, and it's kind of steadily gotten a little bit deeper.
You know, that's for sure because guys come up and always push you.
Q. Regarding Nadal, are you surprised after the layoff that he seems to be playing a pretty high level quickly?
ANDY RODDICK: No, he came in here '07, and they were throwing out the hadn't won a tournament in seven, eight months, whatever. The ball flies, the ball gets up. It's great conditions for him.
It's hot. You know, he can wear guys down. It gives him something on the serve. It bounces more so you can't get a clean hit on it. The conditions suit Rafa very, very well out here. The air is thin. His topspin really kind of grabs the court. It's a good surface for him.
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