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March 26, 2010

Andy Roddick


A. RODDICK/I. Andreev
6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you spend your day?
ANDY RODDICK: Ah, not doing a whole lot. I think -- I'm glad they do Sports Center quasi live now, because it used to be I would have the segment memorized by the third or fourth time I watched it on a day like today.
They throw in a few more wrinkles. It entertains me longer.

Q. There are other channels.
ANDY RODDICK: Not unless The Office is on NBC.

Q. You were hosting T.O. I saw by his tweets.
ANDY RODDICK: He really enjoys the tennis. We saw each other real quick before the match, so...
Yeah, I think it's his third or fourth year in a row here now. T.O., the tennis fan, you know.

Q. Can you talk about Rochus beating Djokovic? Can you talk about that? What do you think about all of that?
ANDY RODDICK: Again, well, I mean I know what's out there just because I get asked about it. I'm extremely, I think, not presumptuous when it comes to working my way through a draw.
You know, I can't make it -- you know, make later rounds come any faster. You have to take care of it the way it is. You know, quarterfinals is when the quarterfinals is. I can't get there.

Q. Were you surprised by his loss?
ANDY RODDICK: He's been playing a ton. He played a ton at the beginning of the year.
I think I was a little bit surprised. Some of his matches from Dubai through Davis Cup through Palm Springs were -- seemed like they were all pretty much nail-biters.

Q. Long matches?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, there weren't many easy ones to come by. You know, I don't think we can put enough stock into how stressful it is playing home match, especially him. He's kind of the key of that team and kind of taken that leadership role.
And putting two on the board when people expect you to put two on the board, it's a stressful thing. You know, to kind of parlay that into two big tournaments is a big ask.

Q. How did you play tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: I played okay. I think the second set was better than the first. Conditions are so much different here than Palm Springs. You're in 90% humidity. All of a sudden the ball is not really jumping or going anywhere.
He's able to -- these are probably the conditions you don't want to play a guy like Andreev where he can set up and really take a cut at it.
So I definitely wasn't comfortable in the first set, but second set was a little better.

Q. Can you tell us about your next opponent? I know nothing about him.
ANDY RODDICK: Stakhovsky, right?
THE MODERATOR: Stakhovsky.
ANDY RODDICK: Ukrainian?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I know he plays pretty aggressively, likes to come forward, one handed backhand, spiky hairdo. (laughter.)
You know, I know Larry has watched him a little bit. I think he's got a pretty good first serve. I'm definitely gonna have to ask around a bit more to see if the American guys have played him.
I think I saw him play Murray somewhere, maybe Doha last year. I think I watched him play a couple sets. We'll do some more scouting, but I think I know a little bit about him.

Q. You're overlooking tomorrow's match.
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, jeez. I was saying on the way in here, I'm not -- I'm gonna get tight. I can play in front of 20,000 people, but I threw out the first pitch of a Yankees game last year, and that's nerve-wracking like when I'm out of my comfort zone. I don't know if I could throw a ball into the ocean from the beach right now.

Q. That sounds like sandbagging.
ANDY RODDICK: It's not sandbagging. I'm hoping for the one miracle shots that they play over and over on video replays. That's what I'm gonna go with. Then I think if a get a letter on him, I think I'm gonna mispronounce the score like, Game and run around. Hopefully someone will take that and make it into a viral YouTube video and the legend will grow.
THE MODERATOR: He did a warmup with 30 tonight.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, shocking. Right. I'm tight. I gotta be honest, because he's one of my favorites. I'm a big Heat fan.

Q. He has to play tennis against you.
ANDY RODDICK: You know what it is? I think people expect people to be able to shoot a basket easier than they can pick up a racquet and play tennis. I feel like everyone that's shot a basketball at some point in their life. Plus I just want to be good, you know. I just feel like I want to make a couple shots.

Q. Weren't you the star of your high school basketball team?
ANDY RODDICK: Star is a big, big, big, big departure from what I was on my basketball team. I was the guy -- I was the only guy who -- the other guys liked to run around and just toss up shots. I was the guy getting his butt kicked down below, giving up four inches and 50 pounds and getting knocked up and trying to D up.
I played the dirty role. I wasn't the guy running around and shooting.

Q. What did you weigh in high school?
ANDY RODDICK: God bless. I remember we played -- we got through -- districts before regionals? We won districts one year and then we played first-round regionals. I was maybe 6 feet, 160, and the guy I was going up against, the power forward was about 6'7", 230.
I was trying to hold on to his shorts so if he jumped he was risking it. I just kind of had him -- had this a little bit, and then the refs, the coach complained and started calling me on it, and put up about 30 in the second half.

Q. Sorry to be a rally killer, but I wanted to hear your comments and thoughts on Wayne Odesnik.
ANDY RODDICK: If he pled guilty, which it looks like he did, there's nothing worse than that. I'm normally the one to give people the benefit of the doubt.
If that's the case, what we read today, that's just plain cheating and they should throw him out of tennis. There's just no room for it. I don't -- I was shocked. I was surprised. You know, we don't need stories like that. You know, I know that's the minority.
If that's the case, I have zero sympathy.

Q. Your feelings are just as strong even though it was a possession and not a positive test?
ANDY RODDICK: If you have a possession, you know you're not supposed to have it. You're not supposed to be anywhere near it. You're not supposed to know about it. You're not supposed to smuggle it into a country.
If you have -- I mean, if you caught your sons or daughters and they possessed some type of drug, they're guilty of probably using, as well, correct?
You know, I don't see the difference. If you have it and it's not enough to -- you either have it to sell it or you have it to take it. So either way, it's not the play. It's no good.

Q. How well did you know him?
ANDY RODDICK: I know Wayne a little bit. I mean, I wouldn't say we're friends. He used to train in Austin sometimes. You know, I don't think we ever really did much together.
But it's just normally when this has happened in tennis it's been someone that is like I don't really know at all. To have it be one of our guys and for us to lose a guy in the top 100, it makes me a little angry, you know.
I don't -- you know, I don't want that stigma attached to our country and to our players, so it really pisses me off.

Q. That's the thing, the average person sees this in the paper tomorrow and they think...
ANDY RODDICK: That's what makes me angry. We have the most -- in your articles that you will write, I hope that they're at least researched to the point where we have the most stringent drug testing policies in sports.
We're up there with the Olympics. We can't take Sudafed because something will come up. We have to be accountable for where we are -- I have to send in my forms next week to tell people where I'm gonna be for the next month every single day.
If my wife and I want to drive for a day trip somewhere, I have to call in and say, We're going here, here, and here and provide an address.
So I hope with the articles that they will at least acknowledge that. The ATP and the powers that be in tennis have done every single thing possible, you know, with the exception of assigning a person to follow each person around 24 hours a day and sleep with the person, to mitigate these problems, you know.

Q. So you do not think there is a problem in the sport?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't see how there can be. I mean, unless everybody's packing vials of stuff in their bags and smuggling it into countries, which I don't -- - God, I have a hard time believing that, you know.
You know, I think HGH is the one in every sport where I hope they come up with a test and I hope they start just slamming guys. I hope when they do come up with a test for it they don't tell anybody and they just implement it and start picking people off.

Q. There actually is a test, Andy, but it's not used in tennis.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, the sooner the better. I think they should use it everywhere. You know, I just hope that -- I wouldn't be surprised if there is a test out there that we're gonna be the first to come fly with it. I hope we do. I hope this will move it. There's no room for it. We don't need it. We don't need that stigma.
I take a lot of pride in what we have to do on a daily basis and how responsible we have to be for, one -- lack of a better word -- for one jackass to ruin it for the rest of us.

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