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March 30, 2010

Andy Roddick


A. RODDICK/B. Becker
7-6, 6-3

MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Safe to say that sixth game was the turnaround?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, for sure. Down 4-1 and Love-40 on your serve, that's not the way you draw it up as far as starting a match.
But in a weird way, you know if you're gonna be down a break at 4-2, it's almost better coming back from Love-40 on your serve where he's thinking about, I probably could have closed this set out.
So if that's true or not, that is what I was trying to convince myself of down 4-1, Love-40.

Q. You were playing it that way.

Q. When you pull that game out, that's a big psychological swing.
ANDY RODDICK: I think so. I think more so if I would have gotten through this game on an easy service game. So that's what I try to convince myself of, and then was able to sneak a break back. You know, from there it was kind of -- obviously it was more on even terms.

Q. Then 4-5, Love-30, bringing out the heavy artillery. Just nice to have at you disposal; 135s came out.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, my serve percentage was down early from where I want it, and kind of started slowly inching its way back up and ended where I wanted it to.
It is nice at Love-30 to be able to make some first serves.

Q. What did happen at the beginning of the match? Why did you get that far down, do you think?
ANDY RODDICK: He came out aggressive and ready to play from the first ball. I was maybe looking to work my way into the match a little bit more than he afforded me. He was more ready to play than I was.

Q. What's the difference between the surface here and Indian Wells, both surface and even playing conditions, atmospheric conditions?
ANDY RODDICK: Indian Wells the court is grittier, so let's say flat serves or balls hit through the court probably aren't as fast, but it's a lot more reactionary.
So a topspin ball, it helps a lot of people's kick serves. It's a little more -- Indian Wells is tough to fit into a generalization, because it's so weather-dependant. If it's slow at night and the ball is not jumping, it gets really slow.
Whereas the thing that make it heavy here is the humidity. Ball stays lower here than at an Indian Wells, but they're pretty distinctly different.

Q. Do you think years ago, five, six years ago, you would have played down Love-30 or when you were down 4-1 you would have played any different? Is there something about being more mature and playing more tennis that helps you come back like that?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I was pretty good six years ago, you know, (laughter.)
When things aren't going my way, I'm probably better now. I probably don't get -- six years ago it was a lot more -- on the court my highs were a lot higher and the lows were a lot lower. Does that make sense? So it was a lot more reactionary.
So if I would have gotten down early, I don't know if I would have stayed the course. I still might have gotten angry and then fired up, it's just a different way I think of navigating through the match.
Now I feel like I've seen most situations. I think I've seen pretty much every situation on a tennis court, so I don't know if that one's better or worse. You know, I guess it's just the way you change.

Q. Aren't you more of a thinker now, Andy? You always had game.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think so. I mean, I feel like I have more options. My Plan A was pretty good. If I caught fire for, you know, a month or two months, it was pretty good.
But, you know, the consistency is there now. I think the matter of just being able to negotiate your way through a draw or tournament and winning matches you're supposed to win, I go at it a little bit more day by day I guess now.

Q. Mardy said he thinks the weight you lost whenever it was, last summer, that that made a big difference. Do you feel that still?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, a lot of people refer to it as weight loss. That's fine. You can lose weight without getting stronger or faster. I think the strength training I did, and I think nutrition has played a big part.
I probably feel better on court more consistently. You know, just kind of being very, very disciplined about that has helped a lot, I think.

Q. Since you got here, you've played doubles with Fred...
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah (laughter.)

Q. You've been involved in the Chilean earthquake thing.

Q. HORSE with D-Wade. A lot of top players are so reluctant to stray from the structure of their schedule. Has your approach to that changed over the years? What's your approach? How do you feel about it?
ANDY RODDICK: No, not really. I don't really leave -- I don't really -- I guess it seems that way, but, you know, the Champions for Chile thing I don't think has much to do with -- it's a bigger cause than my tournament. It's a bigger thing. Even if things go great and I'm in a final I'll still play just because it's necessary and what needs to happen.
The thing with D, they're almost like these -- the individual circumstances, each one here was kind of -- the other thing you were talking about, the clinic I did was before the tournament. It was on a Tuesday and I wasn't gonna play until Friday or Saturday, so I wasn't too concerned.
But if it's the right opportunity, I'll do it. I don't really do this much, to be honest. Probably less than I used to.

Q. Speaking of big causes, last night people were saying if there's anybody that isn't Jewish that you want to root for, it's Andy Roddick. That's going back to what you did for Shahar Peer last year pulling out of Dubai. Have a lot of people come to you since then saying, We always liked you, but congratulations for taking a stand?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes. Yeah. I think some of the -- I mean, obviously there's a pretty large Jewish population in South Florida, and I'm well aware of that.
But to be honest, I get kudos for that, but it could have been any religion. It didn't have to be a Jewish player or an Israeli player. Could have been any player.
I just thought it was an injustice that had nothing to do with sports. I didn't like to see that in our little world of tennis.
I thought it was an unfortunate decision that to their credit has been rectified a couple times since then with Andy Ram last year and Shahar not only playing this year, but playing well.
Hopefully it made somewhat of a difference. Again, it's kind of the same thing I was talking about with the Chile thing. It's above what we do. It's more important than a tennis match.

Q. Tell me how you've developed your game. Is your attitude about clay any different these days? What actually are your plans?
ANDY RODDICK: Normally we get through this first part, through March or whatever, and then we kind of renegotiate.
But I played fine on clay last year. I did okay in Madrid and made it further in the French than I ever have. It's never gonna be my best surface. It's always gonna be the most challenging.
I don't think it's a surface I've ever really hated. I've had some good results on it. I just know that those middle of road matches -- like today for instance. I got into a hole and I served my way out, and we touched on that earlier.
That's not as easy. I have to be playing well on clay tom do well. Maybe on a hardcourt I can be playing okay and still manage to get through matches.
We always say we play well for 20% of the year, badly for 20% of the year, and that middle 60% that makes the difference. That middle 60 is a lot more vulnerable on clay, I think, for me.

Q. Have you watched Nadal and Federer play at all this week? What do you think about how they're playing?
ANDY RODDICK: I haven't watched Roger hit a ball this week. I watched Rafa a little bit against Nalbandian the first set, and then I was warming up and kind of getting ready for my own match.
So I haven't seen him much this week.

Q. Speaking of clay, I guess if you're gonna play Almagro you want it on a hardcourt. Talk about the matchup.
ANDY RODDICK: Yes and no. He's played pretty well in Australia and again at Indian Wells and he played well here.
You know, I think hardcourt is better for me. I don't know that he's -- he's probably more comfortable on clay, but he's played well on hardcourts. He's a guy like Ferrer, who his results almost mirror each other regardless of the surface. But he's playing well.
He has big shots. He got through a brawl out there today. I know the fans were getting into it. And to get through that one, you know, shows match toughness. So it's never easy.

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