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June 10, 2010
D. SELA/A. Roddick
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. He played okay, didn't he?
ANDY RODDICK: He played great. Credit to him. He played a -- I think he had a very specific game plan, and I thought he executed it very well and never -- you know, never dug himself a hole on any service games, never had any sloppy errors.
I think I could have done some things differently, but I thought he played a pretty perfect match. You know, I definitely -- you know, I've played worse at this tournament before and gotten through and won it before, you know, so for me it's not about the way -- I feel fine about the way I'm hitting the ball and constructing points.
You know, I thought he played a really good match. He outplayed me today.
Q. Why has he been tough for you? Even the final in Beijing a couple years ago went three sets.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, he had played well that week. You know, I never played him, you know, in a first round. I feel like he's always kind of gotten -- Beijing, when I beat him in three sets, that was the best week of his career. So he was obviously playing well.
You know, he did pretty well at Wimbledon last year. Was it last year or year before he made the fourth round?
Yeah, he played well. You know, he has -- if he's serving okay, which today I thought -- you know, even if he didn't serve well, he played really good service games, like I mentioned before.
He'll be very good, because he moves pretty well and he likes the ball down. You can't get the ball up on him on grass and take advantage of his height and so on and so forth.
He's pretty well versed in how to slice and play defense. You know, he made great decisions today.
When he had to play defense, he played it. When he had that ball to step in, he didn't hesitate. He stepped in, and he hit it.
You know, you always say you try to make the person do that for an entire day, and I felt like he probably did it the entire day.
Q. You have a couple more matches gone leading into Wimbledon. Is that a problem?
ANDY RODDICK: We'll see. That's probably the part about this that bothers me the most. It's not -- I'm not super concerned about the way I'm hitting the ball. I'm not stressing out about, you know, any one part of my game too much.
I just -- you know, if I'm being frank with you guys, I had a lot of time practicing before the French, played some matches, had a lot of time practicing here. Now I have a lot of time practicing before Wimbledon.
It's basically getting over my own impatience as opposed to worrying about anything about my game.
I would much rather spend the time getting some matches in. I'm not that worried about it, but, you know, I definitely would rather kind of have them count for something.
Q. Would you like to play Eastbourne?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I don't think so. I'm not gonna -- you know, I still feel very comfortable on this surface. I'm not gonna go into a panic mode and start doing that stuff.
I'm fully -- you know, I've been fully able to navigate, you know, through a practice week before Wimbledon. I put the priority on getting used to that surface and the tournament and everything over there as opposed to running the risk of playing a Saturday and a Monday, you know, without having really hit at Wimbledon. I don't think so.
Q. Is there any chance you'll go home to the States?
ANDY RODDICK: No, no. My wife and I would cross in the air. (Laughter.)
Q. You said your impatience or not being impatient is the thing for the next few days.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. Apart from practicing, what else does one do when one's impatient to go out and play a real match again? Do you do anything else but...
ANDY RODDICK: No, I'm open for suggestions. We can put a ballot box here. You locals can inundate me with ideas if you like.
It's all -- you know what you have to do. I'll use it to as opposed to -- I'll try to get some practice in. I'll probably get more time in on the track or in the gym, you know, maybe figure out if there's, you know, some shows or a concert to kind of get away and take my mind off the fact that I'm not playing here.
But it is what it is. If I would have gotten two more matches, I would have zero complaints. If this match would have happened in two days, and the guy would have played really, really well, and I felt like I would have played not badly, then, you know, there would be -- there wouldn't be a whole lot of problems. But, you know, I think I'm just gonna have to show off my awesome ability to be a patient person; the maturity, as you guys say.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, that one.
Q. Talking about that, was it difficult not to get frustrated today, the way he was playing?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, yeah. I would have been a lot more frustrated if I felt -- there are a lot of times where I thought I played really good points on the first -- you know, I was making, trying to make a conscious effort of making the first return of the game and maybe getting something in.
He just played a really, really solid match. You know, like I said, it's a lot less frustrating because I feel like I've been hitting the ball great in practice, and I could have probably won, tried to be a little bit more aggressive on second serve returns, but beyond that, you know, I could have served a little bit better.
But as far as hitting the ball, I felt like I did that okay, you know. I felt like I was -- obviously conditions weren't ideal, but I felt like I was managing through.
I thought I would be able to turn the match there in the breaker, and I certainly had my opportunities, but he came up with some, you know, a continental forehand pass and some other stuff that was too good.
Q. Can you be reassured, considering the way your championships here finished last year, you still recovered and went on to have the Wimbledon you had, is that a reassuring omen, perhaps?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not worried about being able to know how to play on a grass court. I know how to do that. A match at Queen's isn't gonna ruin what I've done on this surface for the last eight years and how I've started off this year.
You know, I'm not -- I'm not panicking. I'm not real worried about it. I wish I could play some more matches, but it will be fine.
Q. When you've played as few matches as you have over the last two, three months, did you ever lack motivation to go out and practice?
ANDY RODDICK: Motivation? No. I enjoy what I do. I enjoy what I do. You know, I've never been one to, you know, blow off practice or, you know, do anything like that.
You know, I'd be lying if I said I'm looking forward to practicing the next two days as opposed to playing here. That part is gonna suck, but come Tuesday of next week it's probably gonna be the same program as if I've won here before.
Q. Does your impatience have anything to do with the fact of how focused you are at Wimbledon and how well you feel you can do there after last year?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't understand the sentiment of that question, really.
Q. Are you just really waiting for the anticipation of it starting up once again?
ANDY RODDICK: Sure. I mean, that's no different. You know, for me there's -- you're always anxious before a Slam, and I never -- you know, for the last however many years -- I don't remember the last time I played the week before a Slam, so it's not a new -- it's not a new thing for me, you know, to go and -- I never play the week before a Slam in a tournament, anyway, so it's not a new situation.
Q. Will you be apt to practice here, or do you think Aorangi will open up early?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not sure. I haven't really thought about it yet. I'm fine to practice here if, you know -- I'm a member, so hopefully I can get a court. (Laughter.)
Q. Are you down for any XOs?
ANDY RODDICK: No. No.
Q. You said that you know how to play on grass courts. What stage in your life did you have that realization?
ANDY RODDICK: I'd say '03, first time I won here and semied at Wimbledon. From there on out, I think I developed a comfort on this surface, yeah.
Q. Do you remember coming up against opponents where, before you played, you warmed up, you think, I know how to do this; he doesn't?
ANDY RODDICK: I think grass probably has the least amount of guys who are really well-versed in the, you know, the little things about this surface, the intangibles of a surface.
That's probably chalked up to the fact that there's not much play on it, so, you know, it's only -- it's only natural, I guess.
Q. Nadal was saying in here yesterday that he feels much more comfortable and natural -- the movement comes more naturally on clay and on grass, and the preponderance now of hardcourts is really hurting the game.
ANDY RODDICK: The what?
Q. The number of hardcourt tournaments played these days, the number of matches on hardcourts, it's damaging physically.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, sure. Rafa and I can agree on a lot of things. I just don't want to turn the hardcourt events into clay court events.
ANDY RODDICK: If we turned them all into grass court events, that's fine by me. Whatever. For his sake. For his body. (Laughter.)
Q. But the general focus for anyone's body is the number of hardcourt tournaments now and the fact that we might be able to turn back the clock...
ANDY RODDICK: The thing that's tough about that, Neil, is it's viewed as the neutral surface. You know, the clay court guys can play well any week and it's not surprising. The guys who like the, you know, faster surfaces, it is the neutral surface. Therefore I feel like you're gonna see -- you're gonna see more of it. You know, it's just the way -- it's just the way it is.
Q. But it is more damaging on the body.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah. I'd say so. Well, not for me. I feel a lot worse when I play on clay because I don't know how to move on it.
It's all -- I think it's really hard to generalize. You know, obviously for Rafa, I understand that. You put a clay court under his feet and it feels like, you know, it feels like his kitchen at his home. He knows where everything is with his eyes closed.
I think it just depends upon the person. I don't think you can generalize for everybody. I feel a lot healthier on a hardcourt just because I know where my feet are.
Q. You come here every year. What is it about the tournament that's extra special for you?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's different. You don't see -- you know, most of the tournaments now are played in arenas, venues where you've got ticket stalls, and, you know, the built-in food vendors and the whole deal.
I kind of like the intimacy of the kind of center court being built into the side of a club. There's a lot of cool things about it.
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