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August 30, 2010

Andy Roddick


A. RODDICK/S. Robert
6-3, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Could you talk about the conditions out there today and what you learned about the state of your game, how you feel about it?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, like I said before, I felt better since Cincinnati. The conditions, they're a little hot, but it's not too bad.
The stadium court is always tricky because that wind always gets down there and you're playing always playing downhill on one side, and it feels like uphill on another side. It's a complete 180 adjustment every two games.
So it's kind of almost like two different matches depending on what side you're on. You know, but I handled it okay. I made returns and got through it pretty comfortably.

Q. How have you been practicing? How do you feel? Do you feel 100% or 98? Where are you?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not sure percentages. I mean, I have my days. You know, I feel, you know, 80% better than I did five, six weeks ago, that's for sure.
It's going the right way. To be honest, once you decide to play, I think you throw all the excuses and everything else out the window.
If I decide to play, then it's up to me to give 100% of what I have. So it's not something I really want to discuss too much from this point forward. It's something that's there. You know, I'm not going to analyze it every day.
It's not perfect, but it's fine. You know, it's going the right way.

Q. Aside from how you might say it felt on the court today, in terms of your preparation, have you been able to prepare at least in the last week or so the way you would have liked to?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, I was out here hitting every day. You know, I took a couple days off after Cincinnati, because that was a lot more than I was advised to play at that point. You know, he told me I was supposed to play an hour a day for that week, and I failed at that. (Smiling.)
So, you know, I took it easy a couple days when I got here, but I have definitely gotten plenty of time in on the stadium. I was out there every day for five days. Everything should be fine.

Q. What does 28 years old mean to you? I mean, right in your prime. How do you look at that?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't really think about it, because it makes no difference what I think about it. It's like you go out there and give the best of what you got on that day. I'm not going to -- that's kind of the way I've always done my career.
You wake up in the morning and you put what you can into that single day. So, you know, obviously I know I'm probably closer to finished than I am to the start. But I don't know. It's a number. I'm barely older than I was yesterday, so... (Laughter.)

Q. You're still a big Miami Heat fan?

Q. Just your reaction to what this team...
ANDY RODDICK: I'm fine. I'm just sick of defend might go fanhood. I was going to the games in '01 when they were paying people to come. You know, I was obviously in Boca for a long time and went to four or five home games a year.
Obviously I'm excited, you know. My big thing was I just hope -- I was just hoping and praying they resign Dwyane. And then when Bosch came I was ecstatic. Then when LeBron came it was bordering on ridiculous.
Like everyone else, I'm excited to see how it all goes together.

Q. It looks like James, you know, might be winding down his career. Can you talk about his career a little bit, and also what you remember about his match with Agassi in 2005.
ANDY RODDICK: Sure. I'm extremely bias. I'm a massive James Blake fan. His career is one thing, but I also like his character. I like the way he goes about his business. He's been a real good friend to me.
I think my biggest hope for James from this point forward is he can get healthy enough to have a run that he would like. You know, have a fair shot at playing continuously for a window, whatever that might be.
You know, obviously I think we all remember the match against Andre. It was just great. It was great tennis. The storylines were great, because with James coming back and everything, you know, the drama of a night session at the US Open is about as good as you can get.
It had all the makings for a great match, and it lived up to it. I think that night Andre said afterwards that tennis won, and I think that was -- you know, he's pretty good at putting words together, and I thought that was right.

Q. He's gonna be honored tonight. So many years that the two of you were a tandem in Davis Cup. Talk about that synergy, having each other's back and so forth.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah. I think more than anything, you know, the guys on the team, we all played for each other. I think we were all -- for, you know, whatever it was, 16, 17 ties we had the same lineup, and I think that we all felt a sense of responsibility to each other. We were all accountable to each other, you know, until we kind of reached that goal when we finally won it was a great moment.
For me, I was really happy that James won probably the biggest match of that tie. You know, he had, you know, kind of been up and down a little bit that year in Davis Cup. For him to come up against a top 10 player with the Bryans on the next day, that was probably the match that we had circled as far as the biggest match of the tie.
So that's the match I personally will remember. You know, I felt real good about our chances of winning Davis Cup once he won that match against Youzhny.

Q. Do you feel good about your role in American tennis? As it was, Andre sort of gave you a lot of advice, and then you were the leader of the Davis Cup team. Now you've been real helpful to Sam and John. Can you talk about that a little bit.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I've always -- it's tough for me to be objective about my role in U.S. tennis. I've certainly tried. You know, I have felt like it's my responsibility to try to do what I can as far as helping those guys out.
I mean, they probably needed it a couple years ago more than they need any advice now. I think all the young guys know that if they have a question, I'm always happy to answer it. I think that's pretty consistent with how Andre was with me, you know. So I kind of followed his lead on that.

Q. When you come back to play this tournament, how much do you think about 2003, what happened then?
ANDY RODDICK: A little bit. You know, there's little reminders. Obviously the walkways and you get the little deal on your locker that says you're special. (Laughter.)
And then I think about '06 just as much, because I was in a rough kind of career transition that summer. You guys were trying to kick me out at 23, so it was like -- you know, that one, I got just as much joy out of that kind of run to the finals as I did when I won.
So there are a lot of good memories. Obviously a bunch of night matches, and those are always really good memories for me.

Q. As a huge sports fan, what were your thoughts when you first heard that Roger Clemens was indicted? You may have heard that today he entered a not guilty plea.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. You know, I mean, I can't really speak specifically because I know nothing about -- it's all about he said/she said. The thing that's unfortunate is there has been a problem in baseball; therefore, everyone is -- and I'm not saying it's not deservedly so -- but everyone is kind of guilty as far as the accusations and everything like that.
So that's disheartening. It's kind of the group that I grew up watching, you know, so it's -- you never -- I don't think you ever want to see it play out like this. It's just an ugly scene now. And, you know, if he is innocent, it sucks because he is guilty in the court of public opinion; if he is guilty, it's really unfortunate because you don't want to see someone kind of in denial.
So it's just an ugly mess. I don't think anybody wins right now with this whole thing going the way it is much. There's not really a positive that can come out of it. Because I think even if he gets off or gets proven innocent in the court of law, I still feel like most people might not give him the benefit of the doubt, which is unfortunate.

Q. For those of us who haven't seen the lockers, can you just briefly describe what it is...
ANDY RODDICK: It has your name and the year.

Q. Name and the year you won?

Q. You spoke before about James' character. When you think of Nadal and Federer and their rivalry, how much do you think about character and how much do you think of their performances against one another?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, first and foremost, you know, you have to get to a certain level in the game before people really care about your character. It's unfortunate, but that's just the way it is. You know, they have to be -- you have to be around long enough for people to get to know you, and not just on a superficial level. You know, kind of get to the meat and potatoes of you.
When I meet people, they always ask -- one of the first questions, How are Roger and Rafa? I say, They go about their business the right way. They're respectful. They take care of their responsibilities with the media. They're very involved in everyday kind of things with the council. They've been very, very good leaders for our sport.

Q. Do you still have a place in New York?

Q. Do you spend a lot of time here or...
ANDY RODDICK: No. I mean, my home is Texas. You know, my wife is probably here more than I am. Yeah.

Q. Do you feel more like a New Yorker now than maybe three or four years ago?
ANDY RODDICK: I certainly pay enough taxes for it. (Laughter.) So, yeah, that buys me...
I don't know. I mean, it is nice having a place here and having a kind of quasi home. I always feel comfortable here in New York even when I didn't have a place. I stayed at the same hotel and everything for years and years and years and years, so I don't mind New York.
People tell you what they think, and I've always kind of appreciated that.

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