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November 22, 2010

Andy Roddick


R. NADAL/A. Roddick
3-6, 7-6, 6-4


Q. Good match. You were close. What would you change that that match could go your way toward the end?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, it hinged on the breaker. You know, the two points I feel won him the match were, he hit two really good second-serve returns there in the breaker. I was also up 1-0, I hit a backhand cross-court as hard as I've ever hit in my life. He was able to put it in play, kind of neutralize it. The next one, I hit a buck-40 down the tee and he hit a passing shot. That's a 2-1 down, 3-0 swing there. That's probably not what will get written about, but that two-point swing either way there is massive. He played very well on those points.

Q. Are you seeing new dimensions to his game or is this a good tennis player the same way he was in 2008 or whatever?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, I think he's always getting better. But the thing is, I don't think he's ever gotten -- I mean, everyone thinks of him as topspin or runner. He's always been able to hit well at net. The nuances aren't past him. He plays great slice.
I think, if anything, his serve is probably improving. You know, but if you compare Rafa now to '05, '06, when he was winning the French, it's night and day, him being able to play offensively consistently.
The first time he won the French, I think he retrieved a lot. Now it's a different story with the way he's able to step up, hit the ball, control, dictate play.

Q. So if you weren't obligated to be on the other side of the net, fair to say he's your kind of an athlete, your kind of guy?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, as far as what? Do I think he's cute?
I like the way he goes about his business. Hundred percent effort. He's a student of the game. He appreciates the game. I think he knows the history of the game. And I think, uhm, you know, like I said, I don't think we know each other that well besides just in passing. But just observing the way he goes about his business, I think he does it the right way.

Q. In the first set it seemed like you were faster on the court than at the end. Were you tired or...
ANDY RODDICK: No, I wasn't tired at all. I came out of the gates aggressively and I think it caught him by surprise. He definitely wasn't settled comfortably. He was missing more balls than normal.
I think the difference was he found his range on his forehand in the second and third sets. If anything, if you look at the stats for me, they were better in the second and third sets than they were in the first set. He was able to find his defensive forehand more and wasn't spraying it. That changed the dimension of the rallies a little bit.

Q. You play Berdych next. Are you happy with your form going into that?
ANDY RODDICK: Like I said, I don't feel like I played overwhelmingly better in the first set than I did the other two sets.
I guess to the question, yeah, I mean, I thought I played well tonight. I thought I had a game plan. I thought I executed it. I thought Rafa, you know, scraped out that second set and then was able to use -- he was better than I was in the third set.

Q. How much did Rafa's serve tonight have to do with the score? Was he serving worse in the first set than the second and third?
ANDY RODDICK: He double-faulted a couple times in the first set. I got to think his first-serve percentage was low in the first set. I mean, both of ours was. He was below 50%. So he got that up, which means he can get a lot more mid-court balls to start the point. Playing against that is another form of water torture.
Yeah, I think he served better as it went on. I don't think he served that well in the first set.

Q. You made 17 aces. Do you think the court is slow, like Roger Federer said, slower than Paris Bercy?
ANDY RODDICK: It's not even close Paris to here.

Q. It's very slow. But in any case you made 17 aces.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, well, I mean, I like to think I can hit aces on most courts. Just 'cause a court is slow, if you hit it 140, hit your spot, it's going to be an ace. The rest of the way the rallies are produced after the serve I think has more to do with court speed.
Here to Paris is night and day. It's not even close. I mean, I think people coming from Paris are having a hard time judging the court speed just because of how fast Paris was.

Q. What was the turning point in the match? At which point in the match did you feel like the match was slipping off your hands?
ANDY RODDICK: Uhm, obviously, I mean, it hinged on the second-set breaker. I mean, that was it. I mean, I've already addressed where I thought it turned and where I thought it could have been a lot different.

Q. Your first match at the O2. What do you think of the atmosphere and the crowd?
ANDY RODDICK: I thought it was great. I thought it was great. You know, I think we're glad we put a really good product out there tonight. Up until now, I don't feel like two players have played well at the same time during a match.
But it was great. I mean, you know, I think they were cheering for both of us a little bit. But I think the energy was great. It was fun playing tonight.

Q. Do you find it distracting, this kind of atmosphere, this kind of court?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I mean, listen, they pay the money to come watch. We're supposed to put on a show for them. We're supposed to entertain. We're focused on what we do, but the bottom line is if 17,000 people leave here having had a great time, it puts our sport in a better position.
So, you know, we can talk about so much. But at the end of the day, they're the reason we're able to play tennis for a living. So, you know, I think it looks great. I think the energy's good. I think it's the way a World Tour Final should look. It's the best atmosphere I've played in as far as this event goes.

Q. So the music and the sound effects doesn't bother you?
ANDY RODDICK: There was music (smiling)?

End of FastScripts

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