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March 16, 2011

Andy Roddick


R. GASQUET/A. Roddick
6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You never seemed to quite get started. Was it you or was it he?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, I think he played really well. Um, yeah, I think he outplayed me from the first ball. He was obviously very confident. When he was downhill with the wind it was tough for me to get into a point. He was getting a lot of action on the ball. My ball was going kind of straight through.
You know, I tried to force it and be more aggressive in the second, but, you know, when you play that way, it starts coming in bunches. You win in bunches and you lose in bunches. So it's a little bit inconsistent.
You know, I think it caught up to me a little bit in the tiebreaker. I thought he played very well.

Q. Where now, off to Miami?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I'm five minutes off. We don't have an itinerary yet.

Q. Was he playing better than you expected?
ANDY RODDICK: I thought he played well. I thought he played well. I mean, he's certainly capable. He's always been capable. Whenever you talk about the talented guys, he's always one of them.
It's definitely not, you know, his tennis or his ability or his hands or anything like that that people talk about him lacking.
I mean, he's certainly capable.

Q. In the second set you were behind; you hung in there, and then you started seizing in on him and sort of at the end it slipped a way a little bit. Any reason for that?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I just said, I mean, when you play high-risk tennis it comes in bunches. You don't play high risk and not miss at all. That's not the way it works.
From 4-2 down I won in bunches and put together 4 out of 5 points to break, and caught up to me in the breaker. I forced a couple. You know, hit my first double I think of the week, and then I played a terrible shot. That was the difference. That was it.
There's not a lot of room for error when someone is playing that well. I gave away two points in the breaker, and that's all he needed.

Q. On a service return, were you jammed on that dropshot where you tried to dropshot on the service return, or did you feel like you could pull that off?
ANDY RODDICK: You thought what? Dropshot on a service return?

Q. On a service return you hit a dropshot.
ANDY RODDICK: No, I didn't. I've never hit a dropshot on a service return in my career.

Q. That's why I was asking, were you jammed? It didn't reach the net.
ANDY RODDICK: One, I don't know what you're talking about. Two, it makes it tough to answer the second part of that question if I don't remember the first part.

Q. When you say he feels confident at the moment, at what points? Is it the weight of his ball? Is it the risk he's taking? Could you describe that?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, he was just -- I don't think he missed a first ball until we were six games in. And then the game that he broke me in the second set was one of the best return games someone's played.
I mean, he hit a couple winners off returns and hit some great passing shots, and, you know, I put him in a commanding position where I was uphill after that.

Q. You talk about the high-risk game and winning consecutive points and losing consecutive points. Do you ever reconsider that style of play? That's just who you are?
ANDY RODDICK: I made that adjustment because I wasn't -- my normal game isn't to fire on the first ball every time. That's kind of a -- it's a notion that people have when they see a serve.
I normally actually play pretty conservative, low error count, and make the guys run and make the guys play well if they want to win. It was an adjustment I made in the second set to be more aggressive because he was dialed in.
I felt like I had to up the ante and take more risk because of the way he was controlling the points from the baseline.

Q. From Agassi onward you faced a lot of really great backhands in your life. What are the two or three best you think that you faced, Andy?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. But I don't know that I'm ready to compare Richard to Agassi yet. You know, I don't know if -- it's certainly a great shot. It's probably his better wing, and he comes up with some great shots off of it.
But I'd probably need more time and the ability to think out my answers a little bit more before I just reeled off a couple.

Q. You can usually rely on your serve to get yourself out of some trouble, but it seemed like he was really dialed in. Did you feel like he was reading you effectively, which way you were going to go or something?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, it's tough late in the day. You don't get the kick that you want here. Once the kick goes, it becomes actually a pretty slow court.
On second serves he was comfortable going way back and getting a lot of height on the ball. When conditions are heavier, it's tough to force on that first ball.
Couple times today he came up with some good shots. He's comfortable when he can go way, way back and settle back and get height onto the ball and try and get neutral after that first ball. I thought he did that well.
I don't know if it had much to do with reading. You know where that second serve is going 80% of the time. I don't know that it was a first serve issue when I made it, you know, but he certainly was able to -- he had some time out there tonight, and he was settled in.

Q. Do you find there is a significant difference playing here in the morning versus the evening?
ANDY RODDICK: It's like a lot of places that are kind of hot and dry. When it's really hot out, the ball jumps through the roof. It's very quick.
When it gets a little colder and sun goes down, the ball doesn't jump at all. It just kind of sits there. So it's weather dependent, I think.

Q. So it's to your advantage to play in the morning?
ANDY RODDICK: Not necessarily morning, just when it's warm.

Q. Why did you give a warning to the chair umpire?
ANDY RODDICK: Because he gave me a warning. I feel like with the mistakes he made, it's only fair that I would give him a warning, as well. I only made one mistake. I only broke one racquet. He missed a couple of calls, so I feel like it was a little presumptuous of him to give me a warning off one broken racquet when all he needed to do was turn his dial down on his machine for a little while.

Q. You're going to go into next week's tournament as defending champion. What's your assessment of sort of the season so far? How do you feel about it?
ANDY RODDICK: I feel fine. You know, I struck the ball well here. Richard played great. I mean, he basically forced me into a game that was risky. He forced me out of my comfort zone. For the first set and a half he played great.
I didn't feel like I hit the ball badly. He was coming up with some great shots. I'm 16 and 3, I won a tournament, lost to all guys in the top 20. It's been a pretty good season so far. I feel like since Australia I have played better.
You know, as far as being defending champ, every year is new. It's not a new situation for me. I have been, you know, defending champ at a place I think 29 times now, and I don't think about it in that context. I'll let everyone else worry about it.

Q. How important is it to you to stay in the top 10 in the rankings?
ANDY RODDICK: Like on any given Wednesday or at the end of the year? I mean, I'm not going to lose my mind week to week with it. Do I think I'll be there and am I always there at the end of the year? Yes.
I understand this is, you know, the bulk of my points. But as I said earlier this week, I played pretty average from here on out through the end of last year, so I certainly don't expect to do that again.
Everyone gets caught up in today, and I think I have been out here long enough to realize it's a process. It's important to me. It's something I'd like to keep alive.
My year is not going to be decided in the next two-and-a-half years.

Q. Did you talk to Ryan before the match tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: I talked to him a little bit earlier today.

Q. What did you tell him?
ANDY RODDICK: Good luck.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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