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March 23, 2011

Andy Roddick


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How's your bracket?
ANDY RODDICK: Horrible. Yeah, three out of four out of my Final Four.

Q. Who's left?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, same. Ohio State. Everyone -- it's bad. There's nothing good about it. There's no -- like normally teams get knocked out and you have hope. Nope.

Q. This won't affect you, will it?
ANDY RODDICK: The bracket? Well, I'm going to recover emotionally by the time tournament starts, Bud.

Q. Can you talk about coming back as defending champion and why you've been able to do so well here?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not sure. I mean, I like the conditions. You know, I don't mind the wind that much. I don't mind the heat. You know, the court's not maybe as gritty as it is out in Palm Springs.
And I'm just familiar. I was here when they opened this place I think it was '93, you know, as a kid. You know, won my first-ever pro match here, and there's a lot of good memories for me here.

Q. You were here when it opened?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. They had a bunch of juniors, to like -- I don't know, we did something here. We got to I guess participate at the facility first.

Q. How old were you?
ANDY RODDICK: 10 years old, I think. 10 or 11.

Q. Kim Clijsters says she's not going to play Asia because of the radiation fears; is that any kind of an idea for you?
ANDY RODDICK: I haven't thought about it. I would say it's a long ways away for me. Obviously if it's deemed safe, I'll go.

Q. Do you remember acing Sampras and the ball hit him? He couldn't get out of the way.
ANDY RODDICK: I do remember that. It was awkward positioning. Because I was 18, and I didn't know -- when you hit somebody you apologize, but I didn't know what the rules were for serve. I didn't want to offend him. I didn't know what to do. (Smiling.)

Q. Do you remember in that same match when you went up to the net after you took your cap off. Was that out of deference, was it just you were sweating and you took the cap off, or was it a big moment for you?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think it was just respect for Pete. I had a lot more hair then so I didn't mind taking my hat off (Laughter.)
You know, yeah, that was obviously a big, you know, special memory for me playing one of your idols. I think it was the first time I was on ESPN, so there was a lot of good memories from that. It's hard to believe it was 10 years ago.

Q. How are you feeling about your game right now?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I feel good. You know, I have a pretty good record so far this year. You know, I didn't play well my last match at Indian Wells, but had I think a 10-match winning streak before that.
So I feel fine physically, and I'm optimistic.

Q. Are you working on anything in particular in practice?
ANDY RODDICK: Working on lots of stuff. (Smiling.)

Q. With respect to -- you have a giant serve, and so does Milos Raonic. As a young kid, when you have that big serve, keeping you in the matches because of your big serve, can you talk about that?
ANDY RODDICK: I have mentioned that a couple times when I'm talking about him. He's going to be able to learn on the job because he has that weapon that's going to keep him in even if he's not playing his best tennis.
He's got that weapon where, you know, he's guaranteed 85 percent of his holds. So, you know, that's a huge -- it was an asset for me, and I'm pretty sure it will be a big asset for him, as well.

Q. What about Novak? How he's playing? What do you think the difference is or is there anything he's doing...
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, he's always been able to play.

Q. But mentally...
ANDY RODDICK: It's his confidence. It's just confidence. It's a massive part of the game. Once you get to a level, everybody can play. I think it's a 5% or 10% difference mentally that makes the difference between -- you know, I remember a couple of years ago he was 4 or 5 in the world and everyone was selling him up the river and I thought that was a little premature.
It seems when you become a top player; it works both ways. When you play well, everyone gets real excited; when you play badly, they're ready to kind of put you away quickly.
You know, I guess that makes it a better story.

Q. Do you feel you've been put away a few times?
ANDY RODDICK: A couple. But I'll come back and annoy you guys more. (Laughter.)

Q. In that respect, what do you imagine when people are trying to put away Roger given he's fallen to No. 3?
ANDY RODDICK: That's ridiculous. That's ridiculous. I mean, whoever wants to - and I said this about someone last week - whoever wants to criticize Roger for the way he's playing tennis right now better be very, very good at their job. Very good.

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