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June 22, 2011

Andy Roddick


A. RODDICK/V. Hanescu
6-4, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.

Q. Talk about how it was out there today.
ANDY RODDICK: I felt pretty good. I served well. I returned well. I was aggressive coming forward. We finished with a little bit of light left, so all in all it was a good day.

Q. Could you take a moment and talk about the job you think the American media does covering tennis.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I think I'm going to have to separate this into -- first of all, there's no way I can answer this and have it be a win for me, but I'm going to do it anyways.
I'm going to separate. Tennis journalists like yourselves who cover week to week to week to week to week I think do a great job, and I respect the job that you guys do. Someone who, you know, covers something and it's the first tennis match they've ever been to and all of a sudden they become an expert bothers me a little bit.
I feel like we get that sometimes. That's probably the only time where I get a little perturbed, when someone isn't, one, researched, and when I feel like they have their article written before a match takes place.

Q. Is that mostly in terms of is tennis dying, a country club sport?
ANDY RODDICK: Listen. Here is what we're going to do. If you want to talk about an, Is tennis dying article, let's go by participation numbers, retail numbers, prize money, up, up, up, up, up. I hear this, Tennis is dying. Maybe it's water cooler talk. But I'll put more stock in the business of tennis in our country growing as opposed to having fun conversations around a water cooler.

Q. Why do you think it is that people refuse to accept the stats? The Wall Street Journal printed some stats which said that tennis over the past nine years is the only sport to increase participation in America.
ANDY RODDICK: This kind of gets to my first point. You can just say something and people read it as fact, but it's not researched. If you look at racquet sales, USTA memberships, across the board, it's been up.
Do we have four guys in the top five in the world? No, we don't. That's about the only difference. That doesn't mean that tennis is dying. It's an international sport. I feel like a lot of times people refuse to accept that back home, which is unfortunate.
It's as international a sport as there is as far as popularity. I feel like it doesn't get its maybe fair shake.

Q. 720,000 people at the US Open.
ANDY RODDICK: Listen, I can sit here and I can have two pages full of pros, the water cooler conversation as a con. So I like to deal in facts, and the facts say the whole dying thing, it's not accurate.

Q. What does it mean to have your parents here after all these years? Their first trip here.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, this is the first time they've seen me play here.
Honestly, I didn't really believe it. I thought they were here for one of the finals. I thought they flew over and were sitting here somewhere but they wouldn't tell me. I think today was the first time they ever sat in a box in my entire career, you know.
They picked a good court to debut that on. I think they're having fun. They're having a good time.

Q. You grew up in South Florida with Alex Bogomolov. He's really struggled. Up until this tournament, he's won one match in a Grand Slam tournament. Why do you think maybe he's struggling? Why do you think he's coming into his own now?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, I think I'd be answering from a place of ignorance if I was to comment on Alex. I know he's always been a fighter. I'm happy to see him do well because he's always worked pretty hard and he's always had the desire.
As for why all of a sudden he's having, you know, kind of a renaissance of sorts at 27 or 28 years old, I don't know. I'm not sure.

Q. You had a quick quip the other day for the question about McEnroe suggesting that perhaps the warmups aren't necessary.

Q. Has there ever been a circumstance where you've chosen not to do that warmup?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I'm going to interrupt you. Today I sat around for four and a half hours because the matches went long. I looked at Date and Venus and Rafa and Ryan. There were potentials for those matches to go - no disrespect to anybody - for those matches to go fast.
All of a sudden I've been sitting around for four and a half hours, and he wants me to go serve 145. That's irresponsible is what it is.

Q. I was wondering if you've ever had anything strange happen in the warmups? In a couple of the women's warmups there have been incidents that have caused great drama.

Q. People being hit by shots, thinking it was done on purpose.
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, don't walk too close to your opponent in the locker room also. We might as well have 128 different dressing rooms. By that logic, we can go a million different ways.
I'm certainly fine with warming up before a sporting event. I'm pretty sure that every other sport in the universe does it. I'm okay with it.

Q. Jimmy Connors had a comment saying the other day that these days rivalries are getting soft. Could you talk about the evolution of rivalries, even going back to Connors, McEnroe, Borg?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, honestly, if we behaved and talked to each other the way they did, we would get thrown out of tournaments. We're not allowed to, you know, grab ourselves and talk to the umpire. We're not allowed to do that. We just can't.
So if it means trying to prove how much I hate someone by doing something like that, I'd rather play in a tournament. The fact that we have, you know, the hierarchy of our game now being probably the most committed to things outside of tennis, whether it be media, whether it be charitable responsibilities, you don't see Roger and Rafa have a bad day as far as that stuff goes.
So if that's soft, I hope we're all soft.

Q. Do you agree with Marat who say the rules are way too rigid?
ANDY RODDICK: Listen, I can see both ways. I can see how all the stuff that I just mentioned, we can make it a Springer episode out there and it would probably get ratings. But it's not my choice. You do have to play within them, though, if there is a structure there.
I don't think the rules can be forgotten when making statements.

Q. I know you like to have a pretty good volume of matches before you come into slams. How do you feel about your volume coming in here?
ANDY RODDICK: Fine now. Queen's was big. I was down a break in the third set to López, who I play next. Going out there first round would not have been good, but getting four matches there I think was necessary. I felt like I hit the ball great there.
I feel fine now. So I think it was important. It's fine now.

Q. Talk a bit about your serve. Made some small adjustments in that.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it was just a slight little grip change. I was serving in the 50s this year up until whenever I came over here, and that's not really right for me. I was having to kind of force my serve a little bit. Went home with a shoulder injury, came back, and kind of fiddled a little bit. It was good (snapping fingers).
I don't know eastern, western. I turned a little.

Q. You've served so well for so many years. Was it strange for you to adjust something to that shot?
ANDY RODDICK: I think I had slowly developed a bad habit as opposed to -- I think it's back to where it was as opposed to me changing anything I've done for a decade. That would probably explain why my shoulder was beat up, too.
If you change something, are hitting something different than a way you have before, even without knowing, sometimes have you to go back to basics. I never had to do that on my serve before.
But is that all it was? I don't know. But I feel good with where it's at right now.

Q. I remember when you first came out, started doing great, there was a lot of concern about your shoulder because of the way you served, coming from the outside. How much has it been an obsession of yours to keep that healthy?
ANDY RODDICK: Listen, I wasn't stupid. Well, I wasn't stupid about that. I knew that that was where I was going to make my living. I hired my trainer, Doug, at a young age before it was like the thing to do. You know, I think I was 20, 21 and had someone full-time. Every match we ice it, we work on it. It still feels good.
I had a couple little blips. But considering the popular prediction back in 2001 when I was first here, I feel like I've gotten you guys by about seven or eight years now.

Q. Speaking of your support team, your coach is going to be inducted into a regional Hall of Fame in about five weeks. What can you say about what he brings to the game?
ANDY RODDICK: Shows how much I know or how much he talks about himself, because I didn't know that. He's just got a very high tennis IQ. He sees different styles. I just respect his opinion. I feel like there's a very, very, very small group of people who get stroke production, tendencies, in and outs of how to play. You know, he definitely gets that.
You know, he's very good about kind of I guess adjusting. He's had a lot of different personalities he's worked with, from myself to Henman to Rios to McEnroe. With the exception of Tim, some pretty difficult personalities. I think that's a talent in itself.

Q. You talked the other day about being injured, just how frustrating and difficult that can be. Is there a tug of war that goes on internally or externally when you know you have sponsor obligations or the public wants to see you? How does that play into just the process of knowing when to come back?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know that it's so much sponsor obligations. It's just that you want to be out there. You don't want to miss stuff. There's been a couple times where you play a little dinged up and it works; the majority of the time it doesn't.
As an athlete, you're almost an eternal optimist going into something. Like last year with mono, the week before Cincinnati, the doc told me I was supposed to play 30 minutes a day, and I promptly went and played five straight three setters.
To me that's better than sitting at home. That's kind of the give-and-take. I like what I do. I enjoy it. I think that's kind of where the hardest part of it is.

Q. Tiger announced he won't be returning to his tournament. What would you give advice to someone like him?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm sure he's diligent. He knows what he's doing as far as golf goes.

Q. Can you sympathize?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know what's going on with his knee. But anytime you're not doing, you know, what you want as far as you're living and what you do -- I mean, he is a golfer. He plays golf. And when that's not there and that's not an option, it's probably frustrating.

Q. You said you played those three-setters. Did you do that because you know there's a finite period, you won't be doing this at 60, 70 like journalists?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I don't know that I fear not playing forever. When I'm home, I'm perfectly happy. As long as I can still play, I enjoy playing tennis when I'm home, when I'm not at a tournament.
I don't think I really fear that. I'm pretty happy with what I've put in that far and I'm at peace with it. I don't know that I force something because I feel, like you said, there's an end of the road. I don't know that I make decisions based upon that.

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