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September 4, 2011

Andy Roddick


A. RODDICK/J. Benneteau
6-1, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. We've been bothering you with what's been wrong with American tennis. We have four Americans making it to the second week for the first time since 2003. Tell us what's right about American tennis?
ANDY RODDICK: You guys are the experts. I don't know.
It is a good thing to create -- I think there's a healthy jealousy going on right now, which is good. It's only good to help. If Donald Young sees Ryan Harrison play well in the summer, he's going to not want to fall behind. I think that's what you saw with that golden generation is that they were able to push each other.
It's a great thing to see. You just feel there's a little bit of momentum. There is a bit of a snowball effect at times if it goes the right way. Seems like there's some of that right now.
You're our voice. When people hear you guys talking about it positively, they come out and support, they believe, people believe, and it really does affect it. So thank you for your positive stories in the last week. No, seriously.

Q. Speaking of positive, after the match you were so positive with the fans. Did you get that vibe coming in early in the match or did something grow as the match went on?
ANDY RODDICK: Uhm, I don't know that it was just this specific match. I think this year, more than any, I've looked around a couple times in the stadium and just realized how cool it really is, how special it is.
Yeah, afterwards I was happy. I mean, I went from four weeks ago I wasn't even playing tennis to now I'm in the second week of a major again. So it's turns quickly sometimes. I was humbled at the end. I was happy. I was happy.

Q. I presume you heard about what happened to Rafa in this room a little while ago. Could you talk about the physical tolls on athletes.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, not to put a dampener on the story, which I know you guys think is really big, but people cramp after matches when you're cold. It's just something that happens. It's just unfortunate it happened in front of you all. Every single player in there has had that happen before. Every single one.
What we do, we run around, run miles and miles and miles and miles on the tennis court in nasty weather. You throw nerves in there, I mean, it happens. As long as it doesn't happen during a match, you're fine.

Q. The worst case of your cramps?
ANDY RODDICK: Cramps are fine. It's not an injury. A cramp is a cramp. When you go to bed and your foot cramps, it's the same thing but your entire leg.
For me, I heard about it. They were telling me it was like this whole thing and people were surrounding him. I kind of started laughing. I mean, I saw Rafa and he was laughing about it later on.

Q. It's just that he's sitting there and next he's sliding out of sight.
ANDY RODDICK: That's fine. That's just a matter of what part of your body cramps. Cramp in your ass, you can't sit on it anymore. Makes it tough (laughter).

Q. You've always been an exceptional baseline player. What has changed now that makes you become more aggressive and really attack the net?
ANDY RODDICK: Woke up on the right side of the bed this morning, I guess. I don't know. The way my game is evaluated changes daily, so I guess I'm master net player today.

Q. Donald Young seems pretty confident. Have you had a chance to watch him? What's different about his game now?
ANDY RODDICK: It just seems like there's a sense of belief. He's not focusing on what's going wrong, which is a big thing. I've seen him a couple times. I'm just really happy for him. I mean, he's a shy kid. He's a nice kid.
I feel like he's gotten a little bit of a bum rap because he does have a temper and has been reactionary with his words at times. But I think he is a sweet, sweet kid. He's shy. I think he might be coming out of that shell a little bit. I hope he is.

Q. As many matches as you've played in Ashe, have you figured out certain conditions there that could be to your advantage?
ANDY RODDICK: Yes, yes, there's definitely things that are always the same out there and things that appear to be one way and they are definitely the other way.
I would sit here and go through them all, but that would pretty much waste all of the experience that you are asking me about right now.

Q. Can I ask you this?
ANDY RODDICK: You can ask me anything you want.

Q. Seemed to be a southwest wind. Is it the same breeze on the court? Are you waiting for the next player to come in who doesn't know something?
ANDY RODDICK: I wouldn't pay too much attention to the flag (smiling).

Q. You talk about three, four weeks ago you were hurt and you didn't know. As you progress, are you feeling, okay, I'll be there, or are you still doubtful until the tournament starts?
ANDY RODDICK: Uhm, I felt pretty comfortable practicing a couple of days before Winston-Salem. I didn't feel a hundred percent in Cincinnati. You know, I certainly didn't have my legs back under me.
At no point I think when you're dealing with an injury do you say, Okay, I got this. I mean, I started feeling a hundred percent where I would get through days without feeling it at all before Winston-Salem. I think it was key for me to get some matches there and kind of work my way in a little bit.
But, like I said, six, seven weeks ago I wasn't really too happy about what was going on.

Q. We know how tough David Ferrer can be. Are you going to try to do some things differently against him? What are your thoughts on that matchup?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I haven't talked to Larry too much. Obviously, he's tough. A lot of what I do feeds into what he does well also. I don't think there's a lot of secrets between us. Most of the time we played, whoever has executed better has won.

Q. Talking about your progression coming back from injury, once you're in this tournament, is there sort of a work-in-progress element to it, or once the tournament begins you are what you are at that point?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, I said on court today I was getting roasted after my first round for the way I was playing. But you can't go from not playing at all -- okay, when a guy is shooting baskets at a shoot-around, do you want him to go straight out and start shooting 26-footers? I'm assuming he shoots 10-footers first, correct?
It's kind of the same method. I can't go out and start ripping every ball if I haven't had the match play to execute that, and it would be stupid to try it.
So there is a process to it. It doesn't always look pretty. I've won to close to 600 matches, I promise you 450 have been of the ugly sort, but that's what I do well. I'm not going to apologize for it.

Q. Can you talk about Ferrer's return of serve? Is that a particular strength of his?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, yeah, he's great. He covers so much court. He's solid. He doesn't give anything away. He returns really well. You know, that's what you have to deal with and that's what you know he's going to do going in.

Q. How do you deal with Nebraska going to the Big Ten?
ANDY RODDICK: From everything I'm reading, it looks like it might be a genius move. Our old friend Larry Scott, looks like he's going for 36 teams in his conference.

Q. 16.
ANDY RODDICK: My turn to exaggerate (smiling).

Q. How different is the occasion playing him here? Obviously in Austin, total fan support. You'll have a lot of support here. Different feeling?
ANDY RODDICK: Completely different surface. To be honest, there's probably less pressure on me here than there was in Austin.
But I don't know. I mean, listen, we've both been through the wringer a lot. We've played in a lot of different situations. We're on the older side of the game.
To be honest, I haven't even thought once about him since the match was over.

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