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March 24, 2012

Andy Roddick


A. RODDICK/G. Muller
6‑3, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Not a bad first match, Andy.  Pretty flawless today.  How did you feel out there?
ANDY RODDICK:  I started feeling a lot better over the last week.  You know, biggest thing was serve was there.  It's amazing how you don't get in trouble on service games.
You know, tennis, the numbers don't lie a lot of the times.  I remember missing three or four returns all day, and when you put that many in, the likelihood of that guy missing a first ball goes way up.
When you're putting first serves in and you're up at 68%, you're not finding yourself down Love‑15 or 15‑3‑ and then all of a sudden you're in that flux zone.¬† When your unforced errors are six or seven, you know, you're gonna look better.
So that's what I did for a very long time.¬† I haven't been doing it this year.¬† Today was ‑‑ the stat sheet, it was the what I want to see afterwards.

Q.  Your backhand pass seemed as good as ever.
ANDY RODDICK:¬† Yeah, I'm moving better.¬† I'm moving a lot better you know.¬† I've started‑‑ you know, I ran after a ball, I don't know when it was, late in the first set.¬† You know, sprinted across the court and didn't think about it.¬† Just went.
You know, there were a lot of positives.  The last three or four days is probably kind of the best leadup I've had into an event where I didn't feel like I was fighting it.

Q.  Emotionally what does that do for you?  Everything is going right.  What does that do for you, all you've been through?
ANDY RODDICK:¬† Yeah, I mean, it's just nice.¬† You know, there's been a lot of negativity from, you know, me.¬† I don't like playing the way that I have this year, so it's more just about‑‑ you know, I feel like something good is coming.
You know, if I can keep this progress, then, you know, hopefully the next, you know, two months will be fine, but then I can build hopefully.  I'm playing a lot in the summer, so hopefully I can use this as a bridge and keep the momentum going and have a big summer and get back to where I think I should be.

Q.  Are you mentally able to just say, Okay, let's just forget what happened this year and...
ANDY RODDICK:¬† Well, there's no choice.¬† You don't forget about it, but I don't‑‑ I've never been one to really deal in extremes.¬† If I've been playing great, I've always‑‑ the next guy I've always taken very seriously.
I go a summer, and, you know, win 25 matches and lose one or two, I still feel like the next one I gotta go out and play.
The other side of the coin is I know even if you're playing horrendously, in this game with how good everyone is out there, it's a 10% difference between starting off the way I did and, you know, being‑‑ you know, I've been 24 and 3 or 4 up to this point.
So, you know, I don't deal in extremes.  You know, I think a lot of people deal 0 to 100.  I think it's more along the line of 30/70 maybe for a guy out here.

Q.  Looking briefly past this tournament for a second, how do you keep up the momentum through clay?  Is that hard?
ANDY RODDICK:  No, it's fine.  The big thing for me is I feel better, you know.  So I'm not gonna look past this tournament, you know.
So that's something I am gonna choose not to do right now.

Q.  Do you know who you have next?
ANDY RODDICK:  I do, yeah.  Thanks.  Nice to ask though.  Well...

Q.  Speaking of thingscoming, you said, I have a feeling something good is coming.  Roger Federer?
ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah.  He's pretty good, yeah.  You're sleeping on Harrison, though, a little bit.  No disrespect, I'm sure.  Yeah, I mean, it happens.
You know, you don't win matches and you're struggling, you go down and you play guys earlier in tournaments.  That's the way it goes.
I know the name value for a third round is certainly there if I play Roger.  We've played a ton; there's no secrets.  I know I have to execute really, really well.
There's a small window of percentages where you have to be right, you know.  What he does is he shrinks that window with his strengths.
We have had a couple really tight ones here before at night.  I'm guessing that's when it would be.  I think we played here twice.  I won one four in the third and lost one four in the third.
It's always fun.  It's always fun.

Q.¬† Speaking of Ryan, 19, you remember you were 19 here.¬† Took out Pete, a signature moment.¬† Can you put yourself in Ryan's‑‑ what he may be feeling?
ANDY RODDICK:  I always tell him I was younger when I did that (smiling).

Q.  Put yourself in his position.  Do you feel this is coming to the kid, maybe not today but...
ANDY RODDICK:  I hope so, because he does things the right way at a young age.  He's probably more disciplined than I was at that age.  You know, what I saw from him in the offseason was impressive.  He comes to Austin.
There is certainly a lot of trouble to be had there, and he didn't miss a day of workouts.¬† He was there every day.¬† He has, you know, a trainer traveling with him already, which is smart.¬† I think he has a very professional and long‑term vision.
I hope that gets rewarded.  You know, you see a lot of kids out here who are full of talent and they don't make the decisions, and he is.  He's been smart.
You know, he went with the coach he wanted, not with, you know, whatever everyone else thought he should do.  He went to a place where he thought he could focus a little better.  You know, I think he's making the right calls.
Like I said, you'd like to see that rewarded.

Q.  Completely different topic:  A few days ago Fernando González retired.  He's planning a farewell tour in Chile.  You're one of the names he would be like to be on that tour, Andy Roddick.  I wanted to ask you any chance if you will be going to South America at the end of the year?
ANDY RODDICK:  Well, in order for that to happen I would probably talk to Fernando before I would announce it in the worldwide media.

Q.  Come on.
ANDY RODDICK:  Considering this is the first I've heard of it, I probably don't have an answer for you right now.
What I can tell you is I played Rios there a couple years ago and I really enjoyed myself, and we played Davis Cup there and I really enjoyed myself.  Fernando is one of my favorite people.  You know, he's a great guy.
Obviously we share a common kinda thing because Larry has worked with both of us, and, you know, we did the benefit here a couple years ago for Chile.  You know, it's certainly a conversation that I would have with him.
You know, I have a lot of respect for Fernando.

Q.  (Question regarding Tim Bradley and Manny Pacquiao.)
ANDY RODDICK:  I talked to him in Palm Springs, and I told him he's gonna be like the guy who shot Bambi if he wins that fight, you know.
He hasn't lost yet, you know.  I think we have seen with boxing, you know, we use the term "A puncher's chance" in a lot of different sporting events, and I'm pretty sure that came from boxing.
You know, I think one of the intriguing things is no one knows how good he is yet.  He hasn't, you know, fought someone like Pacquiao, so we'll see.
But he's certainly quick.  You know, he has the hand speed, and, you know, we'll see.  Those two guys don't get hit very often.
Hopefully someone will make contact.

Q.  What do you think of Pacquiao?  You've probably seen Pacquiao fight, right?
ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, I watched his fight against Marquez, and obviously that was probably the worst he's looked in two or three years.
You know, I felt like he would have been the betting favorite against Mayweather before that fight, and now afterwards I feel like maybe Mayweather might have been‑‑ you know, the thing is he's as good as he is, and then you have to adjust to being south paw.¬† I think that's a huge advantage.
I just hope that‑‑ you know, I wish Bradley the best, but, you know, I think we all want to see Pacquiao/Mayweather, also.¬† I wish they would just get that thing done.¬† It's crazy.¬† It's the only sport in the world where the two best in the world will never ‑‑ they just won't fight.¬† It doesn't happen in any other sport, and it's frustrating as a fan.

Q.  Gustavo Kuerten will be in the Hall of Fame.  Can you talk about Gustavo Kuerten, in a few words?
ANDY RODDICK:  You won't find a lot of people who don't kinda smile right away when they hear his name.  Very good effect on the game.
And, you know, it's funny, because when he won his first French Open, I heard the word "fluke" a lot.  And then he showed everybody and he won a couple more.
So, um, very courteous, always friendly.  You know, we played a couple of times, and, you know, I was lucky enough to get to play against him.
You know, I always think the Hall of Fame was going to happen for him.¬† It's not surprising, but certainly well‑deserved.

Q.  A lot of people say that the top three today are stronger and more powerful than a lot of other generations.  What do you feel about that?  Do you see anything that they have that's more, or not really?
ANDY RODDICK:¬† I talked about this in Palm Springs a little bit, and it's impossible to compare generations, because Pete was the best of his generation.¬† But when he‑‑ you know, he had the biggest serve in the world and it was between 122 and 128 all the time.
You know, it's just gotten exponentially ‑‑ you find that everybody out here serves that speed now.¬† It's just the way the strings have changed, Luxilon, Babolat, and all these other string companies are coming up and you can control the ball so much more.
You can get the ball to come up and down and you can do things with the ball that you've never‑‑ that they didn't have the chance to do.
So, yes, I think the guys now are playing at a higher level than has ever been played.  But I just hate comparing generations no matter what it is, because I feel like athletes improve, they get better.
So to look back and say, What would happen if Borg would have played Rafa on clay?¬† Well, if they're using the exact same equipment and the game's‑‑ you know, I don't think it would be much.
But that's no disrespect to the guys in their generations.  It's just kind of the evolution of sports.
We were talking about this the other day, and I said the only thing that hasn't kinda gone through the roof as far as like power and everything else, is guys have been throwing 100 for like 30 years in baseball for whatever reason.  I don't know if that's just, you know, the max that it can go.
I think more guys throw 100 now, but that's kind of the only media that hasn't ‑‑ you know, they were never going to run a sub‑10 100 meters.¬† All these things were never gonna happen, and these things are gonna happen.
Thirty years from now that group would have kicked our asses, too.  I guess that's the way it goes.

Q.  What do you remember about the night that you beat Roger here?  I mean, I was here.  I remember what I remember.  But what do you remember about that night?
ANDY RODDICK:¬† It's huge.¬† I mean, there's no getting around the fact that it's been‑‑ he's been the biggest obstacle in my career, and, you know, his game matches up well against mine.
You know, just the Xs and Os of it, I have to be really good to give myself a shot against him, better than against most.  So it's rewarding.  When you beat a guy who's the best ever at his sport, it's a big deal.  Doesn't matter where it is.  So I was obviously very happy with that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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