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September 2, 2012

Andy Roddick


A. RODDICK/F. Fognini
7‑5, 7‑6, 4‑6, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  I think in the first set at 5‑5 you might have been down a break.  The building is half filled, and it absolutely erupts.  As much sound as maybe a night match.  Talk about playing off the crowd today.
ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, it was loud out there, about as loud as I remember.  You know, they definitely established themselves out there.  It was a lot of fun.

Q.  Was this anything like the previous near‑death experience?
ANDY RODDICK:  I don't know.  You know, I'm normally good about being able to kind of put thoughts and, you know, I am able to articulate it.
But this whole process, I'm not trying to overthink it.  I'm enjoying it.  You know, I'm trying to be I guess as simplistic as possible.  I'm trying to enjoy the process.  And when I get out there, trying to compete also.

Q.  How is your shoulder?
ANDY RODDICK:  Shoulder's okay.  You know, whatever.

Q.  When you woke up yesterday...
ANDY RODDICK:  It's not great.  But, you know, it's good enough.
I got max a week of tennis left, so it's good enough for that.

Q.  Three hours of match, did you expect such a fight?  If you had gone to the fifth set, were you tired or feeling confident?
ANDY RODDICK:  Well, it could be both.  You know, it was a pretty physical match.  You know, we had some ‑‑ we were moving it around a little bit.
But, no, I mean, I don't go in expecting anything.  You go in, you just try to play your game, and sometimes it goes like the other night and sometimes, you know, you kind of ‑‑ got away from me a little bit and I had to get it back in the fourth set.  That's just the way it goes sometimes.
It was pretty physical out there.  I have the rest of tonight, all day tomorrow, and I have a feeling they might give me some time on Tuesday, as well.  So we'll see.

Q.  A comment on Fognini's performance.
ANDY RODDICK:  I mean, he's a good player.  I feel like he's playing better all the time.  You know, for him it's just going to be stringing together good tournaments, you know, back to back.

Q.  Can you talk about your own personal matchup with Del Potro?
ANDY RODDICK:  We've had really close matches.  I was 0‑3 against him.  I beat him the last time we played.  I think of the 0‑3, two of them I had match points in.  We played a bunch in 2009, in that summer.  I think we played back‑to‑back weeks.
You know, he's a tough matchup for anybody because he hits such a big ball.  I'm going to have to serve well, kind of try to rush him a little bit.  When he gets into a groove and has time, he'll put a hurt on the ball.

Q.  Is he a little bit of a mirror image of you?
ANDY RODDICK:  No, I don't think so.  I think we play a little bit different.  I probably serve a little bit better.  He probably returns better.  He hits the ball probably cleaner off the baseline.  I chip the ball around a bit better probably.
It's a fun matchup.

Q.  Were you pacing yourself in the third set?
ANDY RODDICK:  Was I pacing myself?  Man, I don't have time to pace myself.  (Laughter.)

Q.  Not chasing balls that were clearly wide.
ANDY RODDICK:  I was just playing.

Q.  Are you conscious of letting the crowd get in?  Are you doing it more than you ever have before?  Are you looser?
ANDY RODDICK:  I feel fine, yeah.  I mean, like I said the other day, I'm comfortable out there.  I'd be an idiot not to use the crowd right now.  It's a huge advantage.  Each match is almost like it's another memory.
I'm certainly going to use them.

Q.  If you win the tournament, will you show up next year on the first day to defend?
ANDY RODDICK:  No.  (Smiling.)

Q.  When you were working with Jimmy, he's a motivation guy, did he ever refer to his run in '91?
ANDY RODDICK:  Jimmy, unlike a lot of people who have had as much success as he's had, Jimmy doesn't like to talk about Jimmy in the past.  He doesn't reference himself at every turn.
You would have to ask him about it.  You know, he certainly didn't equate everything that happened on a tennis court back to something that he did that was great.

Q.  As a kid, do you remember watching his run?
ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, I was here for it.

Q.  Did you really sneak into the locker room or just the players' lounge?
ANDY RODDICK:  The lounge.  I didn't quite make it to the locker room.  I didn't want to press my luck.  They had free stuff in the lounge, so I was fine with that.

Q.  Just a thought on Jimmy when you were a little kid.
ANDY RODDICK:  I mean, it was a great.  I actually had to leave before, so I watched his semi with Courier.  So I'm responsible for him leaving the match.
I remember we flew in and we flew over the stadium, and that was the night he was playing Patrick.  I saw a bunch of the other ones.  Obviously the Krickstein match.
Yeah, that was my first taste of live tennis and it was that run, so that's as good as it gets.

Q.  When they were showing the video, happy birthday video to Jimmy, they showed some scenes from that.  Did they show anything that you were actually at that you remember?
ANDY RODDICK:  I'm not sure.  I'd have a hard time.  Just by his reaction, it's tough to place what match it was.
Obviously I wasn't around at Forest Hills, but there's a possibility.  I don't know for sure.

Q.  Was the experience of going through this might be the last fill in the blank any different this time than the first time?
ANDY RODDICK:  A little bit.  You know, I didn't have that really tough moment before I went on today.  I was pretty relaxed.

Q.  Do you feel you're playing more aggressive being in your last tournament?
ANDY RODDICK:  I'm hitting the ball well.  You know, the thing with aggressiveness is you can only play as aggressive as you're hitting the ball.  If you're hitting it terrible it's tough to force the issue.

Q.  How about coming to the net more?
ANDY RODDICK:  Again, it's not always as easy as a conscious thought, I'm going to do this.  If you're hitting the ball terribly and you can't make a backhand and you're chipping out there and just trying to survive out there, going to the net, it's not really an option.
I think that's where the difference is between looking at something and saying, This is the problem.  When you're a player, you have to go figure out the steps to where this is the solution.  It's not from here to there.  It's not as easy.
I'm hitting the ball well.  Normally when you see me coming in more, I feel good hitting the ball.

Q.  When Andre retired, he revealed there were times when he actually hated the game.  Did you have any stretches like that in your career?
ANDY RODDICK:  I mean, I think we're all mentally exhausted or physically exhausted at one point.
I didn't resent the game.  I never had that moment.

Q.  The point he hit between his legs, can you describe it?
ANDY RODDICK:  I hit a lunging volley.  That's about as cleanly as you can hit a between‑the‑legs passing shot.  He hit the thing from Jersey and almost won the point.  That was fun.

Q.  What is bigger, your own emotional reaction or other people's?
ANDY RODDICK:  It's tough to say either/or.  I've been surprised by the support.  I thought inside our world it would be something, but I don't know that I expected all of this and the crowd to react the way it has.
It's been a special experience for me.  It's been a lot of fun.

Q.  Who is the most random person you've heard from?
ANDY RODDICK:  Most random?  It would be quasi offensive to anybody I named, wouldn't it?  (Smiling.)  Thanks for the text, but you're random, dude.
I don't know.  I've gotten some cool texts in the last couple days.  It's been fun.

Q.  You're used to looking up at Ashe and seeing people cheering.  You're on the set doing the post‑match interview with CBS interview, you turn around and see the plaza full, what was that like?
ANDY RODDICK:  Each time it's surprising.  I mean, the ESPN set the other night, they were sitting two feet from me and I was having a hard time hearing the questions.  You know, today they were going nuts, too.
It's honestly way more than I ever expected.

Q.  Talk about these US Open moments, Connors in '91, Andre's speech.  What is it like to suddenly feel that developing around you?
ANDY RODDICK:  I don't know.  It's hard when you say 'those moments,' because I don't view anything that I would ever do in the context of those guys.
So I'm trying to figure out how to answer the question without drawing a comparison because I don't think it's close to those two.

Q.  What has surprised you the most in playing the last two matches that you didn't expect since you announcement?
ANDY RODDICK:  I don't know.  You know, I've been walking around with a smile on my face for three days.  All of a sudden you're kind of smiling, humming, whistling, walking around, and you feel pretty good about it.
All of a sudden you have to say good‑bye to something.  It's like this gut‑check moment.  It's these extreme emotions from five minutes to the next five minutes.
You think you know what's going on, but I don't think there's any way to prepare yourself for it.

Q.  Was your moment at net with Fabio a gut‑check moment?
ANDY RODDICK:  I was relieved that I got through it.  He was great.  Then afterwards he said he had a request for me.  I said, What?  He said, I'll tell you in the locker room.  He wants one of the shirts, like of the jerseys.

Q.  One of yours?
ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah.  Which I guess is customary with the football matches.  They exchange afterwards sometimes, so that was a cool gesture.

Q.  Did you give him the sweaty one you wore?
ANDY RODDICK:  Disgusting.  No, I didn't.  He got a washed one.

Q.  How do you prepare yourself mentally for your next match?  You want to win, and at the same time it could possibly be your last match.
ANDY RODDICK:  Kind of the same scenario as the last two:  I'm going to just keep doing what I'm doing.  I'm going to go back, get work tonight, meaning massage, so all the stuff, get some food, sleep, figure out what we're going to do tomorrow, and, you know, it will be here before we know it.
We'll go out and we'll give it a go.  I'm not really planning anything.  I'm kind of winging this thing as I go.

Q.  Loosening the tension?
ANDY RODDICK:  Yea I loosened it.  The day before I played Eastbourne, I dropped my racquet 10 pounds just so I could get a little sling action in it and help the old Hamburger Helper here.

Q.  You said when you do play your last match, you're not the type of guy who won't return to the court because you obviously love the game that much.  What's the most pure joy for you?  Is it the simplicity of striking a tennis ball?
ANDY RODDICK:  I mean, I know there's going to be a training camp with a lot of guys going on in December in Austin like there always is.  I'm not opposed to going out there and having fun with those guys.  I still enjoy that part of it.
But being like a guy who can go drive miles down the road and hit balls when he pleases is a lot different than preparing and committing yourself and having certain expectations that you've come to expect from yourself.  Those are two different scenarios.

Q.  Is your between‑match and prematch preparation now with these matches any different than any other tournament in terms of what you and Larry do, what your practices are like?
ANDY RODDICK:  Our practices have been a little shorter.  (Laughter.)  Kind of been like a little bit of a mockery of a practice.

Q.  You said you weren't in the category or status of Connors and Agassi.  When Jimmy was around, there was Mack and Vitas.  For a decade now, no offense to any of the other wonderful players, you've been the leader of our sport in the most important country arguably in the tennis world.  Isn't that a pretty unique and special achievement?
ANDY RODDICK:  Well, it's tough to call it an achievement.  It's just kind of the way it played out.  I didn't really have a choice in the matter.  It was always a tall task.
You're coming off of what will always be the greatest generation, or two generations, from anyplace ever, so it was always going to be a steep hill.
But it's something that I never wanted to really shy away from knowing it's almost mission impossible.  I felt like it was a responsibility.  It's a bit of a lineage in this country, and I did my best.  Even if I didn't get the results I wanted to all the time, I at least went about it the right way and created a bit of a culture in American tennis.
I think that was accomplished.  That's something I'm proud of.

Q.  The Hamburger Helper, are you going to need surgery or rest when this is all said and done?
ANDY RODDICK:  I don't know.  A lot of times they said, You want an MRI of your shoulder?  I said, For what?  If it's a year or nine months of surgery, I don't want to know about it.

Q.  Considering your talent and your tennis abilities, do you think you've been more lucky because you came at the end of the Sampras and Agassi era when it was easier to sneak inside and be No.1, or more unlucky because after there was Federer who is probably the best of all times?
ANDY RODDICK:  It's a question that's not even worth answering.  You're asking me to compare the four greatest players of all time.  I mean, no part of my career is unlucky.
So, you know, I'm not going to compare generations because I don't think you can do that in sports.

Q.  I wasn't comparing generations.  There was a hole between Sampras and Agassi and Federer.  You snuck inside at that period.
ANDY RODDICK:  What year did Pete win his last slam?

Q.  '02.
ANDY RODDICK:  What year did Roger win his first slam?

Q.  2003.
ANDY RODDICK:  So what hole are you talking about?  Thanks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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