Andy Roddick Interview - French Open, May 27
Posted on May 27, 2010
A. RODDICK/B. Kavcic
6‑3, 5‑7, 6‑4, 6‑2
Q. Kind of a sloppy conditions out there today. Not the normal type of stuff you like to play in, but you got through it nonetheless.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it was brutal for me out there. I couldn't get my serve to go anywhere and the ball was just sitting up. I woke up this morning, looked out my window, and knew that it was gonna be a long one, you know.
It kind of takes away a lot of shots and it makes it just about hitting the ball and running. There's not a whole a lot of, you know, kind of ‑‑ slices is out of play; the serve was pretty much out of play.
I mean, it's kind of just a matter of just running and sticking it out, and that's pretty much what happened?
Q. Did you get a decent read on the guy before the match? Did you watch tape, or did you just kind of have to go out there and...
ANDY RODDICK: I didn't watch tape. I got some scouting reports, but, you know, he's pretty straightforward. He's pretty solid off both sides. His serve, you know, is a detriment most times, but today not so much.
I mean, you can kind of throw it in and you're playing a baseline game basically, you know. (Laughter.) Yeah, I got a decent scouting report, but I wasn't really too surprised by much.
Q. So it wasn't an ideal match to improve your clay fitness?
ANDY RODDICK: Fitness was fine. That's about all it was was fitness. You know, it was ‑‑ you know, wet day on Lenglen has been my Achilles heel. I mean, I've lost a lot matches out there on conditions exactly like today.
I was able to get through that one today. That was one that might have gotten away from me a while ago, but I was just kind of staying the course. You know, I don't know the last time I lost serve seven times in one.
So, I mean, it's bad, but there's got to be something good in there somewhere, too.
Q. Do you consider yourself better equipped then on a day like that than maybe a couple years ago or few years ago in terms of versatility in your game or...
ANDY RODDICK: Maybe, but the versatility, I mean, the stuff that I've developed ‑‑ you know, chipping it around the court or, you know, different kind of ‑‑ you know, driving my backhand through the court, those things weren't happening today.
You know, drive the ball and it hits and just kind of sits there and then we start all over again. But, um, I think I just ‑‑ I have kind of a confidence just getting through matches right now, you know.
I'm okay going in knowing it's gonna be possibly crappy tennis. You know, I just want to be the less crappy one out there; whereas before I was maybe a little too concerned with that.
Q. More on this winning ugly theme.
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know about winning ugly. I don't want to use that term.
Q. You used it the other day.
ANDY RODDICK: Did I? Slip. I don't know. Yeah, I mean, I guess so. Definitely wasn't pretty, so I guess it's got to be the opposite.
Q. What are you telling yourself when you go into that match strategy‑wise? Are you thinking, Okay, I'm just gonna try to get some ‑‑ I'm not going to get a few points on my serve, I'm just going to have to really push out there and slog it out?
ANDY RODDICK: Kind of. Kind of. I mean, the thing is that it's tough for me, because on a hardcourt when it's just rallying and stuff it's fine because I move really well on a hardcourt. You know, I can run through my forehand and hit it. On the run I feel comfortable.
Here I get a little bit more exposed and the court stretches on me. So it's a little bit more difficult. It is kind of what you said. It's just a matter of there's gonna be some stuff that you try that's not gonna work. It's just a matter of kind of forgetting about it and going about it again.
Q. Is it harder to move on a damp clay court?
ANDY RODDICK: Actually, it's easier for me ‑‑
Q. You get a little more stick, right?
ANDY RODDICK: It is. It is easier for me to move on a damp clay court. The clay here is a little bit different. It's not gritty like salt; it's more like a baking powder.
When it get hot it's a little bit more slippery. So movement‑wise it's fine, but then it takes away serves and whatever. So it's kind of a catch 22 either way.
Q. Coming out of that first rain delay, what happened there? Eight straight points.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, nothing good. Nothing good. We came in, Larry gave me the whole, Start strong and you can take this over. I started and lost eight points in a row, so that didn't really go according to plan there.
Q. Were you mindful of that coming out of the second delay?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, no. Listen, I knew coming out of first delay I wanted to get off to a good start. I failed miserably.
The second one, I was literally sitting there because I had been broken six times. I'm up 4‑3 serving. I'm like, You guys think I can get through two games on my serve? That was a goal. Just get through two games, please.
Normally I don't stress about that as much. So we kind of made a joke of it of. I was like, I made it through two service games. Miracle.
Q. You have a reputation ‑ even before your latest drive for better fitness ‑ as a guy who did well in the heat. When you signed your beverage deal recently, the press release actually said you have a higher sweat rate than average.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah.
Q. I'm curious about that. Anecdotally I've observed that. Is that something that's actually been quantified? Has is hydration a big issue for you?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it always has been. I literally wake up and am drinking all day long. We won't go into detail about kind of what happens after that.
It was important. It's always been something that I've fought. I think I don't mind the heat. I don't get psyched out by it, because I grew up in it in Florida and Texas. There's not much you can do.
That's just the way I've always been. I can sweat looking through the window on a hot day. It always has been something we've, you know, been trying to find products to kind of help with that.
Q. As a kid, when maybe you didn't have that refined so much, did you cramp a lot? Did you get severely dehydrated ever?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I used to cramp early on in my career sometimes, too. I've been a lot more mindful about nutrition, and it's helped. You can be dehydrated, but if you have the right stuff in your body you don't get to the point you're doubled over and cramping.
But it's something that we're definitely conscious of at all times. It's something that we fought a little bit, but, you, know, you can deal with it.
Q. Before you developed the big serve when you were a junior, say before you won US Open juniors, were these the type of the matches you used to win a lot as a kid? Just kind of grind it out, find a way to win, get a lot of balls back.
ANDY RODDICK: Sure. I still think one of the best things that happened to me was I grew late. When I was 12, 13, I was King Push. I think that's why I play okay defense on hardcourts or whatever.
Then I grew, and all of a sudden I could serve. It was a little bit of a mix. That's one thing Larry said. You know, you grew up just playing instinctual. You would run balls down. No one things you should play like that, but I think you play well like that.
Obviously it's not gonna work against everybody and you have to be able to adjust. But, you know, guys, if you show 'em you can move and not miss, it makes more a long day, especially if you're serving well.
Q. So in some ways you went away from the base and then you had to rediscover the base?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I listened to you guys too much. (Laughter.)
Q. Too much advice on certain points?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, I don't think it's white or black. There's a gray area, and it's about adjustments. The good example is against Rafa in Miami. What I was doing, I started off, Okay, I've been playing great tennis. Let's go out there and see if my game matches up well and I can get through it.
I felt like I was falling behind in most points. So then it's a matter of being able to switch it up and being able to do something else. That's something I think I've become a lot better at, is being able to do a lot better. Something you were alluding to earlier, maybe playing in and out of different styles and conscious switching when I realize it needs to be done.
Q. You've been on the circuit for a good stretch. Of the regular courts, is Lenglen your least favorite? Which is your favorite?
ANDY RODDICK: Here?
Q. No, in general.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, probably. Yeah, I don't know. It's the slowest here. It's the most challenging for me. You know, I feel like every time I play out there it's raining. (Laughter.)
You know, like two sunny days in my career on Lenglen. It's challenging for me out there.
Q. Do you hear the French chants at night, or just let it go.
ANDY RODDICK: No, I sleep well.