Andy Roddick Interview - Wimbledon, June 21Posted on June 21, 2010
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it was a good start. It was pretty solid all around. I thought I served pretty good percentages. I thought I returned pretty well. And, you know, it was probably a little more straightforward than I thought it might be.
So it's a good start.
Q. How long have you known him?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, obviously you know all the guys from the States pretty well. We never played. But, I mean, we've all practiced together enough to know what to expect.
Q. He wanted to try to attack you, but you returned pretty well, too.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I did. You know, I felt like I returned and I hit pretty good passes today. You know, I think that forced him to maybe try to go for a little bit too much. You know, I don't think he wanted to stay out there and rally too much today and make it about movement, moving the ball around and stuff.
You know, that allowed me to get the upper hand and put him in maybe some tough spots.
Q. You get another attacking player in the next round. He's been playing well.
ANDY RODDICK: He's been playing great, you know. It's a very, very dangerous match. You know, not a lot of mystery to what he's going to do. He does it pretty well. You know, if he serves well, it's going to be a tough one. It's going to come down to some points here and there.
So, you know, I am happy with the way I returned today. You know, if I'm close to that, then I should get myself some looks. No, it's a tough one. But I'm sure he's not happy about it either.
Q. A little bit more nervous coming back into this tournament because you left Queen's a little bit earlier than you planned to?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, I didn't ‑‑ I wasn't too, too panicked. I was definitely ready to play a match, you know. There's only so much practice that can be done. You know, especially it was never a question of how I felt I was hitting the ball. You know, so I wasn't too worried.
But, you know, I was ready to start playing in a tournament, that's for sure.
Q. You had to wait over four hours to get on Court 1 today. What did you do in that time?
ANDY RODDICK: Play some Monopoly. Dominated some Scrabble. I watched some tennis. Watched some football. That was pretty much it.
Q. Which tennis match were you watching?
ANDY RODDICK: Challenger that was going on, a future back home in the States.
Q. You were watching Roger's match?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think everyone was watching that one.
Q. When you watch, does it get you tense at all? Do you think, maybe I should stop watching this?
ANDY RODDICK: No, not really. You know, I think everyone else gets real excited about, you know, looking down the road, looking down the road, looking down the road. That's just not the way most of us are programmed.
I think, you know, I said ad nauseam, it's probably boring to all of you, it is true: you play the next one. That's all I really worry about. Obviously, if a guy comes up with a huge shot at a big time, everyone in the locker room kind of gets excited. But as far as like being tense, I think I was more relaxed watching it.
Q. What was the buzz like watching that match, Federer down two sets?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, I don't think anyone expected it. We were probably all ‑‑ I don't think the sentiment was much different than where you guys are watching it from. I think everyone was pretty surprised, especially when it became very, very real there in the latter stages, I think Love‑40 in the third, and then when he was serving for it in the fourth.
Obviously, everyone was pretty surprised that it was at that point.
Q. Given how last year concluded for you, you said you were ready to play a match. How eager were you to get back here and get this underway again?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it's weird because I can answer that question, but it doesn't have everything to do with last year. I'm always eager to get back and play this tournament. You know, that hasn't changed. You know, I'm always eager and anxious to start a slam. You know, that doesn't change it.
You know, obviously you just kind of put a lot more in the memory bank. But, you know, I think I would have been excited to start either way.
Q. There are seven men in the draw who are fathers. With all the pressures and demands of tennis, do you look at these guys and wonder how they do it, be fathers, play tennis?
ANDY RODDICK: You know what, I normally comment on stuff that I have some sort of idea about. And I don't have an idea about that as far as I'm aware (smiling).
You know, it's got to be demanding. But for me to sit here and give you my opinion on fatherhood when I have no idea about it I think would be a little presumptuous on my part.
Q. Have you felt a different reception coming here after last year?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think so. But I felt that everywhere. It wasn't just coming here into London that kind of sparked it. You know, obviously when I talk to people, that's what they want to talk about most times. But I think it would have been pretty dumb of me to come over here and be surprised by that, that people wanted to talk about it.
I think I have a pretty good grasp of it, you know. I certainly realize that it had an effect on some people. You know, so it is different. It is different. But, you know, it's nice, too.
Q. You've been around Mardy the last month quite a bit. Do you want to assess the state of his game, where you think he could be headed in the tournament. You might face him in the fourth round. Do you think his level has been pretty good?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah. I mean, regardless of where we both are, whatever, a week from now, you know, Mardy is probably as motivated as he's been.
You know, he's doing everything the right way right now. You know, I'm real proud as a friend of the progress that he's been able to make.
You know, he got hurt last year. He really took that as an opportunity to, you know, treat his body right and do the right things. You know, I've always told him, You do it long enough, things start tilting your way a little bit. It seems like that's the case right now.
So, you know, he certainly deserves this patch of success that he has going right now.
Q. Is it fair to say now that you're back here, it's a new day, a new tournament, that you kind of want to bury the memory from last year and not use it as some inspiration?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know that I deal in extremes. I said the first day I got here, people are, How are you going to forget it? I'm not going to forget it. That's an impossibility. It was a huge moment in my life.
It's a tournament I'm very proud of as far as, you know, closing my eyes and thinking real hard and making my forehand better today by thinking about last year, I don't know how to do that either. You know, I'll remember it, but this is a separate tournament. You know, the goal is the second round here.
So, you know, I can talk about it, it's fine, it's no problem.
Q. People are talking about it. They bring it up. You want to put it aside and focus on what you're doing. Is that fair to say?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, you want to focus on this year's event, but I'm fully aware that's not the reality of the situation. Therefore, I'm not going to let it bother me. I'm not going to act agitated. It was a privilege to play in that match. I'm not going to act like it's a burden now, that's for sure.
Q. Do you get the impression that Rafa is maybe back to where he was two years ago where he can seriously challenge for the title again after what happened in Paris?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I don't know that I ever have gone into a Grand Slam and said Rafa can't challenge for the title. You know, it's a very fine line between playing okay and playing really well. And right now he's kind of found that 'really well' again.
I guess for me, I look at it, you know, I see ‑‑ the way it's presented as far as Rafa's success is a little bit predictable to me as far as what I read. It's like he hasn't won a tournament for this long, all of a sudden he gets on the clay, he wins everything, everyone changes him into a different human being. He's the same human being. He's the most dominant clay court player that's ever played. He's the best clay court player in my opinion that's played. And obviously winning matches creates confidence. You know, so obviously he uses that as a bit of a springboard.
But, you know, I don't think anybody in the locker room has ever said, Rafa is not the same. It's just a matter of him getting into a groove. He lost one match last year. It's one match in six years. Everyone acted like he was finished, it was the end, it was this. We don't deal in headlines or extremes again. He lost one match.
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