Andy Roddick Interview - Wimbledon, June 23Posted on June 23, 2010
ANDY RODDICK: I've been. There's so much stimulus going on right now between the World Cup and Isner's match and everything else.
Q. And your match.
ANDY RODDICK: I can't watch my match, but... Yeah, I've been kind of trying to dabble in a little bit of all of them.
Q. NBA draft coming up.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, but that's easier. You don't need to watch that. You can just kind of check it.
Q. Do you want to talk about the match today. Tough first set. You escaped an early game in the second set and seemed to kind of gain control of the match.
ANDY RODDICK: Uhm, yeah. I mean, that was as tough of a second round as there is I think in this tournament right now, considering the surface. You know, it's a quick day out there. You know, he's well‑versed on how to play on this surface, and he's confident right now.
So, uhm, I mean, if you look at the stats, we both had 55 winners and about 10 errors. You know, so that's a pretty decent stat line.
I had to make an adjustment. In the first set, I played fine. I played well. The game he broke me was one of the best return games someone played against me. I had Love. He played good points. Off of my serve, I had to start coming in and serving and volleying behind it. He was pretty comfortable chipping and kind of coming in at random spots. You know, he was dictating the way the points were going. So I think that was a key adjustment.
Q. Is the court faster? That seemed like a match 20 years ago.
ANDY RODDICK: It's going to be weather‑dependent. You know, when it's colder out, it slows up a bunch. When it's really warm ‑‑ it was really warm last year almost the whole tournament, and it was pretty quick.
I'd put more stock into the weather as opposed to the actual court.
Q. John and Mahut are in an incredible marathon. You had your marathon last year. What happens when you get deep into a fifth set and it just goes on and on? Do you go to a different place? Is it harder to focus?
ANDY RODDICK: I played a couple. Obviously last year, Davis Cup with Tursunov, the El Aynaoui match way back when.
It's so important to stay there mentally, especially on grass. You know, you got to harp on those first points of every service game, try to get that. Love‑15, 15‑30, that starts becoming dicey. So they're doing a pretty good job of putting themselves in good position as far as serving with a lead.
Beyond that, you know, you always kind of try to convince yourself it's only going to be another 10 or 15 minutes, even if you might not believe it at the time.
Q. When did you make of your return to Centre Court today? Do you appreciate how popular you've become in this country over the years?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, it's real nice. I mean, it really is. You know, certainly I feel, you know, whether it's right or wrong, that they kind of maybe appreciate the body of work that I've put together at this tournament. It's always gratifying.
It's humbling, as well. I mean, you know, you never feel like you're entitled to anything. For people, you know, they can choose whether or not to support you or not. The fact that they kind of were vocal about it and have been since I've been back over here, it's a nice thing.
Q. You've been here a couple of weeks, Jonathan Ross, anyone come up to you particularly nice, said anything particularly nice to you?
ANDY RODDICK: A lot of it has been. Even Ross himself, you know, I really feel like he was genuine when he said he wanted me to do well here. You know, that's been the case more often than the other way since I've been back over here.
You know, for whatever the reason is, I'm not sure, but, you know, given the two options, it's the better place to be (smiling).
Q. After you lost to Roger a few years ago, you talked about the kitchen sink, the crowd really seemed to get in with you on those remarks.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I think it was probably more to do with last year. To be honest, afterwards was kind of a blur for me. But, uhm, I've been told I said the right stuff.
It's funny, because the whole time I was waiting there, I was praying that Sue Barker wasn't going to ask me to say anything. Sometimes it works in weird ways.
Q. Sam has had some good success at the 250 level. Can you talk about what a player needs to do to make the transition to have success at the bigger tournaments?
ANDY RODDICK: There's no substitute for getting out and doing it one time. I'm pretty confident that it is something, you know, you all have probably reminded him about. I'm sure he knows about it himself. He's acknowledged it. I think that's a good step.
When you ask him about it, his first response isn't getting defensive, it's saying, I need to do better at these events. I think that's a big step right there, acknowledging what it is.
Once you know what a problem is, then you can go about doing your best to make it right. So he'll be fine. I mean, he's got too much game for that to be an issue for too long.
Q. How worried were you in the first set after what happened with Roger Federer? Did you think at all about going out?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I mean, what happens to other players, you know, doesn't really have an effect on my match, you know. You play who you can that day. I was more concerned with Michael Llodra at that point. He was playing flawless tennis. He played an almost perfect first set.
Coming off of a win last week, I mean, he certainly was very confident. I mean, it took some of my best stuff today to get through that. I thought I played really well. I think I had to.
Q. Is that your best serve‑and‑volley performance do you think?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I did it pretty well against Rafa in Miami this year. But, you know, it's just nice that I can go to that play not out of desperation but because I think it's the right thing to do at the time, you know. I think that's a nice adjustment to be able to make now.
Q. Another inspired and very accurate job of officiating in World Cup soccer. Any comments on what just occurred?
ANDY RODDICK: No. I got to learn when to comment and not. After my little display the other day, they cut into the coverage, ESPN did, to say what I said about the muggings that were going on.
Q. So it's safe to say...
ANDY RODDICK: It's safe to say we may or may not be getting screwed again today, but (laughter).
Q. Llodra is working with Mauresmo. What do you make of that?
ANDY RODDICK: That's fine. It seems to be working. Listen, a lot of times if someone can communicate and get through to you, then that's the person you need to be with. If they communicate in the right ways, and you get along with them, you can handle being on the road with them, then it's a good fit.
A couple of people have talked to me. I think they think it's a lot weirder than I do. I think so far it's been great. To Michael's credit, down two sets to one, he started getting maybe a little frustrated, came back. The first point of the fourth set, he was vocal, C'mon, right away. He kind of kept it together out there real well.
So far I would consider it the right move.
Q. How long did it take you to learn how to manage yourself in five‑set matches where you're not just out there playing but you have an awareness of where you are in the match, what you have to do?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm still learning all the time. Definitely my five‑set record is not as good as it probably should be. But, you know, I think just overall in the last couple of years I've been able to manage matches better.
Dropping the first set today, I kind of kept it together and stayed the course. Then when it turned, it turned quick. I was up 5‑4 in the second, but he had been getting most of the looks. All of a sudden we're a set all.
Probably the last couple years I've probably done a better job of match management.
Q. You spoke earlier about the appreciation others have of what you did here last year. How has last year's experience affected this year's for you, if at all?
ANDY RODDICK: It doesn't. I mean, it doesn't. Yeah, besides more questions in press conferences (smiling).
You know, any time you get to an extended part of the tournament, it's nice because it gives you the confidence in the venue that you can do it. You know you've been there.
Obviously doing something in any field of work, if you've done it before, you feel more comfortable kind of going through it.
But, uhm, you know, I've been very conscious I can't play these matches for last year. It's a separate tournament. You know, like I said, there's no sense of entitlement. I have to get through and go one match at a time.
In my head they've been completely separate. It's just everywhere. Outside of my crew, it seems like they're running together for some reason.
Q. You may have noticed that Britain has had its worst ever Wimbledon this year. Does it strike you as odd or amazing that a country of such wealth in the sport cannot be able to produce players?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Yeah.
Q. Do you think perhaps there's a reason?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not going to sit here ‑‑ I think it is surprising. I think, obviously, the facilities are in place and everything. Everything's there. I don't know enough about the inner workings to act like I know, you know, what the reasoning is, you know, behind I guess the lack of players in the top hundred or whatever it is.
You know, I don't know.
Q. Other than the Federer match last year, is there any match in particular here you'd want back, a replay on?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, that's easy. The Gasquet match that I let slip away. I mean, besides finals. You always want a shot at a final. But one I had completely in my grasp and let slip. Through the course of my career, I haven't let that many slip from positive positions. You know, that one I let get away.
Q. What about Sam being on the council?
ANDY RODDICK: It will be entertaining. He's going to try to get a vote for burritos in the lunchroom.
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