Andy Roddick Interview
Australian Open - Jan 17
Q. How would you assess your game today?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it was okay. It was playing slow, you know, so you had to kind of adjust. I thought he liked the ball to come through pretty quick and flat, so I was trying to keep it out of his hitting zones.
I served well; I put a lot of returns in. So it was good.
Q. The conditions of the court or the atmosphere, the whole thing?
ANDY RODDICK: I probably think conditions more than anything. It was a little dead, you know. It wasn't hitting and jumping like it normally would here, and I think that's probably just the colder conditions. It seemed like the flat ball went through.
He was having trouble creating, you know, off of a chip and off of other things. So it was a little bit more cat and mouse than I think you would normally find certainly on a hotter day here.
Q. You'd like a faster court?
ANDY RODDICK: It's the conditions. The court's fine. It's like it always is. We don't get many days below 70 Fahrenheit here. Like I say, I think it's more the conditions, meaning weather conditions more specifically.
Q. How do you feel coming in? What are you going to have to do to meet your goals this time?
ANDY RODDICK: I feel good. I had a good off season. I feel healthy and strong for the first time in a while. You know, got five matches in in Brisbane, which is all you can pretty much ask for.
Doesn't put that middle week in flux in terms of needing tennis. So we'll see. I certainly feel like I'm prepared.
Q. Are you proud of Mardy?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I thought that was a great effort. I told him five minutes ago, you know, I was kind of going out as he was down two sets. I said, That did not look good. I didn't see that happening.
I thought that was a really good effort by him. Mardy a couple years ago wouldn't have won that match, for sure.
Q. He was saying in press that he's hoping he doesn't have the same thing that you got last year, but it sounds like exactly the same thing.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, he was asking me about it. I didn't know he talked to you guys about it.
We hope not. You know, I hope not. That can turn into a long, kind of drawn out process where you have your good days and your bad days. Certainly, fingers crossed, hopefully it's something else.
Q. Do you find yourself more than ever looking at the results of other Americans, almost sort of taking a bit of an elder statesman sort of role?
ANDY RODDICK: I feel like I've been the elder statesman ever since Andre retired, in all honesty. That's coming up on five years ago now. So I don't know that it's a new role for me.
You know, I certainly feel like I'm, I guess, a guy that a lot of the guys come to. Maybe I'm the guy that gets asked some of the questions a little bit more. But I think that's a role I've always been happy in. You know, I think they know that they can you know, I'll give them whatever opinions I have on pretty much anything.
Q. Ryan Harrison lost today. He said you've been speaking to him quite a bit.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean... I mean, I don't know that we've ever put a label on it. But I feel like most of the young guys, even when Sam was young, at least the guys that have come up maybe after me, as long as they're willing to put in the work.
You know, I like Ryan because he does ask questions, you know. The stuff that makes him annoying now is going to make him really good someday, if that makes sense. He's super competitive. I haven't talked to him since his match today.
Again, I think he knows that I always want to try to help the other U.S. guys if I can.
Q. Can you actually teach someone or talk them into competing well at a slam? Because both those guys are pretty disappointed today in their results. Sam is at the point where he's a top 20 player. Going to a tournament like this, he has expectations beyond losing a five setter in the first round.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it's a little different once they crack that top 20 because they're a little more reluctant to come to you. You're a little more of a peer. I know I was probably a little bit more influential on Sam before the last couple of years, before he really broke through.
Again, I'm always here. But I'm certainly not going to force myself on anybody. You know, I think we all know Sam's better than losing the first round. It was a rough day today. It was weird out there, you know, the wind and the thing.
But, uhm, he'll rebound. I mean, last time I guess everyone was kind of disappointed in him. He had his best results after the French last year. Hopefully we can look for a rebound like that. He came back and everyone was kind of getting on his case after the French Open a little bit and deservedly so for what he said afterwards in the press.
He came back, won Queen's, got to this day what is his best result in a slam, fourth round in Wimbledon, and played well at the US Open.
So hopefully he can bounce back.
Q. So when you and Larry got together in the off season, besides recovering physically, the illness, what were you talking about as to what you want to do this year?
ANDY RODDICK: That was the biggest thing for me. I mean, honestly, last time I was healthy I feel like was May last year. Up to that point I had great results. Same with '09 through when I got hurt, I had really good results.
So, uhm, the biggest thing for me was getting right, getting healthy, feeling strong. That was the focus. You know, Larry said, Listen, I don't care if you hit up until a certain point; I want you working; I want you strong. I don't want us having to adjust our game plans around what you may or may not be able to do physically.
That was probably the priority this off season. You know, you come back, and sure enough, playing better matches early on this year.
Q. What is your best memory of this tournament? You've had some difficult semifinal losses. El Aynaoui or...
ANDY RODDICK: Sure. There's been a lot. I'm having trouble remembering. Yeah, the El Aynaoui was a good one. But I think also '09 was when I made the semis; that was good. I lost to Roger. But I think it had been two years since I had been in a semifinal of a slam, so that was something good for me. I felt real good about that.
You know, I had certainly put in the work. That was when I lost weight for the first time. So to see that, that was a good feeling. Obviously, the most memorable match was that with Younes.
Q. When you see your name in Federer's corner again do you curse or do you say, I want another chance at the guy now?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, there's that. But, listen, I've lost before that stage last three slams. So for me to think about that would just be dumb. I don't think I've earned the right to look ahead that far.
You know, too, I've put myself in position where I'm ranked 8. So to be pissed off about any draw that I created for myself in a quarterfinal, again, is not smart, not fair, it's a little presumptuous. So that part of the tournament can wait until that part of the tournament actually becomes a reality.
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