Andy Roddick Interview
March 15, 2011
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA - BNP PARIBAS OPEN
A. RODDICK/J. Isner
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Pretty clinical out there? You pretty much did what you had to and got through it quickly.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, going 3 for 3 on break points against him is not normal. Yeah, I don't think he played that well tonight. I think he felt a little uncomfortable. I was just trying to fight off returns and do what I could and put the ball in the courts.
It was enough.
Q. Did you sense last weekend at Davis Cup that he was going through -- he just told me that can't feel the ball at all, feeling bad about his game, zero confidence?
ANDY RODDICK: He actually played fine in Davis Cup. I thought Capdeville played great that whole weekend, to be honest. But he had lost I think three in a row going into that match. So regardless of how you feel like you play during that match and how well the other guy plays, it's still a loss and you're still thinking about it.
You know, I could tell, you know, early on in the night he probably wasn't hitting the ball super clean. You know, but you just try to get -- it's a scary prospect, because even if he's not, you still have to deal with the serve. So I certainly was extremely aware out there tonight.
Q. Did you make any big adjustments to your strategy compared with your match at the Open?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, it's not the same deal. It was quicker. I think you make adjustments. But as opposed to changing things, I think you just try to execute better. You know, I don't think you overhaul everything because you lost -- it's a two-point swing and you're not asking that question.
So I think it's a matter of executing better as opposed to changing absolutely everything, you know. I don't really deal in the last 20% either way. I kind of stay in the middle 60 most of the time.
Q. You mentioned his seemed lower; did you feel that yours was elevated?
ANDY RODDICK: I played okay. Honestly I don't think he played that well tonight.
Q. Is it hard to block out who you're playing? You're coming off the Davis Cup tie where you're going to dinner and you're practicing together.
ANDY RODDICK: It's not fun playing guys that you know well. It's not fun. But I certainly understand that we go out there and you're trying to get a win. You know, so it doesn't really change my mindset too much. You know, you go in there, and once you get between the lines, you both have a job to do.
I think part of being professional is being able to do that.
Q. Do your head-to-heads have any relevance at all? Do you remember them? Do you think of them when you go into a match?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I mean, certainly. Yeah, I mean, you definitely -- someone's lying if they don't know the record against somebody. You know, if they have had success, you know, it's certainly a factor, yeah.
Q. I remember a couple years ago Wimbledon you lost, and you said something like once you win a slam it's like everybody expects you -- that's all there is, winning slams. Roger was just in there saying, you guys put too much emphasis on slams. I play 20 tournaments a year and they're all important. Can you separate that a little bit? I mean, how do you judge? You want to win obviously every event you play.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I think he's right. If I'm being completely honest with you all, our season, we don't stop. You know, I understand you guys cover what you cover. But you see the matches, and that's what you see.
There's a whole process that goes into that. Every tournament is building towards something. There's an end goal. There's an end goal when you wake up in the morning, things that you're trying to improve upon.
So it is a process. So, you know, obviously I'm not coming from Roger's perspective, but it's a full-time job. It's not just when we show up at a given event. It's certainly not when we show up at four tournaments a year.
Q. You have a pretty strong bond with Serena. Can you just make a bit of a statement about, you know, how she's feeling? What she's going through? Whether you've talked with her quite a lot?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I was pretty sure that everybody was kind of all over her. I certainly know if I went through something like that, the last thing I'd want to be doing is taking a bunch of calls. I have talked to her a little bit. Brooklyn has talked to her. Actually was with a her a couple nights before it happened. It's a frightening thing, you know.
I think tennis should probably be the furthest thing from her mind right now. She needs to take every precaution as far as recovery, but I think she's doing well now.
Q. You said pretty clearly before that you would like to play the Olympics with her. Of course it's in a totally different perspective now, but in that framework, would it still mean a lot to you to play the Olympics with her?
ANDY RODDICK: Oh, sure. I mean, as soon as they -- I don't care if she plays a match between now and the Olympics, I would still want her on my team. Honestly. I mean, I wouldn't take anybody else.
Q. Would you like to play here? They're talking about mixed doubles here. Would you like to...
ANDY RODDICK: No, I wouldn't. What are we going for, one tournament mixed doubles rankings?
Q. No, I was just asking.
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not playing an exhibition during a big tournament.
Q. You play Richard Gasquet next. Where do you think his game is at?
ANDY RODDICK: I haven't seen him actually play much recently. But, I mean, we have been on tour together for a very long time. I think we know each other's games pretty well.
You know, certainly confidence is a big issue with him. Seems like he's confident right now. He played well in Dubai and he's played well here. I'm expecting the best of him.
Q. Did you have a chance to see the Harrison/Raonic match? Any sort of response on the match?
ANDY RODDICK: That third set was a microcosm of exciting things to come from both of them. I was really proud of Ryan. We've talked a lot the last couple of weeks about him kind of staying the course and not losing his composure too much. I hope he learns that lesson quicker than I did.
He certainly did today. The kid is like a sponge. You see a lot of the stuff that we've been talking about, and he's doing it. We talked about it three days ago. That's a good thing.
The other thing, with Raonic, kid's down two breaks, he brings it back and comes within a point of bringing it back. That's a big thing. More impressive is he loses 6-4 in the third, he's still down there getting a massage, doing the proper things regardless of if he lost.
I noticed that. I thought that was pretty impressive. So I liked the match. I like their attitudes and how they go about their business better.
Q. These first two rounds, was it uneasy for you just playing your friend? Is there a little more relief, and are you freer, a little more freer to go play against Gasquet?
ANDY RODDICK: No, guys, it's business. It's business. You probably have friends that are journalists, and, you know, given the choice of getting a scoop, you would scoop it. It would probably be understood.
It's the same thing. It's no different. We're playing; this is our job. This is what we do. We go play. Afterwards, I know someone's pissed they lost; someone's not. Next week we see each other and nothing is really different.
Q. You talked about composure. You hope he learns faster than you do. Obviously in any sport...
ANDY RODDICK: I consider myself a very fast learner now. (Laughter.)
Q. How do you do that? How do you learn? In other words, you have to go through the heat of competition and lose a few times, and then all of a sudden make the step. What's the process?
ANDY RODDICK: Listen, you could find 20 people who have been successful across different sports, and I'm sure they got there in different ways. There is not a set way. If there was a set way, it's like -- there is no book on it. You know, there's no guarantee.
Q. How did you do it?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, you go through it. You know, I was able to handle everything that came along with it. I think Ryan is a pretty smart kid. He listens. He wants to be a good player. We have seen a lot of guys that have come through here, especially in this country, they're trying to obtain a lifestyle as opposed to he wants to be a good tennis player, and there is a distinct difference there.
He competes. That's the first -- that's something you can't teach. You can't teach someone to compete, to run after every ball to hustle, and he does. He's passionate about it. That's what you need to start with.
Q. Is there a different dynamic in a match like tonight, with John, not just because you guys are friendly but because like John and Sam are kind of like, they looked up to you and are gunning for you the way you looked up to Andre and Pete and were gunning for them? I mean, do you sometimes feel like you're in kind of a no-win situation?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah, sure. I mean, listen, I win, you guys are very ho-hum about this press conference. He wins, it's a better story for you all.
That's just the fact of it. It's the same position. It's tough playing it because you know the pressure is on me when I play him, you know.
That's just the way it is. So sure, it is uneasy. But, I like it. One of the things that keeps me going is trying to maintain my place.
Q. Have you picked your Final 4 yet?
ANDY RODDICK: I have.
Q. Can you share it?
ANDY RODDICK: No, because then I know you're gonna copy me and win. (Laughter.)
Q. So John was saying he goes on court with you tonight, he has no chance of winning. When is the last time you felt like that, and how did you get yourself out of it?
ANDY RODDICK: He said what now?
Q. He said he didn't feel like he had any chance of winning the match when he got on court. His confidence is so low. Have you ever felt like that going on court?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think I've ever felt like that. If you're not confident, you certainly compete and fool yourself into thinking you have a chance. That's what we're supposed to do, especially -- I've always known that I can kind of serve my way through crappy matches if I have to.
You know, he should feel the same, I think.