As the rain resumes at the US Open, here’s video and interview information from Andy Roddick. Today, Roddick gave US Open referee Brian Earley a mouthful for not repairing water damage to the Louis Armstrong court.
Roddick and his opponent, David Ferrer, left the court after water began softening part of the decoturf surface along the baseline. The players went to the locker room while US Open officials tried to fix the problem. Eventually they were brought back out but from the video you can see Roddick is not happy.
With the court unplayable Roddick and Ferrer moved to Court 13. Roddick won the match in four sets avenging the Davis Cup loss. Roddick now plays Rafael Nadal tomorrow, if the rain stops.
Here’s more from Roddick’s presser today:
Q. Nice way to end this surreal couple of days, huh?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, for sure. Little weird.
Q. Talk about the experience a little bit. Obviously it was a strange start this morning with the court bubbling up, et cetera.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, today you couldn’t do much. I looked down at one point and I saw like kind of like a little crack, and it had probably seven or eight nickel sized water drops on it, but it looked too perfectly placed. It almost looked like someone almost pored a little bit of water out. So I dried it off, played the next game, went back to play the point, and saw it was there again. That’s when I realized that we had a problem.
Q. I heard you used the word “baffled” on the court.
ANDY RODDICK: I was surprised the second time we got called out. We walked back there and it was wet, so I couldn’t quite figure out why we were called out. I even said it’s coming from under. It’s not something you can dab a towel on and make it go away. I watched the monitors, and they were dabbing towels on it the entire time. Then they called us back out, and we walked right over it and it was wet. I could not believe what I was looking at. I mean, puts us in a little bit of an uncomfortable position, too, because obviously, you know, we want to play and stuff. But it’s still there, dude.
Q. Was Brian advocating that you continue to play on that court?
ANDY RODDICK: No. We went there and I said, you know, What is that? He said, Water. I was a little bit — I said, Was that there five seconds ago when you called us out? But at that point he didn’t say, Play, by any means. At that point, I think he was just trying to scramble and find us some sort of court.
Q. What do you think of playing on Court 13?
ANDY RODDICK: I played there in 1999. I lost to Scott Lipski in juniors first round. Year before that, I lost to Fernando González out there first round in juniors.
Q. Those memories aside, I mean, having been out there today and won there today, Ferrer kind of laughed at me when I asked this before, but I’m going to ask you: Was there anything charming or cool about that experience? And conversely, what was annoying about it, whether it’s the lack of Hawk Eye or, you know, what was good and what was bad?
ANDY RODDICK: I enjoyed it. I like playing kind of the smaller more intimate stuff when I can. I haven’t always gotten that opportunity here. I know Armstrong and Grandstand, there are so many great courts here that I just haven’t been a part of at all. You know, I didn’t think Court 13 was in my future, but I probably could have promised you if it ever came to that I was just going to call it quits. (Laughter.) But extenuating circumstances, I guess. I enjoyed myself out there, though.
Q. There were photographs, you know, close to the court. There was a guy on the fence, a baby crying. It was bizarre conditions.
ANDY RODDICK: At least there wasn’t a baby crying on the fence. (Laughter.)
Q. Was it just a combination, or was there anything that really stood out to you that was particularly hilarious?
ANDY RODDICK: It was a little bit of everything. We had some Van Morrison wannabe playing music in the courtyard, so we had a Brown Eyed Girl soundtrack for about two games there. There was a guy scaling the fence in the back for a second. He was about to serve and I saw a guy climbing up the fence. You know, a couple people wanted to do commentary from the service line. I didn’t think that was gonna work. You know, there was someone who — there was a repetitive screaming from the courtyard at one point. It was actually kind of shrill. It was a little stressful. It sounded like someone was getting hurt. So I don’t know if that’s what it’s always like out there.
Q. The playing surface itself, like a basketball court, is that the difference at all, or is it just the surroundings?
ANDY RODDICK: I thought the surface played a little bit lower, maybe just because it’s been played on, more doubles, so the service boxes maybe reacted a little bit differently. It was pretty similar. But to be fair, we haven’t played on any real Stadium Court in three days anyway. We’ve been hitting indoors, so that’s kind of what we’ve dialed into.
Q. The 24 hours starting when you guys had to go out for a few minutes yesterday morning; people seemed unhappy about that. Is this as strange a 24-hour period you’ve been in in tennis?
ANDY RODDICK: Um, probably, but I think I’m used to it. I think I played five slam finals, and I’ve had to play on the Saturday four times. So the ’09 Wimbledon final was actually the first time I ever got a day off in between. I’ve always kind of responded well to playing like that. I don’t know. For some reason I was kind of mellow during the whole thing, which is completely against my makeup. (Laughter.)
Q. Isn’t that the mark of a champion athlete, accepting what’s there and not worrying about the little things and just playing the game?
ANDY RODDICK: That’s what I hear. (Laughter.)
Q. Having said that, Rafa was quite peeved when he came in here and said that, you know, the players need to have more of a say in what’s going on. Even Sam Stosur said that. What would you say? She said without them there’s no tournament.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, that’s fine, but until we unite it doesn’t matter and people can call our bluff. If someone wants to get what they want — you know, I have been trying to tell people that talent normally wins in negotiations. If Bono doesn’t want to go on tour, then it all falls apart. But until we unite as one voice, then we’re not gonna get what we want; therefore, we don’t have the right to complain about it.
Q. Do you feel you get a large enough portion of the revenues?
ANDY RODDICK: What are we at, 13%?
Q. About that.
ANDY RODDICK: 13% of total revenue? I’ll let you write your story.
Q. Was this tournament for you any kind of tipping point in your thinking about this?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I have been trying it for a while. At a certain point you have to be willing to give up something to get something, which is a tougher deal. When you have to get 25 or 30 people on the same page, you know, their main concern is — you’re getting one guy who is worried about the doubles cut and Stuttgart is his main thing. The next guy is worried about it’s just tough to come together. I think you have to have the right person involved who might understand the business side of it, might actually understand numbers, the way something works. You know, you’re gonna have to have a player of some sort who’s willing to make some sort of sacrifice a little bit. So I think it’s a very obvious problem. I think it’s pretty simple. You know, everything that goes on around this disappears without the — there is no home team, so it is a star driven sport. It always has been. You have to get the stars on the same page, and then I think you can pretty much get whatever you want.
Q. Are you, at your age, convinced a 24-year-old could maybe to give up a year of his career?
ANDY RODDICK: I don’t think it would take a 24-year-old giving up — I don’t think you have to give up a year of your career. At this point in my career, I would jump at the chance to leave the sport in a better position for the players moving forward.
Q. You come into the Open and you hadn’t had that much play. This might have been the biggest one of the year, and now you have a chance to play Rafa. Talk about your game and how excited you are to have that chance.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that I was playing a little bit better at Winston Salem. I knew it was huge to get four matches there. You know, I didn’t play at all from Wimbledon till, you know, 10 days before this event, so I was definitely short on matches. It’s tough to get confidence by winning matches when you’re not playing any. I just needed to get some continuity and play a little bit, and this was probably the best match I’ve played this year.
Q. Tell us about facing Rafa now.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it’s tough. You know, I’m gonna have to play pretty aggressively now, similar to what I did today. He’s one of the greatest ever, so I’m gonna have to, you know, have a repeat at least.
Q. Andy Murray quipped about hoping it rains tonight. Then at least Roger will be in the same boat as the rest of you guys. Can you talk about the inequity in the halves of the draw?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, it just happens. It’s a tough scenario where our half is obviously up against it. But weather is weather. You can’t control it. What are they going to like delay Roger’s match from four days ago because there was weather coming? It’s tough, but what are you gonna do?
Q. Some tough slams and a rough Davis Cup outing and so forth. Does this great run take a little edge off of that? Do you feel pretty good?
ANDY RODDICK: Um, no. I didn’t need this to define me. I didn’t need a great result. I shouldn’t have needed it to show you guys that I can play tennis. I haven’t played well this year, but I have been playing pretty well for 10 years. You know, I’m happy. I feel proud that I was able to come back and play at a high level and beat a guy 5 in the world on a big stage. But I have done that before. You know, I always said, You’re real close, but I had to get some matches in a row. I hadn’t been able to do that.
Q. Just talk about playing on a small court. Do you just feel your juices more intensely, feel more into the match…
ANDY RODDICK: I try not to feel my juices ever, Bill. (Laughter.) But I appreciate your interest in them.
Q. That’s all I think about.
ANDY RODDICK: Thank you. Creepy and inappropriate. (Laughter.) You know what? It was just fun. You know, you feel like you got — even just walking over you have people running to get their seat just to make sure they get one. I thought the atmosphere was great. You know, people packed in. I like playing those intimate you know, I’d rather play a smaller court and have it packed than playing a bigger court and have it a quarter full. I think the atmosphere is always better than that.
Q. When you said you’d like to leave the sport better than you came to it, are you suggesting you could be the person to unite…
ANDY RODDICK: I don’t think — I don’t know. I don’t know. I think there is a limited number of people. You know, you wouldn’t want to do it in the prime of your career. I think I have some good results left in me, but I don’t think I’m in the prime of my career. It’s something that interests me just because it’s a glaring hole. I think we are the only sport without a players’ union of major sports. So it’s something that — I don’t think I’ll be the guy. I have no experience in negotiating in any sort. But if I would like to be involved in the process, I think, yeah, if I was approached, yeah, I think I would.
Q. The NFL is back after its work stoppage, even though it didn’t miss regular season games. What’s your pick for the Super Bowl and why?
ANDY RODDICK: Jeez, I love preseason Super Bowl picks. (Laughter.) Pack/Patriots.
Q. As an American, what would it mean to be around on Sunday for such an emotional day?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it’s something I don’t think — I’d have a hard time imagining it before it happened, if that makes sense. I know it’s a very delicate day. But the one thing I said a couple weeks ago is I was probably never prouder to be an American than in the aftermath of 9/11, just people’s spirit and the way people came together and the way people helped each other. There were even a couple pleases and thank yous thrown around. Even though it was in the midst of devastation, there was still some great memories from it as far as human spirit is concerned.
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