September 4, 2008
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You've clearly ticked him off with comments about SARS and bird flu
and everything. He took himself to bring it up in front of a stadium
that booed him loudly and even Michael tried to steer it and he just
kept it going. Is that a bad call on his part?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, listen, here's the deal: I mean, if you guys
haven't ever seen me joke in a press conference, I'd be shocked, okay?
I think you guys know it was completely meant in jest. Listen, I had
four questions from each one, I had eight questions about all the other
ones. Finally after 12 questions I decided to make light of the
situation and it actually stopped after that. Or it screwed me up and
you guys got me out of it.
I'm willing to talk about it. I don't know if, you know ‑‑ he took it as
seriously. I figure if you're going to joke and imitate other people and
do the whole deal, then you should take it. Listen, if someone makes fun
of me I'm most likely going to laugh. If I'm over the line I'm going to
come in here and say I was ridiculous. And I was wrong. I've been the
worst of it in the past. By no means am I sitting here trying to be
holier than thou or anything like that. But I promise you that if
somebody makes a joke about it I'll probably laugh.
I'm sorry he took it that way. There's nothing else to say. I don't
think I was over the line. It wasn't my intention, and, you know, I'm
sorry he felt that way. Maybe I did him a favor tonight.
Q. It was our comments back and forth, and to be honest with you, today
I heard from five or six or seven people, I heard it on ESPN, I heard it
on USA, those types of things have legs, whether you like it...
ANDY RODDICK: I should know better, but listen, I joke all the time. I
don't think anybody in their right mind takes me serious. I think it's
very clear when I give a serious answer and when I don't give a serious
Maybe that part ‑‑ maybe I should know better, you know, but in my eyes
it's an innocent comment. I felt that most people found it funny and I
tried to build it up ‑‑ if you look at the transcript, I'm saying, I'm
3, he's 8. It's straightforward. I'm trying to build it up as like I'm
the favorite. I said listen, if you want to go last 10 days or go the
last 10 months, he's been the best hardcourt player. I'm throwing
truthful things the whole time. If someone wants to focus in on that and
use it, then by all means, but especially in Novak's case, if you're
going to dish out all the stuff, then be able to take it with a smile,
is the only part that I don't quite agree with.
Q. Have you had an opportunity to talk to him afterward?
ANDY RODDICK: Anything that's going to be said between Novak and I is
going to stay between Novak and I because I'm not going to air out
private conversations in front of you guys, because I just don't feel
like that's necessary.
Q. You were serving 5‑4, it looked like it was going to go into a fifth
set. You had two really good serves to start. What happened from there
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I doubled twice, but you know what? I honestly don't
feel like they were super‑tight doubles, and I've been going for bigger
second serves kind of the whole way back because he was jumping on my
second serve early. Just missed them. He had a really good shot on break
I've been playing pretty high‑risk, high‑reward tennis and I probably
wasn't about to stop.
Given the choice again, I'd probably go for them, you know. That's what
got me back in the match.
Q. You looked pretty nervous at the start of the match. Was there
something bothering you or just the pressure?
ANDY RODDICK: I just wasn't seeing the ball. I felt like everything was
a little bit rushed, and it was unfortunate. By the time I got my legs
under me he was on a little bit of a roll. The fourth set I hit the ball
as well as I have this whole tournament. Credit to him on the
tiebreaker, he really beared down on a couple of points where I really
hit the ball well to win it. He's great at winning those tough matches,
and I'm disappointed that I spotted him a set before I actually got my
feet under me, but, you know, I'm happy with the effort I made to try to
Q. Matches can turn on a dime, but if you hold, going into the fifth set
it's a whole different match.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I know that.
Q. But I mean, it turned that quick for you.
ANDY RODDICK: Well, it turned that quick for me to get back into it,
also. That's tennis. It's a service break. A service break and stuff
changes. You know, especially about ‑‑ I get someone who's not going to
let you make mistakes.
I probably would get out of that game against a lot of people with a
serve‑and‑volley player and they don't hit a topspin lob for a winner.
You've got to give credit there. Like I said I missed those two serves
but I don't feel like I nursed them. I feel like I hit them okay.
You know, there's not a whole lot of regret in the way I played the last
two sets. The first two is another story. Like I said, I dug myself a
hole that was real tough to get out of. I gave it my best shot to get
out them but I think it was too little too late.
Q. Are you, you know, the way you played the way you gutted it out, if
you look back, I know it's a little bit difficult because the tournament
just ended for you, but are you happy, can you look back and reflect and
take some positives out of this tournament, Andy?
ANDY RODDICK: I think. I was playing like absolute crap when I got here.
I mean, really, really bad. Not confident after coming back from the
injuries, and it was, you know, I just didn't feel clean with anything,
and, you know, I played some good tennis here, and ended playing good
You know, it was just the front part of the match today that got me. So,
you know, it's disappointing. It's really disappointing.
But I feel better now than I did, you know, at the beginning of the
summer, like Wimbledon and then through those tournaments and Toronto
where I played pretty bad and Cincy where I had to pull out. I never got
started. This tournament was better than that.
I said the other day you can go in two directions, and I feel like I'm
going in the better direction now than I was, you know, when we first
talked in that press conference on that Saturday.
Q. Do you feel like handicapping that semifinal match between Roger and
Novak at all?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm not touching anything. (laughter.)
Q. He played high level in the breaker, but anything you think you could
have done differently or just the 5‑All point you played tremendous
ANDY RODDICK: I played a bad shot there but honestly I felt like I
bested him back enough. I got with a short one a couple of times. I
probably didn't hit it. It's probably the only shot I nursed in the last
two sets. But I mean I played a couple of great points up to, and credit
to him, at 5‑All point he just beared down and played big. I don't know
how long the rally was but I felt like I hit four or five huge balls and
he fought them off and that's why he's been successful.
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