2015/03/31

Raonic Looks To Make History At This Year’s Final SAP Open

 

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

By Kevin Ware

(February 12, 2013) SAN JOSE, California -This is a bittersweet moment as I prepare my preview for this year’s SAP Open.  The SAP Open, the second-oldest tournament in the US, is ending its’ illustrious run with this final week at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA.  Many great and legendary players have hoisted the trophy through its’ various names and incarnations.  But whether it was the Siebel Open, the Sybase Open, or whatever, it didn’t matter to those of us in the Bay Area who were grateful for a chance to see world-class tennis. This tournament will be greatly missed!

This year’s edition promises one final hurrah with a great field and the addition of a mixed doubles exhibition match on Saturday, featuring longtime SAP Open stalwart Andy Roddick, 3-time Slam champion Lindsay Davenport, and 22-time Slam champion Stephanie “Steffi” Graf.  Defending champion Milos Raonic is also back to try for an historic SAP Open hat trick.  So even though this is the final SAP Open, it definitely promises to go out on a high.

Main draw action started Monday night with Xavier Malisse and Jesse Levine winning first-round matches. With qualifying rounds completed, the action starts in earnest on Tuesday with main draw matches for both singles and doubles.

Here is my breakdown of the quarters as I look for Raonic to make history for the tournament with his third straight title.

 

Milos Raonic [1]

The top quarter features top seeded Milos Raonic, who has a chance to pull off a rare “hat trick” win at this year’s SAP Open after title runs in 2011 and 2012.  How rare is it? No player has won three straight SAP Open titles since Tony Trabert accomplished the feat with wins in ’53, ’54, and ’55.  This includes greats like Ashe, McEnroe, Sampras, Agassi, and Roddick. a win in this final SAP Open would certainly put Milos at par with this very select group of players.

Milos likes the conditions in San Jose, and has played some of his best tennis on this center court over the past couple of years.  His serve has been off the charts, both in terms of pace and placement, and his ground game has been damaging off both his forehand and backhand wings. There isn’t much that’s likely to stop his march to the semifinals; not even a potential quarterfinal rematch against his 2012 finalist, Denis Istomin.

Sam Querrey [3]

The second quarter features Davis Cup hero, Sam Querrey.  It would be easy to peg Querrey as the favorite to make his way through to the semifinals, but he will have his hands full with his most likely second-round challenger, former champion Lleyton Hewitt.  While Hewitt has a first-round encounter with Blaz Kavcic to help him settle into the tournament and get used to the conditions, Sam has a first-round bye.

Most players will tell you that there’s nothing trickier than playing an opponent who’s “into” the tournament when you’re still trying to get used to the conditions. And even if they haven’t played since 2009, Hewitt’s 2-0 head-to-head over Querrey doesn’t help matters much either.  But if Sam settles into the match quickly, he should be okay for the win. On the other hand, Hewitt’s success at this year’s Kooyong exhibition showed that he’s a legitimate contender in best two out of three matches with significant wins over Raonic, Tomas Berdych, and Juan Martin Del Potro.

After Hewitt, seventh seed Marinko Matosevic of AUS will likely be Querrey’s last hurdle for a spot in the semifinals.

Tommy Haas [4]

Speaking of best two out of three set matches, the combination of the format and the quicker indoor court gives the number four seed a decent shot at making the quarterfinals. Once he gets there, however, he’ll have a tough battle to get by Fernando Verdasco [5] for the third semifinal spot.

Tommy has a 2-1 head-to-head edge over Fernando on tour, but they haven’t played since 2009.  In many ways, it’s either player’s match to win or lose.  If Tommy’s body and game hold up, it could happen for him.  Fernando is no slouch, though.  He’s one of three former champions in the field (along with Raonic and Hewitt), and knows what it takes to win in San Jose.

Also, I’m sure Fernando would like a chance at redemption for the title he felt that he wrongly lost in the 2011 final after a fan’s yell on match point distracted him while returning Raonic’s serve.

John Isner [2]

In spite of recent knee issues that kept him from performing his best in Australia, Big John looks to be moving decently and serving at close to his best level.  He lost a five set heartbreaker to Thomaz Bellucci in Davis Cup, but should be okay in San Jose even though he hasn’t played there since 2009.

With a 2-2 head-to-head record, veteran player Xavier Malisse might cause Isner some issues in their probable quarterfinal match-up.  But I’d be hard-pressed to see him not make it through to Saturday’s semifinals.

Semifinal Picks

Milos Raonic [1] versus Sam Querrey [3]

Head-to-head: Querrey leads 2-0

Querrey might have the advantage in the head-to-head numbers, but Milos has owned this court for the past two years.  In a battle of evenly-matched big guys with big serves and big groundstrokes, I have to give the edge to the guy who has won back-to-back titles in the past two years.

Raonic in straight sets.

Tommy Haas [4] versus John Isner [2]

Head-to-head: Isner leads 3-1

Make that 4-1 after this semifinal battle.  Isner has way too much firepower for Haas.  He will make the big guy work for it with smart shot-making, but it won’t be enough to counter Isner’s untouchable serve unless Tommy has a great returning day.

Isner in straight sets.

Final Picks

Milos Raonic [1] versus John Isner [2]

Head-to-head: Isner leads 1-0

They’ve played only once before on a Canadian hard court in last year’s Rogers Cup, with Isner winning a close 7-6(9), 6-4 match.  Serve dominated the stats, as one would expect.  But while Raonic served more aces than Isner, Isner won 91% of his first serves as compared to 78% for Raonic.  In a close match that can make all the difference.

I expect this match to go the distance, with the winner being determined by the same factors i.e. winning serve percentages.  If John keeps his percentages high, he’s got a good shot at thwarting the Raonic three-peat.  If not, Raonic has a “slightly” better ground game on which to fall back than Isner.

For all practical purposes, it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top.  For history’s sake at this last SAP Open, I’ll go with Raonic for the three-peat.

Raonic in three sets.

Kevin Ware is in San Jose covering the SAP Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak.

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Oz and Ends – Day One at the 2013 Australian Open

Melbourne park grounds

Oz and ends  and bits of news from the Australian Open for January 14, 2013

 

Bagels and breadsticks

Maria Sharapova won her first match of the Australian Open 6-0, 6-0 in 55 minutes over fellow Russian Olga Puchkova. It was her third career “double bagel” in a major tournament. She only needs a double bagel at Wimbledon to complete a “double bagel slam.”

Three women have completed the “double bagel slam” – they are Hall of Famers Chris Evert, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles.

Venus Williams added to the bagel set count with a 6-1, 6-0 demolishing of Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboeva.

 

Win streak continues

Agnieszka Radwanska has extended her 2013 win streak to 10 by defeating Australian wild card entry Bojana Bobusic of 7-5, 6-0 on Monday.
Twitter News

Maria Sharapova has officially joined twitterverse. Follow her at @MariaSharapova

[tweet https://twitter.com/MariaSharapova/status/290778598774829058]

 

Tweets of the day

 

 

Lucky Loser is a winner
Tim Smyczek is lucky loser was a winner on Monday with a 6-4, 7-6, 7-5 victory over Ivo Karlovic. The American it into the draw thanks to housemate John Isner who pulled out of the tournament with a right knee injury.

 

Tough day for Aussies

Matthew Ebden, Ashleigh Barty, Olivia Rogowska, Sasha Jones,  John Millman, Lleyton, Hewitt and Casey Dellacqua all exited on day one of Australian Open. Sam Stosur was the only victorious Australian on Monday.

 

Two seeds falls

The 11th seed Juan Monaco was the only seeded played not to win on Monday. The Argentine who withdrew from last week’s Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament with a hand injury was clearly stuggling clearly struggling on the court in his straight set loss to Alex Kuznentsov, was applauded by spectators for not retiring from the match.

Monaco told Reuters: “My leg tightened up at the start of the second set and it was very tough for me,” pointing to his right leg.

On the women’s side Ksenia Pervak  stopped 32nd seed Mona Barthel 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.

Federer out of Davis Cup

Roger Federer will not participate in Switzerland’s first round Davis Cup tie versus the reigning champions, the Czech Republic

 

Five set marathons

[22] Fernando Verdasco def. David Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
[10] Nicolas Almagro def Steve Johnson 7-5, 6-7, 6-2, 6-7, 6-2
Edouard Rogers-Vasselin def. Ruben Bemelmans 6-3, 6-7, 2-6, 7-5, 11-9
Daniel Gimeno-Traver def. Lukasz Kubot 6-7, 6-4, 6-0, 4-6, 6-4
[23] Mikhail Youzhny def. Matt Ebden 4-6, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6, 6-3
[28] Marcos Baghdatis def. Albert Ramos 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3
Roberto Bautista Agut def. Fabio Fognini 6-0, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
[31] Radek Stepanek def. Viktor Troicki 5-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 7-5;
Brian Baker def. Alex Bogomolov 7-6, 6-3, 6-7, 3-6, 6-2.

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News

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Almagro Stops Roddick to Win Miami Tennis Cup Exhibition Tournament

(December 2, 2012) No. 11 Nicolas Almagro stopped the recently retired Andy Roddick 6-4, 7-5 on Sunday at the Miami Tennis Cup exhibition event held at Crandon Park, the home of the Sony Open.

The win marked the first time Almagro had never take a set off of Roddick. While Roddick was on the pro tour he was 2-0 versus the Spaniard going 4-0 in sets.

“I think it was a really good match, and he’s a very good player,” Almagro said. “I’m really happy with my game, although I think I can do better, but it’s the end of the season, and I’m a little bit tired. I’m happy to be the first champion of the Miami Tennis Cup and I think it’s a fun and enjoyable tournament. I hope to be back next year”

In between the hard-hitting rallies, the players mixed in some “hit and giggle” tennis which entertained the fans.

“I enjoy playing tennis still, and it was never about me not enjoying tennis,” Roddick said after the match. “It was about me not being able to commit to being a professional tennis player.”

“I enjoyed myself and it’s nice for me to come back in a competitive atmosphere. I’ve been happy with how I played and I’m glad they had me here. I think the crowd have enjoyed the tennis they’ve seen.”

So what’s next for the 30-year-old American? No training certainly for Roddick  but more golf. He’s back to full husband duties following his wife model-actress Brooklyn Decker around.

“The tables have turned.”

 

© MiamiTennisNews.com

 

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Serena Williams, Roddick, Raonic and Radwanska Participate in Toronto Face-Off (Photo Gallery)

(November 16, 2012) TORONTO – A crowd of 6,558 came out to watch Milos Raonic, Andy Roddick, Serena Williams and Agniezska Radwanska in the Sport Chek Face-Off exhibition match on Friday night at Air Canada Centre.

The recently retired American Roddick topped Canadian Raonic 6-4, 4-6, 10-7. Roddick entertained the crown with his impressions of Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

When asked about if Roddick should consider a comeback, Raonic said “I hope not.”

“What kind of shape am I in now? Well round is a shape,” Roddick joked. “I had a very detailed retirement plan, and I feel like I’ve met every aspect of it – a lot of golf, a lot of carbs, a lot of fried food, and some booze, occasionally – I’ve been completely.

No. 3 and 15-time major champion Serena Williams lost to No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-4 in a rematch of the most recent Wimbledon final.

The evening began with a “hit and giggle” mixed doubles match between Team Canada represented by Raonic and Radwanska versus Team USA’s Roddick and Williams.

The players were joined by various Canadian celebrities including CBC personality George Stroumboulopoulos, Adrian Grenier of the HBO show “Entourage,” “Bachelor” star Brad Smith and CFL commissioner Mark Cohon.

All photos by Marc-André Gauthier

[nggallery id=68]

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James Blake Joins Players In Raising Money To Benefit Those Affected By Hurricane Sandy

( November 12, 2012) James Blake, who currently resides (and grew up) in Connecticut, is helping raise money to benefit those affected by Hurricane Sandy. He’s auctioning off three of his match jerseys featuring his autograph along with those of top American tennis stars Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and Sam Querrey. 100% of the proceeds will go to the Red Cross.

“Seeing the devastation in areas I grew up around is difficult,” said Blake. “The people of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut are surely resilient, but there’s still room for us all to help. I’ve selected the Red Cross because it does an amazing job on multiple levels; it provides everything from food and blankets to mental health support for those affected.”

The eBay Giving Works auctions last 7 days. Those who want to make a bid can go to:

EBay Jerseys

For more details visit www.JamesBlakeTennis.com

Blake wed long-time girlfriend Emily Snider on Friday, according to People Magazine. The couple have a five-month old daughter named Riley Elizabeth.

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US Open Finals & Andy Roddick Tribute on ESPN Classic

ESPN Classic will air the US Open Finals as “Instant Classics” today, Tuesday, Sept. 11, starting at 5 p.m. ET  The Women’s Final – Serena Williams earning her 15th Major championship in a three-set thriller over top-ranked Victoria Azarenka – will be seen first, followed at 8 p.m. by a five-hour telecast of the Men’s Final between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.  Murray captured his first Major victory by edging the defending champion in a five-set marathon.

In addition, ESPN Classic will pay tribute to the now-retired Andy Roddick with an 18-hour, five-match marathon of great matches starting Wed., Sept. 12, at noon.  The schedule includes his 2003 US Open semifinal and final and the epic 2009 Wimbledon Final against Roger Federer:

 

Date Time (ET) Match
Wed, Sept 12 Noon 2003 Australian Open: Roddick vs El Ayanoui
  5 p.m. 2009 Wimbledon Final: Roddick vs Federer
  10 p.m. 2003 US Open Semifinal: Roddick vs Nalbandian
Thur, Sept 13 1 a.m. 2003 US Open Final: Roddick vs Ferrero
  3 a.m. 2012 US Open: Roddick vs Del Potro

 

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Serena Williams, Agnieszka Radwanksa, Raonic and Roddick to Participate in “Face-Off”

Toronto, September 10, 2012 – Tennis Canada and Lagardere Unlimited announced Monday that “The Face-Off” will return to Canada in November with a new roster of superstar tennis players. Joining Canada’s No. 1 singles player Milos Raonic, will be former world No. 1 Andy Roddick, who recently retired from tournament play at the US Open, 15-time Grand Slam champion and recent US Open titlist Serena Williams and current world No. 3 and 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanksa. The “Face-Off” will be held in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre on November 16 at 7 p.m.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to play this unique event again this year,” said Raonic. “Other than at Rogers Cup once a year and the occasional Davis Cup tie in Canada, I don’t get to play in front of the home crowd very often. This event gives me the chance to play in front of my Toronto fans, friends and family while showcasing some of the all-time great players like Pete Sampras last year and now Andy and Serena. It’s going to be great to give Toronto fans another chance to see world-class tennis again this year.”

“Milos, in a very short period of time, is already one of the big names in tennis,” said Roddick. “This event is a great showcase for him and for tennis and I’m really looking forward to being part of it. I always loved coming to Toronto throughout my career and I missed the chance this summer due to injury before I retired. It will be great to get back there in November for the chance to thank all the fans who supported me over the years.”

In addition to the marquee match-up between two of tennis’ biggest hitters, Raonic and Roddick, the evening will feature a re-match of this year’s Wimbledon final between Williams and Radwanska. The foursome will also pair up for a mixed doubles match, as well as with some special celebrity guests who will join in on the action.

“Milos reminds me so much of Andy and what he did for American tennis when he burst onto the tennis scene with such a huge serve and powerful game,” said Williams. “I am really excited to play in this event with him, Andy and Aga and help support the huge growth of tennis in Canada.”

“It is really an honor for me to play with Andy, Milos and Serena in this event,” said Radwanska.  “It was a dream come true playing in the Wimbledon finals against Serena and I am so glad I get a chance to play her again in Toronto.”

Tickets will go on-sale to the public on Monday, September 17 at Noon ET. For all events and games at Air Canada Centre, tickets can be purchased at the Ticket Office located in the west end of the Galleria near Gate 1. Fans may also purchase tickets for an event coming to Air Canada Centre by calling Ticketmaster at 1-855-985-5000, visiting any Ticketmaster outlet or online at the Ticketmaster Canada (www.ticketmaster.ca) website.  Ticket prices (incl. HST) range from $35-$150 (plus FMF and service charges) with a family 4-pack available for as low as $25 per ticket. For more event information please visit www.faceofftennis.com.

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An interview with Andy Roddick

An interview with Andy Roddick – Wednesday, September 5, 2012

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

 

Q.  What are the emotions?

ANDY RODDICK:  I don’t know.  You know, playing the last five games was pretty hard.  Once I got down a break I could barely look at my box.  I don’t know what the emotions are.  I’m a little overwhelmed right now.  I normally feel like I can grasp things pretty quickly and clearly; I certainly don’t feel that way right now.

 

Q.  I think you ought to be clapped to.

ANDY RODDICK:  Thanks, man.

(Applause.)

 

Q.  There is a tradition of the press that there is no applause in the press box, no applause at a press conference, there is no applause at anything like that, but you deserve it.

ANDY RODDICK:  Thanks, Bud.

(Applause.)

 

Q.  You have had a lot of chances and opportunities to reflect on your career since you made the announcement and even leading up to it.  What do you consider the most rewarding aspect that you have experienced?

ANDY RODDICK:  It’s so hard.  I mean, I get asked these big questions and I’m not good at choosing.  You know, I’m not sure.  You know, I know the thing that is certain is I didn’t take any of it for granted.  You know, I think I went about things the right way.  The umpires might disagree with me.  (Laughter.)  You know, I was consistent, and I don’t feel like I left a lot on the table on a daily basis.  When I look back, that’s probably what I’m proud of.

 

Q.  You may not remember this.  You were 17 years old.  You’re playing in Delray Beach, it’s Saturday night, the fans are were all over you.  A woman said, Andy, would you sign my chest?  And you said, I wasn’t brought up that way.  How were you…

ANDY RODDICK:  I had just never seen a boob before, to be honest.  (Laughter.)  It was just ‑‑ that was overwhelming for me.  This is the second time I have been overwhelmed.  (Laughter.)

 

Q.  How many thoughts were going through your mind?  Can you just share one or two?  When you’re about to serve or receive, how do you keep things out of your mind?  What was running through your mind?

ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, like I said, it was tough.  Once he kind of got up there in that match it was a different set of circumstances than my previous matches.  You know, then you start thinking about, you know, how real it is and, you know, a lot of thoughts go through your head.  You’re thinking about matches you’re playing when you’re 12 or you’re thinking about ‑‑ you know, I was thinking about my mom driving me to practices all over the place.  You just think about a million things.  Then all of a sudden you have to play a point against one of the best players in the world.  It certainly was a mixed bag there at the end.

 

Q.  I’m assuming you never served with tears in your eyes before; am I right?

ANDY RODDICK:  No.  I mean, you try to keep it as best you can.  I have done better over the last week or so than I thought I would.  Like I said, this was all new for me.  I had seen most things that this game had to offer, and this was entirely new.  It was emotional, but not emotional like we normally have it.  It’s normally a very selfish emotion for us.  It’s if we do badly then it costs us something; if we do well we get great things.  This was about something bigger.  It wasn’t about ranking points or paychecks or anything else, you know.  It was fun.  This week I felt like I was, you know, 12 years old playing in a park.  It was extremely innocent.  That was fun.  I enjoyed it.

 

Q.  Were you actually losing it during that last service game?

ANDY RODDICK:  Well, literally losing it.  I almost got broken.  (Laughter.)  No, I don’t remember.  I mean, I felt like I was on the verge for a little while, so I’m not sure what I actually got through.

 

Q.  Before the start of the tournament did you craft an ending for yourself and what would have been the perfect ending for you, do you think?

ANDY RODDICK:  No, I don’t really prepare things.  You know, I didn’t know before the tournament that that was that.  I knew in the middle of my match in the first round, and then I gave myself a day not to be, you know, kind of reactionary.  I woke up one of the days and Brooke was out running an errand and I kind of had an hour and a half to myself, and I was just walking back and forth.  Then, you know, kind of started texting her frantically and telling her I need to chat.  Saying it out loud was the hardest part for me.  Then started calling people so they wouldn’t hear it from you bunch first.  (Smiling.)  Yeah, I don’t know that I crafted any part of this besides coming in here and sharing it with you all.

 

Q.  You think, having said all that, the way it worked out in the end playing Del Potro on that court ‑ it wasn’t a night match but a day match ‑ but do you feel good about the setting in a sense?

ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah.  I mean, I don’t know that I had a plan.  You know, I was just going to try to win.  It was perfect.  This whole week has been perfect, you know.  Rain‑delayed match, come back the next day.  It’s like typical US Open.  Played with me in the end, so I guess it was right.

 

Q.  You win the first set; you get broke in the first game of the second set.  Did that really turn any momentum there, or did it matter?

ANDY RODDICK:  Third set or…

 

Q.  I mean third, yeah.

ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, I mean, I think I played really well up until the second set breaker; I played two pretty bad points there.  You know, once he kind of gets his feet under him he likes to swing free.  I think he freed up a little bit and I gave him a couple of looks.  The third set was a bit of a wash.  The fourth set, 1‑All game, I had a pretty good look there.  I think that was the point for me to try to turn it.

 

Q.  A lot of players, all players come on the tour very young.  You were successful very young.  Honestly, how long did it take you to put winning and losing into perspective?

ANDY RODDICK:  When do you learn perspective?  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I think I’ve always had a pretty decent grasp of it.  You know, obviously you’re not happy.  No one is happy when they have a bad day at work.  Especially if your bad day of work occurred in front of a lot of people and then you had to go explain yourself, you know.  It’s not always easy.  I never wanted to be the guy who complained about something I had because I realize how lucky I have been.  I think I always realized that.  I don’t know that there was an age where I didn’t realize that.

 

Q.  You mentioned the day of work and having to explain yourself, good or bad.  That is part of the job, especially somebody who has played with your stature.  You get the big room.  You’re sitting here for the last time talking to us.  We have been through highs and lows together.  Just kind of final thoughts on your final press conference, your relationship with us.

ANDY RODDICK:  (Laughter.)  I made a joke when Austin and Tim came and got me.  I was walking out of the locker room, and I said, Man, I think I have more expectation of this press conference than I did the match today.  So, you know, like you said, I think it’s at the point now where I look back on rough moments fondly, you know, in these rooms.  I hope you all do, too.  There has certainly been some good ones; there have been some fun I ones.  There has been some horrible ones both ways, but it wasn’t boring.

 

Q.  You talked about sort of having recollections out there in the heat of the matches.  What were the matches when you were 12 and what did your mom have to go through in terms of traipsing around, early wakeups, long miles?

ANDY RODDICK:  Jeez, I mean, sunup to sundown.  My brother played, too.  She was running a shuttle service for a couple of years, basically, a pro bono shuttle service.  You know, I said the other day when you were asking about my parents, I said, They gave me every opportunity they didn’t have.  I was fortunate.  You know, after the fact, they have never really wanted anything.  I think they’ve just been happy that I tried to make the most of opportunities given.

 

Q.  You have been long enough around new American tennis players, the younger ones.  Who can you fill in your shoes and be the next American No. 1?

ANDY RODDICK:  Let’s not do the “next.”  Let’s let them have their own personality and let’s let them do their thing and let them grow.  I think I’d love to help any of them, you know.  I think they know that the door is open.  There is no filling shoes.  You know, I think we’ve got to be looking for individuals, not clones.

 

Q.  How do you want your career to be remembered?  What are you proudest of about your playing career?

ANDY RODDICK:  I want everyone to look back and think that I was awesome.  (Laughter.)  I don’t know.  That’s for you all to decide.  You know, again, it’s tough for me to be objective and kind of look outside in.  You guys will do a fair job of expressing it, I’m sure.

 

Q.  When you will talk to your kids…

ANDY RODDICK:  I was hoping you would jump in.  (Laughter.)

 

Q.  What will you tell them first?  Your father was…

ANDY RODDICK:  I don’t know.  I don’t know.  We’re talking about a conversation that’s ten years away and you’re asking me to kind of articulate it.  Hopefully I’ll have some recent stuff that I can tell them about.

 

Q.  Before that last game the crowd starts chanting, Let’s go Andy.  You have had moments like that out on Ashe before, but it’s going to be tough to replace.  Do you think you’ll be longing for those moments as the years go by?

ANDY RODDICK:  I’m not ignorant to the fact that it’s a huge part of me and that I won’t miss it; of course I will.  I’m not pretending like there aren’t going to be hard days.  But, you know, I feel pretty settled in the decision and I feel content and happy with it.

 

Q.  Did you bottle that moment today, though?

ANDY RODDICK:  I was trying.  You know, like I said, you kind of have to wrestle your thoughts and the task at hand, because it’s not done until you’re actually done.  You know, so it was challenging.

 

Q.  Does one celebrate a retirement?

ANDY RODDICK:  I mean, I’m probably not going to be opposed to a beer or ten.  We’ll see how that goes.  (Laughter.)

 

Q.  How hard was it to talk to the crowd after the match?  What were your thoughts when you were sitting there?  Just moments after the match your head was in the towel and everything.

ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, I mean, it’s hard talking in those moments.  You know, your voice gets a little scratchy.  You can stand there all day.  You know, the two moments I remember that it was kind of hard was Wimbledon, and kind of got through that one.  But today was ‑‑ I didn’t know where to start, what to say.  There are so many things I wanted to say, but I didn’t have confidence in talking for a long time without dribbling a little bit.  Hopefully I did a decent job.  You know, I had no confidence going into talking out loud after that one.

 

Q.  You have carried the torch for men’s tennis for this country for a long time.  Is it fitting that you end your career as the last American male standing?

ANDY RODDICK:  I would have rather not had it that way, especially with kind of the way Mardy went out.  You know, I didn’t like seeing that, that being the reason why.  I have never been against having company, you know.  I would have loved for a lot more of us to have still been in.

 

Q.  Is there anything you didn’t get to say out there a little while ago that you want to say now?

ANDY RODDICK:  I’m sure there are a lot of things that I’m going to want to say.  It’s tough at any given moment with a line or two.  You know, I don’t know that I can kind of encompass everything that I’m thankful for and everything that I would want to say, all the people I’d want to talk to in this short amount of time.

 

Q.  No doubt about it, you were given the role of the most popular tennis player out there.  You became the ambassador of tennis, Saturday Night Live, all the commercials.  How cool was that?  Was it always fun?  Was it ever something that was a heavy duty, also, that you carried that role.

ANDY RODDICK:  No, it was a great time.  I mean, there is no ‑‑ I hear people who have some sort of success, you know, and complain about it sometimes.  I don’t get it.  I don’t understand it all the time.  Like I have told you all forever, for every one negative there are ten positives.  I don’t think that’s ever not been the case.

 

Q.  Of all the tributes to you today, one of the most striking to me seemed to be the way Juan Martin handled it.  When they announced him as the winner, he pointed his racquet to you.  When they interviewed him on the court he basically said this is your day ‑ and then even how he was with you at the net.  I’m curious what your thoughts were about that and what he did say to you when you met and embraced?

ANDY RODDICK:  To tell you what kind of guy he is, I wasn’t surprised by any of it because I don’t think you’ll find someone that doesn’t like him or doesn’t think he’s a class act.  You know, I was happy that I got the opportunity to play him today.  You know, probably wasn’t an easy situation for him.  I thought he handled it great.  I’m thankful to him for that.

 

Q.  When Andre retired a few years ago it seemed he prepared some remarks when he got the microphone after his match.  Did you ever think about doing that, or is that just not your style?

ANDY RODDICK:  I didn’t think of it.  I probably should have.  (Laughter.)  Andre is always a little bit more prepared than I am.  I didn’t think much about it.  I kind of assumed that I would just be answering questions.  I’m better at answering questions than I am creating something on my own.  When that happened, I kind of took a second.  No, I didn’t have anything prepared.

 

Q.  What has been your approach to the burden of being the face of American tennis and always being asked those questions and having that pressure on you?

ANDY RODDICK:  It just is what it is.  You know, I wasn’t going to shy away from it, for sure.  I mean, you get knocked down.  You know the burden.  I understand it.  I understand the fact that we come from, you know, a place which probably had more success than any other tennis country where there are certain expectations.  I fell right on the back end of the golden generation, and so that was just the cards that were dealt.  But as tough a situation as it is, in the grand scheme of things it’s a dream.  It’s something you want.  That’s not hard.  Someone who’s got, you know, however many kids and is working two jobs to buy food, that’s hard.  What I had to deal with wasn’t hard.

 

Q.  You have talked about as a junior early days how you weren’t a very good player.  Were there a couple of I can’t believe…

ANDY RODDICK:  To be fair, I was really good when I was 11 and then I got terrible and then I got good again.

 

Q.  When you got to the pros, 2003 or Wimbledon or Davis Cup after winning a match where you just said, I just cannot believe it’s me holding this trophy or accomplishing this?

ANDY RODDICK:  Most things.  You know, I went from being about 40 in the world ‑‑ it was just fast.  Everything happened fast.  I think I was 40 or 50 in the world in juniors in ’99, and then all of a sudden I was 14 in the world after I lost to Lleyton here in 2001.  You know, just lost to him and I was feeling pretty good about the way I was playing, you know, at the time.  And then kind of everything else that came along with it after that.  I don’t know that I grasped what was happening while it was happening, but I certainly kind of get it now.  But it just happened really fast.  There were a lot of moments like that.

 

Q.  You’re a young kid playing in the garage beating Edberg and Lendl, and then you come out to the real world and you accomplished three of the four goals you always said you wanted with the Open, No. 1, and a great Davis Cup win.  Just talk about in your own mind your own feeling of achievement from a ridiculous kid who loved this sport to…

ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, it’s funny, because if you tell a 12‑ or 13‑year‑old kid that he’s going to win 30‑some odd titles and become one of 20 for this and 20 for that and be No. 1 and have a slam, you’d take that in a heartbeat.  Going back, I would have taken that in a heartbeat.  There was a lot of tough moments but unbelievable moments.  I mean, who gets to play in Wimbledon finals and who gets to play in an Open and who gets to be part of a winning team?  Most people don’t get to experience that.  You know, like I said ‑ I’ve said it a million times and I’m probably boring you guys now ‑ but I realize the opportunities I had.

 

Q.  And being just a special friend and mentor for generation of players too, is that special right up there with the trophies?

ANDY RODDICK:  I don’t know.  You’d have to ask them.  I always tried to be a dude around the guys.  You just try to be a human.  I don’t know.  That’s what you should do.

 

Q.  Do you envision a plaque in Newport, Rhode Island, with your name on it?

ANDY RODDICK:  That’s not for me to say.  That’s not my choice.  Obviously it’s the ultimate honor of any tennis player, and that’s something I’d be extremely humbled by.  But I’m certainly not going to be presumptuous about anything.  If it happens, I’ll be thrilled and amazed.  If it doesn’t, I’ll probably still be thrilled and amazed with what I was able to see.

 

Q.  Do you recall the first time you played in this stadium and your reaction to it all?

ANDY RODDICK:  Well, I hit in it when I was a junior, warmed Moya up.  But I think played Slava Dosedel in 2001, won 6‑4, 6‑2, 6‑1, so yes.  (Laughter.)  Hope I didn’t get that wrong.  (Laughter.)

 

Q.  We’ll check it.

ANDY RODDICK:  I’m sure.

 

Q.  You spoke earlier about ’91 and being here.  Have you heard from Jimmy week?

ANDY RODDICK:  It’s not really Jimmy’s style to get in the middle when it’s cool to get in the middle.  We’ll probably touch base in the next couple of weeks.

 

Q.  Worked with a lot of different people in your career.  Wonder if there was anything someone said to you, either a coach, a friend, a peer, who when you look back sort of helped you as you navigated the ups and downs of your career.

ANDY RODDICK:  I mean, I learned a lot of things.  I was lucky because, you know, I got to be around all of our best champions.  I knew them all well.  You know, all my idols became friends and people that I could talk to.  You know, I remember doing XOs with Andre, and he’d teach me things like you leave a room and it’s someone you’re going to see again, write some names down.  Remember names.  That’s something you should do.  That’s a sign of respect.  He would show me, you know, kind of when you’re 18 you fumble along and mumble your name, and he wasn’t okay with that.  You know, so little things like that he helped a lot with.

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Andy Roddick’s Career ends with US Open loss to Del Potro

 

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY –  Andy Roddick’s career is over. The American lost in the fourth round of the US Open on Wednesday  to No. 7 seed Juan Martin Del Potro 6-7 (1), 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4 in a match spread over two days due to rain.

Roddick the 2003 US Open champion announced on Thursday, his 30th birthday, that he would retire after the US Open.

“Andy has been an outstanding ambassador for our sport and our country, always carrying himself with the character and class that define a champion. In addition to representing the U.S. on the world stage, he was a Davis Cup stalwart and standout. We could not be more proud of Andy and all that he has accomplished in his brilliant career, and we wish him every success and happiness in his retirement from the pro game.”

-USTA Chairman of the Board Jon Vegosen

“It was really tough moment for me and for him, also, “ Del Potro said about having to play Roddick.  “Last point of his life.  The crowd was amazing for both players.  I really enjoyed in that way, but it wasn’t easy for me to play.  I had to close the match with my serve.  I was nervous, but he made some misses and was easier for me.  But anyway, was an unbelievable match.

“I played better than my last match.  I was really high intensity during all the match, and Andy played really well.  I don’t know if he are pretty sure to stop to play because, in this way he’s going to be dangerous in the next tournaments for us.  But also he retired in fantastic shape.  It’s amazing.”

Del Potro will play Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals.

 

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Notes and Quotes from Days 7 and 8 of the 2012 US Open

Q.  Do you feel like the Italians are doing well?

ROBERTA VINCI:  For sure, for sure.  When Schiavone won Roland Garros and Flavia goes to top 10, also Sara final in Roland Garros.  Me, I try, yeah, to come like the other one for sure, yeah.

 

 

Q.  How does it feel to have to come into the big interview room?

ROBERTA VINCI:  It’s nice.  It’s not easy to speak English for me.  But it’s nice to see a lot of journalists.  It’s nice.

 

 

Q.  Is it fair to say that a racquet change has caused a career change for you?

SARA ERRANI:  Yes, I think so.  Of course.  This year with this racquet made me feel different on the court and make me feel much better.  This is the best year of my life, for sure.  Of course.

 

Q.  You couldn’t get that racquet from Wilson?

SARA ERRANI:  No.  We tried to find a solution, but we couldn’t.  We tried to take one similar as possible or make the changes, but was not possible.  It was like practicing loving that racquet, so I just say, Okay, doesn’t matter.  This time I have to try this, and was good.

 

 

Q.  You and Vinci have a very successful partnership.  What do you think is the key to your doubles success with Roberta?

SARA ERRANI:  The doubles key?

 

Q.  Why are you so successful together?

SARA ERRANI:  First thing I can say is because we are also very friends outside the court.  This one is one thing that helps very much on the court, because, you know, the other, they are to help the other.  But also because we are playing both very good, I think this year we are playing very good tennis.  So everything.  Also this one.

 

Q.  Losing 12 games in the first few rounds total, what does that say about the way you’re playing and the state of your game?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don’t think it says anything.  I just think it just says I’m focused.  I take that back.  It says I’m focused, but it just says that I’m just trying like everyone else to be consistent at to do the best that I can.

 

Q.  What’s your evaluation of what you’ve done so far?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I honestly don’t think I started out strong in the tournament.  I feel like today I’m getting more comfortable with the court and comfortable with the conditions.  I’m getting back to more my game, which is good.  You know, I like to play better during the second week.  Hopefully I can do that.

 

Q.  You still have four‑and‑a‑half hours between your singles match and doubles, so about three and a half left.  What are you going to do in that time?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I’m going to go hang out with my mom and Chip and I’m going to see my sister and probably get something to eat.  Then I’ll get ready, start getting taped to get ready for the doubles.

 

Q.  What do you think about the scheduling?  Would you have preferred to play back‑to‑back singles and doubles?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, definitely prefer to play back‑to‑back, but I’m not one to complain about scheduling.  At least I have a match as opposed to not having a match.  That’s how I try to look at it.
Q.  What are your thoughts on Ana Ivanovic, where she is and as she tries to get back to that top level that she was at a while ago?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  She’s playing well.  Every time I play her in particular she plays really well.  She goes for a lot of shots.  She’s such a big hitter.  Even though she’s really fit, she’s hitting so hard.  She’s always playing so well.  Obviously being No. 1, having that Grand Slam under your belt, she knows what it’s like to win.

 

Q.  What do you remember most about your last match with her?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Was it here?

 

Q.  A year ago.

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Okay.  Yeah, I remember clearly not a lot, but I will be looking at the film.  (Laughing.)

 

Q.  How would you rate how you feel now, how you’re playing right now?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I feel good.  I feel like I’m playing better.  I felt like I hit better today than I had in my other matches.  I wanted to do better.  As each match goes on I want to try to get better.

 

Q.  You spoke on the court about balancing and intensity.  How are you doing that?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I’m just telling myself to stay calm, stay relaxed.  That’s the main thing I tell myself.  Everyone tells me to stay relaxed.  My whole theory is everyone can’t be wrong.  Okay, Serena, maybe you need to stay relaxed out here.

 

Q.  Sisters get annoyed with each other and so do doubles partners, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen you and Venus disagree with each other on court.  Do you ever recall disagreeing?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  We try to be very professional out there.  We disagree on‑court then maybe other people would be more excited.  In general I can’t ask for a better partner in doubles ever, so I don’t see anything I should be upset about or disappointed with.

 

Q.  Who’s in charge there?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  Venus is the leader.  She’s definitely the leader.  I think she was the leader because when we first started she was older and obviously so much better than I was.  She always took the lead position.  So she’s definitely the leader, but we are both such A‑players and such A‑type personalities that we both can be leaders if one of us is down.  I can easily take over that position, and I welcome it.  So it’s great.  It’s the best chemistry.

 

Q.  You have had a long great career, but if you could go back before you started playing and face a player in a match, whether it be Billie Jean or Chrissie Evert, Althea Gibson, what legend would you enjoy playing in a match?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  For probably for sure would choose Althea out of those names because being the first African‑American tennis player and having to do what she did sleeping in cars and just everything.  I think it would be really cool to just hit with her

 

Q.  She brought a real athleticism and ferocity to the game.

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think she brought more than athleticism.  She was thinking on the court.  She clearly had to because there wasn’t a lot of pace back then.  Had to be pretty precise and hit your shots.  I think she did all that really well.

 

Q.  You’re an elite tennis player, really competitive.  Still when you go up 6‑0, 5‑0, is it hard not to feel a little sympathy?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  No, in this particular case she was fighting really hard.  You give people any type of chance, especially in tennis, the match is never over until you shake hands.  There is always a comeback available.  So I didn’t want to give her that opportunity ‑ or anyone that opportunity ‑ to try to come back, especially her in particular.  She was getting so pumped up and she never gave up.  I thought that was really incredibly positive.

 

Q.  If somebody just looked at your scores to get to this point, especially today, they would think you’ve had an easy road.  Is there any misconception to that, do you think?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think my road has been a journey.  I don’t think anything’s easy.  I don’t think anything is easy.  I never play a person and say, Oh, that was an easy opponent.  No, I have never done that.  Everything takes some type of match and mental toughness.

 

Q.  Could you just talk about comparing runs at tournaments?  You have had a relatively clear, easy time here.  Wimbledon was really tough.  There were a couple of huge scares there.  You were on the precipice.  What’s the difference?  Is there any advantage at all of getting that so close to being knocked out?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  There’s definitely an advantage.  I think my last round, my third‑round match, I was pushed a little bit.  That really helped me to prepare for today.  So I think I’ve gotten that push that I needed.  No need for me to go 9‑7 or 7‑6 in the third or 8‑7 or whatever.  I clearly am not ‑‑ whatever.  Yeah, so it’s definitely something that I think is sometimes good.  When I have had enough match play and I’m really match fit and I’m really physically fit, so I feel like it’s not going to make a difference whether I’m winning 7‑6 in the third or 6‑Love in the second.

 

Q.  On Thursday you were frustrated with your performance, it seemed, even though you won.  After that match you said here that maybe you woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  Today you played even better, played dominant.  How are you feeling these days?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I feel better.  Thursday I was a little disappointed in the way I played; Saturday I played a little better in the second; so today was better.  That’s how it should be in my game.  I try to improve every day.

 

Q.  What sense do you have of the havoc that your serve creates with opponents?  How would you describe what your serve does?

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I don’t know what it does because I have never faced it.  (Laughter.)

 

Q.  What do you think it does

SERENA WILLIAMS:  And I don’t want to.  I don’t think about that.  Like I’m not one to sit there and say, It’s so good, it’s so good, I want it to keep being better.  I want to do more with my serve.  I honestly don’t think about it.  I just think, Okay, hold serve, hold serve.

 

Q.  Where is it now compared with the best serves you have hit…

SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think I hit unbelievable serves at Wimbledon and the Olympics.  I’m not in that level yet, but I always try to play better in my last matches of a Grand Slam.

 

Q.  Can you talk about your matchups with Roger over the years and what you expect when you play him?

TOMAS BERDYCH:  Well, I mean, our last actually six matches we played it’s 3‑All, so it’s a quite nice statistics.  But, you know, this is another one.  We didn’t play couple of months.  In that time, I mean, he played some incredible tennis again.  You know, he won another Grand Slam, become No. 1 again, so, you know, probably is not ‑‑ there is no better player at all to play right now, so, yeah, I mean, when I saw the draw in the beginning, it was like, Yeah, that would be the goal to get into play a match with Roger.  I’m there, so I will try to do my best.  We will see.

 

Q.  You had, I don’t know, eight or nine matches.  You beat him obviously in Athens and then eight or nine times you lost to him, but it has gotten close lately.  Do you have a different approach now because of that when you play him?  The last few matches have been a lot closer ‑ not closer, but at least you’ve won, as you say, three of the last six.

TOMAS BERDYCH:  Yeah, I mean, last matches it’s tough to say if I get closer or not.  I mean, I was able to beat him three times, so whatever situation it was it just happens.  So he’s now strong again and we will see how it’s gonna be, but I think it’s gonna be quite different match than the matches before.  You know, I’m different player as well.  I’m getting, you know, more experience and, yeah, feeling good.  So we will see what’s gonna happen there.

 

Q.  What’s the difference with you since Toronto and Cincinnati where you didn’t play too well and you seem to be playing a lot better here?

TOMAS BERDYCH:  Well, yeah, that’s definitely different, you know, from the time there.  But, you know, the season is long.  Yeah, of course it’s a goal to be able to keep playing well every week by week, but once it didn’t happen, it’s just the thing that, you know, you have to deal with that, you know, work hard again, and, you know, win couple of matches and your confidence can get back.  That’s what every tennis player needs.

 

Q.  The top three players have won 30 out of the last 31 majors; Del Potro obviously won here.  Is it purely talent?  Is it purely physical?  Is there also a psychological component to it?

TOMAS BERDYCH:  No, I don’t think so.  Well, I don’t know what could be like psychological thing.  I don’t see it.  I mean, they are too good.  I think the statistics just makes it quite clear.  That’s how it is.  I mean, probably if there wouldn’t be three of them, would be maybe one or two, it would definitely be different.  But, you know, once one player is on the run winning almost everything, you know, then he get maybe injured or something, then there is another one, you know and he took a spot from him.  Like Rafa was winning, and next season it was Novak doing the same.  Now Roger is back.  You know, they are quite strong.  I mean, probably these three great players in, like, let’s say one time probably that it would never happen again.  Yeah, that’s how it is.  We have to deal with that.

 

Q.  Your parents are here.  I see them walking around like tourists having a good time.  Is it enjoyable to have them here for a tournament like this?

TOMAS BERDYCH:  Yeah, it’s really nice.  I mean, they are not able to go to every tournament with me.  You know, they go just few tournaments a year, so this is the one.  Yeah, they definitely enjoy it.  They like to come here.  You know, I mean, probably doesn’t matter on the place in the world.  If you’re playing well, then they enjoy it even more.  So, so far, yeah, I’m doing well.  I hope they can bring me some good luck.

 

Q.  They know your tennis since you were a small boy.  Did they ever give you any advice about the way you’re playing or something?

TOMAS BERDYCH:  Well, I mean, yeah, they spend and give me so much of their time when I was a kid.  It’s just because of them that I’m able to sit here and talking after winning matches.  So, I mean, it wouldn’t be on them and they wouldn’t give me their free time, I wouldn’t play tennis.  Yeah, so that’s how it is.  Probably that’s the biggest advice or kind of advice that they make.

 

Q.  Tomorrow night could be Andy Roddick’s last match; he’s playing Del Potro.  Could you talk a little about what he meant for the game or means for the game.

TOMAS BERDYCH:  Yeah, I mean, it’s another great, great player who’s just I would say unfortunately leaving from us.  He made a decision that it’s his last tournament.  We will definitely miss him.  I mean, it was definitely a huge personality and the guy that brings a lot for our sport and makes so many great results, probably all that you can achieve in tennis.  Yeah, his career was just successful enough and probably he deciding in the right moment, but only he knows when it is.  So just I can wish him all the best for the forward what he’s gonna do and we will miss him.

 

Q.  Does your shirt say NSW?  Does it stand for New South Wales?

TOMAS BERDYCH:  No, no, no.  I get many questions, especially when I saw Lleyton.  He was like, Oh, yeah.  So, no, no, it’s not like that.  It’s like Nike Sportswear or something.

Q.  You’re one of a group of young, big, powerful guys.  Unlike them you haven’t made it through to a Grand Slam final.  What do you think it is that has held you back compared to some of those other guys?

MARIN CILIC:  Maybe just playing really consistent at that high level.  Especially, looking at them, they were during the years they are playing quarters, semis, also big tournaments.  I mean, I also played some good ones, but I was having this inconsistency playing at that high level.  Once when I reach this high level, I always feel good and I always feel that I can play against those top guys.  In the past, it was a little bit difficult for me to manage to hold that for five, six, seven months, also during one season.  So working on that also.

 

Q.  A mental or physical thing?

MARIN CILIC:  I mean, both.  Just also understanding what you need to do, how to deal with those kind of situations.  When you are also playing well, that you keep going with that, just that you don’t have any sort of doubts in your game, that you keep pushing, every day trying to get slowly better.

 

Q.  How tough has it been over the last couple of years, dropping back down the rankings a bit?  Did you ever have doubts you’d get back?

MARIN CILIC:  Oh, of course.  You always have doubts when you are losing matches that you don’t want to lose.  I mean, in a way it was tough for me, but in another way it was also a positive thing for me, as I learned from those situations.  I learned I have different experience now.  I was in the top 10, played great tennis, dropped, and now coming back where I feel I can be, with different understanding that I have to just, you know, focus on myself and focus on the right things and not bother about too many other ones, which in the past I was having trouble with.  So, no, just having some more experience, that can help.

 

Q.  Do you feel you’re a better player now than you were two years ago because of that experience?

MARIN CILIC:  I’d say I’m different player.  I’m probably not playing the same as two years ago.  Few things evolved.  Couple things I’m still working on.  I feel they can be also much better.  But in this other way I feel I’m much better, much more experienced in all different areas, also how to deal with different situations on the court if I go behind, if I’m down with a break or two breaks even.  I found some situations that I can come back.

 

Q.  He had you in some pretty difficult situations in the first and second set at 4‑2.  What did you do right to bring yourself out of those situations?

MARIN CILIC:  Well, I mean, as I’m playing first time against him, it was also not easy from the beginning.  I struggled in the return games to win some points.  Then eventually in the last game, I had a good return game.  He made couple unforced errors, sort of gave me that first set.  That was, I mean, a great, positive thing for me.  The second, I mean, I felt he was playing really well from the baseline.  He had a lot of big shots, had a lot of winners from the forehand.  That was not easy to deal with.  Then when I managed to kind of find a way how to play, I was sticking to it.  Eventually, I mean, winning 10 games in a row just shows that I played really well that last part of the match.

 

Q.  The returning troubles were mainly because of his left‑handed serve?

MARIN CILIC:  Yes.  Also wind was pretty strong, then it was tough to adjust on everything.  Plus if I would put return back, he would hit a winner.  So it was just not easy to find the perfect balance.  Eventually when I found a way, it was working really well until the end.

 

Q.  Possibly Andy Murray in the next round.  How do you assess that matchup?

MARIN CILIC:  Yeah, I mean, we played now also in Wimbledon.  I think he played really well over there, had great day, great serving day.  We played two days.  But anyway, I mean, it would be tough match.  Really interesting for me.  Another big challenge.  Andy’s obviously playing really well.  For me, it would be great to play against him also just to feel what he can do and what I can do in this moment against him.

 

Q.  Do you know him very well from playing him?

MARIN CILIC:  How you mean?  In which way you mean?

 

Q.  You played against him for years now.  Do you know him very well as a friend or just as an opponent?

MARIN CILIC:  No, not so much.  We are all sticking with our own team, so it’s not easy to make friends like that.  But, I mean, from the court, I know he’s one of the greatest players there is in this time, yes.

 

Q.  But you beat him here, didn’t you, three years ago?

 MARIN CILIC:  2009, yes.

 

Q.  That would give you confidence if you played him?

MARIN CILIC:  Yes.  Generally we had a lot of, you know, in some ways close matches.  But I know he’s really tough for me to play.  I mean, on certain days he can serve well, defend well.  All things can really go in a good direction for him.  Tough sometimes to find some openings what to do.  When playing well, when I feel well, I feel I can match up with anybody.

 

Q.  What went wrong at Wimbledon this year?

MARIN CILIC:  No, I think just that Andy had really great day and managed with some situations little bit better than I did.  I was, in the beginning of the match, a break up and he came back.  Until the end, I almost didn’t have any breakpoints.  So that was I think just a matter of serving.  And grass is different, I think, where Andy plays really well.

 

Q.  You’ve been with your coach for a long time.  What’s the secret of the chemistry there?

MARIN CILIC:  Yes, I mean, Bob is around in tennis for 20, 30 years, and knows how things are going, which way sort of tennis is evolving.  And he’s been with me already five, six years.  He knows me real well.  I know him real well.  He knows what things I need to improve, what things I need to work on.  It’s going step by step.  I’m feeling, I mean, it’s the best possible coach I could have.

 

Sunday

Q.  Were you happy when the rain came a little bit?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, it’s a tough situation because I felt like there’s so many ups and downs between the beginning of the first till that break.  She was up a break and it was a little bit difficult going in because I felt like I started getting a little bit of momentum back in the second set and then just didn’t really take my chances when I had them and played a sloppy game at 4‑5.  But I didn’t really mind.  I have the experience of getting off the court and waiting a little bit and trying to start from scratch.

 

Q.  How proud are you of yourself you served the final game?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  That was really important, especially against Nadia.  One of her strengths is her serve.  You know, when it’s on and she’s holding easy, that obviously puts more pressure on the service game.  You really try to concentrate on that, you know, be smart and mix it up a little bit more.  But, yeah, overall I’m really happy with the way it came out in the third.  I didn’t let that little letdown bother me.  I just kept on fighting.  So, yeah.

 

Q.  You looked so pumped up during the third set when you came back on the court.  What does this quarter mean to you?  It seems something special.

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Well, of course.  You’re playing a night match at the US Open, you have a rain delay, you come back, and all the same people that were there waited through for 45 minutes and they came back to watch the end of the match.  So that energy in the stadium with the music and the cheering, it’s just unique.  You know, I think it really, really pumped me up and got me going.  I wasn’t going to leave that court without a fight.

 

Q.  Did you call your dad or did he call you?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Thomas told me he wanted to talk to me.

 

Q.  And you took the call?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Then I called him.  I didn’t want to hear it after if I didn’t call him.  I didn’t want to have that conversation.

 

Q.  I can’t imagine he just said, Fight.  He must have said more than that.  Did you tune him out after he said, Fight?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  No, he knows by now, like, where to stop and where to keep going.  He has that experience with me.  (Smiling.)  No, he just said, You know, your energy dropped in the beginning of the second set.  That’s over.  That’s done.  Now you got to go out there and fight.

 

Q.  Petrova was just asked about the rain delay.  She said really that’s why you won and called it your lucky day.

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Great.  I’m the winner, so whatever she wants to call it is fine with me.

 

Q.  Any win is a good thing.  You’re 11‑0 this year in matches that go in three sets.  What kind of pride do you take in having that kind of success?  Why do you think you are so successful?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, it’s a nice statistic.  I don’t really think about it going into a new third‑set situation.  Certainly wasn’t on my mind, because every match is different, different circumstance, whether you started slow and came back in the second or whether you had a letdown in the second.  Overall, you know, I always think that no matter how you start the match, it’s always how you finish.  Whether it’s an hour or whether it’s three hours that you’re out there, I don’t want to give up until the last point.  That’s pretty much the mentality I try to have going into a third set.

 

Q.  Being demonstrative, is that something you sort of learned in your career?  Just more, C’mons and vocal.  Is that something relatively new for you?

MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I think I’ve always been pretty vocal.  I think we can all agree on that one.

Q.  Benneteau just said that your baseline game was quite outstanding and you can’t miss a shot.  It’s true you can’t miss a shot since three rounds now.  Do you feel like this on the court, that it’s one of these moments where you are totally.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  It’s definitely nice to hear that from your opponent and a fellow tennis player.  He’s a quality player and has a lot of variety in his game, so I came to the match knowing that I have to start very strong.  And, you know, winning the first set obviously brought me a lot of momentum and confidence to continue on playing well.  Yeah, I felt from the start that from the baseline, you know, I was very comfortable, defense, offense, in that position.  So I tried to, you know, be aggressive and not allow him to come to the net because, you know, he plays good when he’s in control.

 

Q.  You’re a bit of a premier player and probably more used to playing at night.  How do you get ready for an 11:00 a.m. match?  Looked like you didn’t have a chance to shave today.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I actually did last night.  (Laughter.)  Thank you for that.  Usually get used to being criticized from my mom for not being shaved fully, but thanks for reminding me of that.  I will make sure next time I’m looking nice and shaved.  You know, 11:00, I haven’t played the first match of the day session for a long time, so it’s not that easy, you know.  Not always the morning person, to be honest.  You try to go to bed early and try to wake up early and get your body moving obviously.  As I said, you know, I wanted to start very sharp from the first point, and I’ve done that.

 

Q.  You’re winning so easily.  It’s almost like you’re going quietly through the draw, if I can say that.  Andy is making headlines and there is always Roger.  You’re just going out there winning in straight sets and getting off the court.  Does it seem like almost strangely enough you’re under the radar so far?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, I have had situations and periods in my career where I was under the radar, where I was in the spotlight, you know, if you want to call it that way.  I really try not to pay attention on that too much, if you understand.  The attention comes and goes.  It’s normal.  This is sport.  Obviously Andy and his retirement attracted a lot of attention, so everybody is excited to see him play and see how far he can go.  You know, I have been playing really well in US Open last five years.  My goal was to, in these seven, eight days I had off after Cincinnati final, to really try to recover, charge my batteries, work on some things in my game, and come out strong from the start.  That’s what I’ve done.  I feel great on the court.  I’m really trying to keep that up.

 

Q.  What are your comments about Dolgopolov, a guy that comes from the country that doesn’t have too much history in tennis?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, he’s an unorthodox player, you know.  He comes up with some unexpected shots, but I guess that’s something that makes him good and very dangerous player on any surface.  Because he can serve really well; he has a really quick and fast motion; he’s probably one of the most dynamic tennis players that there are at this moment.  You know, very fast on the court and good forehand; comes to the net; very good slice.  We played last year here I think third, fourth round, and had a very long first set.  You know, he can be a dangerous player.  I think hard court is his surface.

 

Q.  You have such a great return of serve.  Many say it’s the best around.  Could you sort of break it down?  What’s the key to the return?  How have you been able to be so good?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, you know, there are a few things that are very important in that part of the game.  Obviously reaction, the agility, the position.  So my game is based on the baseline, and, yes, return has been serving quite well throughout my career.  So I try to use it always as a weapon.  Today you have, I think, better returners than servers.  That wasn’t the case maybe 15 years ago.  You had more serve and volley players.  But nowadays, since the return game has improved so much in our sport, not many players come to the net.  I mean, I guess it’s good to have that as a weapon.

 

Q.  We live in a small world.  You had some really nice things to say about Andy last press conference.  There was that situation a few years ago back and forth.  How did you come to resolve that with Andy?  I assume you worked something out.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, yeah.  We had that situation.  I think it was in 2008, US Open.  We might have been through some misunderstandings and arguments.  It was very emotional I think for both of us, playing against each other quarterfinals, and it’s a very important tournament.  So it happens, you know.  You learn from those experiences.  You know, we have been in a very good relationship ever since.  And even before that.  It’s just that period, you know, that situation.  It happens.  You know, he was actually one of the few top players that was very nice to me when I started playing professionally.  He has all my respect.

 

Q.  When you came into the sport, did you expect to be on such good terms with your closest rivals?  I mean, the top 4, you always seem to get on pretty well.  You work together well.  It must be very difficult because you’re real competitors, aren’t you?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC:  Well, that’s true, you know.  The tennis represents something very good in the sport.  I think in general if you look at the other sports, not many sports can say that they have their toughest and biggest rivals paying so much respect and appreciations to others.  I mean, that’s a very strong message that we are sending from men’s tennis.  It’s really important.  It’s really good.  I have learned a lot, you know, from my biggest rivals on and off the court.  Nadal and Federer, they’re big champions.  We always had lots of respect with each other, to each other.  Of course we are rivals and we want to win against each other and we are always playing lots of matches for major titles, but in the end it’s only a sport.  It’s only a game.  You need to always appreciate your opponent.

Q.  What’s up?  We thought he was Sam’s fan.

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  He’s just a big tennis fan.  I’m a big music fan.  So goes together.

 

Q.  Have you done the shuffle yet?

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  Not yet.  I need to practice first.  I already got a free lesson.

 

Q.  Are you going to have to swap boxes in the next match?

REDFOO:  I’m just a big tennis fan.  I think it’s going to be a great match.  I’m really looking to see, you know, who has the better shuffle.  I’m going to work with her on her shuffle.  You know, her left foot goes a little rogue.  You know, the shuffle actually came from tennis.  I don’t know if you guys know, but it comes from the split step and the recover.  When you hit a forehand and then you got to cross over, that’s where it comes from.  That’s really what I’m looking for.  I’m looking for the footwork, to see who I’m going to put in my next video.  Honestly, that’s why I’m here.

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  It’s going to be kind of like an audition.

 

Q.  Can you confirm your song Shots is about Martina Hingis’ net play?

REDFOO:  I don’t know if I can confirm that.  I have to talk to my manager, my publicist.  No, the song Shots is a great song to get pumped up to.

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I’m just remembering the time when I listened to the song, when I was listening to it before the match, because, I don’t know, it’s really ‑‑

REDFOO:  ‑‑ aggressive.

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  I think it’s really fun.  Actually, my manager likes to dance to it, too.  See, she’s embarrassed.

 

Q.  It’s clearly about tennis?

REDFOO:  Well, it is.  It is.

VICTORIA AZARENKA:  But somebody at the bar will think differently.

 

Q.  Watch any of Bernie’s match the other night?

LLEYTON HEWITT:  I haven’t seen it.

 

Q.  Have you heard about it?

LLEYTON HEWITT:  I have heard and seen some of the stuff about it.  Yeah, obviously I would have thought it would have gone a little bit better against Andy.  As I say, I can’t comment because I didn’t see.  I was stuck in traffic driving back.

 

Q.  Pat is obviously the captain, but are you the sort of guy who might get in Bernie’s ear?

LLEYTON HEWITT:  I don’t know.  You know, I’ve got along well with Bernie for the last couple of years now, and, you know, we have practiced quite a bit together, nearly at most tournaments we have played last couple years, or last year and a half or so.  And then, you know, obviously we were the only two guys in the Olympics on the men’s side, so we spent a lot of time together there, as well.  In terms of all that, I think he does listen to me quite a bit.  Even when he’s spoken about things, you know, whether he was playing Roddick or, yeah, his game a little bit during the Olympics when he was down on confidence a little bit.  So, yeah, that’s what I’m there for.  Been around for a long time now.  Yeah, he had a disappointing loss here in the second round last year to Cilic, and then he came out and played pretty well in the Davis Cup against Roger and Stan.  Yeah, hopefully he can get it together.

 

Q.  What’s it like to play Ferrer, to try to solve him maybe versus what it was like in ’06 and ’08?

LLEYTON HEWITT:  Still very similar.  Not a lot of difference.  His game is, yeah, it’s a standard game for him.  He’s not going to blow you off the court out there, but he’s going to make you work for every single point.  It’s the same now as it was then for me.  You know, he’s a quality player.  Probably got a little bit better on hard courts and grass than he was back then.  But, you know, he’s a great competitor, and you’re gonna be out there for a long time to beat him.

 

Q.  (Question regarding Bernard Tomic.)

LLEYTON HEWITT:  Yeah, a little bit.  Yeah, absolutely.  He’s a unique player.  His ball striking is unique.  Some of his shot selection is unique.  Then again, you know, there has been matches probably more so at the Aussie Open that he’s been able to turn matches around because of that, you know.  Yeah, the Verdasco match for example looked like he was struggling there for a while and he was able to turn that around.  And even against Dolgopolov in the Aussie Open, as well.  Yeah, that’s him and his personality a little bit, as well.

 

Q.  Firstly, take off Thursday or a bit earlier?

LLEYTON HEWITT:  I don’t know.  Obviously some of the boys have been hitting on clay already.  Yeah, I will speak to Pat and Rochey and I’ll doing the exactly the same as what everyone else on the team is doing.

 

Q.  What are you plans for the rest of the year after Davis Cup?

LLEYTON HEWITT:  I’ll definitely be playing a few tournaments.  Most likely probably four tournaments, I’d say, at this stage.  I’m still working out exactly where and which tournaments, but I’d like to probably play four after the Davis Cup somewhere.

 

Q.  Your next match is against Andy Roddick.  This is his last tournament as he’s announced.  Do you prepare any differently for that mentally going into that match?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  No.  I will prepare like always.  I know this is special, this day, for him, but I’m doing my job.  I will trying to be focused on my match and doing my things, my shots.  The match is going to be very tough.  But, anyway, if I play in high level, will be tough for both players.

 

Q.  What do you expect the atmosphere to be like on Tuesday?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Big atmosphere.  The crowd loves Andy here and they have respect to me, so will be a fantastic show to the players and to the fans also.

 

Q.  Is it a factor in the match when Andy has the whole crowd on his side or do you tune it out?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  No, no, because they have respect to me, and also Argentinian fans come to watch me.  I don’t know if all crowd will be with him.  But, anyway, I like to play in these kind of matches.  Is nice for me.  But I will like to win and I will try to do my best tennis.

 

Q.  I believe you were having trouble with your wrist in Cincinnati.  Is everything okay?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Yeah, perfect.

 

Q.  How about the knee today?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  No, I did a bad movement, but nothing dangerous.
Q.  The shot that he hit that bounced off the net post, have you ever had that happen to you before?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  No, never.  Was unbelievable point, really important point.  But you can see if the ball doesn’t hit the post maybe he get the winner, so I got lucky to play my forehand and then to win the point.

 

Q.  Can you talk about your own personal matchup with Del Potro?

ANDY RODDICK:  We’ve had really close matches.  I was 0‑3 against him.  I beat him the last time we played.  I think of the 0‑3, two of them I had match points in.  We played a bunch in 2009, in that summer.  I think we played back‑to‑back weeks.  You know, he’s a tough matchup for anybody because he hits such a big ball.  I’m going to have to serve well, kind of try to rush him a little bit.  When he gets into a groove and has time, he’ll put a hurt on the ball.

 

Q.  Is he a little bit of a mirror image of you?

ANDY RODDICK:  No, I don’t think so.  I think we play a little bit different.  I probably serve a little bit better.  He probably returns better.  He hits the ball probably cleaner off the baseline.  I chip the ball around a bit better probably.  It’s a fun matchup.

 

Q.  If you win the tournament, will you show up next year on the first day to defend?

ANDY RODDICK:  No.  (Smiling.)

 

Q.  When you were working with Jimmy, he’s a motivation guy, did he ever refer to his run in ’91?

ANDY RODDICK:  Jimmy, unlike a lot of people who have had as much success as he’s had, Jimmy doesn’t like to talk about Jimmy in the past.  He doesn’t reference himself at every turn.  You would have to ask him about it.  You know, he certainly didn’t equate everything that happened on a tennis court back to something that he did that was great.

 

Q.  As a kid, do you remember watching his run?

ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah, I was here for it.

 

Q.  Did you really sneak into the locker room or just the players’ lounge?

ANDY RODDICK:  The lounge.  I didn’t quite make it to the locker room.  I didn’t want to press my luck.  They had free stuff in the lounge, so I was fine with that.

 

Q.  Just a thought on Jimmy when you were a little kid.

ANDY RODDICK:  I mean, it was a great.  I actually had to leave before, so I watched his semi with Courier.  So I’m responsible for him leaving the match.  I remember we flew in and we flew over the stadium, and that was the night he was playing Patrick.  I saw a bunch of the other ones.  Obviously the Krickstein match.  Yeah, that was my first taste of live tennis and it was that run, so that’s as good as it gets.

 

Q.  When they were showing the video, happy birthday video to Jimmy, they showed some scenes from that.  Did they show anything that you were actually at that you remember?

ANDY RODDICK:  I’m not sure.  I’d have a hard time.  Just by his reaction, it’s tough to place what match it was.  Obviously I wasn’t around at Forest Hills, but there’s a possibility.  I don’t know for sure.

 

Q.  Was the experience of going through this might be the last fill in the blank any different this time than the first time?

ANDY RODDICK:  A little bit.  You know, I didn’t have that really tough moment before I went on today.  I was pretty relaxed.

 

Q.  Do you feel you’re playing more aggressive being in your last tournament?

ANDY RODDICK:  I’m hitting the ball well.  You know, the thing with aggressiveness is you can only play as aggressive as you’re hitting the ball.  If you’re hitting it terrible it’s tough to force the issue.

 

Q.  How about coming to the net more?

ANDY RODDICK:  Again, it’s not always as easy as a conscious thought, I’m going to do this.  If you’re hitting the ball terribly and you can’t make a backhand and you’re chipping out there and just trying to survive out there, going to the net, it’s not really an option.  I think that’s where the difference is between looking at something and saying, This is the problem.  When you’re a player, you have to go figure out the steps to where this is the solution.  It’s not from here to there.  It’s not as easy.  I’m hitting the ball well.  Normally when you see me coming in more, I feel good hitting the ball.

 

Q.  When Andre retired, he revealed there were times when he actually hated the game.  Did you have any stretches like that in your career?

ANDY RODDICK:  I mean, I think we’re all mentally exhausted or physically exhausted at one point.  I didn’t resent the game.  I never had that moment.

 

Q.  The point he hit between his legs, can you describe it?

ANDY RODDICK:  I hit a lunging volley.  That’s about as cleanly as you can hit a between‑the‑legs passing shot.  He hit the thing from Jersey and almost won the point.  That was fun.

 

Q.  What is bigger, your own emotional reaction or other people’s?

ANDY RODDICK:  It’s tough to say either/or.  I’ve been surprised by the support.  I thought inside our world it would be something, but I don’t know that I expected all of this and the crowd to react the way it has.  It’s been a special experience for me.  It’s been a lot of fun.

 

Q.  Who is the most random person you’ve heard from?

ANDY RODDICK:  Most random?  It would be quasi offensive to anybody I named, wouldn’t it?  (Smiling.)  Thanks for the text, but you’re random, dude.  I don’t know.  I’ve gotten some cool texts in the last couple days.  It’s been fun.

 

Q.  You’re used to looking up at Ashe and seeing people cheering.  You’re on the set doing the post‑match interview with CBS interview, you turn around and see the plaza full, what was that like?

ANDY RODDICK:  Each time it’s surprising.  I mean, the ESPN set the other night, they were sitting two feet from me and I was having a hard time hearing the questions.  You know, today they were going nuts, too.  It’s honestly way more than I ever expected.

 

Q.  Talk about these US Open moments, Connors in ’91, Andre’s speech.  What is it like to suddenly feel that developing around you?

ANDY RODDICK:  I don’t know.  It’s hard when you say ‘those moments,’ because I don’t view anything that I would ever do in the context of those guys.  So I’m trying to figure out how to answer the question without drawing a comparison because I don’t think it’s close to those two.

 

Q.  What has surprised you the most in playing the last two matches that you didn’t expect since you announcement?

ANDY RODDICK:  I don’t know.  You know, I’ve been walking around with a smile on my face for three days.  All of a sudden you’re kind of smiling, humming, whistling, walking around, and you feel pretty good about it.  All of a sudden you have to say good‑bye to something.  It’s like this gut‑check moment.  It’s these extreme emotions from five minutes to the next five minutes.  You think you know what’s going on, but I don’t think there’s any way to prepare yourself for it.

 

Q.  Was your moment at net with Fabio a gut‑check moment?

ANDY RODDICK:  I was relieved that I got through it.  He was great.  Then afterwards he said he had a request for me.  I said, What?  He said, I’ll tell you in the locker room.  He wants one of the shirts, like of the jerseys.

 

Q.  One of yours?

ANDY RODDICK:  Yeah.  Which I guess is customary with the football matches.  They exchange afterwards sometimes, so that was a cool gesture.

 

Q.  Did you give him the sweaty one you wore?

ANDY RODDICK:  Disgusting.  No, I didn’t.  He got a washed one.

 

Q.  How do you prepare yourself mentally for your next match?  You want to win, and at the same time it could possibly be your last match.

ANDY RODDICK:  Kind of the same scenario as the last two:  I’m going to just keep doing what I’m doing.  I’m going to go back, get work tonight, meaning massage, so all the stuff, get some food, sleep, figure out what we’re going to do tomorrow, and, you know, it will be here before we know it.  We’ll go out and we’ll give it a go.  I’m not really planning anything.  I’m kind of winging this thing as I go.

 

Q.  Loosening the tension?

ANDY RODDICK:  Yea I loosened it.  The day before I played Eastbourne, I dropped my racquet 10 pounds just so I could get a little sling action in it and help the old Hamburger Helper here.

 

Q.  You said when you do play your last match, you’re not the type of guy who won’t return to the court because you obviously love the game that much.  What’s the most pure joy for you?  Is it the simplicity of striking a tennis ball?

ANDY RODDICK:  I mean, I know there’s going to be a training camp with a lot of guys going on in December in Austin like there always is.  I’m not opposed to going out there and having fun with those guys.  I still enjoy that part of it.  But being like a guy who can go drive miles down the road and hit balls when he pleases is a lot different than preparing and committing yourself and having certain expectations that you’ve come to expect from yourself.  Those are two different scenarios.

 

Q.  Is your between‑match and prematch preparation now with these matches any different than any other tournament in terms of what you and Larry do, what your practices are like?

ANDY RODDICK:  Our practices have been a little shorter.  (Laughter.)  Kind of been like a little bit of a mockery of a practice.

 

Q.  You said you weren’t in the category or status of Connors and Agassi.  When Jimmy was around, there was Mack and Vitas.  For a decade now, no offense to any of the other wonderful players, you’ve been the leader of our sport in the most important country arguably in the tennis world.  Isn’t that a pretty unique and special achievement?

ANDY RODDICK:  Well, it’s tough to call it an achievement.  It’s just kind of the way it played out.  I didn’t really have a choice in the matter.  It was always a tall task.  You’re coming off of what will always be the greatest generation, or two generations, from anyplace ever, so it was always going to be a steep hill.  But it’s something that I never wanted to really shy away from knowing it’s almost mission impossible.  I felt like it was a responsibility.  It’s a bit of a lineage in this country, and I did my best.  Even if I didn’t get the results I wanted to all the time, I at least went about it the right way and created a bit of a culture in American tennis.  I think that was accomplished.  That’s something I’m proud of.

 

Q.  The Hamburger Helper, are you going to need surgery or rest when this is all said and done?

ANDY RODDICK:  I don’t know.  A lot of times they said, You want an MRI of your shoulder?  I said, For what?  If it’s a year or nine months of surgery, I don’t want to know about it.

 

Q.  Considering your talent and your tennis abilities, do you think you’ve been more lucky because you came at the end of the Sampras and Agassi era when it was easier to sneak inside and be No. 1, or more unlucky because after there was Federer who is probably the best of all times?

ANDY RODDICK:  It’s a question that’s not even worth answering.  You’re asking me to compare the four greatest players of all time.  I mean, no part of my career is unlucky.  So, you know, I’m not going to compare generations because I don’t think you can do that in sports.

 

Q.  I wasn’t comparing generations.  There was a hole between Sampras and Agassi and Federer.  You snuck inside at that period.

ANDY RODDICK:  What year did Pete win his last slam?

 

Q.  ’02.

ANDY RODDICK:  What year did Roger win his first slam?

 

Q.  2003.

ANDY RODDICK:  So what hole are you talking about?  Thanks.

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