Re: Houston (Press, etc)
RODDICK TALKS (from masters-cup.com)
Houston Round Table:
Below is a partial transcript of Andy Roddick's round-table media conference at Tennis Masters Cup Houston on Sunday.
Q: "Saturday Night Live," how did you like it? How did it go?
A: It was a lot of fun. I definitely enjoyed myself. You know, I think it was a good thing. It kept me away from the craziness and getting too deep into all this stuff. Now I kind of come here with a fresh head, and I'm ready to go.
Q. John McEnroe, scale of one to ten, on his acting ability, his future as an actor on Broadway?
A: Future on Broadway, yeah, that's not looking good (smiling). I will say it was better than Mr. Deeds.
Q. Andy Roddick as an actor, scale of one to ten?
A: Very bad, very bad. Extremely bad.
Q. And most surprising thing about "SNL"?
A: Just, I mean, they come up with 45 new skits a week; you get down to eight. I don't see how you can come up with 45 funny skits a week. That's amazing to me.
Q. Who has a higher skill level - the eight guys here or the eight best writers "SNL"?
A: I'd still say the eight guys here, but those guys do a pretty good job as well.
Q. Nerve factor: Final US Open, "SNL"?
A: Well, I know I can play tennis a little bit. I'd have to say for the actual show, I'd rehearsed, so I thought I was pretty ready. Going in to the week, I really didn't know what to expect. I was pretty nervous.
Q. The Reality TV thing that you're going to do, what made you decide to do that?
A: First of all, it's definitely not anything concrete. There were some quotes used that I hadn't really given permission to use. To be honest, I don't know a lot about it. It's definitely not something that is gonna happen; it's kind of taken on its own entity. To be honest, I read about it in newspapers, and that's where I get my information.
Q. It's not a "go"?
A: It's not a "go," no. I'm not sure, I think maybe someone got a hold of something and went with it. You know, I definitely never, you know, talked about it before, like it was a done deal.
Q. Did you ever imagine at that time that your life, your career, would be where it is right now?
A: No. You know, I've never been one to, you know, think too far ahead or to look two years down the line. I've always pretty much gone day by day. I think that's helped a little bit.
Q. Back to now, Andy, reaching your first season-ending championship, your thoughts?
A: I'm excited. That was definitely one of my goals to start the year, was to make Masters. I feel like I've gone above and beyond that so far this year. So I'm definitely excited to be here. I think you're gonna see a lot of great tennis, with guys knowing they have one more week left and trying to leave it all out there.
Q. What about the No. 1 ranking on the line?
A: I mean, it just adds that much -- it makes it fun. It means we have something big to play for, which should make it, you know, very interesting and, you know, a lot of fun for all of us.
Q. How do you like this format, the Round Robin?
A: I like it. It's interesting. I think it's good for a tournament like the Masters because you want to see the top eight guys competing against each other. I don't think people want to see a regular tournament; I think they want to see something a little different. So I'm a big fan.
Q. Nothing beats a Grand Slam, obviously. But put this in perspective with those events.
A: It's huge. I mean, I think there's a lot of prestige. I think the guys here have taken a lot of pride in what they've done this year. You know, like you said, the Grand Slams are the biggest ones. But, I mean, you know, to make Masters is an honor. So, you know, I think we want to beat up on each other at least for one more week.
Q. Do you feel like this is a home-away-from-home-away-from-home kind of place?
A: Absolutely. You know, I've been to Houston many times. I have nothing but good memories here. So, yeah.
Q. Did you feel things kind of went your way with the draw, as far as you're the only Grand Slam champion in your group, and there are three in the other group?
A: As much as it can in a tournament where you're with the top eight players in the world (smiling). I mean, I don't know. The Round Robin is the Round Robin. I'm almost looking at it as, "Okay, the Round Robin is one tournament. If I do advance, that's a whole other tournament." I don't get too concerned with draws, whatever. I know I have to play Carlos Moya Tuesday night - or Tuesday. You know, I'm excited about that.
Q. Are you concerned about the weather? I mean, you never know at this time of the year what it's going to be like, and you're outdoors.
A: No. Whatever it's gonna be like for me, it's gonna be like for the person across the net as well. So be it.
Q. How much of a bigger thing is it to be No. 1 at the end of the year rather than No. 1 now?
A: Absolutely. I think it's a cool stat; that no matter what, I can look back and say, "I was No. 1 in the world for some time."
Like I said after Paris, I'm just kind of maybe renting the ranking until Masters starts. It will all be settled there.
Q. What time did you get in? Did you fly during the night?
A: Yeah, we took a nice plane, got here, slept on the plane, literally woke up for five minutes, went up to my room, and slept the night. So it actually went really smooth.
Q. Is it a dilemma at all, bearing in mind the No. 1 and this tournament?
A: Not really, because, you know, I've always been one, during the Open, I was out. I wanted to go to a concert, kind of take my mind away from it. I knew this is gonna be madness like it is right now.
But, you know, I thought it was great. I got up to New York. I was practicing twice a day there. Just kind of away from everything and everybody. Just kind of working with my coach.
You know, came here. I'm gonna get ready, get used to the courts, and be ready to go. I have a very fresh mental outlook on this week because of that, I think.
Q. This was a big focus of yours. You just wanted to qualify, like, last April at the clay courts. When was the turning point where you thought, "I could actually enter this at No. 1 and have so much on the line"?
A: Maybe after the Open. I wasn't thinking along those lines. You know, I had a good -- pretty good grass court season. I thought, "Okay, that's a great building block. Maybe I can really make a push for Masters now."
I played unbelievable this summer. You know, it definitely surpassed my expectations.
So after that, I was, you know, No. 1 in the race and not far behind in the entry system. So I said, "I might have a shot at it."
Q. Does it concern you, not being able to adjust to these courts? Greenset, the only time you play on it is here. You haven't had too much time to get used to it.
A: I'm all for an outdoor hard court any time. I'll get in a couple practices today, couple practices tomorrow. It shouldn't be a problem at all. If I can't adjust to a court in two and a half days, then something's wrong.
Q. Did you tell Brad you were going to do "Saturday Night Live"? Did he say that was a good idea, or did he try and persuade you against it?
A: He was like, "That's great." When we started the American summer hard court season, that's what we did, we trained in New York for a week. Kind of got away from everything and everybody. Kind of had our own little thing going where we could just, you know -- it was just me and him practicing.
I said, you know -- I definitely went to him and said, "What do you think?"
He said, "I think that would be great. Just us, get to Houston ready to go and fresh."
Q. You've obviously been asked this, but did you enjoy it? You seemed to be enjoying it.
A: It was awesome. It was, you know...
Definitely a different sort of adrenaline rush, I don't think one that you can compare to a tennis court or vice versa. You know, it was definitely something that was extremely fun and a very cool experience.
Q. Something you'd like to repeat?
A: Some time, but I don't know if they'll let me. I doubt the invitation will get extended again any time soon (laughing).
Q. In a sense, can you use that to your benefit, the fact that you're doing something else apart from just practice, practice. You've had a long year, and you've just come off an indoor season as well.
A: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I think if I would have been here, would have been somewhere else and just practicing tennis, I would have been, I think, really stressed out. You know, kind of been beating myself up in practice.
It was something, it was cool. I practiced, I was like, "I'll go over to the studio for a little bit, check the lines, go rehearse." It was a very mellow week. It's kind of the way I've been doing things since Brad came along, so we decided to stick to it.
Q. What happens after this? Do you just wind down completely after this week?
A: Yeah. I mean, you know, I think everybody's looking forward to doing a whole bunch of nothing after this week.
Q. Are you buying a house in Texas?
A: Yeah, yeah. It's about three hours away, I think. Maybe I'll get down there and try to work on putting that together.
Q. Has the practice with Brad changed very much since the US Open? I mean, have you worked on different things?
A: I mean, we've definitely worked on things here and there. You know, I think the major work is going to be done in the off-season when we have a significant amount of time. We have something we don't have to worry about, you know, fiddling with, you know, a stroke and then having it -- thinking about it during a match to where I'm like, "Okay, am I hitting it like this or am I..."
I think a lot of focus right now is just on maintaining and, you know, staying in shape and stuff like that.
Q. How long are you going to take off, and when will you start to get down to the knitty-gritty work again?
A: I'll take at least two or three days off...
Q. That's a lot. You shouldn't do these things, you might lose the touch.
A: At least. I don't know how long I'll take away from tennis. I look at the off-season as a chance to really get strong physically, you know, without having to worry about breaking down because you're playing. I mean, you can have little knickknack things during the season and train through them and stuff like that.
I'm not sure. I can't really stop too long. I get antsy. But I don't think I'll take that much time off, especially, you know, fitness-wise. Tennis-wise, I might take a little bit of time off.
Q. In preparation for the Australian, is it going to be the same as last year in terms of tournaments?
A: I'm not sure right now. It should be pretty much the same. I'm not sure. I know Brad doesn't like me playing too many tournaments, you know, or a tournament maybe the week before. So I'm not sure about that.
Q. Might go to Kooyong?
A: It's a possibility. Yeah, I think so. That sounds like a pretty good format, to get there, get a couple matches on your legs. Yeah, I think so.
Q. Are you pleased, is it a big enough event anyway, or that something is riding on it as well with you and Juan Carlos, and Roger has an outside chance? The fact that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow as well, it's not just another week?
A: Oh, absolutely. I think if any of us had the choice to have already clinched it and have this be a vacation, we would have taken it (laughing).
But I'm excited. I think it's gonna be a great week for, you know, for all of us and for tennis as a whole. I think it's good for tennis that there's something riding on it and there's something to focus on each day.
Q. What's the most important thing for you this year, the year-end No. 1 or winning the actual title?
A: Probably year-end No. 1, if I had to choose.
Q: Would be nice to do the double?
A: Yeah, absolutely. I don't think you ever go to a tournament planning to lose. You know, I definitely want to go into it, try to win it.
But, you know, at the same time, you know, my goal here is maybe do one match better than Juan Carlos.