Join Date: Jan 2007
Re: It's not too much to ask the mind & body to work at the same time is it? HC Threa
An interview with: ANDY RODDICK
Q. Do you want to talk about how you felt at the end of the match. I saw you get a little bit angry when he broke back at 5 4 in the second set after you got the break. How were you feeling at that point and how did you close it out?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know that I made a first serve that game, you know, so that was frustrating for me. I mean, you know, I felt like I was returning pretty well and hitting my forehand pretty well. Then all of a sudden, you know, I'm not putting a first serve in the court. So I was kind of pissed. I felt like I was getting it backwards a little bit.
The guy doubles three times and lets you back in, then you kind of donate it right back, that's not normally a recipe to win a match.
Got through it, though. I do that pretty well: get through matches when everything doesn't go perfectly.
Q. Although you're not playing as well as you might want to, it must give you confidence you're getting the job done.
ANDY RODDICK: Play well, not play well, you get the same opportunity: you get to play again. You know, you can look at it you're getting through or the fact you're getting through and there's still a lot out on the table.
There's no such thing as a bad win. I'll keep going in this tournament hopefully.
Q. What would be a satisfactory ending to the year for you?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't know. I haven't thought about it.
Q. What would be acceptable?
ANDY RODDICK: I think we're past 'acceptable' this year, to be honest. I was glad to get back kind of definitely not in shape for the Open, but a little bit more in form than I had been. So that was nice.
I think now it's about getting yourself in position to where you're not clawing completely uphill, you know, for the first four months of next year. I think that's what we're trying to do here.
Q. What do you make of him? A couple of years ago he was going to be the next big thing. He's come up gradually. What did you see out there tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: You know, he's definitely got all the shots. He should have closed me out in the second set. So maybe that's what we're looking at. Maybe that's what we're talking about.
You know, he's certainly got all the talent in the world. I know Pete McNamara is a very good coach. Seems like he's got the right team in place. You know, at this point it might be between the ears. But he's certainly got some ability.
Q. You mentioned yesterday you may have to think about changing the way you prepare, the way you train. Is it going to affect the way that you're going to play the game, as well? Do you think you're going to have to change things?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think so. My outlook here is that, you know, I'm normally very aggressive in the off season. I'm looking at three weeks, max four weeks, of being very, very, very aggressive. It looks like this year I could have six or seven. So hopefully I get the same outcome.
I might need the longer period to where I'm not, you know, going zero to 60 every day from the get go. So I'm going to have to work a little bit smarter so hopefully I won't have to make too many adjustments on the court.
I think as you get older, you need that time. I've rested a little too much this year, to be honest. I've been on the couch. I think I'm going to have to go against my nature and try not to get it all done in one day every day. I think I just have to get a little bit smarter about it.
Q. Do you ever feel like you're too hard on yourself? You always seem to be taking yourself to task.
ANDY RODDICK: No. I feel like I'm being pretty realistic. If I came in here and tried to, you know, blow fairy dust over what I just did out there, I think you guys would see through it. I think you guys take me at good value. If I say like I'm playing pretty well and I feel like it, it normally means I am. If I'm getting through matches, it normally means that's what I'm doing.
I have the opportunity to get going. I certainly have played my way into tournaments before and played better on the back end. So hopefully that's what we're trying to do here.
Q. When you say you've got to be aggressive, does that mean you've got to hit the track? Does it mean you have to hit the gym? Does it mean you take time off the court?
ANDY RODDICK: That's what I need right now. Because of the injuries, when I got hurt this time, Larry had a long conversation. Jim Courier had a long conversation. Jim and I are pretty like minded people. He said, I ran myself into the ground. I overworked myself and I was done by 27, 28. He said, You're heading down the same path. You need to kind of pull back a little bit. You're not going to forget how to play tennis overnight. As opposed to doing workouts four times a day, maybe cut it back a little bit.
You know, I've done that, but almost to the extreme where I'm just trying to stay healthy and get through the year and not get hurt and training again. The way I feel moving out there right now isn't optimal. It's not going to be what's going to get me a good result in a big event.
So I will need more time. But everything he talked about is what goes into being a top tennis player. I just need to space it out and maybe do two thirds of what I do in a day over a longer period and get the same result.
Q. It seems like you started a little bit of a trend with moving to Austin. It's becoming Tennis Town. Can you talk a little bit about that.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I don't know. I mean, it's great. Six years ago there wasn't anybody there to hit with. If we had weeks, I was flying young players in, you know, to go to work. I think beyond me there's a couple of really good coaches in Austin now. Grant Doyle is there, who brought Sam up. Scott McCain, who has been on tour many, many years. You know, I'm certainly happy to help with any of those guys.
We go out there; I try to help them as much as I can. I try to set an example. I always tell them that I shouldn't be the hardest worker on the court. It's just nice. There's a good camaraderie from there.
There's a bunch of guys 200, 300 in the world now. It's got kind of a good vibe. We have a really good strength coach in Lance Hooton there who some of the guys work with. We have some good medical people, massage, chiro. We have kind of a good little system in place. All those things together make it a good place to train.
It's at least another option to Tampa, which has kind of been the place to go, Sarasota/Tampa area.
Q. What facility do you use?
ANDY RODDICK: As far as tennis?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, on the track, we go to public high schools. We carry the equipment in the back of our cars. That's what we actually do. Balls and sticks and all sorts of stuff.
I think we've gotten kicked off of four tracks already. I can find a training facility anywhere in the world except for where I live.
Tennis wise we hop around depending on surface. There's a couple clubs that are faster. There's a couple that are slower. So a lot of time it depends on what we have around the corner. But there's not just one place to go. We kind of vagabond it a little bit. But it's pretty fun that way, I think.
Q. Rafa and Andy Murray were in here today casting doubt on whether any discussions would take place this week about the schedule, how to approach the tour about that. I want to ask your response to that and whether you think it's going to take one player pushing this effort forward, getting everybody together at the right time.
ANDY RODDICK: I think so. Obviously Roger and Novak need to be involved. I think you guys are wondering if there's going to be like a formal meeting, conversation, sit down here. I'm not sure. I'm sure there will be before the year's out.
But if you have that conversation now, you're going to have to have it twice 'cause nothing happens without Roger and Novak at this point. So I'm sure there will be some personal conversations. As far as a big, formal deal that you guys can write about, I'm not sure that's going to happen here.
I don't know. I mean, I'd be for it. But I haven't even seen those guys personally yet at this event.
Q. Returning to the theme of the younger players. Given the number of questions over the last couple of years about the state of American tennis you've had to field, you must be delighted to see the likes of Donald, Alex and Ryan putting in great performances here in Shanghai?
ANDY RODDICK: Regardless of whatever questions I've had to answer, I'm thrilled to see it. I've always been pro U.S. tennis. I've always said it becomes contagious. One guy starts going, you know, competitive jealousy I think is a very good thing. It normally goes in waves. So if these guys keep going up the rankings, keep pushing each other, Donald wins a match, Ryan wants to win a match, Mardy is having his best year ever at 29 years old. All of a sudden Alex is having his best year ever at 28 years old. I have a hard time believing all of this is coincidental.
A healthy, competitive jealousy I think is a very, very good thing, and I'm happy to see it right now.
Q. Going back to what Andy was talking about earlier. He was saying that he fears these talks about talks and scheduling and so forth could make the players be seen as spoilt. He says that money isn't really the issue. Is that something that you fear, too? Yesterday you mentioned the money.
ANDY RODDICK: Sure, it's an issue. If everything was fine and our voice was heard, I don't think we would be striking about money. That's my honest opinion. I think there are ways around it. If there is a strike, then you have the people together, play a tournament, have the revenues go to charity to prove it's not. I'd be all for that.
I know Jersey has an arena right down the street from the US Open. Pick a spot around the world. There are ways around that. If we negotiate anything, I'm happy to negotiate proceeds to charity for that.
I mean, you know, at this point I think the main thing is a voice. Whether one's playing the schedule, we should have something to say about it. At a certain point how long is too long of not getting that point across? At a certain point, it needs to be more than conversation and more than talk. We'll see if the time is now.
It does take unity. When you're dealing with a hundred separate entities as opposed to a certain amount of teams, I think that's harder and that's probably been why it's been divided. The powers that be in tennis have successfully bet on us being divided so far, and they're smart for it.