A. RODDICK/A. Corretja
MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.
Q. Can you just talk about that last point. It was at least 30 shots. In a perfect world, you probably don't want to get into that kind of a rally with him.
ANDY RODDICK: It depends on the situation. I'm not going to play every point of the match like that, otherwise I'm probably not going to win.
But you can grind out one point if you know the match is on the line. My legs were under me the whole time. I didn't feel tired during that point. If I would have lost it, it probably would have gotten to me a little bit more.
I just waited for my shot. Once I got it, I pulled the trigger. I'm going to make that shot 70% of the time. It was the high-percentage play.
Q. He made it interesting. You looked like you were headed toward maybe a 6-4 win.
ANDY RODDICK: I think he started hitting out on the ball a little bit more, started actually -- he was more consistent while hitting out on the ball. Obviously, that's going to improve his chances a lot. Maybe he decided he was going to try to bully me around in the third set a little bit. It was working in some of the baseline rallies. Also I think he started going for his serve a lot more. Like I said, he was making them, which made it tougher to get into his service games.
Q. You had only 19 unforced errors. Did it feel like that?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, that's a good number for me. If I can keep it under to where it's almost six a set, that's not too bad by my standards.
Q. What are you most pleased with what you did tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: I mixed it up really well. A couple of points I stayed back and really worked the point well. The first two sets I was actually volleying well, which was a pleasant surprise. That's something I've been working on. It's nice to see it actually come together in a match like this.
A. RODDICK/R. Sluiter
6-2, 6-4, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: First question, please.
Q. Third round of a Grand Slam. Got to feel pretty good this year?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. Yeah, I don't know what to say. It feels good to actually win some matches in a Grand Slam. I did at Wimbledon but I still didn't -- I think I was a pair of twos there, I was kind of bluffing my way through to the third round.
But, no, I feel good about how I played.
Q. You don't feel that way this time?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I feel like I'm actually competing and I'm actually feeling my shots and hitting the shots that I want to this time.
Q. What's the difference between then and now?
ANDY RODDICK: I'm in better shape. I've probably shed about 10 pounds. I was probably eating a little too much over there (laughing).
I don't know. I just love it here. I'm very comfortable here. I'm pumped up. You know, I had -- I was playing well all summer and, you know, I just feel good right now.
Q. You talked about having found your game the last couple weeks. How is that out there?
ANDY RODDICK: For sure. For sure. Any time I was competing, I was enjoying myself. That's what it's about at the end of the day, win or lose. But the most important thing is to enjoy what you're doing.
Q. What do you think took the fun away for a while?
ANDY RODDICK: You know what, I was paying too much attention to outside stuff and not, you know -- I was getting ahead of myself, trying to rush my progress a little bit. If it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen eventually. I'm just gonna bide my time.
I feel like I'm improving, I'm a better player. I'm more solid than I was last year. I just timed it better last year with when I played my best tennis.
You know, so I just needed -- it's a long process. I'm going to be here 10 years. So I do have some time.
Q. Pulled that kid out of the crowd today.
ANDY RODDICK: I literally saw the kid take about three elbows to the face. That didn't shake him. It was rough. He was getting beat up pretty good. I didn't sign too long. I don't think it was too safe for the kids in the front.
Q. Reaction to you can be pretty overwhelming.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah. I don't really understand it. But, yeah, I mean, kids just trying to -- it's normal, they want to get an autograph and push to the front. It's better on the other side where there's a tunnel and they can line up on the sides. When it's on that side, they all push into the front. You know, it makes for, you know, a little bit of a dangerous situation sometimes.
Q. Do you remember when you were first asked for an autograph, the first autograph you signed?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I think I was at Roland Garros when I was 15, walking around. I was playing quallies, I think someone asked me. They said, "Hewitt, Hewitt (laughter)."
Q. Did you sign it?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I'm just joking (smiling).
I think at Junior Nationals in Kalamazoo or, you know, that's a pretty big deal in Kalamazoo. All the kids, it's like -- maybe their older brother got a couple autographs back in the '80s that are worth something now. All the kids, that's kind of a cool time.
Q. Competing with James for the hair?
ANDY RODDICK: I can't compare with James. He's got that Sideshow Bob look from "The Simpsons." I don't know.
Q. Getting closer?
ANDY RODDICK: Just laziness.
Q. Aside from practice tomorrow, are you going to take time out of your schedule to watch the choice day game?
ANDY RODDICK: I don't think it will be much of a game, personally (laughing).
But, yeah. You know, that definitely takes priority over the US Open for sure.
Q. You're known for a big forehand, big serve. I was wondering if you could talk about the best backhand you faced. Who was the best backhand you've seen? What's good about the stroke?
ANDY RODDICK: Huh...
Well, there's different types of backhands. There's Lleyton, who has missed about three this year. There's, you know, guys like Haas and Pavel and Kuerten who take with one hand, can pretty much take it up the line for a winner as they choose. There's Andre who can generate and move you around. Those are some of the top guys, but there are different types of very good backhands.
Q. Do you go into those matches thinking, "I'm going to avoid that stroke and go to the forehand"? Is there anybody who you pick on the forehand more than the backhand?
ANDY RODDICK: Of course. There are guys who have better backhands than forehands. It works both ways sometimes.
Q. Obviously, there's a general comfort, familiarity, but what are the different things that are being in the US Open this year?
ANDY RODDICK: Louis Armstrong Stadium. There's just a bunch of things. I feel last year was just -- it was new and exciting. This year, I feel like last year I got to the quarters, I was like, "Wow, this is pretty cool." This year if I go to the quarters I'll think, "Okay, I'm here. Let's try to get further." Everything was positive last year. Everything was just a bonus. After each match I won, was just a bonus.
A. RODDICK/M. Verkerk
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy Roddick, please.
Q. Can you talk a little about, seems like they schedule you a lot at night. They had advertisements about Sampras playing. Come out, you're the show tonight. What does that do for you, if anything?
ANDY RODDICK: I love night -- I mean, it doesn't get much better than night session, you know, Arthur Ashe Stadium. I love it. The crowd reacts. There's a certain electric feel, you know, around the court. I was definitely pumped up when I heard I was going to play tonight.
Q. How do you feel, overall, with how you played tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: A little shoddy in the first set. Could have closed it out. I played a nervous first set last year on the stadium my first night, too. Then I got into it. The court's like no other.
So, you know, shots were going a little bit short. Then I felt the second and third set I played some really solid tennis.
Q. Are you surprised he hung with you in the first set there?
ANDY RODDICK: No. Anybody who can hit a serve a buck thirty-five can hold serve five times. That wasn't too surprising.
The thing that was bothering me was I wasn't getting on his second serve when I got the opportunity. I got on it a little bit in the tiebreaker then I kept it up throughout the rest of the match.
Q. You obviously had something to do with it. Were you surprised how many unforced errors there were?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, he came out and I guess, you know, his plan was to go for it. You know, he hit some winners and he made some errors. I guess that was his game plan. Maybe that's what he felt he had to do to win and he just didn't put enough on the court.
Q. What do you do all day when you have to wait until 9 o'clock to get on the court?
ANDY RODDICK: Sleep.
No, I woke up around, I don't know, I was at the gym around 11:30, got on the bike a little bit. Kind of wake the body up so it's not totally shocked when you go out there. Basically, hung out. Watched some tennis. Left around four.
You know, there was a lot of dead time.
Q. How long were you here before you actually got on court?
ANDY RODDICK: Probably arrived here around five. I don't know what time I went on. But, I mean, that's incorporated in, you know, warm-up and eating and stretching. So, you know, I probably had an hour, you know, down time, before my match.
Q. You talked about, a few days ago in an interview, how this is a real special US Open with everything that happened. Last night was a big opening ceremony. How did you feel on the court tonight?
ANDY RODDICK: Obviously, it's special any time on that court. Especially with what's happened, you know, close to a year ago. It's that much more, you know, it's our home Slam, it's in New York City. You know, I wouldn't have it any other way.
Q. How's your hand?
ANDY RODDICK: I just got a little blister that opened up. It didn't really affect me too much. I wanted to take the proper precautions to make sure it stayed that way.
Q. You have fun watching the Huskers?
ANDY RODDICK: 48 to 10, yep. They look good. You know the offense started going a little bit in the second half. Little bit stagnant in the first. But JamalLord was dancing around in the pocket pretty good. I won't bore you with the rest of my knowledge (smiling).