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March 13, 2007

A. RODDICK/R. Gasquet

7-6, 6-3

An interview with:


ANDY RODDICK: You're the only guy who picked Texas. I read it yesterday. You picked Texas.

Q. I did that thing in two minutes. I don't even remember who I picked.
ANDY RODDICK: You picked Texas. Take credit for it, please.

Q. Texas, what, in the NCAA?
ANDY RODDICK: He doesn't remember it. I do. I read it yesterday. I can show you the article.

Q. They didn't make it, did they?
ANDY RODDICK: They did not even come close to making it.

Q. Their women qualified?
ANDY RODDICK: That's awesome.

Q. Who's your Final 4 then?
ANDY RODDICK: Who's my final 4, who did I pick today? I think I'm probably gonna lose bad, but my strategy actually went with Texas to win it, which is a suspect pick probably. But we have like a 300-person pool like the ATP pool, and some guy picked Florida last year when they were three or four seed. They got through. I figured they had to take a winger to try to win that one. I think I had Texas, Kansas, Florida, and I think Ohio state.

Q. Good pick.
ANDY RODDICK: Just taking a flier on Texas.

Q. I thought they were like the Fab 5 with all the freshman, then I remembered he did it in the finals.
ANDY RODDICK: We won't see them next year, so lets enjoy this one.

Q. Did you hear the big news? Lance won.
ANDY RODDICK: Are you talking about the mushing. Sorry, I missed it. I've been focusing for the match today, so...

Q. He didn't win the pool though.
ANDY RODDICK: I forgot to go to before I came over.

Q. You played awfully well tonight.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I played well. I thought he played really well in the first set, seemed like he was just taking even good returns, kind of winging them for winners every place, and, you know, I don't think that's as easy to do in a tiebreaker as it is in just a regular service game.
So I was able to get through the breaker and kind of use the momentum. The second set, I thought was my best tennis of the week, so far.

Q. When you get that break and you're serving that well, in your mind, do you think this match is over?
ANDY RODDICK: No. No. I mean, you always guard against it. You know, you always, you get down Love-15, anything could happen. You miss a first serve, all of a sudden he's got a look. So you kind of really have to, really have to bear down there.
Tonight, I did. Even in the last game, I think the only free point I got on my serve might have been the last point. So, you know, I definitely don't take it for granted there. Even if I have been serving well, it only takes one bad game.

Q. Do you approach each tiebreaker differently depending on who you're playing, talking the breakers in general?
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, I think there's definitely a general mentality. I mean, obviously the strategy changes with who you're playing as far as how you construct points and what you're looking to do. But basically, you know, you're trying to make first serves and make returns. You're trying to make them play on their serve. Like I said, it's a lot harder to hit great shots just easily when you have the kind -- there's a certain amount of tension in the tiebreaker, it's a lot harder to play well there.
So if I'm hitting my first serves in and they're kind of feeling that, they're going to have to play well on their serves. All of a sudden, I put a couple returns in the court, it makes it that much harder for them.

Q. I know this is a business trip, but did you have any time this week, did you run into former President Bush?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I haven't.

Q. Okay. I was just curious. He was in Eisenhower. He was ill the other day.
ANDY RODDICK: No, I haven't seen him.

Q. So Ljubicic, ten times you've got the edge on him record-wise. He's played pretty tough. Talk about that?
ANDY RODDICK: It will be a tough one. Obviously, it's just going to be a matter of who can get some chances to break. You know, he's going to serve well. I think this court is pretty good for him, because he likes to get a little bit of height on his ground strokes, loop them up there. Second serve kind of bounces off the court. So this should be a decent court for him.
That being said, I feel like I'm serving pretty well, too, so, you know, it's just a matter of who creates chances, takes them, you know. It's gonna come down to that.

Q. As far as Richard goes, what do you think separates him from the very top?
ANDY RODDICK: Not much. I mean, I think tonight he played great up until -- and then maybe I just played the big points a little bit better. You know, he hadn't really missed any balls at all for the whole set. And then, you know, missed a couple forehands badly in the tiebreaker, you know, out of -- it was pretty unexpected, you know.
So I was okay with that, you know (smiling). But, you know, something was a little bit different in the breaker, I think.

Q. When you travel a few weeks without Jimmy then he comes back and joins you, is it a little bit of reacquaintance that goes on for a period of time?
ANDY RODDICK: There is really not really too much of a reacquaintance. It's nice. It's like a rejuvenation. It's always fun because he brings, you know, that intensity every time. But, you know, the first day we'll together, we'll make sure to really hang out a lot, and, you know, catch a long dinner together, and kind of just, not only catch up on the tennis stuff, just kind of talk a little bit and kind of get that, kind of like what you're talking about, get it out of the way so we can get down to some business.

Q. I mean, there are people like you, you don't see them for years, you get back together instantly. It's like you haven't missed a beat. Other people you see all the time, you sort of have to warm up, but it sounds like you're somewhere in the middle there?
ANDY RODDICK: No, I mean, we're -- you know, we're fine. We can get -- when we're on the phone, we can get a conversation done in two and a half minutes. We kind of understand each other. We're both pretty straightforward and pretty frank. And, you know, there's not a lot of, you know, talking in circles with us. We're both pretty direct, so that makes it easy. And, you know, I think -- I mean, I can speak for myself, I'm always excited when I haven't seen him for a while to kind of just hang out a little bit.

Q. Has he introduced you to Segura? Have you had any talks with Segura about tennis?
ANDY RODDICK: I haven't, I haven't really talked tennis with Segura. I know Jimmy talks about him a lot and he has a lot of respect for him, but I personally haven't talked much tennis with him.

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