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Andy Roddick - second round

Thursday 28 June 2012


A. RODDICK/B. Phau

6‑3, 7‑6, 6‑3

Q. How did you feel through that? Pretty good?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, felt fine. He's tough because he kind of just take swats at the ball, so it's tough to kind of build a match, I guess. He played well in spurts understand a he had his off moments also.

You know, just glad to get that break back and then close it out in three.

Q. Yesterday Goran Ivanisevic said the only player that he likes to listen to the interviews nowadays is you. When I asked who is second, third, fourth. He said first Roddick, second Roddick, third Roddick, fourth Roddick. He said all the other players nowadays are a bit boring.

ANDY RODDICK: The first question that came to my mind was who was fifth and sixth. I don't know. I'm not going to comment. To be honest, I'm not in here for anybody else's press conferences. I have fun with it.

Q. I'm just talking about the past the players said more sort of a variety. They were answering in a less predictable ways. Now everybody says, I lose six times, I learn from every win. Don't you think it would be more interesting...

ANDY RODDICK: It would be more interesting, but if they came in here and said something completely off the wall, then they would have to deal with that comment for the next four press conferences.

So really I'm the only idiot that doesn't answer to kind of give himself a break as far as time goes.

Q. Has doing these interviews, has that helped you in your burgeoning radio career?

ANDY RODDICK: I have no idea. I don't know anything about radio. I just do a show.

Q. Has it helped?

ANDY RODDICK: Well, yeah. I mean, I think any kind of public interaction where you have to kind of think on your feet is a good thing. My co‑host, a lot of times he doesn't like me know what's coming next when we're on the show. I'm sure I'm able to do it I guess because I never know what you all are going to bring at me and I'm expected to react on point right away.

I haven't thought about it like that, but I'm sure there are some parallels.

Q. Earlier today Gilles Simon was addressing his comments about equal pay for men and women at the Grand Slams. He said all 128 guys in the main draw here would agree with him that it was not a good concept based on entertainment value and we should ask them. So how about you?

ANDY RODDICK: You're going to have your work cut out for you because 64 of them have gone home. It's going to be tough to track them down.

Listen, let's not make this a gender issue. I don't know what numbers are. I don't know what we're dealing with. I've gone about my business.

I'm sure there's a way to figure out who people are coming to watch. I'm sure there's TV ratings to look at. I'm sure there are ample numbers out there to dissect.

As any business goes, you look at those numbers and then decide where it goes from there.

I don't know what they are, but I'm sure as journalists they're out there. If this is an important story, I'm sure you guys can figure it out.

It doesn't matter who has an opinion, because I guarantee you, both sides, men and women, we're going to be extremely biased towards our own product. So I'm sure there are better ways to look at it from an unbiased perspective.

Q. Not making it a gender issue, it does seem like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, get a disproportionate amount of attention.

ANDY RODDICK: They also win a disproportionate amount of matches.

Listen, find me a business where someone who is not making as much as the next guy isn't asking to make as much as that person. We're acting like this is a new issue. In any business model, whoever is not making the most money in the company wants a raise or wants more money.

I don't understand how this is new. Tennis is a business. It is. At the end of the day, we're all here because we're making money in some way, shape, or form. Correct? You're getting paid to be here; I'm getting paid to be here. So it's not unreasonable.

But those top three guys, they sell the most. They're bringing the most dollars into the sport, therefore they're getting compensated as the three most productive people in the sport.

It's hard. I'm the first one to say being a guy ranked 60 to 120 in tennis is a lot harder than a lot of the other sports just because there's no guaranteed salary and you're working for what you get on a weekly basis.

It's not a matter of hard, tough versus this, that. It's the structure of our sport, unfortunately, where it's based on performance.

Q. Can you bring together those two arguments? There seems to be a contradiction.

ANDY RODDICK: What's the contradiction exactly? It's the exact same argument.

Q. No.

ANDY RODDICK: Listen, you make based on what you bring in. So I'm challenging you guys to look at the numbers and just see who is bringing in what. I don't know what the answer is, but it seems pretty simple.

Those three guys make the most because they bring the most in. I'm confused where the contradiction lies.

Q. Well, the contradiction is that the women don't bring in as much.

ANDY RODDICK: I didn't say that.

Q. No, no. This is the argument. They don't bring in as much, but at the same time, the lower‑ranked men are asking for more money which is maybe being brought in by the top guys.

ANDY RODDICK: That doesn't mean it's being given to them.

Q. But in terms of the argument...

ANDY RODDICK: The argument is fine. You're asking for more if you're not making it. By all means, Roger, Rafa, Novak, Andy, those top guys, their opinion counts more because they're kind of the livelihood of the game right now. That's just the way it is.

When you're dealing with a sport where you don't have a home team ‑‑ you know, Jerry Jones, you hear what he says a lot more. You used to hear what Mr. Steinbrenner said a lot more because their teams were the best, the most marketable, and they brought the most in. That's the way it works in sports, in business.

Q. Do you think that market forces should be the sole criteria by which these kind of things are judged? Think about the history of gender and discrimination. Should that not factor in?

ANDY RODDICK: No, I'm sure it all should. Again, I don't think if you say look at the numbers, that's necessarily ‑‑ and I don't know what you guys are going to find because I haven't done the research.

But if you say that, I don't think you should be deemed automatically a sexist. I don't see how that's a fair deal either. I don't think it's the only thing that should be brought into the equation.

A lot of what I heard Gilles saying was basically he's proud of the product that the guys put out there. I'm sure he could have gone about it in maybe a not‑so‑forward way.

But in the same token, I saw the responses. They're like, He needs to shut up or he needs to wake up earlier. If it was said the other way around, I feel like that would have been a massive blowup.

Let's just keep things on an even playing field and not judge it by something that's not a matter of opinion, that is just a factual issue.

Q. Today, different day, different opponent. How did feel you compare compared to yesterday? Do you feel with every match you're getting more momentum?

ANDY RODDICK: I feel fine. I came in feeling fine. You know, the first match was a little uncomfortable just because it's getting used to a little bit of a different surface. It played a little quicker last week, so it was just a matter of finding that groove without a lot of prep time.

The first balls I hit on the court at Wimbledon this year were in warmup. That was a tougher issue first round, which felt a little bit better today.

Q. If the women wouldn't sell that much, you think they would not be served equal prize money or not? If the numbers...

ANDY RODDICK: It doesn't matter what I think. I'm not in control of it. I'm just saying that based on any other business in the world, the more you sell, the more you make, so on and so forth. And vice versa.

My opinion is completely middle of the road because I don't have the information. I don't know the numbers.

If it's the other way, then it's an issue that we shouldn't be making as much. I fully support that side of it, as well.

Q. Do you think it's going to feel strange, two Wimbledons within a month of each other? Are you going to spend time preparing here?

ANDY RODDICK: I'm actually playing Atlanta, so I'm going to go back home for that tournament. I'm curious to see what it will feel like. I know the format's different. Obviously it's two‑out‑of‑three sets until the final. I think there's going to be heaps of advertising everywhere. It's going to be a lot different. They're not going to have the standard colors on the court.

So it will probably be a little bit different. But it's exciting. I'm excited the Olympics are on grass. It's a surface that I favor. I've been looking forward to it for a while.

Q. Just because Wimbledon is so incredibly traditional, it's kind of taking away a lot of the tradition with the Olympics here.

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, it is. That's why I don't have anything to base it on. Most of the time you come here, they have their traditions and it's what makes Wimbledon Wimbledon.

I don't know what the feeling is going to be when you come here and that's not the case.

Q. Will you wear white at the Olympics?

ANDY RODDICK: I haven't thought about it yet.

Q. You had injury issues and your schedule got messed up. Where are you physically with how you're feeling in terms of the number of matches you're getting, fatigue and things like that?

ANDY RODDICK: Oh, no. No fatigue. I feel fine. It was needed. I needed to play matches to kind of get into the groove a little bit. But body‑wise I feel okay now.

Q. David Ferrer, he's a guy playing well on all surfaces.

ANDY RODDICK: I think he's won an insane amount of matches this year. I think it's 44 or something that I was reading last week. We both won on grass last week in the lead‑up. I think it will be a high level. You have to play well too beat David. He just doesn't give you anything. I have a ton of respect for him, the way he goes about his business, and what he gets out of himself is pretty impressive.

I'm going to have to play really well.

Q. Going to be a matter of you imposing yourself on him?

ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, you have to take a more aggressive line against him, for sure. You have too execute. You have to be really rock solid.

Q. How are you feeling so far this Wimbledon compared to the last few years?

ANDY RODDICK: As far as?

Q. Form.

ANDY RODDICK: Form, I feel like I'm probably playing better than the last two years. Three years ago I didn't play great. I got through it, but then I kind of found my form towards the end.

I feel good, though. I took a sharp turn around a corner last week. It was pretty horrendous going in, and coming out it was pretty good. Kind of got through the final pretty straightforward, so That was nice.

You know, I feel great. But also, I've put myself in a position with a lack of result to have a huge battle and a huge test in the third round. That's great, but we need to ‑‑ it's going to have to be a high level to get through.

Q. What did that sharp turn around the corner feel like for you?

ANDY RODDICK: Felt like it was needed. Felt like it was needed. I certainly had never lost that many matches in succession.

It's a tough mental balance because you're trying to figure out how much of it is physical problems kind of bleeding into how much of it is not playing on your right surface. How much of it is your actual game. Who knows. There's a million thoughts. All the questions you guys have asked, trust me, I've asked myself as well.

It's nice to have a little bit of validation last week to feel like I'm back to just playing tennis. That's a good feeling.

Q. Do you think it's interesting that our sport is structured around the very, very top players, the main players that really draw, and then there's such a drop‑off? You, yourself, you going to a tournament can make or break a tournament. After the top five or six names, you could argue maybe ten names, there's such a huge drop‑off.

ANDY RODDICK: Like I said, there's no built‑in franchise. There's no built‑in support system who will support you just because of the name on your jersey. It's not different than a lot of other individual sports. You think of cycling, you think of one name for the most part. You think of swimming, you think of one name. You think of golf, you think of however many names you just said, and then there's probably a significant drop‑off as well.

It's a completely different animal when you're dealing with the infrastructure of a sports league and home teams as opposed to tournaments spread out across the world with individual stars. I think you're always going to find a little bit of a disconnect. I don't think it's a smart comparison to compare tennis to any team sport. I think the parallels should be drawn to other individual sports as far as how to navigate that.

Q. It might be a little bit of a riddle to see if Roberta Vinci or Jesse Levine win more for their second‑round match because they're not names, they're not draw.

ANDY RODDICK: I don't understand the question.

Q. It's just that the structure of our sport is so laden or tilted towards the big names. In a way, the other names, any market forces don't come into play.

ANDY RODDICK: I agree. It's back to what I've been beating a dead horse on.

Unfortunately, I love Jesse. He's a great guy. ESPN did not buy Wimbledon to put Jesse on over Djokovic and Federer, because Djokovic and Federer, more people will stay tuned in, and it's more dollars in everybody's pocket. They're getting money back on an investment they made.

So I don't like the fact that that gets overlooked. Obviously I think it's a great story. I've known him for a long time. But the way they make their own story is to do it over and over and over and over again to where you build familiarity; therefore you become marketable yourself because people feel they know you a little bit.

Q. If you're a Red Sox fan, you stay a Red Sox fan for 40 years. If you're an Andy Roddick fan, Jack Nicklaus, and those people disappear, if you're not into the sport, a purist, you don't know the rest of the people. Obviously the top guys or the top women draw and the other people don't. It's not their fault. The big problem in tennis is that it's hard to work the lower people who are always playing the top players early and they never move up until they...

ANDY RODDICK: They do. The thing is, not everyone can be great. It's hard. I'm not sure that I ever even got there.

But Nadal didn't exist eight years ago. But then this kid comes up, he wins French Opens. The first one he won people probably didn't pay that much attention. All of a sudden he's won seven and the guy is a global superstar. It's not easy to be great, but those guys are.

I understand what you're saying. You have to have a real love of tennis to stick around for the long haul.

Q. Same with golf. Even though Tiger hasn't done very much, he didn't play well at the U.S. Open, the TV ratings shoot up when he's on.

ANDY RODDICK: It happens. It's just the way it is. It's tough to separate a lot of times with Jesse, you know, and the other stuff we're talking about, it's a really tough line to separate the human element from the business side when at the core of it it's this game we love and we're all passionate about, but we don't get outside our own little box and view this from the people who are putting on this entire show.

A lot of it comes from people who are not necessarily tennis fans. They're people who put on events, blow it up as big as they can, and that's where the money comes from. It trickles down to all of us.

It's certainly an interesting dynamic, and it's tough to separate a human element from the business side of it. But I feel that's just a realistic view sometimes.

Q. Do you feel the system itself is really unwieldy and really not designed for marketing a modern sport, a two‑week event, 128 players? Do you have anything to say about that in?

ANDY RODDICK: As far as a slam goes?

Q. You know, number of players...

ANDY RODDICK: Well, I'm certainly not a mathematician, but I know two weeks generates more than ten days, so...

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