Q. First time Roger ever out‑aced you in a tournament.
ANDY RODDICK: In a tournament?
Q. Sixteen aces.
ANDY RODDICK: Okay.
Q. That set the tone for you in this match.
ANDY RODDICK: I mean, Roger served great tonight. Yeah, I mean, that was more of a statement than a question. So I agree with you.
Q. How much, then, did the umpire’s decisions affect you today?
ANDY RODDICK: No, it didn’t at all.
Q. It looked like you were throwing everything you could at him in the third set. Were you feeling at that stage that you were getting better as it went along?
ANDY RODDICK: Let’s not kid ourselves. You’re down two sets to him and scraping, trying to survive. I hit the ball pretty well. If you look at his stats for the match, both of us had pretty good stats. You know, he just came up with shots when he needed to. That’s what he does.
Q. Pretty simply, seemed almost impossible to break him tonight.
ANDY RODDICK: He served great. For some reason he seems to serve pretty well. I think it was up around maybe over 70% first serves, which is just high for him. He’s not really up in that area a lot. So when he does that, it makes it pretty tough.
Q. What positives do you take away from the tournament?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, a lot of positives. I did a lot of good things. Hit the ball pretty well and, you know, there’s a whole laundry list of positives. Overall, I think it was a good event.
Q. Is it fair to say you’ve got a lot to work on but a lot to look forward to, do you think, for the rest of the year?
ANDY RODDICK: I sure hope so. Hopefully I can build on this a little bit. If I can keep my form through the first couple weeks here and from Doha and here, you know, should have a better year than the last couple.
Q. Can you speak to how different it is to try to get better at 25 or 26 than it is to get better at 18 and 19?
ANDY RODDICK: I think at 18 and 19 it just kind of happens. It’s like a natural kind of progression. You grow into your body. At 25, 26 you got to try to get creative any way you can and analyze, and be a little bit more self‑aware about what you can try to do.
I think at 25, 26, for a lot of people, it’s tough to kind of get the motivation and kind of keep going and keep at it. But, you know, as long as I decide to play this game, I’m going to do what I can to try to improve out there. There’s no reason for me not to.
Q. Also, one of the few situations you haven’t played Roger in is Davis Cup. I know it’s still a couple months off. Do you think that will have a different feel for you after all these matches with him?
ANDY RODDICK: I don’t know. It’s going to be ‑‑ you know, Davis Cup always feels a little bit different. I’m not sure how ‑‑ that is probably the one event where you don’t think of Roger when you kind of think of it.
So I’m sure it’ll be a little bit different, but, you know, he’s still Roger. I’m looking forward to it, though.
Q. In terms of patterns of play, do you view this as progress for yourself?
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I don’t know. The thing about Roger is you can know where to go, and you can still come out on the bad end of it sometimes. So that’s where it differs from a lot of people.
A lot of people you know exactly what have to do and the majority of the time you execute it, you’re going to come out on the good end it of. That part is a little bit frustrating at times.
Overall, it was an okay match. He just beat me. It’s plain and simple.
Q. You know Pete. What do you think it means to tennis history if Roger gets to 14?
ANDY RODDICK: Well, I mean, it’s ‑‑ I think when Pete did it, I was a part of that one, too. I think when he did it in ’02, everyone was saying how kind of lofty of an achievement it was. I don’t know if we thought we would see it any time soon. Little did we know he was going to start it the next year and go after it.
I mean, that’s for you guys to do. It feels like two different ‑‑ it’s like my childhood was Pete, and now it’s kind of my grown life is Roger. It’s different, because you view Pete in kind of this ‑‑ I don’t know how to put it.
I guess Roger is a contemporary of mine which didn’t lessen the affect. I see Pete and Andre and I still get a little jittery. It’s crazy to think it’s come full circle and the magnitude of the numbers he’s accomplished, it’s pretty scary if you sit down and look at them and go through what it takes to accomplish that.
Q. You probably played him more than anyone in recent years. The talent he has, does it astound you how good he remains? He still has this remarkable ability to play the game at the level he plays it.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, I mean, the thing ‑‑ I don’t know if time is going to affect it much because he plays pretty effortlessly. He moves pretty effortlessly. Seemed like he didn’t have to work as much either. Just kind of goes out there and in practice you see him swat some balls around and it kind of works. So that definitely saves his body over the long haul.
Yeah, I mean, I’m not going say anything new or revolutionary here by saying how talented and what an incredible player he is.
Q. Do you feel like he has so many options that even when you’re playing well he’s going to come up with something else?
ANDY RODDICK: He’s certainly capable of coming up with something. It’s not just me. He’s capable of hitting some shots that a lot of guys aren’t capable of hitting. Yeah, I guess. Yeah.
Q. How would you see a final between either Nadal and Verdasco and him? Who do you think might win?
ANDY RODDICK: It is a tougher matchup for Roger against Rafa just because the ball is coming in from a different angle. He’s coming ‑‑ the forehand’s going away from his backhand a little bit as opposed to kind of coming in. It makes it a completely different dynamic.
Rafa has been playing great here as well. It’s tough to pick much between them. I think if Roger serves the way he did tonight it’s going to be real tough for anybody to beat him. If it’s down in the 55 where someone is getting looks at second serves, who knows? I mean, it’s tough to pick much between the two.
I’m excited to see it, though. One thing that’s probably not going to get talked about much is Roger, he enjoys playing at night. Seems like he sees the ball pretty big at night. I think that’s a factor that needs to be at least thought of or discussed.
Q. It’s a long season obviously. People talk about the top four guys a lot: Murray, Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer. Does this tournament change that equation do, you think, or just wait and see?
ANDY RODDICK: No, not yet. Last I checked, they’re still going to be 1 through 4 when this tournament is done.
Q. Just to Roger’s serve, is it very hard to read, or is it he just spots it and places it so well?
ANDY RODDICK: That’s not an either/or question there. It’s tough to read and he hits his spots.
Q. When it was 5‑2 in the first set, the umpire or chair engaged you when you carried on, and he said neither you nor him were going to win here. That didn’t affect you at all?
ANDY RODDICK: What?
Q. When it was 5‑2 in the first set.
ANDY RODDICK: I was already down two breaks in that set.
Q. I get that.
ANDY RODDICK: Then get it.
Q. It was an unusual stage for the chair to engage you and carry on a dialogue after two breakpoints went against you.
ANDY RODDICK: Yeah, what do you want from me? The guy made a judgment call. I didn’t agree with the judgment call. I made it known. I asked pointed questions that when he answered them they completely contradicted what he said before. What do you want me to say?
Q. Well, I guess you didn’t beat yourself here, you were beaten by a better player.
ANDY RODDICK: Have you been here for the entire press conference?
ANDY RODDICK: I feel like I’ve gotten that point across.
Q. You handled that quite well. I’m impressed.
ANDY RODDICK: Thank you. You make a lot of statements and don’t ask any questions.
012909 thursday /info-photo via Australian Open / Getty Images