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joyful rogger fedder

Monday, June 29, 2009

Quick-witted Roddick raises a smile

Photo Titled Roddick drive
American No. 1 Andy Roddick keeps his eye on the ball to drive a forehand past his third round opponent Jurgen Melzer.

Andy Roddick has two habits when he enters a post-match press conference. The first is to walk in quickly, clutching a match statistics sheet. The second is to fire off quick-witted answers at the press pack.

Catch him on a bad day and you know about it – his witty tongue turns sharp and acidic. Catch him on a good day and he will split your sides, which is exactly what happened this afternoon as he addressed the media following his four-set defeat of Jurgen Melzer.

Sure enough A-Rod walked in holding the familiar piece of paper and sure enough he got asked questions about it. The newly-wed revealed he closely studies his first-serve percentage and points won receiving second serves. “The other one is just feeding my curiosity,” he said.

When asked whether he thought there were any stats in tennis that weren’t so useful, he answered no. That was until another reporter piped up, “Federer is one of the worst challengers. Does that surprise you?” to which Roddick quipped: “I just found an irrelevant stat.” The newsroom was in stitches.

On the subject of whether the American liked or disliked the press, the 26-year-old shot back “Depends on the person.” The journalist in question quickly retorted that a press conference is made up of several people. A-Rod quipped: “Thank you for clarifying,” prompting much amusement.

But for a moment, the American turned serious and admitted that he has a “pretty good time” with the media. “I appreciate the banter,” he said. “I hate to give all of you big heads, but I appreciate your place. I think we’re all under the same roof on trying – no pun intended – of trying to get the game out there. I definitely understand the give-and-take between the two.”

And he couldn’t help but smile when one journalist pointed out his great tiebreak record this year and asked whether Roddick felt a little mojo when he gets to that stage in a match. “I don’t know if I agree with your word usage, but that was cute,” he laughed.

To which end, he hurried out of the interview room still analysing that piece of paper.

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