U.S. Open: A-Rod Exclusive

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124109787FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. — As Andy Roddick raced off Court 13 after his memorable 6-3, 6-4, 3-6 6-3 payback win over Spaniard David Ferrer, Inside Tennis risked life and limb to penetrate a hefty New York-tough phalanx of beefy, yellow-clad security guards, protecting the heroic-once-again Texan from adoring crowds. As the USO quarterfinalist wound his way past the shrieking crowds, he ducked into vast underground maze of Ashe Stadium. There, we asked him, “What was the best part of playing out there on a back court?”

“You know, I watch TV, I read the papers and there’s so much negativity,” he said.

“Is this guy all right?” a security guard interrupted.

“Yeah, he’s good,” said Roddick.

“So, for me,” he continued, “it’s great to get back to my roots, the basics, to hear the crowd. The last time I played out there it was probably 12 years ago back when I was a junior against [Stanford product and doubles specialist] Scott Lipsky.”

“How does this compare with playing out on that quirky Court 2 at the French Open?”

“There was a lot more support out here, I can tell you that,” he said.

“What was the best part in playing out on Court 13?”

“It was great,” he replied. “I had a lot of fun. I loved that.”

And with that, the great warrior of American tennis turned and disappeared into the locker room, his job done. Just another day at his much-smaller-than-usual office.

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