'It's more than I could ever dream of'

Andy Roddick in the middle of Time Square during a brief photo session. An USTA official holds the US Open Trophy, which Roddick won.-

Even though he insisted it had not sunk in, the significance of Andy Roddick's US Open tour de force was not lost on the stunned American.

"I don't think you could have written the script any better," Roddick said.

"We started here with Pete Sampras's retirement, and then Michael Chang leaving (the game).

"Now this ... it's more than I could ever dream of.

"So no more `what does it feel like to be the future of American tennis?' stuff.

"It feels good to be the present."

"But I don't believe I've won," he said with a smile as wide as his margin of victory.

"It's so far-fetched for me. I came here as a fan so much when I was younger. It is an absolute privilege to have my name on the trophy.

"And if I'm at the vanguard of new interest in tennis, if my winning promotes the sport, then awesome."

His celebration, after securing victory with another ace, was actually more compelling than the one-sided final itself.

Climbing up the stands to embrace his family, coach Brad Gilbert and actress girlfriend Mandy Moore — who had flown overnight from Los Angeles to witness his coronation — emotion got the better of the 21-year-old.

"I knew I was going to cry ... I was just so happy and wanted to share the moment with everyone who has supported me," Roddick said.

"The whole tournament has been amazing. Maybe I'll have a better explanation for what just took place in a couple of days."

"I've come a long way," he explained. "Pete schooled me last year.

"And, for sure, I was concerned about how I was going to handle the big occasion. The hardest thing is fear of the unknown.

"But I was baffled by how calm I felt out there. I almost didn't feel anything."

Those last comments suggest Roddick has the capacity to dominate his sport like others have done before him.

"When I was about seven or eight, I used to play at home in Texas and (pretend) I was beating Lendl, Becker, Edberg, Agassi and Sampras," Roddick said.

"But I'm not gonna come here now and say I'm the best thing since sliced bread.

"I want to keep working hard and improve. Who knows what the future will hold?

"I just want to live in the moment."