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August 30, 2000

Mardy Fish

Flushing Meadows, New York

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Mardy.

Q. You've never even gone four sets before and you went five tonight.

MARDY FISH: I went four in Kalamazoo.

Q. Where?

MARDY FISH: Kalamazoo Finals last year.

Q. Never on the ATP Tour?


Q. Were you tired?

MARDY FISH: Yeah, my legs were tired. My mind wasn't really tired but my legs were -- I was feeling my thighs were getting pretty weak. But I mean I was still battling, trying.

Q. You had a shot at winning that third set.


Q. Can you discuss what happened there?

MARDY FISH: I think I was up -- I got up a break 2-1, then went, I guess, it was 3-2, I lost my serve, right.

Q. Yes.

MARDY FISH: I was serving 3-2. I don't know, I mean --

Q. I think it was 2-1.

MARDY FISH: Okay, never mind then. I didn't really get nervous because it wasn't really close to -- I mean it was close, but it wasn't like -- I wasn't really serving it out or anything. I just played a couple bad games on my serve in the fourth and the fifth, and I guess he took advantage. He returned -- he started returning well. My first-serve percentage started dropping off. He started taking advantage of my second serves. Then he served really well. I couldn't get a rhythm on his return -- or on his serve at all.

Q. Ninth game of the third set, a short forehand, gave you a 15-30 lead at that point, you were two points away from doing it?

MARDY FISH: It was at 4-all?

Q. Yes.

MARDY FISH: It was 15-30 or 15-40?

Q. 15-30 I think.

MARDY FISH: I don't remember that shot.

Q. What was the experience like?

MARDY FISH: In the beginning I tried to get the crowd on my side because I knew that I would need them if it went like a long match. And I did and I tried to get real fired up. It also helped me, too, not just getting the crowd by my side. I stayed real positive, and played really well.

Q. Do you have any family here?

MARDY FISH: Yeah, I have my mom and my sister and my dad are here.

Q. Did you hear them in the crowd?

MARDY FISH: Yeah, I could hear my sister, yeah.

Q. She got pretty excited?

MARDY FISH: Did she get pretty excited?

Q. Yeah.

MARDY FISH: Yeah, I'm sure. She's a tennis player herself, so she loves it.

Q. She's what, 16?


Q. Going to college or --

MARDY FISH: She's going to go -- she doesn't know yet. But she's a senior. She's starting her senior year in high school. She's like 40th in the country, she's really good. She's got one more year.

Q. What's her name?

MARDY FISH: Meredith.

Q. Outwardly, you and Andy seem like such different personalties. Andy's super hyper and Mardy's kind of...


Q. How do you guys get along?

MARDY FISH: How did we get along?

Q. How do you get along with such different personalties?

MARDY FISH: I don't know. Who says we get along? (Laughter.) No, I'm kidding. I got to know him really well when I used to live with him for like eight months. So I got to know him really well on a personal standpoint, not only seeing him at the courts and hitting with him. So we were good friends.

Q. Who had the bigger effect on you? Did you calm him down more than he hyped you up?

MARDY FISH: I think he did calm down after I started getting hyped up, because I mean he didn't really hype me up. I started from the first game, trying to stay positive and trying to pump myself up.

Q. I was really talking more about you and Andy.


Q. That eight-month period where you guys were living together, you were feeding off each other's personalties, did your calming personality have more of an effect on Andy than his sort of hyper --

MARDY FISH: No, he probably had more of an effect on me. That's good to -- I mean the fans want that. The fans want people who are intense and on the court and really try hard and sometimes when I play, I'm -- I mean you might get the wrong picture or something 'cause I'm just, you know, laid back and... But I mean I try to do what Andy does and try to get intense. Maybe even piss Jan-Mike off a little bit because it's -- I mean he's not my friend in the match. But after the match he is.

Q. The third set, you're two points away from breaking him and serving for the match. What happened? From there out, the break points --

MARDY FISH: I don't know. You said I missed a forehand or something?

Q. You hit a short ball, came in for a two-handed forehand?

MARDY FISH: I played really tentative on some of my break point chances in the first, second and third sets. A couple of them I got good forehands to rip, and I rolled them back cross court or inside-out back to his backhand, he took advantage. I played really cautious. I didn't make an error, but he had to come up with a good shot, and he did. But I didn't really make it too tough on him to come up with that shot.

Q. The first two sets were fantastic.

MARDY FISH: Thank you.

Q. You were -- I mean would you agree?

MARDY FISH: Yeah, yeah. I mean coming out there, I thought I would be really nervous and right at the beginning I got my feet going good and I wasn't -- I just -- there were no nerves at all. I was fired up and ready to play, since I was waiting for so long I thought I would be really nervous to play. Finally getting out there, I came out there really playing well and really hitting the ball well.

Q. Pattern your game after any player?


Q. The ATP has been pushing this week the new young generation of players: Jan-Michael, Safin, a couple others. You're up two-sets-to-love and up a break, it looked like you should have been part of that group. Where do you see your career going?

MARDY FISH: I mean it's only going up. I mean I've just started playing these tournaments, and I've only gotten good results. I mean I lost second round, I won a round at the Ericsson, and let's see... I got to the quarterfinals of an ATP Tour event in Newport, I lost first round in Cincinnati, but I had a lot of chances. And also here. So I mean --

Q. Is this your first five-setter?

MARDY FISH: Yeah. This is my first three-out-of-five on the ATP Tour.

Q. Do you see yourself in any way like Todd Martin? Your game is -- you can hit, but you can also be a very careful player out there. You have a big serve but you don't necessarily hit it big every time?

MARDY FISH: No, the serve is what I need to work on the most. If I get my serve going -- like Andy's got an awesome serve. That's why he plays well, because his serve is awesome. I need to work on my serve. If I get my serve going, there's no stopping.

Q. Any chance your sister will have an interest in going to Minnesota as you did a few years back?

MARDY FISH: I don't think so. She's not really into Minnesota like my dad and I are. It's pretty cold up there.

Q. When did you guys move from Minnesota to Florida?

MARDY FISH: When I was three and my sister was one. But we still -- my dad lived there for 30 years.

Q. A path between Vero Beach and Boca Raton when you're home?

MARDY FISH: I still live in Boca, I don't go every week. I try to go.

Q. Who are you training with down there?

MARDY FISH: Well, right now I just started with a new coach, Brad Stein, he lives in Fresno. I'm going to go out to Fresno a lot and practice there. In Boca, there's a bunch of guys there like Andy and Lavar and those guys.

Q. Did you think about going to college, did you go?

MARDY FISH: I didn't go. I just finished my senior year. I didn't -- I mean it never -- I never really came up to that conclusion, because I signed with IMG and they were recruiting me from the French Open on, like last year. And I actually signed a year ago, last year. And I mean the school year starts on -- like right then when I signed. I knew I was going to sign but I hadn't signed until then. I knew I was going to sign so I didn't think I was going to go.

End of FastScripts….

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