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March 20, 2002

Mardy Fish


Q. Pretty good win today?


Q. Talk about it.

MARDY FISH: Yeah, it was a great win. You know, I think it's always nice, you know, to get past the first round and to get into the later rounds and start playing, you know, some of the seeds. Obviously, if you win a round, you play a seed. But as far as, you know, yes, it was a very solid win. And I'll take it.

Q. He beat Agassi last week. This guy beats Agassi, you beat him?

MARDY FISH: That's an indirect win over Agassi. Then an indirect win over Pete Sampras, then indirect win over ...

Q. Kevin Bacon (laughing)?

MARDY FISH: Yeah. No, he obviously was playing well last week and had a great win. And it's great to beat a hot player like him. He's played well, later on in the year, too. I know Asia; finals, couple tournaments; or semis. So, you know...

Q. Have you had any Top-50 wins off the top of your head?

MARDY FISH: I beat Enqvist, Philippoussis, which, Philippoussis was like ten or something. I think I beat Chela when he was top 50. So I don't know, yeah.

Q. What changed at 5-5 in the second?

MARDY FISH: I think it was a little bit before that actually. I got down, I think I got up 2-1 a break, then 3-2 a break. And I got him back on serve both times. But I think the one that really started to switch the momentum was the 3-2 game where I got to 3-all then held a tough game to go 4-3. Then I had, you know, I think I had a chance to break him in that next game. I think he played a pretty good game. Then, you know, I knew I just had to keep, you know, keep attacking and keep playing my game. And I would have some sort of chance to break him, and I played a really, really good game at 6-5 to get the break. I knew once I got a set under my belt that I would hopefully start, you know, start rolling. And I did.

Q. You got Rios next. I'm sure you know of his past. What do you think you have to do to beat a player of his caliber?

MARDY FISH: He's obviously a great player. He won this tournament in '98 I think. I was actually here watching that tournament as a spectator. But I really can't say that I've seen him play too many times. But I'm sure my coach will, you know, I know a couple of my friends have played him. So, we'll have to go to their record books and ask them (smiling).

Q. Were you up in the stands during the final when it was a Davis Cup atmosphere?

MARDY FISH: I was. It was unbelievable. It was really cool.

Q. Where did you sit?

MARDY FISH: Like the top row.

Q. You were singing, right?

MARDY FISH: Yeah, I was like throwing the stuff off the back, trying to hit people. I think I was like 14 then or something (laughing).

Q. Speaking of the Davis Cup, I talked to Patrick earlier this week. Have you talked to him about where you might fit in in the tie in Houston?

MARDY FISH: Yeah. He hasn't made final decision yet. I mean, he's obviously the captain. Whatever he thinks goes. You know, Todd, it's tough to go against a guy like Todd when - especially if you got me, who's only played one tie. Todd has had some unbelievable results on grass. Just so, so solid. Like every Wimbledon he makes the quarters or he does well, he has good wins, or he almost has good wins. So, it's really tough to go against that guy. He can even play singles ahead of Andy even, you know. But, you know, he hasn't made a final decision yet, and I'm sure later on in the week I think he'll come out.

Q. He said all along that he wants to wait because if somebody gets hot, somebody gets hurt. Do you think if you string together three or four wins here that that might sway him?

MARDY FISH: You never know. I don't know if he's made a decision in his head or anything like that yet. But as far as, you know, if someone's playing well, I mean, I just don't see how -- if I were the captain, I'd pick Todd (smiling). I would pick Todd over a 20-year-old who doesn't have any experience. Especially in a big match like that, where I was actually in Spain when we played them last time. They killed us. So he wants -- we want to beat them.

Q. Would you go if he just said, "Hey, we want you to hit"?

MARDY FISH: Oh, yeah. For sure.

Q. Under that circumstance?


Q. Being a former house mate of Andy Roddick, you see his kind of rise. Do you feel like, "Hey, why not me"?

MARDY FISH: Yeah. You know, not only him, but James is also playing really well, James Blake is also playing really well right now. Yeah, but, you know, I grew up for a couple years playing -- living with Andy, practicing with him every day and giving him tough sets and he giving me tough sets and going back and forth. And, you know... But I'm just -- I'm thrilled that he's doing well. And hopefully I'm sure, you know, he's happy that I get a win here and that we're both making progress. I know -- I don't know what his ranking is, but hopefully he won't stop there. You know, he's still young and he's having fun, so that's the main thing.

Q. What might separate you guys at this point, where he is and where you are?

MARDY FISH: You know, as far as his serve, is awesome, his forehand is awesome. And the guy fights like unbelievably. And, you know, I just need to work on my, you know, work on my mental part of the game and my serve a little bit more, my forehand. And, hopefully, you know, I can be up there just like him.

Q. What did that Davis Cup victory do for your confidence?

MARDY FISH: It was -- I don't think it really did much for my singles confidence. But just as far as knowing that Patrick had confidence in me, like knowing to pick me. And even if one of the guys got hurt, that he could count on me for a singles, you know, that gives me confidence. But I don't know if it did too much for singles. Doubles-wise, I love playing doubles. I try to play doubles every week. I play with Jeff Morrison. So, I mean, I'm playing with him here, too. That gives me a lot of confidence doubles-wise anyways to do well in doubles.

End of FastScripts….

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