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March 23, 2003

Mardy Fish


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you just talk in general about how you felt out there? Was it hard, the way the weather's been, to get into a rhythm?

MARDY FISH: No, I don't think so. I think, you know, the way I felt out there was kind of dictated by the way he played. He played too good. Just one of those matches, I think, where you kind of got to tip your hat and say, "Too good," and hope that he doesn't play as well the next time you play him. Every big point, he came up with an ace or a service winner. I had a bunch -- probably at least six or seven breakpoints, and I don't think I got into the point in one of them. So, I mean, you know, if he hits an ace on breakpoint at 15-40, it's in the first game of the second, and at 2-all, you know, he hits a good second serve. Actually, the first breakpoint at 2-all, 15-40, I actually hit -- I got to hit two shots. I got to hit the return, then I missed a passing shot. So, you know, he came up with the good shots on every big point and, you know, was just too good.

Q. Are you getting used to playing in big matches, though?

MARDY FISH: Yeah. You know, every match like this, every match on, you know, a court like a Grandstand court, whether it's not so many people there or whether it's packed, it's still, you know, still a good experience for me. I'm still learning a lot. This is the deepest that I've got into this tournament before. I'm kind of finding that I'm doing that in a lot of tournaments that I'm playing now, you know, I'm getting further than I have ever been. It's exciting to know that and to look back and to see, you know, all the tournaments that I played this year and to see, you know, I made quarterfinals in a bunch of them, finals in one of them and I'm winning matches in every tournament. It's exciting.

Q. Are you feeling this is your year?

MARDY FISH: Hopefully, yeah. James and Andy had their breakout years. Robby is playing unbelievable now. So hopefully it can be two people or three people, even, with Taylor, to come out this year instead of just one, like the years past. You know, those guys and myself, I think, are showing that we can play with the Top 10 or the best in the world. And we're doing that.

Q. Want to make a prediction on the Robby-James match?

MARDY FISH: Robby was up 5-0 I think when we left, so I don't know. It's a new -- I guess once he probably wraps up -- did he wrap up that set or no? James, once he wraps up that first set, I'm sure it will be a different match. I don't know, I guess I have to go experience and go James, I don't know. Don't tell Robby I said that, though (smiling).

Q. From a competitive and strategy standpoint, do you prefer the best-of-three or the best-of-five?

MARDY FISH: That's a good question. I think in the third round of the Australian Open this year, I think I liked two-out-of-three. You know, a match like this out here today, I'd rather have three-out-of-five. It's exciting to play three-out-of-five sets and it's nice to have them only in the Grand Slams and a few finals. Are they still doing that in the finals of some of the Masters Series?

Q. They are doing it here.

MARDY FISH: It's exciting to play three-out-of-five. I played my first three-out-of-five match in Kalamazoo finals. I can't remember what year, but it was exciting. I was hoping I would be able to play a bunch of three-out-of-five matches in my career.

Q. What are you taking away from today?

MARDY FISH: I don't know. I mean, maybe just the fact that -- the fact that I know that somebody can blow me off the court like that. It's kind of like a reality check, I guess. Where, even if I play my best tennis, someone like that can beat me, you know. I've played a lot of good matches this year and a lot of good tennis, and nobody had really, from what I remember, beat me like that, where I had a couple chances but then they just squash them like that. I don't think anybody's done that this year to me. So that's something to look at, you know. Just say, "Too good." It's, you know -- again, it's all experience and, you know, this is my first round of 32 or something, round of 32, in this tournament. So it's all experience.

End of FastScripts….

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