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August 14, 2003

Mardy Fish


MODERATOR: Mardy advances to his first career Tennis Masters Series quarterfinal. Questions.

MARDY FISH: Good introduction, Sharko.

Q. This is as far as you've been in a Tennis Masters Series. How important is it for you to keep this run going?

MARDY FISH: I don't know so much about just getting experience in these types of situations, you know. I've been saying for a couple years now how, you know, every big match that I play is kind of a learning experience to get up to the main stage, you know, where I want to be ultimately. And, you know, tomorrow it will be no different - my first quarterfinal, hopefully, of many more, of many. And, you know, I mean, I definitely know whoever I play, I can beat them. You know, I'm playing well. I played great today. I served well today. If I serve well, I feel like I can beat anybody.

Q. It seemed like you could go for just about any shot out there. You had a lot of on-the-run stuff that was just...

MARDY FISH: Yeah. He's the kind of guy that makes you - makes me - play my game, lets me play my game. You know, he hits -- he makes you play a lot of balls. He has a lot of them that -- you know, he hits some short balls sometimes, and short balls are, you know, kind of my specialty. I like to come to the net, like I've always said. And, you know, today was no different from me as far as executing my game. I knew that -- I, you know, went out there knowing that if I executed my game well to where I know, you know, know how I can play, I should be okay, so...

Q. After winning that first set, you were Love-40 in his first game in the second, and you let that get away. In the past, that might have been a problem?

MARDY FISH: Yeah, it definitely wasn't easy to get over that. I mean, you know, that's a huge game, that first game. If I break him there, I'm just kind of steamrolling him. I remember at Love-40, I missed a forehand, a pretty easy forehand up the line. Then he played a good game. There was nothing I could do after that. Then I held, and then he went up 40-Love on his serve and I came back and won the game. So it was kind of like -- I kind of said to myself, too - it was kind of funny - I said to myself when I went down 40-Love, I said, "Okay, now I'm gonna come back and win the game." And, sure enough, I did.

Q. Would you have given that away at some point when you had less experience and just said, "All right, I'll just..."?

MARDY FISH: Who knows? I mean, a guy of that caliber, a guy that's ranked Top 30 is not easy to put away. You kind of have to take all your chances. I thought, you know, in the back of my mind, I was thinking maybe that was my chance to get the second -- get the break early in the second set, and hopefully, you know, kind of serve my way through the second set in the match. You know, luckily, I stayed aggressive on my returns. You know, that's what I've been doing really well this tournament. And, you know, I kind of put a lot of pressure on him to come up with the good shots, and he didn't.

Q. Your fellow young Americans, Andy and Robby, they've made their statements this summer. Do you get the feeling that the way you're playing now, now is your time to kind of make your statement?

MARDY FISH: I mean, I kind of felt that going into this year. I mean, kind of felt like I worked really hard in the off-season at Saddlebrook and, you know, this year was my year, along with hopefully Robby and Taylor and those other guys. You know, I think we've shown that we can play out here and we belong out here and, you know, that we're not just gonna stay at 40 in the world; we're gonna hopefully keep going up.

End of FastScripts….

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