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August 17, 2003

Mardy Fish


Q. Mardy, is this a kind of mixed emotions? Obviously disappointed in not pulling it out, but really pleased with your performance, I would think?

MARDY FISH: I mean I'm sure I'll look back, you know, in a couple days or whatever, once I get over the fact that I did have two match points to win my first tournament, and you know, I'm sure I'll just say it was a great tournament, but I'll always -- hopefully not forever -- say "what if," "what if I could have won one of those points." But we'll see, I guess.

Q. How much were you in the moment during those match points? Were you thinking everything that that meant or were you just playing the match?

MARDY FISH: I was just playing. I didn't -- I kept trying to think about, you know, when we were practicing back when we were younger, and it was just no different, you know, just on a bigger stage, and you know, so it wasn't -- I didn't take it like -- I definitely didn't -- never thought about, you know, winning my first tournament, you know, when I had match points at all. I was just trying to win a match.

Q. Were you able to do that most of the match to kind of keep it like, this is me and Andy on a court or?

MARDY FISH: Yeah. I pretty much did that the whole match, and I just came out on the wrong side.

Q. Just knowing him, you probably know his game as well as anybody out on Tour just because of all that experience. Did that help you get off to a good start and not be intimidated by a lot of things that intimidate a lot of other people?

MARDY FISH: Sure. I know, and I think that I'm sure he knows that, you know, I know him a lot better than everybody else does out here, and you know, I think that he knows that he doesn't scare me. And you know, I definitely respect his game, but you know, I definitely think that I can beat him, and I know that he doesn't scare me, and I think he knows that as well.

Q. Is the fact that you won 74 service games in a row mean anything or was it kind of wiped away because it didn't lead to a win?

MARDY FISH: I mean, yeah, I mean it means that I made the finals of a tournament, and that was the first time that I've ever lost a match when I didn't lose my serve. And just happened to be in the finals of one of the biggest tournaments -- finals of one of the biggest -- the biggest match of my life, and it's just unfortunate that, you know, I definitely had chances. He had chances. I had chances to break, and I just didn't get it done.

Q. You mean the first time on the Tour or any time?

MARDY FISH: Like what?

Q. Losing the match when you hadn't lost your serve.


Q. Ever?

MARDY FISH: Not ever. I mean that I can remember, anyways, on Tour for sure.

Q. Does that make it harder to bear?

MARDY FISH: I don't know. I mean a loss is a loss whether you lose 7-6 in the third or 6-0, 6-0. I'm going to take a loss as a loss, and you know, I mean I definitely felt that I could have won the match, and I don't know. I mean I guess --

Q. How much do you think his play this summer played a part in today's result?

MARDY FISH: His play this summer?

Q. His play, the way he's played this summer.

MARDY FISH: I don't know. I mean he's been playing great all summer and during the grass court stuff, and I don't know. I mean he's just playing with so much confidence that I'm sure that's a big part of it.

Q. Even though you lost today, isn't this sort of a break- through week for you? Do you see this as a springboard to the rest of your career?

MARDY FISH: Hopefully. You know, hopefully I won't -- this won't be my last final of a big tournament like this, and you know, I mean you never know. You never know, but I mean I kind of -- I think if I made my first one when I was 21, hopefully in a couple years -- hopefully I can keep improving, and you know, if I can keep improving, then you know, then if you improve on a final result, then there's nothing higher than a win. So who knows, you know.

Q. He said that when you played in Washington a few weeks ago, that was over in about 47 minutes, but he watched your results this week and he knew it would be a lot tougher than that. Did you feel that you had improved that much?

MARDY FISH: I mean he served unbelievable in Washington, and he caught me -- I lost my first serve of each set. I lost my serve the first game that I served in each set against him, and so I was just playing from behind the entire time, and it wasn't one of my best matches, but I mean he played great, and there was nothing I could do, and today I don't know if he played as well as he did then, but I mean he just kind of -- he got the job done. And I tried to keep holding serve like I was trying to do all tournament and convert on my chances, and you know, he gave me a gift there in the first set, but that was all he could give me, I guess.

Q. In the first two sets you had many winners from the backhand side. In the third set that kind of deserted you. What happened? You forced him to serve you to forehand and in the third set you make many mistakes from the backhand.

MARDY FISH: I don't know. I didn't know that. My backhand -- I can't win without my backhand, that's for sure, because my forehand is definitely my weakest part of my game, and it's getting better, you know, but to lose a set 7-6 to one of the best players in the world when I'm not hitting my backhand well, as you say, is pretty good for me, I guess.

Q. Did he surprise you on the match point serves?

MARDY FISH: Yeah. I thought he was going to go forehand like he was the entire match. And he kind of -- I mean it's probably something that I'll think about for a while. You know, he just kind of kicked them out wide. I mean he hit one kick like 120 kicker out wide, which is not a normal kick for a normal person, but you know, it's kind of what you expect from him, but I definitely wasn't looking for that.

Q. You said on Monday that you wanted to be seeded for the Open, have a good couple matches. I think they said you're probably around 25 or so. So you've accomplished that. Do you think in a couple days that that'll be a highlight for you once this wears off a little bit?

MARDY FISH: Sure. I knew that I had to make at least the semis to get a seed. I don't know if I was guaranteed if I made the semis, but finals for sure. You know, I mean it'll definitely sink in. It'll take a little bit to get over this, but I'll be fine. I've lost matches 7-6 in the third before, as has everybody else out here, and you know, I'll get over it.

Q. Is Andy maybe playing the best of anyone right now?

MARDY FISH: Definitely better than anybody that I've ever played, but you know, I haven't played Agassi before. And you know, you never know with him taking a couple weeks off before the U.S. Open, he could be very, very dangerous. You know, there's just so much depth. You know, one bad match and you're gone. But yeah, I mean he's definitely playing better than anybody I've ever played, that's for sure.

End of FastScripts….

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