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August 28, 2003

Mardy Fish


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Mardy.

Q. How did it feel out there today?

MARDY FISH: I felt fine. I mean, the guy played well. I mean, uhm, apart from him being hurt a little bit there at the end, or what looked to be hurt, you know, he played really solid tennis. You know, I had to come up with the goods on almost every point. But I knew that going in. I knew I had to be smart, which I wasn't today, as smart as I can be. You know, the guy came up with the goods on the big points, and I didn't. That's basically what it came down to.

Q. The crowd seemed really behind you, especially at the end.

MARDY FISH: Sure, they were great. I mean, I was kind of hoping and I kind of knew that they were maybe going to be behind me a little bit. But, yeah, I mean, they were awesome. I'm sure 50% of it was maybe because they wanted to see more tennis. But yeah, I mean, they were great.

Q. What wasn't working for you today? Didn't play as smart as you thought you could have?

MARDY FISH: Yeah, I mean, apart from the stupidity on some of the shots that I hit, I mean, I missed volleys that I don't normally miss, I double-faulted more than I normally do. You know, I thought I hit my forehand well. I thought I hit my groundstrokes pretty well. I hit my backhand, you know, great, like I always do. You know, I mean, I felt that I should have won the second set, having four set points. And, you know, I had a forehand at 6-3 in the breaker that I could have easily gone to his backhand, come to the net, knock a volley off. Instead I tried to pull it inside into his forehand, and his forehand was deadly today. He was hitting running passing shots from everywhere. Just little opportunities that I let slip that I have been taking advantage of in the past few weeks. I didn't do it today. I have to play a bad match every once in a while. I guess today was one of those days.

Q. You were talking about recognition before. Do you feel that more people know you a little bit more now?

MARDY FISH: Sure. You know, it's a disappointing end to one of the biggest tournaments of the year, and one of my favorites of the year. You know, I want to go far in this tournament, as does every other American, as does every other player. You know, I mean, I couldn't -- if you would have come to me, say, four or five weeks ago and said, "You're going to be 25 in the world after the US Open," I would have said, "Okay, where do I sign up?" Again, you know, it's a disappointing ending. I didn't think I was going to be where I am two weeks ago, so... I can't really complain.

Q. You've had some really good results in Masters Series, but not really in a Grand Slam. What's it going to take for you to translate what you're doing in some other tournaments in the really big ones?

MARDY FISH: I think it's going to take that one match. The one match in Australia that I had against Ferreira, the one match against Federer at Wimbledon. You know, those are third rounds. Obviously Federer was playing unbelievable, and I had to play one of the best sets of my life just to win one set. You know, it's going to take that one match. It's going to propel me. Like in Cincinnati, it took that one good win against Xavier Malisse in a night match. You know, I won that one. It just propelled me. I beat Clement 2-2. I just started playing well after that. I didn't lose any sets until the finals. You know, I think it's just going to take that one step. You know, it was a great opportunity for me, Grosjean having lost. I think Bjorkman plays Kucera now. I played him in Nottingham and beat him. It would have been a great opportunity for me. But, I mean, I can't really look back at that at all. I mean, I'm just going to look ahead and say, "I'm 21 years old, and I'm 25 in the world. Let's move forward."

Q. Were you aware when you lost your serve in the first set?


Q. What were you thinking?

MARDY FISH: Maybe I wouldn't have been aware of it if I held serve like 35 straight times. But I held serve 92 straight times. I was well aware. I didn't know the number right then. I was well aware of the fact that that was the first time I lost my serve in a long time. I knew obviously it was going to come to an end, but I didn't want it to come to an end anytime soon. I threw in three double-faults that game. I hadn't thrown in three double-faults in any game in Cincinnati, in the first round, being able to hold. I didn't play the best game I ever played. You know, but he always -- at 6-5 in the second set breaker, he came up with that forehand, just sitting on it. Maybe I should have just told him that I was going to hit it down the T. He was on top of pretty much everything. He made it hard for me to hold serve every time.

Q. Did you get distracted at all when he was having his injury time-out, the amount of time that took? Did you feel when you came out afterwards that he was tight, you should just keep the ball in play? Did it change your style at all?

MARDY FISH: I tried to keep telling myself to stay aggressive. I didn't realize that he was going to come out hitting 88-mile-an-hour first serves. That caught me off guard. I think I missed like the first one. I was like, "Wait a minute, what's going on here?" Then you kind of get a little anxious, you kind of forget to play your game. It's tough. It's not easy to play guys like that. I'm not saying -- he wasn't tanking. But guys that are tanking, guys that are hurt, you know you should beat when they're hurt or tanking, yet you're losing games. You can kind of get down on yourself. You can get away from your game plan. I think, I mean, I did that in the first game that he served. But then after that, you know, I just tried to tell myself to stay aggressive, you know, just forget about what he's doing. I mean, I've had a lot of experience against it, people tanking, people getting hurt, trying to overcome. It's not easy. But, you know, I have had experience. Again, today, is another experience of something like that that I have to keep playing my game.

End of FastScripts….

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