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March 26, 2004

Mardy Fish


Q. What do you make of this Davis Cup situation? We thought everybody would play, you'd be right there, you'd be ready. You've lost; James has lost.

MARDY FISH: I don't know. I mean, I think that Andy and the Bryans are on the team. That's all we know. That's all we know for sure. I don't know. I mean, if you went by the rankings, I would be in that second spot. But I think, you know, you go by results, which is a smart thing to do. You know, this is my first bad result in a bunch of weeks now, since Australia. I mean, I made the finals, semis, Round of 16 in Indian Wells and beat a couple good players there. So, you know, hopefully he won't look at just one match. I mean, it was windy out there. It was just kind of -- in my opinion, it really wasn't tennis. It was kind of just -- it was one of those days where you just kind of had to get through it. It's kind of clich e-ic, but it was. Obviously, the other player has to deal with it, too. He dealt with it better than I did. He had to come through qualifying, so he had a little practice in the wind. I got here Sunday. Maybe that was a little too early to get here. Maybe I wasn't -- maybe I was just like I was ready on Tuesday to play and not Friday, you know. Just really came out kind of flat-footed and didn't play my best tennis.

Q. Did you feel like you got any kind of rhythm during the course of the match?

MARDY FISH: Not really. Whenever I felt like I would have some rhythm, if I played a good first point, then just kind of hit a serve in to my forehand, I'd miss like the next three in a row, you know. I just couldn't really quite put my finger on why. You know, I figured maybe it was because I wasn't moving my feet enough. I would try to move in to the return a little bit more. I mean, it was all pretty much on my returns, my return games were the worst.

Q. On a slow hard court at Delray Beach, how will that help your game? How will it hurt your game?

MARDY FISH: I think -- I don't know if it will hurt my game. I prefer a faster court. Doesn't mean that I can't play on a court like that. I think Indian Wells is pretty slow, here is pretty slow, too. These are both pretty slow hard court events. I felt like I played well and I was playing well in practice. You know, just didn't happen for me today. Just didn't really work out. But, I mean, you know, as far as the court to my game, you know, it's not my favorite surface, but it's something that I can still play on, you know. I can still come to the net with it. It's going to be windy. I'm going to go back to Tampa now and train there and hopefully get ready for Davis Cup and hopefully it will be pretty windy there, too, so I can get used to it a little bit.

Q. Is James also not playing doubles?


Q. You have a practice partner?

MARDY FISH: Yeah, we get to practice together.

Q. How much more meaningful would it mean to you to be on the Davis Cup team, with the tie being in Delray?

MARDY FISH: It would be great. Close to home, close to where I grew up, a lot of family and a lot of friends that could be able to go, whereas some of the other places like Croatia and Slovakia, that was a little too far for them (smiling). Yeah, it's close to home. It's somewhere where I've played well before. I've played well on that court before, and I'm looking forward to hopefully getting the opportunity.

Q. You're a young player. Do you have to develop a Plan B? There are going to be days when the wind blows and when you don't feel right and so forth.

MARDY FISH: Yeah, I mean, I think it's -- I think that's a good point. I mean, definitely that's something that I need to work on. When things aren't going my way - not all the time things don't go certain players' ways, so you have to adjust. I think I've gotten better at it. It's still something I need to work on. As far as a "Plan B," I don't know. I mean, I have a game plan and I have to kind of stick to that game plan. I have to come to the net. I know that I can't really stay back and rally in the wind against players like I did today. I have to come to the net, and I kind of got away from my game plan a lot today and I think maybe I played Plan B today instead of trying to play my game, which is Plan A, which is to try to get to the net as much as I can. It was tough. I was hesitant about coming in because of the wind and because it's tough to volley, but it's also tough to pass in the wind so... Something that I can work on for sure.

Q. When you're down in the rankings and coming up, you have that sense of, "I have nothing to lose." Is it easier to stay with your game plan, have no fear about coming, because, "What the hell?" But as you get up into the Top 50, you start protecting your ranking; is that what lends to the loss of confidence?

MARDY FISH: I don't know if it's a loss of confidence. I mean, it's maybe just a brain cramp in that, you know, I'm just not thinking, not focusing. As far as what you said about, yeah, if you're the underdog, it's a lot easier to play. That's something that I have to get used to where the majority of matches I'm playing now I'm the favorite. Being ranked 17 in the world now, there's only 16 guys that I won't be the favorite against. So I'm getting used to that. I'm experiencing matches like this. I played a match like this in Indian Wells in the second round there, got a bye and I played Glenn Weiner in the first round, he was a qualifier. It's the same type of match - Glenn playing well, winning his first round, winning two matches in qualifying, he won three matches in a row. He's obviously playing well. I'm kind of coming in to my first match of the tournament, trying to get my feet wet. The first match, in my opinion, is always one of the toughest matches, just to get into the tournament. You know, I mean, it showed today that I was a little rusty, and the wind was tough to deal with.

Q. How do you get into the mentality of, "If I'm going to go down, I'm going to go down in flames with my best game here"?

MARDY FISH: It's tough, but, again, it's something you have to get used to. It takes a lot of experience to be in these types of situations. Hopefully -- I want to be in these types of situations. I feel like I should beat a player like that today. We've played a bunch. We've played a bunch in Juniors and we played in Stockholm. I think that was the first time he won a set off me, let alone beat me. It was one of those matches where I kind of go into the match, maybe I'm not as focused as I should be because I think maybe I'm just going to roll through this guy. He obviously played a great match. He had to. So, I don't know... Forgot what I was talking about (smiling).

End of FastScripts….

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