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October 20, 2004

Mardy Fish


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Mardy.

Q. After the Athens Olympic Games, things you're seeing here in Spain, what do you think about the next Davis Cup final, about the potential of the top Spanish players like Ferrero - you beat him in Athens - and all the entourage?

MARDY FISH: Well, first of all, we're obviously extremely happy to be in the finals. We have Roddick, obviously one of the best players in the world, the Bryan brothers, obviously one of the best teams in the world. You know, we're confident. I think if you close your eyes and you say, "Who is the toughest Davis Cup match away," I think it would most likely be Spain. I think a lot of teams -- I mean, Spain or Argentina, Spain probably being the toughest, in my opinion. I think they play great at home. Ferrero, he hasn't been playing the way he normally plays this year, or the better part of the last -- the last part of this year. I think he forgets all about that. He plays well. Moya plays well. In my opinion, he's not playing the way -- as well as he could play. Obviously, I think he's one of the best players in the world. They throw that all out and he plays extremely well, and they play extremely well at home. I think it's definitely one of the toughest match-ups for us that we can encounter. We prefer faster courts than I'm sure the slowest red clay possible court that they're going to put it on. Again, like I said, we're extremely excited and we're going to be fit and we're going to be ready and we're going to be trying our butts off to try to win.

Q. You heard about the controversy to play in Madrid, with the height of Madrid, and Seville is sea level, slowing down the serves, and the clay courts. What do you think about that?

MARDY FISH: Well, obviously that's the reason that Davis Cup is so special, in my opinion, because you get to play at home, you get to pick the surface, you get to pick where you're going to play. Madrid would have been a little bit better for us because of the altitude, make the ball go a little bit faster. And Seville, it's going to go slower, which helps them. That's the beauty of Davis Cup. That's why it's going to be tough. I mean, there's no doubt about it. We're going to bring it, though. We're going to try to play as well as we can.

Q. You said you have confidence in the US team. Where does this confidence come from if you think so highly of the Spanish team?

MARDY FISH: Well, I mean, we're confident in ourselves. We're confident with the way that we think we can play. We think that we can play with these guys. I mean, it's Davis Cup. We don't have to beat them in an entire tournament. We don't have to beat them five times. We have to beat them only hopefully one time. If Andy can get a win, I can get a win, the Bryan brothers can get a win, that's all you need, is three points. You don't need to win an entire tournament. So, you know, I mean, we're confident because, you know, Andy, and the Bryan brothers haven't even lost a set yet this year. We're extremely confident in that aspect. We're in the finals. You know, we couldn't have done any better. We've lost one match so far this year. We couldn't have done any better -- can't do any better, so we're obviously pretty happy with where we are.

Q. You said Andy is one of the best players in the world, and the Bryan brothers are one of the best teams in the world. How do you rate yourself inside the team? What is your role in the team?

MARDY FISH: Well, I guess being the No. 2 singles guy, you have to play the No. 1 guy on the first day, and you try to get out and steal -- kind of like, you know, if you're playing a good team like Spain, you know, most likely Ferrero would be, or Moya would probably be their top guy or their No. 1 guy. You know, you get out and you try -- whichever you play first or you play second that day, you know, you try to get out and try to get a win, try to steal a win. So the first day we're going against the tougher of the two. But, I mean, with the Spanish team, there is no tougher - they're all tough. I'd like to think that I've played some big matches in Davis Cup, and I'd like to think that I'm pretty experienced. I mean, none of us have played a final, but I've been on the team when we played the semis in France, and I've been on the team when we beat Belarus. Experience-wise, I think we're okay. That's kind of where my role is on the team, I guess.

Q. There have been Davis Cup captains in the past like Yannick Noah, brought a special atmosphere to the team. How is Patrick McEnroe in this role?

MARDY FISH: Well, apart from being very experienced in tennis, period, he's almost like one of the guys. He's very easy to get along with, very fun. We have a great time together. I mean, you can include the whole team, like the trainers and the doctors, whatnot, the massage people. But we feel like us five, you know, have really -- really have a special bond. When we win a match, we feel like we win it for each other, we don't win it for ourselves, we win it for them. If I win one, I win it for them, I feel like. I'm sure they feel the same way. It's a special bond. We get along great. We spend a lot of time together. Yeah, I mean, we enjoy ourselves out there and we have fun.

Q. If Agassi had played - Agassi said his time in Davis Cup had past, but if he had played, how would you have felt about that?

MARDY FISH: Well, I obviously probably wouldn't play too often if Agassi and Roddick were playing. I mean, you can't really get much better than those guys. But, I mean, it would be different. I mean, obviously I wouldn't have played as many. But I think he's pretty adamant about the fact that he's done his part with Davis Cup. Let that be said. He's played a lot of big Davis Cup ties, played for the United States a long time and made himself available every time. You know, I think he's fulfilled that part of his goals. I'm sure he had a lot of goals for when he played in Davis Cup, and to win Davis Cup, which he did. I think that part of his tennis goals are over. But to answer your question, I wouldn't really -- I don't think I would have too much a role besides maybe a cheerleader.

End of FastScripts….

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