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August 31, 2006

Mardy Fish

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That was an extremely competitive match, really right up to 3 3 in the tiebreak. Then what happened there? Even though it was highly competitive, you gonna be enormously disappointed that you didn't do better in this match, at least get to a fifth set?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I mean, obviously, I'm disappointed. But, you know, back to back weeks I lose six in the third and six in the fourth, it's not very easy to swallow, especially just coming off the court.
But, uhm, you take the positives out of it. Try to take the positives out of it that, you know, I didn't play as well as I could have; I know that. I didn't return nearly as well as I normally do.
You know, if I put a few more returns in play there in the fourth set, put some more pressure on him, I mean, I was taking care of my serve games with relative ease. You know, if I put a few more returns there in play and make him play a few more balls there in the fourth, you know, who knows what happened.
But he came up with some great shots when I had breakpoints and when they were big points, and obviously he played you can't play a better tiebreaker than that. I didn't put a return in the court and he hit four aces, so...

Q. You had a good look at a backhand passing shot at the tiebreak; hit it right at him. Come up late on that shot?
MARDY FISH: Well, I was a little hesitant on it, I think. You know, being a little tight in that position and trying to get down to his feet knowing that he's not exactly Pat Rafter at the net.
You know, he volleys well when it's above the net, and I tried to just get it below the net, maybe get an easier pass on the next volley. I didn't hit it well. I didn't miss it at least, but I didn't hit it well.

Q. On the matchpoint, trying to hit the volley behind him, was that the right move? You didn't hustle as much as you wanted to?
MARDY FISH: Maybe he just gave up on that point, hit it back to him. But a good play what's that?

Q. Thank yourself.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, exactly. A good play there all day for me was going behind him, you know, 'cause he's very fast and he anticipates very well, especially into the open court. You know, he's tough. He's tough when you get him on the run there. He can hit some great passing shots off the backhand and forehand. I felt like he was gonna go that way in the end and didn't.

Q. You had kind of an animated exchange with the chair umpire. Can you tell us a little bit about what happened?
MARDY FISH: Well, I felt fairly confident that that ball was wide. The mark showed that it was wide. It would have been nice to be on an electric a Shot Spot court in that position. I definitely would have won that one. It was just tough. It was tough there. It's tough to swallow when it's a set point and you lose the set off that.
I mean, I'm not saying by any means that if they would have called that out I would have won that game. I hadn't broken him yet anyways. It would have given me another chance. I wasn't too excited about that.

Q. Looked like you had your face in the towel and let out some verbal
MARDY FISH: Screamed the expletives, yeah. I was doing that, yeah. No, I wasn't excited.
Still, I lost serve once, and I had a bunch of chances on his serve. Knew I wasn't returning as well as I could have. Maybe I could have picked that up a little bit and put a little bit more pressure on him. Still didn't feel like I was out of it, for sure.

Q. Bigger picture, Mardy, we all know this guy's no stiff. He's headed for the top 10, or at least will flirt with the top 10. What does this tell you about where your game is? Can you be brutally frank about the pluses and minuses of your game right now stacked up against a guy like that?
MARDY FISH: The last I've had a lot of good wins this year off guys that are 40 and 50 and 60 in the world. Uhm, you know, guys that 3 and 3, 3 and 2, 4 and 4, stuff like that. I haven't lost to many guys in that range.
I've lost to almost everyone excluding Robby at Wimbledon that's in the top 20 this year so far. Played a competitive match with Davydenko in Miami. You know, played a few competitive matches in the summer and losing 5 and 5 to Fernando González who obviously is playing well.
I lost to Safin, you know. That guy, he's so up and down you never know when he's gonna play well. He played well there. Andy Murray is obviously playing well.
I had not bad losses, but I haven't had any big wins. I felt like maybe I was trying to ball them all up into one and have them all come at this tournament maybe. You know, but felt like I feel like I'm playing well, you know.
Maybe just not, you know losing, like I said, 7 6 in the third last week and 7 6 in the fourth this week and losing two tiebreakers, I maybe have to work on my tiebreakers a little bit.

Q. Do you think you're far enough along in the season now, far enough back from wrist surgery, that your game should be hitting at least close to where you normally plateau?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I mean

Q. Do you think you still need more matches to get there?
MARDY FISH: No, I don't think I need more matches. It would be nice to get more weeks with Todd, you know. With him wanting to stay home a lot it's tough for that. I feel like every week I get better and better when he's around, you know, so that would be nice.
You know, like I said, I mean, a few of those matches, 7 6 in the third, it easily could go your way. Losing two tiebreakers today, 7 6 in the fourth, I mean, I'm not saying I might have won, but would have been nice to get in the fifth and see what happened. That match today could have gone any way, and, yeah...

Q. Assuming you're not gonna get selected for the Davis Cup four, which is probably a good assumption, what's the plan from here on in?
MARDY FISH: I'm gonna take I have a few weeks off. I been going pretty hard for the last for the whole summer. I had only one week off, you know. So I just, you know, I know that I'm not defending anything and I just needed to keep playing. I'm gonna take a couple weeks off, I think two or three weeks off, then just go over to Europe and play five weeks over there and see how it goes.

Q. Physically are you feeling a hundred percent?
MARDY FISH: I feel great. I don't know if a hundred percent is accurate, but, I mean, if it can hold up for a three hour match and a two hour forty five minute match in a Grand Slam, I'm sure it can hold up.
I wasn't thinking about it at all out there, so that's a good sign.

Q. So back to Saddlebrook for a couple weeks?
MARDY FISH: Three weeks. I'm gonna go to Metz probably first. Haven't decided whether I'm gonna I haven't been back to Stockholm after I won that tournament. James and I both won that one, and we've only played it one year, so someone's streak is gonna end there (smiling).

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