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March 27, 2008

Mardy Fish


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about you're sort up and down from last week to this match today. What do you think happened there today? You had some break chances.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, you always have chances. You always have chances in most matches. Arnaud is obviously a tough player. He's been top in the world before. These guys have given me fits in the past. But as far as, you know, the roller coaster, it's still -- to be honest, it's still quite high.
You know, I'm not sure that having a week like or a couple weeks like last, like the past, is going to be pretty easy to come down from that pretty quickly. It's tough to come back. I know this tournament is, you know, obviously, just as big as the last one.
For me not playing last year, it's another good opportunity for me, especially since I've been playing so well. But it's extremely hard to come back, you know, to come from such a high and come back and have to try to do it all over again and win seven matches or six matches in a row like that.
It's pretty tough, you know, to come back a couple of days later. I mean, I only got here like two nights, Tuesday night late. It is tough just getting down here, so...
You know, with that being said, it's obviously a little disappointing to go out so early here. You know, but I'm going to, obviously, take a lot of memories from last week.

Q. Obviously, most people in the world will never be able to say they beat Roger Federer. But what does that feel like when you actually do it, and the next day or the night?
MARDY FISH: It is pretty surreal in the beginning, because, you know, it just felt like another match. I look up at the scoreboard in the second set, and I'm up 15-40 at 5-1 in the second. It's almost like it just kind of hits you there, like, wow, not only am I in the semifinals of this tournament, the huge tournament, a tournament that I absolutely love, one of my favorite tournaments of the year, you know, I'm so close to beating the best player of all time.
It didn't really hit me, I think, until the next morning at 4:00 in the morning. I kind of woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. Kind of thinking about the day ahead of me and yesterday and the days in the past. You know, just the wins. You kind of forget about the match in the third round. You know, Davydenko, 6-3, 6-2, you know. He's 4 in the world. That kind of takes a back seat. So it is a great week.

Q. How much does that do for your confidence, obviously, knowing that you can do that, and you did it back-to-back-to-back there. What does that do for you going forward?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, it's great. It's obviously the best, arranging-wise, wins back-to-back-to-back I've ever had. I had a few nice runs in Cincinnati and the Olympics. It's tough to describe, you know. The fans were amazing and the crowd was crazy. Obviously, everybody likes an underdog, and you know, I'll never forget it. It is pretty amazing.

Q. What is the legacy of that? Do you have any physical sort of effects from that, that great run?
MARDY FISH: I don't think physical. It's pretty much all mental. I can't remember the last time going deep into a tournament that I felt that good. I hired a trainer last Wimbledon, and we've been working most every week getting myself not only back to 100%, but feeling strong as well, going through tournaments.
I'd have a lot of trouble when I played long matches with my arm, with my biceps. I get a lot of tendinitis with my biceps, and it would kill. In New Haven it happened. In the finals of New Haven I just couldn't pick up a racquet anymore.
We've gotten to the point now where that doesn't affect me. I've never been that far into a tournament and felt that good. So physically, I feel fine. It's the mental part of having to turn around and come back. Okay, now I'm in the first round again. You know, I really feel like beating all these great players maybe I should get a bye like maybe into the quarters or something. That's obviously not the case.
Again, I would love to stick around here and play well here. Mentally it's really tough to come down from that.

Q. Against Federer, you attacked so relentlessly. Do you feel like you attacked enough today?
MARDY FISH: Probably not. I think it's a little bit different. I think -- I'm not sure that Roger likes pace as much as maybe Clement does. He seemed to handle the pace extremely well today.
You know, I had four days off there and try to remember -- you know, four days ago was my last match. You try to remember, what was I doing so well? Let's try to keep doing that. You know, one of the things was hitting through the court. Not necessarily hitting winners, but hitting through the court with a lot of pace, and he seemed to handle that really well today.
His backhand is very compact. Very short swings on both sides. So, obviously he's really, really fast. He's one of those guys that gets a lot of balls back.

Q. You missed a passing shot on set point; plenty of time to get that. Was that part of not concentrating?
MARDY FISH: I don't think so. I think it's one of those shots that last week, every single one of those went in. I didn't miss any of those. I probably am looking at the match just right now. I would have liked to maybe attack his second serve a little bit more. Maybe I was just thinking about groundstrokes only.
You know, it's one of those matches where I had a few break points and I lost one break here and one break there and it's over.

Q. I can't recall after Cincinnati and the Olympics whether you were injured or whether it is a similar situation where you just didn't bounce out of that like this?
MARDY FISH: Sorry, I didn't bounce? Say that again.

Q. Well, the run didn't quite continue the way you wanted it to.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, no. This is obviously a quicker turnaround than that. I had a week off in between for the US Open. For some reason or another I've never done well at the US Open. I'm not a huge fan of tournaments where they're so high-paced like this one and the US Open. These tournaments are chaos.
You know, Indian Wells is more my speed: Very laid back. You know, not as many people around. So this is, obviously, much, much different feel of a tournament than Indian Wells.

Q. What's next?
MARDY FISH: I'm going to go to Winston-Salem with the boys, practice there, and then go to Houston.

Q. Do you think this is the hardest thing? Obviously you can play with any of these people, and you showed you beat them all last week and all that. But doing it week to week and having that mental strength to be able to come down and up and do what you've got to do?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I think obviously tennis is, I mean, people would argue 90% mental and 10% physical. I mean, it's a huge, huge mental side of the game. That's what's amazing about these guys that come back. Roger just keeps winning and winning, and comes back the next week and plays fine.
You know, I'm not sure if another day or two off would have been better. I'm not sure if last week happened, happens -- I'm guessing that if last week happens more often than it does for me, I'm a little bit better at reenergizing and refocusing.
But, you know, for whatever reason I didn't really have it today too much. I guess it's one of those matches where I'd like to -- believe me, I thought about it. I said, Okay, let's forget about it. Let's try to forget about it. Let's gear up for another run.
You know you're playing well, and this is stuff I've said to myself, said with my coach. And, you know, it didn't happen.

Q. How much clay this year will you play?
MARDY FISH: I'm going to -- I wasn't planning on playing Rome and Hamburg and those things because I wasn't going to get in. And now that I'm in those from last week, I'm going to go Rome, Hamburg, and play -- probably play Dusseldorf with James, and then play the French and Houston.

Q. Andy talked about you today. Just what you guys talked about. He said that he'd really love to see you build on these runs that you have. Do you ever talk to him about the mental part?
MARDY FISH: You know, we talk a lot of tennis. When there is a question that I have that I know he has the answer to, I'll definitely ask him. We talk about a lot of things. Sometimes it's nice to get away from the game as well.
Obviously, he was extremely excited for me last week, as were most everybody. I got a lot -- I've never gotten more text messages in my life and phone calls.

Q. How many did you get?
MARDY FISH: I must have had 46 text messages after the Federer match and Nalbandian match. And people, you know, people were pretty excited for me. You know, Andy was the first one to call and congratulate.

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