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March 15, 2009

Mardy Fish


7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I know a loss is a loss, but when you lose early in a place where you had success the year before, is it more disappointing, or...
MARDY FISH: Certainly. I mean, this tournament is always going to be my favorite tournament. I will certainly never forget last year. Never forget how the fans treated me. You know, certainly never forget the semifinal match against Roger. You know, so maybe it all evens itself out in the end.
I've lost first round here once or twice, and certainly can't take away last year from me. I'll remember that forever. The crowd was great today again, and a great atmosphere to play in front of.
It's definitely, you know, one of the reasons why it's my favorite tournament.

Q. What do you think was the biggest difference today?
MARDY FISH: I didn't really think I played the big points very well. I felt like certainly in the first set tiebreaker I had tons of chances, you know, not necessarily score-wise but just shot-wise.
You know, just missed some shots I haven't missed in the past month. You know, I've been playing some great tennis over the past -- in February and, you know, really hitting the ball well in practice, and coming in here with more confidence certainly than I've come into any tournament ever.
You know, the kid's good. It's a terrible draw for me. Yeah, I played extremely well last week in the semis against him. I played one of the best matches I've played this year against him in the semis. I beat him 6-4, 6-1, and won 10 of the last 12 games against him there in Del Rey.
You know, so he certainly played a lot better. He certainly served a ton better today and didn't give me very many break points. I had tons of Love 30s, lots of looks for sure, but those tiebreakers I was winning last year here, and losing them this year.

Q. And playing him so close time-wise, did that really play in, you know, to the psyche a little bit for him and for you?
MARDY FISH: I think if anything, for me -- I think if anything it would have helped beating someone and playing well. But, you know, not having seen him play much before Del Rey and playing him, and I'm sure, you know, vice versa, having won so thoroughly in that first match, I think only would have helped me, you know.
You know, if I get my butt kicked against someone when I was young like that, you know, I certainly would have relished an opportunity to play better. But it would have felt like maybe this guy is better than me, and he didn't feel like that today, that's for sure.

Q. Is there a concerted effort among the top singles players now to play more doubles? We have Rafa, Federer, yourself, Andy...
MARDY FISH: I think the reason why those guys play is because they're going to play Miami anyways. They're over here, so they play -- they're playing -- they're planning on being here for a while, you know, and obviously through Miami.
So this tournament, for those top guys, is a no-brainer to play some doubles to get outside on the hardcourts when most of the guys haven't played - apart from Dubai - haven't played outdoors on hardcourts.
So I think there's only a few guys that aren't. You know, James is one, and Djokovic, I think, is the other in maybe the top 20. So a lot of guys tend to play doubles here.
I personally -- I try to play doubles a ton. I think it helps my singles game a lot. I'd rather play doubles in practice, you know. I think it's -- I've never volleyed better, and I think it's certainly because of doubles.

End of FastScripts

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