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June 24, 2009

Mardy Fish


M. FISH/J. Tipsarevic
6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4

Q. What's going on?
MARDY FISH: I've got doubles tomorrow, just making sure that it doesn't hurt tomorrow.

Q. I missed the set that you lost, but I saw some of the other stuff. How did it kind of play for you?
MARDY FISH: I felt like I had control of the match for the better part of the whole thing. Even the set that I lost I was in a ton of return games and played real solid on the return games. There were a lot of chances there that I left out there. I got it done in the end; I would say that's the most important thing.

Q. That's new, that stadium. What's it feel like playing?
MARDY FISH: It's awesome. It's a great court. It's a little slow, but today with it being pretty hot and sunny, the ball moved through the court a little bit, pretty well. I was able to come in a lot, and that was nice.

Q. Taylor was just saying he thinks the courts are playing slower than like the US Open courts.
MARDY FISH: I think the US Open is the fastest big tournament that we've got without a doubt, especially with the way the ball -- the balls that they use there are pretty small and light, and the courts are quick. It's definitely faster than here, for sure.

Q. So you're feeling the skid here, though?
MARDY FISH: The court takes a slice pretty well, but it sits out there nicely, too, and if you get a guy that moves pretty well on this stuff, it's tough to attack with consistency. I serve and volley on clay a lot, so I'm going to serve and volley on grass a lot. But I feel like the ball, at least on the serve, the court takes the serve a little bit more than maybe the US Open.
But overall I think the ball sits up more here than it does at the Open.

Q. Are you feeling this is your most solid start here at Wimbledon in your career? How are you feeling?
MARDY FISH: I feel great. I mean, physically I'm 100 percent -- I feel literally no nicks at all, and that's pretty remarkable in the middle of a season. I've felt great for a while now. I've rectified my knee troubles with the tendinitis and my arm troubles with the serve a lot, stayed on that a lot. And my trainer and I are working hard on the little things, trying to make sure that the shoulder is strong and can withstand a few days in a row of play. So that's nice.
I felt pretty good coming in 6th, as well. I only lost a few games through to the third round that year and got sick. I guess I feel better than that. I was sick that third round.

Q. How is the bi-coastal living thing going?
MARDY FISH: It's nice, yeah, because the USTA is nice enough to take me on and have David Nainkin travel with Sam and I and kind of let me piggy-back with them. I spend a lot of time out in LA now, and I still spend some time at Saddlebrook --

Q. Do you spend time at Carson when you're out there?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, we spend a lot of time at Carson, UCLA, but it's great both places.

Q. Are you hopeful now for the way they've organized this now, sort of the USTA and the younger generation? Have they got the right formula now?
MARDY FISH: I think they certainly have great coaches. I don't think it's -- I don't think for them to develop players is going to be a lack of coaching or a lack of trying. PMac has put a lot of good minds in the right place.
They just hired Tom Gullikson, as well. I spent some time on the grass with him before we came over here. Obviously he had a great career on faster stuff. So that was nice to get on the court with him.
Nainks has been around the tour for a long time, traveled with Sam and I. So yeah, it's a great setup for us, to kind of piggy-back off them and off Sam.

Q. You've seen a lot of different approaches over the years in terms of how they've tried to go at this.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I think for a little bit there, they got into kind of an age restriction thing, and I'm not sure that's -- I mean, we've seen a lot of players peak after they're 28 years old. I mean, just to kind of give up on some of the players after they're 24 is sort of strange. But it seems like now they're taking all comers and giving help to everyone, and I think that's the way it should be. Everyone from Jose Higueras to, like I said, Tom Gullikson, these guys are all helpful, and they have great tennis minds. Personally I picked their brain, Jose's, on the clay at the French, working with him a little bit. It's great for me.

Q. He was out watching you today. Have you been talking to him here at all?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I mean, it's a little bit tough because when you come to just the French or just Wimbledon, you don't see us play on a day-to-day basis like David does, so you don't want to really jump in there and say some stuff that maybe would mess me up, mess us up. You don't want to overstep your boundaries, if you will, on the coaching side.
Certainly whatever Jose says you eat it up like a sponge. Sometimes that could be tough because he hasn't seen us play all that much. But he's out here quite a bit, and you have the opportunity to go and work with him in LA and he's come to LA, to Carson, and to go over to Palm Springs and work out with him, that's great.

Q. How often are you at Saddlebrook?
MARDY FISH: Well, we're going to go back there from here. I'm going to play New Port. So whenever it kind of fits, I guess.

Q. Did you talk about Novak already?
MARDY FISH: I did not. Obviously he's one of the best players in the world.

Q. What do you need to do to him on this surface?
MARDY FISH: I think an attacking style is nice. He made the semis here a couple years ago. Other than that, he hasn't had great results here as opposed to all the other Slams. So I'm sure if you asked him, maybe grass is his least favorite surface. I'm not sure.
He obviously moves great, serves real well. He doesn't have any weaknesses at all. We've played some great matches over the years. We've played a 7-6 in the fourth at the Open, a 7-6 in the third at Hopman Cup, played the final of Indian Wells and it was like 3 or 4 in the third at that one, so we've gone the distance most of the time.
I'd expect a good match to be honest, and I'm sure he would, as well. He's one of those guys where if he comes out and plays extremely well and plays to his highest capabilities, he'll blow you right off the court. There's no doubt about that. He's one of those guys, returns really well, kind of a nightmare for a guy like me who to tries to rely on some easy points on the serve.
But I'll throw everything I've got at him. I don't have anything else to do, so may as well.

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