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March 27, 2010

Mardy Fish


M. FISH/A. Murray
6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously one of your best wins of your career. Seems to me you're in good form. Your serve, whenever you wanted it, you called on it, and it was there.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I mean, no doubt. He's, you know, Grand Slam finalist this year already, and you know, his results speak for themselves. It's a great win, like you said.
Certainly had to serve well, and I did when I needed to. Got me out of some jams there late in the match.
Had I think three break points against, and his aces on every one of them -- or unreturnables on every one of them. Little lucky in that aspect, as well.

Q. Did you sense he was not feeling the ball out there, or was it you just applying pressure?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I thought maybe sort of my, you know, aggressive mentality and kind of, you know, going for one shot here, laying off one there was sort of throwing him off a little bit.
But, you know, who knows?
He certainly probably didn't play the way he did, you know, maybe in Australia or something, but I don't care. (laughter.)

Q. You look like a different person. I haven't seen you in a while. It's very obvious that you're a lot leaner. Did you get to a point ever where there was sort of a strength-to-weight ratio that you had to pay attention to in trying to drop weight?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I mean, it was tough to -- you know, my goal was to drop a bunch of fat and gain weight, gain muscle at the same time while for the first two months not even really being able to sweat because of the knee.
I could sweat, I just couldn't do anything physical to sweat, you know. I wasn't able to do, you know, the bike or run or anything to sweat anyway.
So that part was tough. There was a fine line, yeah, where I was able to sort of lift weights in the gym upper body, but not be able to really run or do much.
So I was trying to -- yeah, I mean, I was trying to gain muscle and drop weight at the same time. I mean, it was a pretty scientific thing we did, and it worked.

Q. Was there some cathartic moment where you decided you had to do this? Something that happened that...
MARDY FISH: Well, first of all, we don't have time to do it if we're healthy. I mean, it's just a bottom line when we have five weeks, six weeks at the most at the end of the year. You can't do what I was trying to do in six weeks.
So I knew I had an opportunity. I wanted to make the most of it, you know. And obviously not being able to play all summer healthy-wise was tough. But like I say, it gave me an opportunity to try to, you know, sort of resurrect and try to make a push in the next four, five, however many years I have left and try to stay as healthy as I can.
Because I've had my share of injuries, whether it be not putting in the work, you know, with my body. Maybe it was and maybe it wasn't, but I wanted to eliminate that part.

Q. You said that you were still learning to use your newfound quickness. About how quickly could you get to balls that maybe you couldn't get to before at all? Do you feel like now you're figuring that out, figuring out what you're capable of?
MARDY FISH: A little bit, yeah. Still, playing a guy like Andy, I need to play one specific way. You know, I needed to stay aggressive. I need to sort of keep the points relatively short not necessarily because -- not because I can't last, but because I'm just not going to win the points very often if they go 10 shots in a row.
I certainly feel like I can do that point in and point out now. But today, you know, that's a pretty strategic way that I was trying to play.
Yeah, I mean, the more practice I've gotten -- you know, I played a couple good matches last week as well in Indian Wells against Djokovic, and, you know, maybe just didn't really think that I could beat him last week. You know, winning the second set 6-0, you know, I was obviously hitting the ball fine.
That wasn't the issue. So, you know, you've got to go in thinking you can actually win, as well. That helps.

Q. What's this do for confidence? Like you said, from here on out, you beat the No. 3 player in the world.
MARDY FISH: It helps for sure. It's great to know that I can still beat these guys even, you know, after the surgery. I mean, when you have surgeries you just never know if you're gonna be back 100%.
The knee surgery was a success and pretty much everything that's gone from there -- it's been a really long road. It's been pretty emotional, pretty tough. You know, I've had a ton of help from a lot of people that I couldn't have done it without.
You know, we spent almost every night -- we had someone cook all the food that I had, you know, that I ate in the first place. And for my wife to stay in every single night for three months has got to be pretty tough. So I had a lot of help from her, a lot of help from my trainer, and a lot of other people.

Q. Will you give yourself a celebratory cold one tonight?
MARDY FISH: No, I've got doubles tomorrow. I'm apparently a doubles specialist now, so I have to focus on that, too. (laughter.)

Q. Was there a point in the match where you sensed that you were frustrating him, any particular point?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I mean, you know, any time you can win a set against those guys, especially the first set, you're -- I mean, it's still a long ways away. I knew he wasn't on top of it. You know, he was giving a few errors at the end of the first set with his forehand.
You know, with his first serve he, you know, wasn't making -- last time I played him at Queen's the guy played really well. I played really well and he just crushed me like 6-4, 6-2 or something.
He was serving great and getting a ton of free points on his serve. He didn't have many. I tried to stay aggressive on the returns to sort of, you know, maybe come back.
You know, maybe he felt like he needed to go for a little bit more on the serve, as well. Maybe that had something to do with it.

Q. Do you ever look at the opposition and look at their body language think, I have a good chance?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I mean, that's the part about tennis that's so great, the one-on-one aspect of it. As much work as I've put in and as much work as he's put in on and off the court and how many matches he's won and I've won, it's still two guys battling it out.
It's just one match. I got the better of him today. Yeah, you can sort of tell if someone is feeling good or not. Usually they're not as stoic as Roger or Rafa as far as their body language.
But, you know, everybody emotionally is different. Andy certainly is a pretty emotional guy. He shows how he's feeling on and off the court.
You know, we all know that. I mean, he's still fighting his butt off out there. You still feel like you're not safe, even though I was up a set and a break. So, you know, I knew I had to keep on him.

Q. Your return seemed to be particularly in your favor today in helping you out. Can you talk about that?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, like I said, I just tried to be as aggressive as I could on the first, especially on the second serve. I was a little lucky he didn't serve as many first serves as he did in Queen's and he didn't have as many free points maybe as he hoped.
There were a lot of times I was able to go on the offense right away and take a few winners. I think in the first set to break back I was able to hit a winner t deuce off the first serve.
A lot of times I resort to sort of chipping the forehand to get into the point on the deuce side. I was sort of going after those and taking some errors with the good, as well.

Q. Did Rochus' win yesterday over Djokovic give you inspiration? And talk about Lopez who you have up next.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I mean, it shows obviously that these guys are human. They're pretty amazing week in week out the depth of the game today.
I think I'm ranked 101 right now, and I don't really feel like that. But, you know, there's a lot of really good players.
For them to, you know, show up almost every single week is pretty amazing. That's why they're 2 and 3 in the world.

Q. Do you regret you couldn't have been this disciplined earlier in your career?
MARDY FISH: I mean, I haven't thought about it. You know, maybe. Yeah, it would have been nice to be maybe as mentally mature at 20 as I am now, but I wasn't, so no use in...

Q. Is this home court for you?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I feel good down the street in Del Rey, too. I mean, I haven't done well here. I desperately wanted to play well here. You know, I have done, you know, whether it be once or a couple times in most of the American tournaments on hardcourts or clay.
I've only been third round one time, and that was -- and I lost there in 2003. That was a long time ago. So, yeah, I desperately wanted to play well here.
It felt like today with the conditions it was pretty warm so the conditions were faster, and that helped me a lot.

Q. Is there pressure of having lots of friends and more family maybe than you do elsewhere?
MARDY FISH: No. I mean, it's not extra pressure. I mean, it's nice to have them all here. I have some buddies that can come down. My dad wasn't able to be there today, but my mom was.
You know, it's really nice to have them come down. They don't get to watch much.

Q. Just to follow-up, what does it mean to you to be playing down here in Miami?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I mean, like I say, you know, I desperately wanted to play well here. You know, whether today's match will cure that or not, it's a long ways to go. I've only played two matches.
Today was a good day, and I look forward to playing some dubs tomorrow.

Q. The way Roddick almost won in HORSE, last letter, he said he carried you at Boca Prep.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, right.

Q. Tell us the truth.
MARDY FISH: The truth was he sat on the bench a lot, carried our water. What was the score? How was the tennis? How was he in tennis?

Q. Oh, awful. Andy played much better in basketball.
MARDY FISH: So Andy was better in basketball than he was in tennis. Tennis players are good athletes then, maybe. (laughter.)

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