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March 27, 2011

Mardy Fish


M. FISH/R. Gasquet
6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Things seem to be really going well. Going through the draw nicely. You look solid out there. How do you feel?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I mean, it helps to feel healthy. In Indian Wells I wasn't able to practice for the six days prior to my match, so it helps to feel healthy again, obviously.
You know, we've put a lot of work in, Christian has put a lot of work in on my body the past two weeks to get, you know, the ankle and knee feeling pretty good.
Thyroid hopefully is behind me. Obviously it's a pretty good sign when I'm able to play in the weather out there today.
Obviously a good win against a player who played well last week in Indian Wells and had a couple of good wins. Feels good.

Q. Is it under control, the thyroid condition?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I mean, I've done my fair share of blood work in the past couple months, every four or five days or so, and the levels are -- I was very lucky that I didn't go down - very far down - hypo-wise.
Australia was the worst that it was or that it would have gotten in the hyper stage when it goes -- when the levels go too high. I certainly felt a lot better than I did there.

Q. So you've been both, hypo and hyper?
MARDY FISH: Hyper and then hypo, but I was very lucky that I didn't go as far as hypo as I was hyper. I don't know if you follow, but hopefully she follows and... You've had it?

Q. Hyper, yeah.
MARDY FISH: Yeah. I think it's pretty common to get hypo, to be hypo. You just take -- you can take medication for that. You can't take medication for the hyper.

Q. So are you taking now Synthroid?
MARDY FISH: No, I didn't have to -- didn't need to take it.

Q. So they got you to the even point?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I was lucky.

Q. Did you do the radioactive iodine?
MARDY FISH: That was after Australia, like early February.

Q. I found out by the end of this tournament, I think if you reach the semis, you could be the top-ranked American.
MARDY FISH: That's a long way from where I am now. I don't know where I am now, but it feels like a long way, anyway.

Q. How special would that be?
MARDY FISH: To be honest, it might be only -- I don't know how far I have to go for that. It would be only in the number next to my name. I certainly wouldn't feel like the top-ranked American considering what Andy has accomplished and what I have accomplished.
So I don't think it would mean that much, to be honest.

Q. With Andy out, you are one of a handful. At the beginning of the day, there were five Americans left, American man left in the tournament, and the top-ranked American man left in the tournament. Does that affect the tournament at all for you? Is there any more pressure?
MARDY FISH: I mean, it's not the first tournament that Andy has lost early. It's kind of a bummer that he had to go out the way he went out, the defending champion.
I don't know how it feels to be the defending champion at a tournament like this, but it must carry quite a bit of weight, quite a bit of pressure. So you will a have to -- you'll have to ask him on sort of the pressure that it feels or the burden that it feels to carry to be the defending champion at a huge event like this, which is another reason why his career has quadrupled mine, at least.
You know, so to be the No. 1 American wouldn't -- I wouldn't be the No. 1 American, really.

Q. How concerned are you for Andy? Have you talked since yesterday?
MARDY FISH: No, I mean, I'm sure he'll go back to Austin, move into his mansion. I'm sure he'll be fine, maybe get -- figure out what's going on with whatever he's got. I certainly know how it feels to be sick, so he'll figure it out. He'll rectify it. He'll be fine.

Q. Did you follow the Davis Cup while you were home?
MARDY FISH: Oh, yeah. Every match, yeah.

Q. Are you hoping to be there in Austin?
MARDY FISH: Oh, yeah. Every match. (Laughter.)
No, that's something that, you know, that you do the work, you have the results like I did last summer, and it puts you in a good position to, you know, maybe be the frontrunner to have that second singles spot.
It's another reason why the second singles spot, because Andy has probably always got that first spot no matter what the number is next to his name again.
But I'd love to play. Love to be a part of it in any way. But again, love to play.

Q. Did you talk to the guys at all about Jim?
MARDY FISH: We love the guy. He came for a day here, came to Memphis, came to LA to just watch us play for a day, two days, something like that. Took us out to dinner. He's been absolutely great.
I don't know how it was down there, obviously, which was a bummer for me, but the guys love him.

Q. The win today over Gasquet gave you your second straight win after the Frenchman after he won the first two meetings. What's been the key?
MARDY FISH: Fitness. He's a guy obviously with a great backhand. He tries to dominate, you know, sort of the crosscourt backhand, the crosscourt backhand rally. Back then I felt like I -- first of all, I played him one time, the first match I think it was after my honeymoon, so I didn't feel too fit after that. (Laughter.)
He killed me in -- we'll just leave it at that. He killed me at Wimbledon, as well, where he played great. You know, I used to have to go for shots that I don't have to do anymore.
It's very important to sort of stay the course against someone like him, you know, sort of neutralized, try to neutralize his best shot, which is his backhand crosscourt, and then try to take your shots from there.

Q. You have had your fair share of injuries and illnesses through your career, and you get fit and you're playing well and something else hits. Can you explain how frustrating that gets? Is it a case of, Oh, not again, why me now once more?
MARDY FISH: Sometimes, absolutely. A lot of the things I have had in the six months or so haven't necessarily been for lack of effort or lack of work ethic or lack of fitness. I had knee surgery that put me out for four or five months that was fitness and work ethic for sure.
It was because I was too heavy, carrying around too much weight. You know, playing out there today you can obviously see why you need to be fit to win these matches against these guys. They're so tough.
You know, so, you know, having a thyroid problem, is that unlucky? Probably. I twisted my ankle in Beijing and a piece of cartilage broke off. It's floating around in my ankle right now and probably needs to have surgery eventually on it. So is that unlucky? Probably.
So, you know, those are a couple of things. I have certainly had my fair share of injury, as well, that is my fault.

Q. Del Potro/Soderling. Wow. Talk about how you're going to blunt some of that power.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, first thing that comes to mind is probably underdog, which is probably what I'll be. Juan seems to be playing -- seems to be back to his normal self. You know, if you're probably ranked -- if you're not ranked in the top 5, you can probably add a number to your name, next to your name eventually, because he will be up there in due time.
Soderling has gotten more titles than anyone this year, three - or at least tied with Djokovic - three, and is playing as well as anyone. So it will be tough.

Q. Tennis is an individual sport, other than let's say at the Davis Cup or Olympics or something like that. Do you feel in any way that you are representing your country, you know, or how much of that comes into play? They do always put American or whatever, U.S. ?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, representing your country, sure. It's not as drastic as like the Olympics or Davis Cup. It is an individual sport in a sense that you're out there playing all by yourself, but there's a team behind most everyone.
I mentioned Christian LoCascio, my trainer, earlier. You know, has healed quite a few injuries of mine the last couple of years. You know, I've got the help of the USTA, which have been huge for me.
David Nainkin who coaches Sam Querrey now, and Jay Berger lives down the road. Jay has been helping me this week. I got here early. It's tough to say that it's an individual sport, because there's so many people -- my wife obviously helps a lot.
There are so many people behind you. But in a sense of playing for your country, it's tough to think too much about that. You feel it when you're playing in the States. You certainly feel it when you're playing down here, if you're playing a South American, because they're pretty vocal for their guys.
So, you know, it's a national pride thing pretty much everywhere you go.

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