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June 25, 2011

Mardy Fish


M. FISH/R. Haase
6-3, 6-7, 6-2, 1-1 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Mardy Fish, please.

Q. How does it feel to be the last American male standing?
MARDY FISH: Same as the French, right, I think. It's lonely. It doesn't feel great. And that's not the goal.
You know, I want the guys here. So that's a bit of a bummer, I guess.

Q. Someone suggested that last year you looked at the draw and it seemed so favorable for you that maybe you in essence psyched yourself out. Could you address that in retrospect?
MARDY FISH: I think last year at this time I was I think maybe seven or eight weeks into a trip. It's a really long time to be away from home. You know, usually I'm out of the French Open by the first couple days, so I have time to get home and then get to Queen's. And this time was a little different.
You know, last year I was spent. Obviously I had worked so hard in that off-season, the beginning of the year, to get healthy. And I had just made the finals of Queen's. That was pretty much my only result that whole year.
So I didn't know what was on the horizon for me. So I was still a little unsure of where I was going, how it was going to work, how all the hard work I was putting in was going to unfold.
Much different this year. Yeah, last year, yeah, I had a pretty good draw. But, you know, it's nice to sort of be the guy, you know, when you step on the court, you're supposed to win. That's a good feeling. That's the spot you want to be in.

Q. Today matches are delayed, you get put on Court 14. You drop the second set. How do you make sure it doesn't get out of control?
MARDY FISH: I felt like I had a pretty good grasp on the match. I haven't seen the stats, but I had a ton of breakpoints. I don't remember many more than three or maybe even four at the most that I had against me.
I've only lost serve one time this whole tournament. So I felt like, you know, even through that spot I still hadn't lost serve.
You know, bummer to lose that 5-All game. I had maybe six or seven breakpoints in that game, you know. It's one of those things where you just kind of keep throwing darts at the wall and eventually something's going to stick.
He hit a dropshot there in the third set to give me the break early, kind of switched the momentum a little bit, if it did switch over at all. I felt like I really had a fine grasp on it, though.

Q. Do you worry about which court you play? Serena, obviously defending champion, was distressed because of Court 2. Does it matter to you?
MARDY FISH: I mean, you want to play on the big courts, certainly. I like that Court 2. What Serena doesn't understand is - maybe she does - she certainly deserves to be on Centre Court, there's no doubt about that. But when they put her out there, people can't usually get that close to her and to see one of the best players of all time on the women's side play that closely, you know.
I can certainly understand where she's coming from. I wouldn't put her on Court 2. I'd put her on Centre every time probably, just to save the harassment afterwards, I guess (smiling). Don't want to pick a fight with her.

Q. Do you feel you are maximizing your talent at this stage of your career?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I can say that. I sleep a lot better than I used to just knowing I can sort of put my head down, knowing that I'm doing everything I can, hitting a lot of goals that I've wanted to hit throughout my career now.
So, yeah, I feel pretty comfortable about the choices that I make and the decisions that I make. You know, I got a little heat for going home and not going to Queen's.
I don't worry about making the right or wrong choices anymore. I really feel like, you know, I can lean one way or the other, whichever way I'm feeling, and be okay.
In past years, you know, I really would have questioned, you know, if I didn't go to Queen's maybe and just came to Wimbledon straightaway a few years ago, I probably would have questioned even myself. I can't question it now.
You know, I'm pretty comfortable with knowing how to play tennis now. I know my limitations better than ever and also feel like I can play some pretty good tennis at times.

Q. Was there a moment, looking back, that's clear to you now when you really felt strongly that you weren't maximizing things, you really had to change something?
MARDY FISH: That's tough to say. It really is. Just because, you know, I certainly didn't plan to have the knee surgery and then have that time off, you know, before it happened obviously. So it's tough to answer that.
You know, it sounds like one of those 'Do you regret' kind of things.

Q. In what ways do you benefit going home and being home between the French and here?
MARDY FISH: Just sleeping in your own bed for 10 days in a row says a lot. I think you just kind of regroup mentally, as well, because it's such a long year. Nights before matches that I play, I mean, I don't sleep that well. You know, you get very nervous. You don't eat well in the morning, things like that.
To be away from all that, even for a few days, is big.

Q. A number of Americans have had their best success earlier in their career, Courier, Chang, Andy. You're coming on now. You had the good summer, the Colombia success, top 10. How is it feeling now? Are you saying to yourself, Well done? Is there a certain satisfaction?
MARDY FISH: I can appreciate it better. You know, we played the Davis Cup final in '04, and I was 22 I think at the time. I definitely didn't really understand sort of the place that I was at. I was lucky to be on the team at that point. I was 35 in the world, kind of falling a little bit in the rankings.
So I don't think I really could step back away from everything and say, Wow, I'm playing in the finals of Davis Cup in front of 23,000 people, whatever it was, setting the record there against Moya in the first match. I mean, I don't think I could really get a grasp on that.
I feel like I can now. I feel like it's much more satisfying, to answer your question, just because I can appreciate all the ups and downs that I've gone through. This is certainly an up for me now. I have no idea how long, you know, it will last. Hope it lasts for a while.

Q. Was it a matter of sort of not really understanding full picture the impact or the meaning? Was it a matter of youth or that you were so talented that it came easily?
MARDY FISH: A little bit of all that. Immaturity. Yeah, just youth. You know, probably thinking it's like one of those rookies that wins the Super Bowl in the first year, he thinks it's that easy, and he never goes back again the rest of his career.
We won in '07, and I was there, but I wasn't on the team, so it's not the same. It wasn't the same thing.

Q. And you were close to Andy, too, who was kicking butt.
MARDY FISH: Yeah. And he handled his career, that part of his career, way better than I did. He had a lot more game and a lot more stuff to work with than I did, as well.

Q. When you and Stacey are out in Los Angeles, which one of you gets recognized more when you're out together?
MARDY FISH: We don't get recognized much at all anyways. Probably me, I guess.

Q. Is that part of what you enjoy about being willing to make that plane ride back and forth?
MARDY FISH: Yeah. We have a dog. We kind of feel like we have a family a little bit. She's kind of like a child for us.

Q. What kind of dog?
MARDY FISH: She's a Dachshund, a wiener dog, a hot dog. It's hopefully the start of our family. She's pretty spoiled.
She's pretty spoiled. She has a person living at our house now taking care of her. It was nice to win today so we can pay for that.

Q. This is the first time you've gone into the second week here.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, it's the first time that I'll be around sort of tomorrow on the day off, which I'm excited about. We made the semis in doubles one year. That's a little different.

Q. Looking at that match, I know he's very good, reached the final last year, big server, but opportunity for you. It's not Rafa. It's not Roger.
MARDY FISH: Well, that's why you put yourself in that 9 through 12 spot where you don't have to play the 1 through 4 in this position. It sounds funny to say, because I've never been in this position before here at this tournament, but now that I am, you know, it kind of affords you that luxury.
But, you know, minus Andy, the 5 through 8 guys, he's probably the toughest one of those two. You know, he's pretty comfortable. Seems like he's pretty comfortable right now here. Brought back probably a lot of good memories for him now. He seems to be rolling.
I haven't seen off the top of my head all his results, but I think he went through in straight sets all the time pretty comfortably. Hopefully it's another level for him he'll have to go up, and we'll see if he can.

Q. You're going to get some pretty decent prize money. What are you going to get your dog to celebrate?
MARDY FISH: A couple bones, I guess. I don't know. She's pretty spoiled. She's got a lot of stuff already. She's very L.A.

Q. When you were growing up, did you ever think you'd actually hire a dog sitter to stay at your house?
MARDY FISH: I don't know. Probably. I don't know. Like I said, she's got a pretty good life, this dog.

Q. Talk about the match today. Did you have any idea Robin was in distress? There seemed to be so much talking going on between him and the chair, you and the chair, him to himself.
MARDY FISH: Like I said before, it's a pretty noisy place. There's not a ton of stands. People kind of sit on top of you. You almost can't breathe a little bit.
Security guards are moving around when you're serving. It's sort of an uncomfortable court to play on. It's very noisy. Brad Gilbert from up above yelling down to Patrick like during the thing. It's like, I can hear you.

Q. Is that when Robin turned around?
MARDY FISH: No, that was somebody else. I'd love for that to be Brad, but that was something else.

Q. Is that something that as a younger player would have shaken you up?
MARDY FISH: Yeah. You try not to let it go on too much. We're human beings. It's a long match. We played three hours, three-and-a-half sets, and we still weren't done. So, you know, so many dips and valleys in every match.
If you win a match, I think you've won 51% of the points pretty much. I mean, you're losing 49% of the points even if you're winning the match. There's a lot of downs in a three-out-of-five-set match. The best way you can handle it is probably best.

Q. What was Brad yelling?
MARDY FISH: He was yelling, P Mac.
It's like, Bees, we can hear you. We see you (laughter).

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