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June 29, 2011

Mardy Fish


R. NADAL/M. Fish
6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4


Q. If you'd started like you began playing in the third set, do you think you'd have beaten him?
MARDY FISH: Uhm, I don't know about that, but I certainly played much better. There's not many things I would have done differently. I would have liked to have served even remotely as good as I have, you know, the full tournament.
I mean, you get out there - I've never played on that court before and I never played on Chatrier in Paris - and it takes some time to get used to those players. Even though there's no wind outside there's just a little bit of breeze there, so it takes some time to get used to.
I feel like I started hitting the ball really well, you know, in the third set and got my teeth into the match a little bit. You know, all of a sudden the shadows are right there in that game that I lost serve. Just completely lost the ball when I missed the volley to get broken.
Little bit of misfortune, I guess.

Q. What was going on with the serve? First serve was around 50%.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I've served exceptionally well here this week in all four matches before this one. Maybe it's just the surroundings. I think a lot of it has to do with the opponent, you know, the person that you're playing against. You know you got to make it that much better when maybe that's not the case.
You know, you got to still stay within yourself. I think I over-served at times, trying to go too hard, too quick. I mean, I'm aware of it. I know what I do wrong and try to correct it. Just never got a rhythm at all.
You know, that's really the only thing that I'm disappointed with, is I felt like I competed well. I'm pretty sure he felt like he played pretty well, too. So, you know, it's not a bad loss by any means. But, you know, I'm not in this situation all the time. You know, further than the quarterfinals is where I wanted to go.

Q. What do you take away from this?
MARDY FISH: Uhm, I mean, knowing that I haven't, you know, broken through and haven't had that huge win at a major, I know that. I know that I'm playing well enough to make the quarterfinals of Grand Slams and beat top-10 players.
You know, I'm lacking that one huge result, that one big one where it opens everyone's eyes and says, you know, Wow, I can't believe he beat him; that's a really good win. I don't have that. That's just off the top of my head, that's what I'll take away.
I'm sure tomorrow will come around and I'll be pretty satisfied with the way that I played here. You know, beating Berdych is a great win. I think that's my only top-10 win in a major. So I'll take that out of it. But it's tough right now.

Q. Fans are always comparing Roger and Rafa. On a neutral court, both players playing at their peak, who do you think is a better tennis player?
MARDY FISH: Right now?

Q. When they're both at their peaks.
MARDY FISH: Probably Roger. On a hard court, you know, a Miami-type court. I mean, you know, he's got more credentials. But Rafa's not too far behind him. That would be my guess.

Q. You're hitting your stride here at an age when a lot of guys are starting to wind it down. Is there a feeling of, I wonder if I'll be at this stage here again?
MARDY FISH: Sure. I mean, look, I don't think in 12 months I'll be slowing down, but I'm certainly glad that I played on a stage like that here before I hang it up. Certainly am.
You know, this is one of those tournaments that you look forward to every year, especially someone like me, the way that I play. This is the one that you really want to do well at one time, especially since I hadn't. You know, I would have liked to have gone a little further.

Q. Did Nadal seem to be slowed at all or have any trouble with his left foot, which he had hurt in the prior match?
MARDY FISH: You tell me. I mean, you know, he seemed fine. He moved fine. I don't know.

Q. What was that like for you between matches? There was so much speculation about was he going to play, how hurt is he. You're the person that's most going to be affected by whatever.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, the first few hours, I guess Monday night, I mean, you're a human being, so those things creep into your head. You know, they blew it up pretty good. Went to the hospital, this and that.
So, yeah, I mean, that's not the way that I want to go through. Would I take it? Sure, I mean, I'd take it. But, you know, I'm glad he's not injured. And clearly he's not.

Q. So how do you see the semifinals playing out?
MARDY FISH: Uhm, well, I didn't see any of Murray obviously. Very surprised that Fed lost, especially with two sets' lead. I'll be interested to see the match with Murray. I feel like if he plays like that, you know, he's probably the favorite on this stage.
Novak's there. He's had a little easier road than maybe Rafa has. I think Rafa's the favorite, though.

Q. If Rafa were to go all the way, would that be a small consolation to you?
MARDY FISH: Sure. I mean, you don't root for it or anything like that. I'm sure John Isner feels like a small, tiny consolation at the French Open, even though, you know, he pushed him further than anyone else could. Yeah, I mean, small consolation, but nothing too serious.

Q. Tennis is a game of perspective. Two, three years ago, you're told that you're going to be reach the Wimbledon quarters, you'd be pumped. Now you're saying, sorry the pun, I didn't get the big fish. Talk about how your perspective has changed, and is that a good thing?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, it's changed a lot. It is a good thing, for sure. You don't want to be satisfied. You don't want to be in a position where you're comfortable where you are. If you're 8, you want to be 7, so on and so forth.
It's a completely different mindset for me. Making the quarterfinals of the other majors that I did, I can't remember what I did after those matches, but I'm sure I was, you know, unbelievably excited, you know, and felt like it was sort of that's a great run. Now I play Roddick in Australia when he was top 5 in the world or 3 in the world or whatever, then Rafa at the US Open.
I really walked out on the court feeling that I could win. And I still felt like it even in the fourth set, if I could get the break back and just put a little scoreboard pressure on him in the third set. That was my goal, was to just kind of put a little pressure on him serving, and at 5-6 that worked.
I felt a lot more comfortable, you know, throughout the match. You know, what I'm trying to say is I wanted to win; I felt like I could win. Maybe in those other matches I was sort of happy to be there.

Q. What about Davis Cup, leading the American team, how does that feel?
MARDY FISH: I don't think that's gonna be the case. I mean, Andy's always been the guy. He's gonna be the guy that we all sort of bounce off of and lean on, you know, get our energy from.
It will be great playing for Jim. Obviously I wasn't there in Chile. This will be my first time with him, so I'm really excited.

Q. What about Wimbledon translates well to your game? What about your game works well on this surface? Are those qualities of Wimbledon that are kind of distinct from other surfaces, are they getting more pronounced or more similar to hard court?
MARDY FISH: Getting a lot more similar to hard court, for sure. You know, the bounces are just so true. You feel like sometimes a lot of topspin doesn't jump through the court at all. It slows it down quite a bit. Especially today.
The conditions on Monday and the conditions today were completely different. There was a lot of humidity and it was a lot warmer on Monday. The court played a lot differently. It played a lot faster, which I liked. And today it felt very slow. But maybe it's because he's getting to everything, you know.
And the first part, it suits my style quite a bit just because I love coming forward. I love putting pressure on. I usually serve pretty well.

Q. You've played all these guys now, Berdych included. When you think about what sort of defines Rafa and what makes him different from everybody else really that you've played in the past and what defines him as a champion, what do you think that really is?
MARDY FISH: You know, you never feel comfortable. You're talking about on the court?

Q. Yes. Just playing him.
MARDY FISH: You're never comfortable. You know that when you walk out there it's going to be a battle regardless. You know, there's quite a few guys that you can walk out on the court with and maybe think if they're having a bad morning that they're not going to show up maybe. Or if you get on top of them, you don't want to wake them up, you can kind of get through the match.
He's never going to do that. I've never seen him do that. It's pretty incredible. He just shows up every time. 40-Love points, the game's not over. You see a lot of those games coming back.
You know, he just puts so much pressure on you with his forehand, with his movement. His forehand is so heavy and he can hit it so many different places, that when he's staying aggressive with it and when he's trying to hit it through the court, it's impossible to read and you're on the defense for the entire point basically.

Q. There was one point you were in control. Rafa runs down and hits a running forehand that hits the T out of nowhere. Your hat kind of goes askew.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, kind of near the end of the match.

Q. Yeah. Talk about his powers of retrieval, his defense to offense, and compare it to Novak, who is pretty darn good, too.
MARDY FISH: I think from the wings, on the run, when you're at the net, kind of passing shot type things, Rafa's as good as I've ever seen anybody. I mean, he can turn anything into a winner from anywhere on the court.
And Djokovic uses his movement. Rafa kind of uses sort of his forehand or his racquet really does the work and his hands do the work. Obviously he gets there and his movement's great. Djokovic does it with his feet; he does it with his legs. He'll turn a regular, you know, sort of offensive shot from me, maybe sort of a cross-court forehand offensive shot that I'm still at the baseline into offense for him.
On hard courts, you know, Rafa passes as good as anyone. Novak moves as good as anyone right now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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