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September 5, 2011
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
J. TSONGA/M. Fish
6-4, 6-7, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Tough way to end a great summer. How are you feeling about your effort in the match?
MARDY FISH: My effort? I feel good about it. I can look myself in the mirror. I can sleep pretty well nowadays knowing that I'm doing everything I can possible.
So, you know, some matches go my way and some don't. A lot of 'em have this summer and a few haven't. This is one of 'em.
You know, so, yeah, it's disappointing, no doubt about it. He's a great player. It's not a bad loss. But I was in a good position to win that match, too.
Q. You both were battling the elements.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, that's a little annoying, you know, we have to play a match like that, you know, where we're both playing well coming in. We're both confident. Great surface for both of us. Seems like a relatively even sort of match.
You know, the conditions just completely took it away from us. You know, it's kind of a shame that's what it came down to, sort of. You know, the wind and just who could deal with that, you know, better early on, trying to feel each other out, 'cause we haven't even hit with each other before. You know, that's obviously a little frustrating.
The ball's not exactly where you want it to be. It's not going to be a clean match at all.
I think we played about as well as we both could in those conditions, too.
Q. Did you feel as if your upper right thigh betrayed you a little in that fifth set?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I think, you know, that's only my fourth match. Hasn't been a ton of matches. It was unusually cold. For whatever reason, you know, old age, I guess, my body didn't check up like I had hoped.
Look, that's not why I lost. But it would have been nice to be able to run without pain.
Q. In the fifth set you and Tsonga exchanged words as you were changing over. Can you tell us what happened there?
MARDY FISH: Both of us fired up. We weren't going at each other at all.
Q. When you said, I don't speak French, then kind of an expletive, were you talking to Jo-Wilfried?
MARDY FISH: No. I was talking to the umpire. I probably shouldn't have said that. Like I said, we were fired up.
Q. With the showing of the U.S. men - four guys in the 16 - what do you take away as far as a resurgence, rebirth of men's tennis in the U.S. from this?
MARDY FISH: I mean, you know, Andy is the usual suspect. He's always there. You know, Isner is playing as well as anyone. He's going to be tough here. I think he can win the tournament the way he's serving and playing. I don't think there's any question about that, in my opinion.
And Donald's got a tough match coming up, for sure. But it's nice to see him doing well again.
I mean, we got our own issues. I got my own problems out here, too. I'm trying to stay in the tournament as long as I can. Look, it's nice that we're all in there. I root for my friends, obviously. And they're my friends. So that's exciting that they're doing well.
But, you know, we're thinking about ourselves, too, trying to go as far as we can in one of the biggest tournaments that we'll play.
Q. Was there a point where you felt the momentum really turn away from you even before he got the break?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I mean, I still -- no, not before he got the break, for sure. You know, you start a fifth set, that's anyone's ballgame. I mean, you just reset, you know, when you start a fifth.
You know you've got one set to go to go to the quarterfinals of this great event. It's a great spot to be in, pretty good spot. We both knew it. He picked up his game better than I did.
Q. What exactly was bothering you with your leg?
MARDY FISH: I just had some hip and, what is it, hamstring issues. But it didn't have an effect on the loss.
Q. On a different subject, your hometown is being considered as a host for the USA/Belarus Fed Cup matches next year. What are your thoughts on that?
MARDY FISH: I think it's great. I do a charity event there every year. If we could sell 10,000 tickets, we would. We can't afford to put up the seats that hopefully the Fed Cup can if they come.
It's a great tennis community. South Florida in general loves tennis. But it's a small town, and they have, you know, one guy from there that grew up there that plays a lot, so they know a lot about tennis there.
So it would be outstanding. I would love to go just to watch if they did get it. We're campaigning for it, for sure.
Q. There were forecasts for rain all day today. It hasn't come yet. Was there any point during the match where you were looking at the heavens waiting for it to start?
MARDY FISH: No, I didn't. And, to be honest, I'm glad we finished because you want to -- you know, if you want to win the match and you don't want to have to come back the next day, and obviously if you win, then come back the next day after that, play three days in a row.
You want to finish selfishly. Both of you I'm sure wants to finish. You want an outcome. We're that far into it. My body probably could have handled an extra night of sleep and that. But, yeah, we wanted to finish.
Q. Where does this place as far as disappointing losses?
MARDY FISH: I don't think it's extremely high. I mean, obviously I'm disappointed because I felt like I could do really well at this event. It doesn't even pale in comparison to Davis Cup. It's not even the same sport, feels like.
You know, on one end you lose and you're obviously disappointed. I had a great opportunity here. If Roger wins tonight, that's just a great experience and moment that you could play in in the quarterfinals of the US Open.
But, on the other hand, it's been a long three months, you know, since really Madrid starts. You just go. I only had eight days off after the French because I didn't play Queen's. Then I went straight from Wimbledon to Davis Cup. Then I went home for four days and then I went to Atlanta. Then I went back to L.A. and played. I had four days and then I went to Montr√É¬©al. So, I mean, I'm spent.
Obviously I'm disappointed that I didn't go further here. But, like I said, you could see the good in both, I guess, because now I get to take a little bit of a break and reenergize and try to make the World Tour Finals, which is a huge goal.
Q. Patrick said before the match that he thought it was going to be mostly mental for you. What was the difference, in your opinion, in this match?
MARDY FISH: I don't think I necessarily lost the mental match. I think he played better than I did in the fifth, no doubt about it.
He stepped up his game early on there. I was up in that game and ended up losing my serve. You know, we played that long point that I probably should have won back and forth at the net, hit the ball long.
I mean, yeah, it would have been nice to feel like I did last round or rounds previous. But, I mean, this is late in the summer, late in a big event, and not everything's going to feel good.
Q. You've had an excellent season. Obviously you still have a couple more shots at a Masters title. The Grand Slam season is done. Are you still looking for that semifinal? How does this feel coming out of this?
MARDY FISH: I thought obviously this was my best chance so far. I've made three quarterfinals and I've played Nadal, Nadal and Roddick. You know, those aren't bad losses. At the time I think Andy might have been seeded 2 at the Australian Open, as well, 2 or 3, something like that.
You know, this might have been my best chance so far. But, look, I mean, I had to go through Tsonga, Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, whoever's on the other side, just to win the tournament. That's a whole lot of guys. That's a really tough draw. I had an easy first couple rounds, but I would trade those for right now.
Q. With the four of you guys that got into the second week, do you feel that's a positive trend?
MARDY FISH: I hope so. Yeah, I hope so. Look, selfishly, you know, we want to win Davis Cup, as well, getting all those guys, getting Sam Querrey back.
You know, it's funny, you're sort of out of sight, out of mind. This kid last year was a couple points away from the quarterfinals and maybe the semifinals of the US Open, because Wawrinka played Youzhny in the quarters. He has a little bit of bad luck.
So we've got a lot of young, good players coming up when James and myself and Andy stop playing. We feel like it will be in pretty good hands. It's funny, too, because Harrison is the biggest prospect, in my opinion, of all of them, and he lost here in the first round. You'll hear a lot from him, there's no doubt about it. We don't even really talk about him right now.
Q. Obviously your hard court success this summer is part of the reason that you got so few days off. The schedule you just went through is kind of exhausting. Do you think as you look towards next year you might recalibrate how many tournaments you ought to even enter?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, maybe having a little more belief that I'll do better. I entered into a lot of events and unfortunately didn't play them, but for a good reason.
But I think my schedule was fine. I mean, I had two weeks, a week off, two weeks, a week off, and here in the summer. You know, it's exhausting even going over my schedule just because it's just such a long road. Now you've got three, three-and-a-half weeks, which sounds not that much, but it's a lot for us. So I'll get away from it a little bit. I'm excited for that.
But obviously, don't get me wrong, I'm not excited about not being here anymore. But it's been a great summer for me.
Q. How will you look back at what you accomplished this summer?
MARDY FISH: I think I'll remember beating Rafa I think most. I think I'll remember being very close, again, to getting that Masters 1000 title in Montr√É¬©al, you know, winning a tournament. I don't win tournaments every week. I'm not Djokovic and these guys, so I don't win all the time. So those are memorable.
It's just I couldn't have hoped for a better summer, in my opinion. And to make the fourth round here is not a terrible result for people. I lost to a great player today. There's just no way around it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports