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September 3, 2011

Mardy Fish


M. FISH/K. Anderson
6-4, 7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you assess that match?
MARDY FISH: I thought it went very well. I mean, you know, I served for that second set at 5-4. That's pretty close to 6-3, 6-4, first two sets. You know, you're rolling at that point. It obviously got a little dicey there.
He stepped up his game and started playing a lot better and started being more and more aggressive. I was maybe dropping back a little bit more than I wanted to. So, you know, it got a little dicey there for 30, 40 minutes or something. But I was able to get that break back in the third and that was big.

Q. Why did you become less aggressive?
MARDY FISH: Just maybe the way he plays, the way he presents his game. He's on top of the ball, he's on top of the baseline for the most part.
He'll hit a bunch of good shots but also give you a bunch of errors as well. You're sort of uneasy as to what he's going to do next, you know.
A lot of times you just kind of tend to wait and see what they're going to do and kind of let them self-destruct on their own. You know, it was working for him for 30 minutes or so, and it worked for me the rest of the time.

Q. How do you feel about the way you're serving at this point?
MARDY FISH: Well, I didn't feel like I had a great rhythm today, although I held quite a lot. I think I lost my serve twice. But I held a bunch of times.
I mean, I'm taking care of my serve games. It's just that I haven't found a great rhythm yet. I didn't feel like I served at a really high percentage.
I'd like to clean that up. That's the first thing I'd think about cleaning up, but it's tough to get that picky.

Q. Do you have any sense from the fans? Are they now saying, I want to watch Fish play today, where in the past it would have been, There's this American playing over there?
MARDY FISH: I think it's a fair question. It's definitely been like that in the past. You know, there's an American playing, put him on Grandstand or Louis court, and hopefully he'll win.
I hope it's the beginning of that. That's what you work towards, to have people come and appreciate what you do.
You know, maybe I get the feeling, at least in the beginning of that match, that there were quite a few people there that maybe wouldn't have been there in years past.

Q. Is it good having the chanting for you during the match or does it at any point in tense moments ratchet up the pressure?
MARDY FISH: No. It sort of feels like a sort of mini Davis Cup court. I absolutely love that court. The atmosphere's outstanding out there. People are right on top of you. You can feel it. You can feel that they want you to win.
So, no, it's a great thing. I'd rather be on that side of it.

Q. What observations do you have of the route Donald Young has taken to this point, and what are your thoughts about what he's doing right now?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, look, I'd be a hypocrite if I said that he should have been doing different things sooner in his career. I mean, I can't say that. Everybody matures at a different speed.
He certainly has a ton of game, there's no doubt about that. And we practiced with him a lot. We've had him out at Carson at the USTA National Tennis Center out there. We've practiced with him a lot.
He's a great kid. He works very hard when he's out there, when he's with us. Obviously I don't know what he does in Atlanta. I'm not aware of how his training regimen is there, so you can ask him about that.
I've seen him work very hard. I've seen him, you know, even played some bad matches where he'd be the first to admit that they've been bad matches. Obviously yesterday was tremendous for him to come out there. To beat a guy like Wawrinka, who is a veteran, he's won a lot of matches, he's won those type of matches a lot of times. So that's eye-opening, for sure, to see Donald come through in a match like that for sure.

Q. You've spoken a great deal about the transformation in your career. What is different about him today than a few years ago, in your estimation?
MARDY FISH: Probably a lot. I mean, probably first and foremost the mental side of it. You know, he seemed pretty jacked up yesterday. Obviously, you feed off the crowd. You're not going to go away with a crowd like that, that's for sure.
But, you know, he lost serve at 5-4 and came right back, was able to hold to go to a breaker. And I think he said it after his match, that that's probably a match he would have lost a year ago.
Mentally he probably would have just been upset and said he had some chances and that's it. You know, so that's a huge part of it, as well. Maturing, growing, growing into your game, what makes you feel comfortable out on the court. There are demons out there, for sure. It's not easy. It's not going to be a piece of cake three out of five sets, that's for sure.

Q. You say he has a lot of game. What are his attributes that most impress you?
MARDY FISH: He's a lefty, for one. So he's got sort of that lefty spin. A good forehand that can sort of dominate that side of the court.
He can get you off the court with a cross-court forehand very easily. Then he goes into our backhands. That's sort of an awkward position to be in, especially to try to change direction on a shot that you're not used to, a lefty forehand, try to get out of that.
He's got a good backhand, as well. He might say his backhand is better than his forehand. His backhand is very solid.
He'll continue to improve. He'll continue to try to figure out how he can best handle his serve, you know, because he has a unique ability to sort of slide you off the court where it's awkward for righties. That's what lefties do, and that's why they're tough to play.
He's as quick as anyone is on the court. So he's got a lot of weapons.

Q. You talked about how fired up Donald got yesterday and he drew the crowd in. One of the commentators was saying during your match that you're not a fiery personality, that you're more of a mellow personality. So when you hit a lull in that match, you don't really have the fieriness to draw in the crowd to get them behind you. What do you say?
MARDY FISH: I'm a fiery guy. But there's a reason and a purpose for why I don't get that excited on the court, because I have done that in the past. I did that in Davis Cup actually. I was so fired up after breaking López in the first game of the fifth that I didn't have anywhere else to go but down.
That was one of the things that Jim and I talked about even after that match that day and the next day and worked on and tried to do on Sunday. That's something that I felt that's my best way to stay cool and calm.
Like I said, I mean, there are a lot of things that go wrong. I mean, you win a match out there today, I probably won 51% of the points. That means you lose 49% of the time. That's a lot of losing. So whatever you can do to try to manage that is your best way.
But there's a reason why I do that, because I can get fired up. I can get way too fired up or way too down. So that's what I'm trying not to do.

Q. Your comeback is pretty inspiring. What element of that are you most proud of, and was there one moment where you really turned it around?
MARDY FISH: I'll have to think about that. Thank you for that.
I'm trying to think of a particular match. You know, I felt like I was getting close last year, to answer the first part of your question. I felt like I was getting very close before Queen's.
I knew that there was something different because I felt so much better on the court, off the court. So I didn't know what was on the horizon, but I knew that I was a different person, a different player.
To try to answer -- I'm coming up blank, to be honest. People ask me, Where was that moment where you changed everything? It was certainly after the surgery. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and saying, This is not how I want to go out. I definitely remember that.
But, you know, maybe it was recent. Maybe it's as recent as Cincinnati. You know, maybe as recent as going out and playing a match like I did against Rafa. Didn't necessarily have to be a year ago, as well. You know, and I am fortunate enough now to be healthy enough to play a lot to where I have got my ranking up high, but I was sort of lacking that win against those guys that you really, you know, you come off the court and you'll remember that one forever. Last week was certainly one of those.

Q. 51% of the points today.
MARDY FISH: Is that what it was, 51?

Q. I don't know. I'm quoting you. We'll figure it out. It was clearly a close match. If your goal is to make a long run, how big is it to get out in three hard sets?
MARDY FISH: It's huge. Mentally, physically, everything. Obviously it's what we train for. I'll be physically fine in two days. But, you know, I'm 29. I don't wake up in the morning feeling like I'm 20. I don't feel like Donald felt this morning. I'm sure he felt fine, you know. I won't feel like that tomorrow morning.
But we'll do a lot of work on my body tonight, tomorrow. It's big, you know, to get off. Last year was a prime example. I mean, I played two five-setters in the first three rounds. I was just mentally and physically kind of drained to play someone like Novak in that next match.
Maybe I could have come up against him, game-wise, a lot better than the score was. But I was so tired I wasn't ready for it.

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