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November 24, 2011

Mardy Fish


6‑1, 3‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  At the end of a very long, hard season, you did talk about the emotions of actually getting here.  I know you haven't probably had the results you wanted.  How do you feel you played and contributed overall to your first Masters?
MARDY FISH:  I feel like I competed well.  I don't think I necessarily played particularly well.  But I competed well today.  I competed well.  I mean, you know, I come in with a couple more matches, maybe a little fitter, a little more fit and healthy, you know, who knows, maybe I win a match or two, maybe I don't.
It's a pretty tough group.  I lost to a guy today who was playing very well.  But it was a close match.  Bottom line is I'm going to go away 0‑3, which is hard.  But I had a great experience just being a part of this.  It gives you a lot of ammunition to want to come back next year.

Q.  Your opinion of the court, atmosphere?
MARDY FISH:  I thought it was spectacular.  I mean, the court could be faster.  But I think everything should be faster.
But the atmosphere's spectacular.  Like I said last time I was in here, I think this is in the perfect place.  I think that the tennis fans here are very respectful.  They love who they love.  They love their stars.  But they're very respectful of good tennis.  I can appreciate that.

Q.  What are the main things you're going to take out of this year?
MARDY FISH:  Well, that it's possible to be here playing in this prestigious event.  I mean, I was honored to just be a part of it, to be part of the eight guys to still be playing tennis at this late date in the year.  There's a lot of guys who would want to be here who weren't, a lot of great players.
So I'll take knowing that I can make it.  It wasn't like we made it on the last possible match, and I had to gain some points in Paris just to do it.  We felt relatively comfortable getting in.  It just gives you confidence that you can do it.  Means you can do it again.
I'll certainly spend the next five weeks or so working on some of my weaknesses and hope that when I turn 30, it doesn't mean that I'll go backwards.

Q.  Aside from the satisfaction of qualifying for here and playing here this week, have there been little things in terms of the VIP treatment the players have gotten, what in particular have you enjoyed this week?
MARDY FISH:  I enjoyed the gala, I enjoyed being a part of the picture that the eight guys are in.  I enjoyed, like you said, sort of the treatment that you get.  I enjoyed still playing at this time of the year when no one else is.
We get our own locker rooms back there, our names on our towels.  For me, that doesn't happen every year.  A lot of guys have made this a lot of times, but I haven't, and I can appreciate it a lot more.  Maybe I can appreciate it like how they appreciated it the first time.  Maybe I can appreciate it more because I know it's very hard to get back here.
I know there's a chance I won't ever come back to this event, so I wanted to take it all in.  I didn't want to go home after Paris, even though I could have, spend five, six days at home.  I wanted to come over here and not make the mistake of being unprepared for one of the biggest events of the year and take it all in.  I had a great time.
Tennis‑wise, the bottom line is I'll go home losing three matches, which kind of stinks.  But, I mean, I feel like the results could have been slightly different and I could have won my first match.  I could have won the tiebreaker in my second match.  A couple points here and there, could be 3‑0.
No, I'm kidding.  Couldn't be 3‑0 (smiling).
But I'll take a lot of that stuff away and just the memories.  Having my wife, my family, trainer, physio, coach all here that have put in all the work with me.

Q.  You have spectacular rallies.  Did you have to feel a little bit like an exhibition today?
MARDY FISH:  No.  I feel like if you do that, you're probably going to lose pretty badly against him because he's not going to feel like that.
There's a sense of pride that we'll walk out on the court with always.  But there's still a lot on the line.  I mean, there's still points.  There's still prize money.  It's a nice Christmas bonus if you win one of those matches, and I didn't.  There's still a lot on the line.
So, no, I didn't feel like it.  There's still a lot on the line for Roger.  A lot of prize money as well.

Q.  Today is Thanksgiving.  Obviously you had a great year.  If you had to pick out one thing this year to be thankful for the most, what would it be?
MARDY FISH:  Probably just the love and support that I get from my team, the support that I get from the USTA, the support that I get from my trainer, from my family.  We've had our ups and downs.
I remember 2010, the beginning of the year when I was in Memphis, I was recovering from knee surgery, and it wasn't going well.  I remember on the court I was losing to a guy that I probably shouldn't have been losing to pretty badly.  I wasn't healthy.
I remember someone yelling out, Quit tanking, why don't you start trying harder.  I could barely move.  That was the lowest moment of my tennis career by a mile.  I remember that.  The same people that were here in my box now were there.  They remember it, as well.
It's been a rollercoaster, but they've been there the whole time.

Q.  You were just saying the nice things you've managed to get over here, being over here the first time.  What will you souvenir from the locker room as a memory?  Being Thanksgiving today, what are you going to do to celebrate that?
MARDY FISH:  I've taken like 10 towels already.  We have a lot of bath towels and pool towels for L.A.  We've taken a lot of pictures.  We've taken the shower door, the mirror.  No (smiling).  I've taken a lot of towels still.
As far as tonight, a lot of us are going to go to an American restaurant and have some turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries, enjoy all being together over here still.
Unfortunately for me, I live in LosAngeles, my family still lives in Florida, so I don't get to spend many holidays with them.  They're actually here, which is nice, so I can cherish that, as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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