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AUSTRALIAN OPEN


January 18, 2012


Mardy Fish


MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

A. FALLA/M. Fish
7‑6, 6‑3, 7‑6


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Just your thoughts on the match, what happened.
MARDY FISH:  Um, didn't play great.  You know, he played well.  Made a lot of errors.  You know, conditions are about as ideal for me as I would have liked as far as the second and third set, heat and stuff.
Just didn't work out.  You know, couple tiebreakers that I won last year, you know, most of those.  Played good when he needed to.
You know, that's it.  Third set obviously pretty important knowing that he's struggling, I guess.  Maybe not.  Maybe that was a ploy.  I don't know.
Didn't seem like he was having too much trouble during the point.  So it was a good tactic on his part.

Q.  Were you having problems with your feet early on?
MARDY FISH:  No.  I tape 'em in pretty tight, so, no.  Physically I felt great.

Q.  How much did the timeouts for cramping that he was getting distract you?  You had a tournament referee out talking to him about that.
MARDY FISH:  Quite a bit.  Quite a bit.  That stuff, when you think someone is cramping or ailing physically, you sort of change your game a tiny bit.
I think it had a significant bearing on the third set, for sure.

Q.  Was your frustration also partially due to the score at that point, that you were down two sets, do you think?
MARDY FISH:  You're down two sets, you're down two sets.  He's a good player.  He was up two sets to Love against Roger at Wimbledon.  The guy can play.
I wasn't shocked that I was in that position, but I didn't like to be in that position.  I certainly didn't playas well in the first round than today.  But, you know, you're in that position and you've got to battle.  I mean, you've got to fight.  I tried but it didn't work out.

Q.  Is it a bit of a gray area for treatment for cramps?  Is it clear to you and everyone else what the rules are there?
MARDY FISH:  Not really.  I mean, you can ask the chair umpire, which I did.  I was under the impression that you can't get treatment for cramps.  I guess you can.  I guess you can in the changeovers, and then you can only do it twice.
I thought he was out there for or five times, but I guess he wasn't.  So, you know, I didn't know that.  I just assumed you can't get treatment for cramps anymore.

Q.  Is it something the tour needs to look at and try to remove that gray area?
MARDY FISH:  I mean, for someone who in the latter stages of their career prides themselves for fitness, I don't enjoy that at all.  I have a hard time calling the trainer, period, for anything.
First of all, I wouldn't want the other guy to know that I was hurting in the first place.¬† Yeah, to be able to get help for lack of fitness probably‑‑ I mean, if would have saw how much water I drank in the past three days just to hydrate to make sure that something like that didn't happen, you know, I did all the right things there.
I'm not feeling great, either.  It was three hours and it's pretty hot out.  It is what it is.

Q.  Do you think they should maybe rule out the trainer if it's each player's requirement to be as fit as they can, should they rule it out and say...
MARDY FISH:  Well, it seems like nowadays we're going towards fitness is such a big part of the game now.  They're making the balls bigger and heavier.  You know, they're making it to where it's such a physical match, physical game now, that, you know, you're going to have guys that are going to abuse that a lot.
You know, so, yeah, I mean, I thought he was having some physical issues.  But then in between, you know, on every point, you know, he was totally fine.

Q.  Is there a way to stop it?
MARDY FISH:  Not if you allow it.  Not if you say, Yeah, I can call the trainer for cramps.  No, they're going to abuse the heck out of it.

Q.  Should the impetus be on the trainer?  If he's got cramps should they be allowed to say, I'm not going to treat you because you're cramping?
MARDY FISH:  Well, they can treat him.  They can treat him in the changeover.  I guess you can't stop like in the middle of a game, but I guess you can treat them in between changeovers.
So there is no discretion with that.  He can come out the amount of times that he's allowed to come out and do it, and that's that.

Q.  But that's not necessarily a delay, though, if it's in the changeovers?
MARDY FISH:  No, it's not.  It's my responsibility to put it behind me.  You know, but I'm a human being.  I see that guy's called the trainer three, four times, however many times he was out there.  It's hot.  And I'm down two sets to Love, and I'm looking for anything to sort of gain the momentum a little bit.

Q.  You seem to be sort of uncharacteristically frustrated a lot in Australia this month.  Do you think that's to do with fatigue from last year?
MARDY FISH:  I don't know what you're talking about.

Q.  Just sort of ending this match, getting angry with the chair umpire, Yelling?
MARDY FISH:  I didn't get angry with the chair umpire.

Q.  Or questioning him more than you normally do.
MARDY FISH:  Just asked him how many times the guy is allowed to come for cramps.

Q.¬† For the sake of the game and the long‑term prosperity, are there a couple of things that you think are highest on the agenda for the players in terms of perhaps changing things?¬† If you had your magic wand, what would you do?
MARDY FISH:  I would probably shorten the year, maybe but Davis Cup every other year.  Is that what you're talking about?

Q.¬† Just as a long‑term professional, what do you think can be done to enhance the game for as many players as possible?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, I mean, like I spoke about, it's such a physical game now.  Guys are going to get injured, period, whether the season is 7, 8, or 12 months.
You know, so it's tough.  It just seems like I spoke about this two days ago.  Just seems like it kind of never ends.  You know, it was only six weeks ago or so that I was in London.
So there's really no sort of break or mental break to‑‑ you know, you always want to be‑‑ I want to stay where I am and try to improve and get higher ranked.
You know, mentally it's very fatiguing to make all the right decisions around the game, like I do now, and so that's hard.
It helps me now when I lose.  I'm more content because, look, I tried my hardest and I did the right things.  I didn't put in the amount of effort the days before or whatever.  So I'm comfortable with that.
I know that I answered your question at all.  I don't know where I went with that.

Q.¬† Probably not the best time to ask it.¬† I just wondered.¬† It's early in the season, but it hasn't been a great start.¬† Are you questioning at all your off‑season preparation or confidence?
MARDY FISH:¬† Not my preparation.¬† I've only played one tournament, so I'm 1‑1.
Yeah, I mean, this is how I started last year as well.  I was sick.  But I'm healthy now, so I'll go home and gear up for Davis Cup and enjoy that.
But, no, I mean, there is so much confidence in this game that that wavers from time to time.  You got to be strong.
I don't have that many years left, so I'm not going to waste my time thinking that I'm not very good right now.

Q.  How would you describe your feeling about the match today?
MARDY FISH:  Just let some opportunities go.  Pretty disappointed.  I think I played well, had some chances, made too many errors.

Q.  Wind was tricky?  Did you think you were aggressive enough?
MARDY FISH:¬† Yeah, I mean, conditions are tricky.¬† The ball is not exactly where‑‑ it's not going in one direction, kind of like the US Open.¬† The US Open kind of flies in one direction in Ashe.¬† At least on that court it just kind of swirls, so it's like that for both of us.
But sometimes when you play an attacking style or want to play an attacking style, you try to take the ball on the rise.  Sometimes that's harder to, you know, when the ball is not exactly where you want it.  We both had to deal with it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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