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March 26, 2012

Mardy Fish


M. FISH/K. Anderson
6‑4, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  I hear that you like the morning matches.  You prefer them and actually request them.  Give us a reason why.
MARDY FISH:  Yeah.  Well, first of all, I like playing during the day.  I like playing in the heat.  I think everyone likes to know exactly when they play.  I'm a morning person, so...

Q.  What time do you go to bed?
MARDY FISH:  I go to bed early, yeah.

Q.  Give us a time.
MARDY FISH:  9:00ish.

Q.  So you like to know my match is at 11:00 instead of having to wait it out?
MARDY FISH:  I wake up early always, and so I like‑‑ you know, when the matches start at 11:00, like the US Open they start at 11:00.  I like to play at 11:00.  I like to know my fate.

Q.  You okay at Grandstand Stadium at this point?
MARDY FISH:  Sure.  I mean, I prefer to play on Stadium, but if it's a matter of playing on Stadium at night or Grandstand in the morning or, you know, 1:00 or second on or something like that, I'd probably prefer to play on Grandstand.

Q.  Did they give you that option or not today?
MARDY FISH:  I don't think so, no.

Q.  Kevin is a tough out.  Saw him Delray.

Q.  Started off a little slow.  What turned it around for you?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, I mean, I actually thought I played a good first game, as well.  I chose to receive for a reason.  Tried to get a game under my belt before I served and just played a bad game and sort of, you know, took me a while to really get going and to really kind of realize where I was.
You know, these are all opportunities.  I mean, you throw out‑‑ you have to throw out last year and really start new.  Everybody starts at zero January 1, and so, you know, this is a big opportunity for everyone in this tournament.
You know, seeded 8 doesn't‑‑ it only means one thing.  It only means placement in the draw.  You know, that's a good place to be, you know, sort of a top 8 seed and you don't have to play one of those big guys until later in the tournament.
And you want to play those guys.  I haven't really had to play those guys this year, so that's the unfortunate thing so far.

Q.  Looking ahead, you have a tough quarter there, talking about playing the big names ahead.  Can you talk about how you feel going ahead?  Are you looking forward to going to the next challenges?
MARDY FISH:  The next challenge is Almagro or Verdasco.  Almagro has been playing great this year, even on hard courts.  I think he was up a break in the first set by the time we walked in here.  He'll be a tough player.
I lost to Verdasco one time on clay, otherwise I haven't lost to those guys at all.  I'll enjoy playing them.  Sort of a home tournament for me and on a good surface for me.

Q.  Before you go to bed tonight will you watch Roger and Andy go at it?
MARDY FISH:  Oh, absolutely, yeah.  Absolutely.  I'll probably order room service and watch them.

Q.  Andy was saying the other day he's, what, 2‑21 or whatever against Roger but he's excited for the chance.
MARDY FISH:  Yeah.  A lot of guys haven't had that opportunity.  I mean, he's played him in, you know, semis and finals of big tournaments.  It's not like he's been unlucky and played him in the second round.

Q.  Like the Wimbledon final?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, like Wimbledon final.  Yeah, it's a tough matchup for him.  Roger obviously returns so well, and once he gets a return in play for Andy, he seems to have some trouble.
I mean, everybody has trouble with Roger from the baseline.  For whatever reason, Roger loves playing him and had some seriously good success against him.

Q.  Wind it back to the US Open.  Would you have foreseen Roger's run?  I mean, two matches lost since the US Open.  Did you sort of envisage that he could do that?
MARDY FISH:  I do think he could do that, and there's no doubt about that.
He's on a great run, and amazing run right now.  You know, outside of the Australian Open he's played better than anyone, for sure.
Novak is not there for, you know, because of a fluke, though.  So he's, you know, always the toughest out.  But Roger‑‑ you know, right now anyways.  But Roger, it's not a fluke at all for me, no.

Q.  Are you working with Mark Knowles?

Q.  Like what's your relationship there?
MARDY FISH:  Well, the relationship is we played doubles in 2010.  We have been friends for a long time.  He's one of the best guys around that you'll come around across here.
I think he played singles; he plays obviously doubles at a high level, and has played for a long time; and in this era he's also played the guys that I play.
He played doubles with Kevin Anderson a couple weeks ago in Memphis.  So, I mean, obviously he knows the game extremely well.  He's an extremely good tennis mind.
We have only been workingfor ‑‑ this is the second week, so...

Q.  Is this going to be ongoing thing or a week‑to‑week thing?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, it will.  Certainly on the road.  I still work with David Nainkin at home.  I have a great relationship with the USTA ‑ at least from my end.  Hopefully from theirs, too.
I still train at Carson.  I still use Rodney Marshall there, strength and conditioning coach.  Still practice a ton with David Nainkin, for sure.

Q.  What would you call him, your assistant coach?
MARDY FISH:  No, no, Knowles is the coach now.  I made a change, for sure.  But I still‑‑ I still‑‑ I was with Nainks for three years, so he knows my game maybe better than anyone, you know, almost as good as anyone does.  I don't want to lose that.

Q.  Has Mark coached before?
MARDY FISH:  Uh‑uh, no.  But he helped me out a lot.  We played doubles in 2010 together and he helped me out a ton.  He's a great tennis mind for sure.  He has a ton of knowledge.
So I think it will be‑‑ it will certainly be helpful for me.  It's nice to get a different voice, as well, sometimes.  And again, I still use the USTA and still work with them, as well.

Q.  How would you say the Penn balls at this tournament play compared to like Wilson balls and other types of balls at the tournaments?
MARDY FISH:  They're definitely different.  It doesn't take long for them to fluff up and get really big.  It's meant for a slower‑‑ or sort of a player who doesn't need to finish the points quickly.
You know, you can get, you know, someone like Isner who can serve right through it.  He can probably play with one of those balls that those kids have that you can sign.  He could probably play with one of those and still win.  (Laughter.)
No, it certainly slows it down a lot.

Q.  Not last night, Mardy.  Did you see John?  Did you talk to him at all?
MARDY FISH:  I didn't.  I was asleep.

Q.  Did you talk to him at all about it?
MARDY FISH:  I was texting with him before I walked in here, but he's driving in driving home now.

Q.  He checked out at4‑All.  He really lost patience with the match.
MARDY FISH:  Really?

Q.  Yeah.  He lost his serve at 4‑All, and after that...
MARDY FISH:  Yeah.  You know, it's tough though.  You play so many‑‑ there's just tournament after tournament after tournament, and he doesn't have an opportunity to enjoy his week last week because he's got to be here, you know, a day later and get ready for this tournament.
So that's hard.  That's unfortunate.  But hopefully he can have a few days now.  We still leave for Monte‑Carlo hopefully not until Monday.
But, you know, Saturday, he'll leave on Saturday.  So, I mean, there's not a lot...

Q.  He said he's going home to practice on clay.
MARDY FISH:  Yeah.  I'm sure.  And hopefully he'll take a couple of days to enjoy what he just did, because it's pretty special.

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