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March 29, 2012

Mardy Fish


6‑1, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  That was particular a tough day today, especially at the net?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, a lot of areas that's tough.  He did a lot of things well today.  I think more than anything else, he shrunk the court extremely well with his movement, and that's why I think you saw a ton of errors from me.
You know, I was pressing a lot just because he wasn't giving me anything.  He wasn't giving me any errors.  He made one error in the first set and served 98%.
That's tough to beat, you know, especially with someone who moves as well as he does in a place where, you know, the surface is slow and the balls are even slower to get by him.  So, you know, a lot of combination of things, but that's the first thing that jumps out.
You know, I competed hard, tried to get back into it obviously in the second set.¬† That 3‑All game was, you know, obviously the biggest game of the match.
I played three good points that game, and, you know, I came in ‑I don't know if you remember; I remember it ‑but I came in on two of his kind of defensive slices and I lost both of those points.¬† He had an unbelievable lob on that last point that I wasn't sure was going to go in or not but probably was, and it was just ‑‑ it was his day.

Q.  Did you expect the match to be that hard?  From watching him play Andy and stuff, did you expect it to be the kind of match it was, or was it different than what you thought?
MARDY FISH:¬† Yeah.¬† I mean, Andy doesn't lose a lot of 6‑0 sets, either.¬† He obviously is putting a lot of balls in play.¬† He's obviously using his movement extremely well.¬† This surface is extremely slow.
You know, it starts out ‑‑obviously for me it starts out with my serve, and I just didn't have a good rhythm on it, which is okay, and then you try to figure out other ways to win points.¬† Against someone like him, um, you know, having like baseline rallies for every point is tough.
It's tough for me on‑‑ you know, I'd be comfortable in Cincinnati, but, you know, it wasn't ‑‑I didn't feel like ‑‑it was like the weather was almost too good.¬† It wasn't that humid and it was a nice, comfortable temperature.¬† So I was expecting it to be hotter.
Yeah, I wanted it to be kind of a Florida day.  It was an LA day, I think.

Q.  You know, obviously this was a big opportunity, you're the last standing American, I know how much it would have meant to you to make the final and stuff like that here.  Can you just talk about do you feel like it was a lost opportunity?
MARDY FISH:  Look, I haven't had good results this year.  So, to be honest, making the quarters will probably feel pretty good in that regard, you know.  And, yeah, when someone like Roger loses that early and he's in your section, it opens up and you don't have those opportunities that often.
You know, I've taken advantage of some of those opportunities and sometimes I haven't.   He took advantage of the opportunity today, because he didn't have to play Roger.  You know, he's beaten, you know, two good players before me.  You know, Monfils on this surface is really tough, and that's a great win for him.
Obviously beating Andy after knowing that he's playing that well, he's playing better than his ranking is, for sure.

Q.  From your tennis point of view, do you consider this as a bit of a step back from the Almagro match, or the positives you can take away from this?
MARDY FISH:  I'll always look for positives, for sure.  It certainly was a step back in how I played. But he had a lot to do with that.
The first time out on center, it's sort of ‑‑there's that sort of that little period where you're trying to feel out the court, and, I mean, it's much different than any other court here.¬† It's much, much bigger.
You know, so there's that little period, as well, where you're trying to figure out how the ball is going to go through the court.
It's much slower out there than it is on grandstand.  So, I mean, you know, that's a factor, as well.  That took some getting used to.
Look, I mean, I could have lost the set 7‑6, I could have lost the set 6‑0 in the first set.¬† The fact of the matter is I lost the first set whatever the score was, and we were 3‑All and I played a good game at 3‑All.¬† If I get to 4‑3 there and put some more pressure back on him, it's a different match, in my opinion.
It was closer than the score was, for sure, I think, but in the end it's just a loss.

Q.  There seemed to be some visible frustration by you after the match.  Is that normal after any loss, or was there something about today's match that sort of disappointed you more?
MARDY FISH:  I mean, I was disappointed in what regard?

Q.  Just a little bit of a racquet slam.
MARDY FISH:  Yeah.  I mean, I was frustrated, for sure.  I didn't mangle my racquet, I mean, if that's what you're asking.  But, yeah, I certainly was frustrated with how it went.
I'm certainly not gonna walk off with a smile, if that's what you're looking for.

Q.  Did it feel like a Davis Cup tie?
MARDY FISH:¬† Yeah, it definitely doesn't feel ‑‑it feels like a South American‑type tournament, for sure.¬† But it's nice.¬† Those are the type of matches that you enjoy being a part of, for sure.
I enjoy being a part of ‑‑it was nice to finally play another match where it was, you know, a big, meaningful match for me.¬† It had been, you know, probably since London, you know, World Tour Finals that I had played, minus Davis Cup, that I played a meaningful match for me.
So it was nice to be a part of that.  You're playing for a lot.  You're playing for points.  You're playing for prize money.  There's a lot on the line.  Those are the positions you want to be in.  I didn't just walk into that position.  I had to win three matches to get there, too.

Q.  Just picking up from what you just said, the fact that the center court is very different from the other courts, last night Tsonga said it took him two sets to figure out how the court worked.  Is it really that different?  If it is that different, is it something that you may want to kind of doing something about?  It's obviously a big factor.

Q.  Someone needs to spend two sets to get used to the court?
MARDY FISH:  I would love for the surfaces to be, you know, just to have a couple tournaments that are quicker surfaces.
It's not necessarily the surface per se but the balls.¬† I mean, the balls get so big and so fluffy that, you know, even after a warmup that for an attacking, fast‑court‑type player, it's extremely hard to play those guys.
You have to play ‑‑sometimes you have to play almost ‑‑you have to execute almost every shot, you know.¬† You have to execute big time to beat those guys, you know, that like playing on the slower surfaces, for sure.
Indian Wells is extremely slow with the balls, especially at night when we play there.  It's two different tournaments:  during the day and during the night.
Australia is extremely slow.  Wimbledon's balls are unbelievably heavy.
So, you know, the courts are too good there.¬† It's hard to find fast surfaces these days that you can get away with, that I can get away with, and the first two that jump out are Montreal and Cincinnati.¬† I don't think it was necessarily a coincidence of my results there, because I'm a fast‑court player.¬† There's just not many surfaces like it anymore.

Q.  Going more towards the difference between the center court and the outside, what do you think it's...
MARDY FISH:  I'm not sure why.  Yeah, I mean, I don't know how to put a court together, but, I mean, there's definitely a difference.
You know, I'm not sure what we can do as players about that.  We just have to adjust.  You know, he got a match out there in his last match to be able to play and to be able to know the surroundings and all that.
I played a lot of matches there last year.¬† Played four matches there last year.¬† But, you know, this year was my first one.¬† Just like Tsonga said ‑‑I didn't know that he said that, so that's not really ‑‑ that's not a coincidence.

Q.¬† You're not usually one to complain or anything, but would you say that if you had had another match on center court during this tournament, especially as the top‑ranked American, that that might have helped you today?
MARDY FISH:¬† No, no, no, no, I'm not saying that.¬† But then it would have ‑‑we would have had this conversation with the first match.¬† You know, it just takes time to get used to.
It's just like Arthur Ashe.  I mean, the stadium is so much bigger than everything else there that, you know, if you play your first match, first night match there or something, it's going to take a while to get used to that.
By no means am I complaining.  I wasn't complaining the first time that someone wrote an article about it in the first place.  I was just simply saying that I like playing on center court and I would enjoy playing on center court.
I wasn't complaining that I was on grandstand.  I also enjoy playing on grandstand.  It's a nice court.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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