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June 30, 2012

Mardy Fish


M. FISH/D. Goffin
6‑3, 7‑6, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Tricky player?  What are your thoughts on the match and just your thoughts about your Wimbledon so far?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, he's a good player.  You know, it's never easy when you have never seen the guy play before.
But he'll be a good player.  He got better and better every set today.  I served well and was sort of able to control the match with my serve.

Q.  A lot of guys thought you might have been a little bit fried today with the length of your match the other day and the stuff you have been going through.  You have got to be pretty pleased with yourself.  Can you describe the process?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, I played much better today than I did in the past two matches, for sure.  This was the best player that I played so far.  I had to do that if I wanted to advance.
You know, it was windy out there, sort of tricky conditions.  I used that to my advantage, for sure. Growing up in Florida and playing in windy conditions most of my life, that doesn't bother me, those types of situations.  You know, so I played a lot of matches like that.
So, yeah, I mean, obviously very satisfied to play, you know, to play well, to play that way.  That guy can play on any surface so it was a good win, for sure.

Q.  Where is the needle on your fuel tank?
MARDY FISH:  I will probably take a day off tomorrow, to be honest.  You usually don't take too many days off during tournaments, but my body will need it, for sure.
We will be ready to go Monday.  It's a great opportunity for Jo and I, and we've got a little rematch of the US Open.  Obviously last year we played a great match there.  It was fun.  I look forward to it.

Q.  The other day you spoke a bit about your impressions of Andy Roddick coming back here every year after the heartbreaks that he's been through here.  What are your thoughts, now that he's out of tournament, about what his legacy is here at Wimbledon?
MARDY FISH:  I think he'll go down as one of the best grass court players to ever play.  Certainly could be one of the best grass court players to never win Wimbledon, you know, and three finals all to Federer.  You know, that's unfortunate.  There is a lot of guys who have won Grand Slams that haven't had to play Roger Federer in the final to win.
He did that at the US Open, and he was unfortunate to have to play him every single time.  If he didn't come in against him, who knows how many he would have won, because he also lost some semis to him, as well.
Extremely consistent here.  He's just had a great grass court career.  I'm assuming he'll come back, but if he doesn't, you know, one of the best to never win Wimbledon, for sure.  I know that he wanted it badly.

Q.  Beyond just Wimbledon, what does he mean to American tennis?
MARDY FISH:  He was the alpha male in our generation, certainly the biggest name by a good distance.  He handled the burden of the press and the pressure and the expectation for 10 years, and there were some guys to come and go as he stayed there.
Unbelievably consistent.  Doesn't get enough credit for it.  He finished the year, finished in the top 10 in the world eight straight years.  Pretty amazing.

Q.  Would it surprise you if he wasn't back here next year?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, it would.

Q.  It would?

Q.  You seem really relaxed, almost laid back but pretty incredible achievement, considering.  Could you just talk about your feelings?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, you know, I have had a good draw here.  You know, I haven't had to play someone in the top 50 yet.
You know, these are matches that I expect myself to win, for sure.  You know, if you take away the past couple months and just say that I just didn't play, you know, just took a couple months off, obviously you come back a little rusty, and I was in the first couple of matches and it's getting better and better now.  It will have to, for sure.
But, yeah, I mean, you know, I haven't played anyone ‑‑like I said, I haven't played anyone in the top 50, so I expect myself to win those matches.

Q.  Obviously yours is a great story.  There is another one in the round of 16 in Brian Baker.  How would you describe his story and him making it there?
MARDY FISH:  He just fell off the map, really.  I wasn't that close to him.  Obviously we all knew him and know of him, and, you know, remember his win at the US Open against Gastón Gaudio in the first round.
We knew he could play, and, you know, guys just have injuries.¬† There are guys‑‑ Yoachim Johansson is someone that comes to mind.¬† He was a top 10 player in the world and just couldn't come back.¬† He had too many injuries and whatever.¬† That happens to guys all the time. So you sort of forgot about them like everybody else did.
You know, I guess seven years later, you know, he's finally healthy again and it's a great story.  He's a really nice kid, really good kid, you know, but guys come and go and it's a tough sport.
It's tough, because like I spoke about after the last match, when you're not ‑‑if you're not playing, you're out of sight, I know.¬† People will forget about you really quickly.¬† It's unfortunate, but that's the way it is in this sport.¬† We forgot about him.¬† Here he is again, and it's great.¬† It's a great story.

Q.  Before you saw the draw, I mean, coming into this tournament, you know, second week, is that something you were even thinking about or would you have been happy with a couple of match wins?
MARDY FISH:  You have to win three matches to do it, you know, and you know who's in that little section.  Tomic is a guy who's played me well over the past couple of years, and I've actually beaten him here at Wimbledon.  I felt like, you know, you want to put everything behind you and just hope that you're going to come back and play top 10 tennis like I was last year.
Obviously it doesn't necessarily work like that, but you've got to be confident in that regard and, so, yeah, I mean, I haven't had ‑‑I have had the luxury of having a high ranking to where I don't have to play those guys so early.¬† If I would have, I would be home by now, but I haven't and that's from the hard work of last year and putting myself in this position.
You move on and start getting a few under your belt and start playing better and better.  That's where we are.

Q.  How does it feel to be out of sight, out of mind?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, it used to bother me a lot more.  I'm pretty comfortable with what I have achieved in the past couple of years, but, you know, you have an injury, and someone like Sam Querrey comes to mind last year.  You know, he came into this tournament.  If he wasn't in the top 20 he wasn't outside the top 25.
He has an elbow surgery that puts him out of his best time of the year, which is here in the summer and, you know, in the States.  All of a sudden he's ranked 100 and people forget about him.
He's a really good player.  He's just coming back on injury.  It just takes time, and so guys can handle it different ways.  I haven't handled it well, for sure, in the past.
You know, I guess it helps to still be, you know, sort of hovering around the top 10 when you're not at the French Open like I was.¬† I was still in the top 10 at the time.¬† If I was still ranked 100, it would be‑‑ you know, ask me a different ‑‑you know, maybe my answer would be different.

Q.¬† I remember you saying you were watching Roland Garros, and one of the commentators said something to the effect that John was the highest‑ranked person.¬† Even though you weren't out of sight, out of mind for more than a couple months...
MARDY FISH:  That's just the way it works. You know, James was 4 in the world not too long ago, top 10 and playing great tennis just a couple years ago, and the ranking drops, and, you know, you're on the side courts and it's not fun.
That's just the way that it goes.  That part is tough, for sure.

Q.  What do you expect in your next match against Jo?
MARDY FISH:  I expect a great, you know, a great battle.  I expect Jo to play well, to be extremely tough to beat.  I've never beaten him before.  We have played two tough matches, played two big matches.
I really enjoy playing him.  I like his style of play and his athleticism and just the way he plays.  He's not in your face at all.  You know, he's not getting into it with other players.  He's very easy, very comfortable to play a match against someone like that.
I'm a big fan of his.  It will be fun.  I'll enjoy it.

Q.  I guess you'll have to return extremely well in that match?  All of it could go to breakers?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah.  Both guys serve well, I think, and both guys return pretty well.  So, you know, you never know with those types of matches.  Sometimes you see two big servers and you think breakers, breakers, and it's 2 and a 3 and a 4, something like that.  You never know.  But two comfortable grass court players, for sure.
You know, I love playing here and so does he.  He's won big matches here, as have I.  It will be fun.

Q.  Do you think you are very happy to have day off tomorrow?

Q.  What are you going to do tomorrow?
MARDY FISH:¬† A lot of rehab, a lot of treatment.¬† We'll just relax a little bit.¬† Maybe not come to the courts.¬† It's nice to maybe ‑‑yeah, maybe nice to get away a little bit sometimes.
It's sort of a grind out here on a daily basis.  It's very special to be still in the tournament, you know, on the Sunday that they have off.  It's sort of a tradition, and it's very special.  I have done it the past two years.
Before that I had never done it in my career, so it feels really good to sort of afford that day off for yourself.

Q.  Will you watch soccer?

Q.  You have been coming to Europe for years to get into it a little bit?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah.  You know, I have watched almost every game, and we watched the England game and then the Spain game and there wasn't very many goals at all, which is hard.
But I love sports, so I'll watch for sure.

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