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July 3, 2012
J. TSONGA/M. Fish
4‑6, 7‑6, 6‑4, 6‑4
THE MODERATOR:¬† Questions, please.
Q.¬† Tough going overnight, rain delays.¬† Today you looked like you had started to have the upper hand in the second set, and then he hit a bunch of aces in the tiebreaker.
MARDY FISH:¬† Yeah, four or five.
Yeah, no, look, I played well enough to win.¬† I would have beat a lot of players today.¬† He's one of the best players in the world on this surface and one of the best players in the world, period.¬† So obviously there's a reason.
I was certainly satisfied with the way I competed and the way I played.¬† Sometimes that can be even more of a bummer when you lose just because you know you would have won a lot of matches today.
Obviously yesterday, he didn't play as well yesterday as he did today.¬† I played better yesterday than I did today maybe.¬† So who knows what happens if there's not a rain delay.
But, you know, just a few spots throughout the match that I wanted back maybe that I can remember.¬† But, I mean, just looking at the stats, I actually won more points than he did, so...
And I lost in four sets, not even in five.¬† It's kind of a bummer, but I certainly am satisfied with the way I played today.¬† I got better and better as the tournament went.
Q.¬† How difficult was it coming on and off the court?
MARDY FISH:¬† Yeah, it's tough.¬† It's tough, especially for me, just because I haven't been able to train as much as I would have liked.¬† And so, you know, my body doesn't sort of turn up as good if you stop and start like that.¬† If you start, you can usually get through pretty nicely.
I didn't have anything serious going on, just sort of nags of the back and hips.¬† Usually on the grass it's your low back and your hips are the first things to go.¬† Those didn't feel great, but certainly not the reason that I lost.
Q.¬† Given your fitness before the tournament, are you pretty pleased with the way you've played?
MARDY FISH:¬† Definitely the last two matches, for sure.¬† I had a pretty good draw, you know, in the first three, the ones I won anyway.¬† I felt like I needed to expect myself to win those matches.
Like I said, I played well enough to win today.¬† Jo hit a lot of big serves at a lot of big times.¬† Obviously he hit four aces out of five service points that he had in the tiebreaker.¬† The other one I didn't make a second‑serve return, so I wasn't even able to put the ball in the court when he's serving.
So what are you going to do?¬† Too good.
Q.¬† Seemed to have quite a heated discussion with the umpire towards the end.¬† What was that about?
MARDY FISH:¬† I don't remember.¬† Nothing important.
Q.¬† A line call?
MARDY FISH:¬† I don't know.¬† Nothing important.
Q.¬† How would you describe what you were feeling when you took the medical timeout?¬† Was it muscle tightness?
MARDY FISH:¬† Yeah, my back had locked up pretty good.¬† Like I said, I mean, it's sort of a theme on grass, is your hips and your low back.
I put myself behind the eight ball in that second round just playing that long, and that's what will happen.
But, again, just stopping and starting doesn't help at all.
Q.¬† You felt it a couple rounds earlier, the back?
MARDY FISH:¬† No, I didn't.
Q.¬† What was the treatment?
MARDY FISH:¬† The hottest cream they had so I could not feel it.
Q.¬† Many years on the circuit, obviously lots of chapters.¬† Stepping back, what would you like to achieve before you hang 'em up?
MARDY FISH:¬† I'd love to make the semis of a slam and see what happens from there.¬† Obviously Jo and I had a great opportunity in this match in particular, in this tournament in particular that Rafa went out.
I have made quarterfinals before, but every time I've played someone in the top two in the world.¬† So to play Philipp Kohlschreiber, who is a great player, but that's a good draw for sure, a great opportunity for both of us, and now for Jo.
I really felt like the way that I was playing yesterday, I went to bed last night and I thought I could maybe win the tournament the way I was playing.
When someone in the top two go out, it's just one less of those big‑time matches that you have to win.¬† So it was an opportunity for a lot of people on that bottom side to get there.¬† Once you get there, you're real close.
Q.¬† Jo seems like a bit of a different player.¬† He was talking about the joy of the game.¬† I don't know whether you're close to him at all, but any thoughts about what you brings to the sport?
MARDY FISH:¬† Yeah, I'm a big fan of his.¬† I like the way he plays.¬† I like his style.¬† I like the way he goes about his business around tennis.¬† You know, he's definitely French, but he's got an unbelievable‑‑ he's an unbelievably athletic player.
Sometimes when his mind runs, he can get away with it with his physical ability.¬† He's a lot of fun to watch when you're not playing him.¬† When he's playing well, and I remember he played in Montr√©al when we were both doing well there last year, and he played a third set against Roger Federer which is one of the best sets of tennis I've seen anyone play.¬† I think he beat him 6‑1 or 6‑2 in the third.¬† He's a lot of fun to watch.
Q.¬† You spoke about your goals going forward with your career.¬† Looking backwards maybe six or eight weeks ago, what would your goals have been at this period?
MARDY FISH:¬† Six, eight weeks ago I wasn't sure I was able to come.¬† I certainly didn't want to miss this tournament.¬† Realistically I didn't think I was going to be able to come, so I'm happy to be in the fourth round or to have lost in the fourth round at least.¬† There's only 16 players that did that, so it's not a bad result, I guess.
Yeah, in that regard it's hard to look back like that.¬† But, you know, I guess I'm happy with winning three matches here.
Q.¬† There's been a lot of talk in the media about the roof and whether it's being used properly.¬† How about in the locker room?¬† Are you discussing that?
MARDY FISH:¬† No.¬† We were talking about the time thing, the 11:00 shutdown or whatever.¬† I was wondering why Murray went to the chair at 5‑1 instead of just going back to serve.¬† That's about it.
No, we haven't talked about the roof.¬† I think they need more roofs, though, with this weather.
Q.¬† With summer coming up, obviously you'll be playing a lot of tournaments in the U.S.¬† A lot of points to defend, but also a lot of opportunity.¬† A lot of people are going to be away.
MARDY FISH:¬† I used to worry about those points to defend and stress over it, literally stress over it.¬† I'm not going to do that anymore.¬† I achieved a lot of my goals as far as my ranking is concerned.
Yes, I won ‑ I think maybe seven tournaments in a row where I won at least three matches in every event.¬† So, yes, I have a ton of points to defend.¬† But I love playing in the summer.¬† I had a ton of points to defend last summer as well.
I don't care what my ranking is after the US Open.¬† But I'll certainly enjoy playing.¬† I just love playing that time of the year.¬† That's why I'm staying in the States.¬† I love playing D.C. and Atlanta and these tournaments.¬† It's super hot there.¬† I love the weather.¬† Usually doesn't rain all day.
Q.¬† Will you play L.A.?
MARDY FISH:¬† I'm not entered.¬† It's hard to play.¬† I would love to play, but it's hard to play every single week.¬† Obviously with the Masters events after D.C. it's a lot of weeks in a row, but we'll see.
If I don't do well in Atlanta, it's a two‑minute bike ride from my house now, so it's hard not to play.¬† I'm not entered, so...
Q.¬† Will it be hard to watch the Olympics knowing you could have gone if you wanted to?¬† Will you be excited to watch?
MARDY FISH:¬† Yeah, I'll be excited to watch someone like Ryan Harrison, an opportunity to go and to see what it's all about.¬† But I'm not wavering in my decision for not going.
Q.¬† Talking about roofs, were you surprised that the USTA came up with a huge plan spending millions of dollars to refurbish Flushing Meadows and it doesn't include a roof?¬† Was that a surprise to you?
MARDY FISH:¬† 'Surprise' is probably strong.¬† I'm not really in those plans.¬† But I'm excited to see what they'll be like.¬† I'm sure the plans will be amazing.¬† But, I mean, usually the weather‑‑ last two years, just on that second Sunday it's been rough.
I mean, obviously last year it was tough with the rain, but usually it's fun.¬† Usually you get good summer weather there.¬† I don't think you need one as much as some of the other places.
Q.¬† No Americans, South Americans, Australians in the semifinals.
MARDY FISH:¬† It's a European‑dominated sport right now, for sure.¬† That's surprising.¬† Usually you get an American in the quarters of Wimbledon most of the time.¬† I was somewhat surprised at the result.
I didn't watch Juan's match today with Ferrer, but surprised at the score.¬† David is playing amazing, too.¬† That may be a coincidence, but definitely dominated by them.
Q.¬† Could you take a moment and talk about Tsonga's chances to go all the way?
MARDY FISH:¬† Yeah, he certainly has all the game, all the talent.¬† Obviously he's made Grand Slam finals.¬† He's made tons of quarters and semis.¬† He's been in those big‑time situations before.
I don't know.¬† I would expect him to play Murray in the semis.¬† I think that would be a great match.¬† Obviously they both have a lot of work to do.
Once you get there, he's shown that he can beat anyone, so I wouldn't be shocked if he won the tournament.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports