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August 16, 2012

Mardy Fish


M. FISH/R. Stepanek
6‑3, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You seemed pretty happy after that win.  Was that because you had never beaten him before?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, that was the monkey jumping off my back.
No, he's been a very tough opponent for me over the years.  Not only has he beaten me, he's beaten me pretty soundly most of the time.  I certainly felt good.

Q.  What was different between this match and previous matches against him?
MARDY FISH:  I feel fresh and strong.  This summer has gone well for me as far as getting my match fitness back.
You know, I probably wouldn't be able to pick a better place to play anyone, really.
I have had a lot of great wins on that court here and played a lot of great matches.  Probably would be the one to pick.

Q.  How much of an advantage do you think it is for guys like you and Sam who have been here in the U.S. playing hard courts all summer where other guys have played in the Olympics and are now just getting hard court play?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, I think it's a major advantage.  That's one of the reasons why I didn't go.  Also, the travel is just so tough.  We were just there at Wimbledon, come back, play Atlanta, go back over, and come back again without taking any weeks off.
You know, that part, the travel, is extremely hard.  That's why I chose to stay over here.

Q.  Can you elaborate a bit on your health right now, your overall health with respect to coming back?
MARDY FISH:  You know, every week it's gotten better and better.  Playing matches out there, I'm not sure what the temperature was, it's not as hot as it usually is here.  It's still pretty warm, fairly warm.  I felt great as far as that's concerned.  That's certainly a plus.

Q.  What makes Radek so tough?  He's been around so long and seems to still be pretty fresh.  The fact that he plays so much and not just singles but doubles, as well.  What makes him so tough?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, he does a lot of things very well.  He moves extremely well, he volleys well, and has a great backhand.  He competes extremely well; he's extremely fit.  He presents a lot of problems.
Over the years we have played sort of similar styles.  We both have a better backhand than a forehand.  You know, he's been able to compete a little bit better over the years in our matches than I have.
You know, he's been able to win pretty soundly almost every time except for I think one maybe in San Jose, in the final in San Jose.  You know, he presents a ton of problems.  He moves very well at the net, too.
Like I said, he competes well.¬† He's sort of an awkward‑type player to play.

Q.  The item on your wrist, does that have to do with a charitable cause?
MARDY FISH:  No, it's a Power Balance bracelet.

Q.  I know you didn't play college tennis, but you're American, so you're familiar with the system.  I don't know if you heard about the changes made to college tennis recently.  They changed it so singles matches will have a third set tiebreak instead of a full set, and then doubles will be first to six games?
MARDY FISH:  Just one set of doubles?

Q.  Yeah.  I don't know what you thought, how that would affect the college...
MARDY FISH:¬† I don't know.¬† I feel like we have gotten so far away from guys going to college, and I feel like a little bit‑‑ going back a little bit with success like guys like Isner and Anderson that can get into the top 30 and have, you know, went four years to play college tennis.
I mean, Isner would be the first to tell you that‑‑ you know, sometimes we joke with him that you sort of wasted four years of your tennis career, you know, in college.
But he wasn't ready.  A lot of guys aren't ready.  A lot of guys go the wrong way and turn pro instead of maybe going a year or two.
There's absolutely no way we can put an age limit on it like the other sports do.  But, you know, maybe hopefully guys will start realizing the success of someone like Steve Johnson who is a good player and could have turned pro maybe two years ago and gone through the futures and challengers levels last year and this year, but chose to go back to college.
Maybe his success on the pro tour, you know, will sort of make guys think twice about turning pro too early and maybe going for at least a year.

Q.  I'm curious if you pay any attention to the service speed display.  Is there anything to be gained for the player either when you're serving or the other guy is serving?  Do you think it's mostly for the fans?
MARDY FISH:  I think it's mostly for the fans.  I'd be lying to you though if I didn't talk to my coach about, you know, sometimes I can overserve, which means I can try to hit it too hard and sort of get out of my comfort zone and sort of get out of my rhythm a little bit.
That means if I'm getting into the, you know, 130, low 130 range and missing quite a few of them, then I'm overserving.  You know, you watch someone like Roger or Novak, even Andy Murray, I think it's no coincidence that they're, you know, at the top because they serve well.
You know, they don't hit their serves 130 miles an hour hardly ever.  They place it better.  They sort of place the serve to, you know, work the second shot or work the first ball off the return, things like that.
There is something to be gained out of it, but I think it's probably a fan thing.

Q.  If somebody cranks up 145 or something, does that have an intimidating effect?  You already know the ball is going fast?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, we can usually feel it coming pretty quick.  There are only a couple guys doing that.  That's an extraordinary speed.  There are only a couple.
But there are guys that can do that, and you know those guys serve big.

Q.  The number itself wouldn't be intimidating?
MARDY FISH:¬† Yeah, you can never tell ‑‑I think last week in Toronto it was in is Ks and I played on center court and I hit a serve like 239 Ks.¬† It was just too fat.¬† Sometimes the gun is off; sometimes in Davis Cup the gun is off.
What's the record now, 59 maybe, 159?
THE MODERATOR:  In a challenger it was 162, but it was a different gun.
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, the gun is juiced in that regard, so...

Q.  You'll have either Roger or Tomic next.  I know you had a war against Roger in the final.  Can you talk about both potential opponents?
MARDY FISH:¬† I played him a couple times.¬† I played him World Tour Final last year in three sets.¬† Here I didn't lose my serve until 4‑All in the third here two years ago in the final.¬† We have had some good matches.¬† The time before that, I beat him.
I look forward to it.  It's a good challenge.  I haven't played someone of his caliber in a while, maybe since I played Nadal here last year.
So it will be fun.  I assume he'll come through.  He's playing some pretty good tennis now.

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