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March 12, 2013

Mardy Fish


7‑6, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Kind of a different situation today.  Same time but hotter conditions.  On paper, tougher opponent, bigger crowd.  How did it feel out there?
MARDY FISH:¬† It felt okay.¬† You know, tennis‑wise I felt great, you know, as far as hitting the ball.¬† You know, I certainly didn't expect to ‑‑you know, usually there is that grace period when you're out for so long, you know, that takes you some time to get back and take your lumps and stuff.
I felt like ‑‑obviously I felt like I could have easily won the match.¬† Bunch of break points obviously in the first set, and the second set was what it was.
Tennis‑wise it's a good sign that, you know, it hasn't taken too long to get the form back.

Q.¬† The second set, obviously it was 4‑0, 4‑All, lots of breaks; tiebreak didn't go well.¬† Was that a function of lack of match play?
MARDY FISH:¬† Maybe.¬† I mean, I usually don't lose 4‑0 sets very often.¬† I can't remember the last one.¬† So, yeah, maybe just not being in that position I'm sure had something to do with it.

Q.  You sound disappointed, but after your last match you said it was just good to be back out there and the result didn't matter much.  Is it encouraging that the loss stings a little bit?
MARDY FISH:  Probably would have been different if I went out and lost 3 and 2.  I really felt the match could have been a completely different scoreline pretty easily.  That's why you're a little disappointed.

Q.  Did you find yourself knowing how to manage frustration?  You spoke about anxiety and trying to stay calm on the court.  In the second set, was it the frustration that was getting to you that maybe you wanted to calm down a little bit more and had problems?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, I mean, I certainly tried to stay as level as possible.
I'm not sure what it looked like, but I felt like in that sense it was a win.  But, you know, maybe lacking that sort of fire, that sort of edge a little bit, maybe lost me the set.  Who knows?

Q.  Would you like to play Davis Cup in Boise?
MARDY FISH:  I don't think I'd make the team.  But, yeah, I mean, I always love playing Davis Cup, but I think that's a ways away in my mind.

Q.  How much more comfortable do you imagine you'll be going into Miami now having these singles matches and the doubles matches, two under your belt?  How much easier is it going to be going forward, if at all?
MARDY FISH:  I don't know.  It certainly helps to play a match like this today in the heat, but it's dry here.  It's a different kind of heat.
I think the last time I was in Miami maybe two years ago I might have‑‑ you know, I think I had a match with Del Potro where I cramped in the match in two sets.¬† It's a different‑‑ much different feeling.
That's certainly not going to help in the back of my mind, but we'll see.

Q.  Can you talk about your reaction to the LA tournaments going overseas, why you think it happened, and what it means for U.S. tennis?
MARDY FISH:  It's a bummer.  LA's tournament was right down the street from where we live, San Jose.  I haven't played in a couple years, but I enjoyed the tournament.
I think it just means that there were some other places that wanted the tournaments more, or maybe they felt like they were going to be more lucrative there.
I know seven days we just put on an event in LA, and it's tough to get people's attention for seven days in Los Angeles.  There is a lot of stuff to do there.
So focusing more on the one‑ or two‑night thing might be a better fit.

Q.¬† How does has that tournament changed the way you look into the future?¬† How far in the future are you looking at career‑wise?
MARDY FISH:  I mean, it's just the beginning, sort of just the start.
You know, hopefully we'll still go in the doubles and we'll get a few more matches and still get some practice.  These are all sort of new conditions for me since the US Open, so, I mean, it's been a long time since I played.
I'll have to reassess after today.  Certainly happy with the way I hit the ball today, though.

Q.  You went through this long period which is pretty solitary with your family, your team, away from the limelight.  Then to go have a week where you're a promoter, player, fundraiser, and out here, a lot of press.  What's your takeaway from this?  Are you pleased with this week?  Just reflect on the week as a whole.
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, I mean, I certainly missed playing tennis for a living.  I certainly missed being making money, you know.  Got bills to pay, you know.  (Smiling.)
But, you know, it's a tough thing, because the last time that I was on the tennis court was, you know, some of the worst times I have ever had.  That part's very hard, very hard to deal with.  It's not easy to come back from that.
This week is a good step in the right direction.  But as far as you guys are concerned, it doesn't really affect too much.  So it's a positive week, for sure.  It's still going, hopefully.

Q.  Briefly you were winded after the Novak set today?  How is your...
MARDY FISH:  Yeah.  I didn't feel great in the first set, sort of the middle of the first set.  There were a lot of long games we played in the beginning, a lot of games that I had a lot of break points in and stuff that he had five or six break points there in the first three or four games that he served.
So, you know, you don't really get that sort of game break, sort of game off where maybe he serves you off the court for a game.
I was into almost every game, so it was ‑‑it's just a different feeling.¬† It sort of feels ‑‑ getting matches is never easy.¬† Practicing, you just can't practice this type of stuff.
You know, match fitness is going to take some time, for sure.  Who knows, you know?  Who knows when that comes back?
But, again, this week is most certainly positive for it.

Q.  You said you haven't been back in the tournament environment for a while.  Can you talk about the perception you have had from players you haven't seen in the last couple of months?
MARDY FISH:  Yeah, it's all been very positive from the guys that I really get along with well.  Felt like they missed me a little bit.  Some of the guys had no idea I was gone, I feel like.  (Smiling.)
It's all the same.  But, yeah, it's been a very positive week.  This is, again, one of my favorite tournaments of the year.  The fans have been very supportive, you know, even on the practice courts saying, Welcome back and stuff.  It's been very nice.

Q.  In the next ranking Sam Querrey is going to be U.S. No. 1 for the first time.  You had that happen to you a couple years ago.  What sort of advice would you give them or what would you tell him do you wish you had known about that sort of mantle?
MARDY FISH:  It's a little more pressure than you think it is.  You know, most everyone who has been the No. 1 American has been in the top 10, as well so there are a lot of guys gunning for you.  I don't know what that will feel like.
But Sam's been out here for a while.  He has been in a lot of situations.  But, you know, it's kind of a shame.  Again, I spoke about it after my last match.  That sort of makes you appreciate Andy and what he did for 10 years just that much more.  We're going to have a guy that, you know, might not even be in the top 20 and still No. 1 American, so it's a little bit of a shame, for sure.
I'm sure Sam would still be in the top 10 and be a No.1 American like we all have, but I'm sure he'll take it nonetheless.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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