PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
March 18, 2008
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Must be excited to beat a guy like Nikolay and to do
it so convincingly tonight.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I felt like I played
well. I felt like I stayed aggressive. My game is kind of
tailored to obviously playing aggressive and staying
aggressive, and if I can -- if I play well, I really feel
like I can play really well, because I'm always pushing and
I'm always going, and I'm always kind of nagging at him, you
know, not really giving him much opportunity to take control
of points and stuff.
Obviously he's pretty comfortable with dictating play, and
obviously doesn't come in much. But he's very comfortable
with moving side to side and moving in. I really feel like I
took that away from him today, and turned it right around on
Q. These courts are allegedly pretty slow, though. It's
not easy to play and attack every return, right?
MARDY FISH: Well, they are slow. They are a slow hardcourt.
It's, you know, not ideal. I think it's a little bit slower
than Australia, and Australia is a little bit faster than
these, you know. But I was able to play well down there,
played a few good matches down there, too.
I think again, like I say, you know, if I stay aggressive
and I stay on top of my game plan and play well at the same
time, I feel like I can really play well and beat some great
Q. So it's also a matter of getting off to a good start,
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I played him one time in Miami and I was
down 4-0 before I knew it. I got back to maybe 4-All, or
pretty close to that, and ended up losing 5 and 4 or
You know, wasn't really ever into the match and didn't
really feel like I had a chance. Obviously starting out
pretty well and going up 5-1. Obviously would have been nice
to win that 6-1 in the first set, but get one set under my
belt. It gives you a little bit of confidence to know that
obviously if he you can win one set you can win another one
and you can beat someone like that.
Q. So it must have been nice not to face Andy Roddick?
MARDY FISH: Well, we tend to play some good matches. We've
played a few good matches over the years. Yeah, we don't
like to play -- we don't like to play each other too much,
because we played each another enough this year. Unless it's
a final. Second round is not very much fun.
Q. So Lleyton isn't a completely dissimilar player from
Davydenko, but he's got mentally little bit better resumé,
right? Backhand is tough?
MARDY FISH: Backhand is obviously very good. Yeah, it's a
similar style. I think Lleyton defends, likes to defend
better than Davydenko does. His backhand is one of the best
in the game and is always, you know, always will be, for as
long as he plays, I think, solid as a rock.
I really feel like, you know, whoever I go up against, I
like my chances with my backhand against theirs. He might be
a guy that I might want to change the pattern up here and
You know, I think from the baseline, he's -- he's obviously
got -- he's got better groundstrokes than I do, for sure.
But my forehand is starting to come around and starting to
feel pretty confident. When it does, you know, I can hit it
real, well like tonight, and try to dictate play. I'll try
to do the same thing.
Q. So you're going to have to attack. You're going to
have to come in. The approach shots have to be terrific
against him, huh?
MARDY FISH: Well, he's human. He's not going to hit a winner
on every passing shot. We played a long time ago one time,
practiced with him a few times, and, yeah, he obviously
returns extremely well. Almost like a nemesis-type player
for a player like me.
He likes to defend. You know, his returns are some of his
best attributes. You know, so it's one of those matches
where you've got to hold serve as many times as you can.
Obviously you're going to get a few looks. He's not going to
blow you away with his serve, but he's extremely solid from
almost every aspect on the court.
Q. Olympics this year. Andy pulling out kind of opens up
some opportunities. Can you give us your thoughts about the
Olympics and maybe getting back there and trying to do one
MARDY FISH: I've obviously got a great deal of memories from
the Olympics in 2004. I can completely understand where he's
There's, you know, arguably 13 tournaments that are bigger
than that in the entire year. Obviously it only comes around
every four years, but, you know, for us, points-wise and --
there's 13 other tournaments that are bigger.
We could have a long conversation about, you know, what Slam
would you rather win or a gold medal or what tournament
would you rather win here and there. We don't have time for
that. But, you know, the US Open is a pretty big deal for
Andy and for, you know, for a lot of the Americans.
You know, he really wants to win that second Slam, and so I
can understand that. From my point of view, I've got a lot
of work to do just to even get in the tournament, so I
haven't really thought about it too much.
Q. You still sound like you are a up in the air, Mardy.
MARDY FISH: I mean, I need to -- I need to win a lot more,
win a bunch more matches before. I'm not sure when the
deadline is. I haven't checked, but I think probably around
the French Open. I remember it being last time. So I need to
do a lot from now till there just to even think about it.
But obviously it's an awesome -- it was an awesome
You know, I had a great time, and I got my silver medal in
my safe at home. You can't take that away from me.
Q. Can you share some of your other memories, other
highlights of the whole experience?
MARDY FISH: We had a lot of -- met a lot of awesome people.
Tried to meet just about everybody on the American side that
we could in the Village. Andy and I were the only tennis
players from the States that stayed there in the Village.
They had like a downstairs like kind of underground place
where you could go with computers all over the place and TVs
where we could -- like, closed circuit TVs where we could
watch any event that was going on. Anywhere from fencing to
any of those sports that they give medals out to.
So, you know, we could watch anything, women's volleyball,
whatever. Everybody would go down there if we knew there was
a USA against Costa Rica basketball game. We'd go down there
and everyone would be there from the American -- from the
U.S., and we'd be all watching and just hanging out.
It was an awesome time, especially going with Andy, because
he had just won the US Open the year before so he was pretty
well known. So he's easy to have people come up and talk to
Q. Who are some of the people in other sports that you
met at the Olympics that you still keep in touch were?
MARDY FISH: Still keep in touch with one gymnast, Blaine
Wilson, this guy, real nice guy. He does a charity event I
do every year. I'm trying to think. Rulon Gardner was a big
tennis fan. He came out to all the matches.
I don't keep in touch with him, but there were just a
certain few that you hung out with a lot that you just saw a
lot that just happened to be kind of on the same schedule.
Bunch of the water polo guys were awesome to hang out with.
You know, I didn't keep in touch with too many of them, but
they were -- everybody was extremely nice and extremely
Q. What do you think it would be like if Roger Federer
hung out in the Village in Beijing?
MARDY FISH: Well, everybody kind of came -- we had Venus
Williams on the team, as well, at that time, and she stayed
in the hotel. But she came in one afternoon and ate lunch
with us in the athletes' lunch place, whatever we call it,
and she was having a hard time walking around without, you
know, without having to sign an autograph every 10 seconds.
So I imagine that he probably -- I read something that he
wants to probably stay in a hotel. I imagine that would be
probably a pretty good idea for him.
End of FastScripts