PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
March 23, 2008
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Congratulations, Mardy.
MARDY FISH: Thank you, Bud.
Q. You have restored yourself. Have you been planning or
thinking about this and wondering what has happened to your
game and how you could restore yourself?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, sure. Obviously, you know, with some
results that came early in my career and wanting to, you
know, stick with those and improve on those, you know, with
the injuries and, you know, just bad game plans or not
sticking with the game plan I need to stick with, it was
definitely gratifying to know that -- I had some, you know,
some tough times at the end of last year, in the summer of
last year, and, you know, during grass court season, stuff
like that, and I just -- I was, you know, playing injured
and trying to get through it, and wondering when I was going
to get healthy again, feel better again, and, you know,
that's come this entire year, and, you know, hopefully it
Q. How much of what you accomplished here do you put into
the technical and strategic excellence of the game this week
and how much do you put in the emotional bin?
MARDY FISH: I think everything has to go together. I think
one thing has to be stated that I did play about as well as
I can, you know, and that yesterday, thinking about it more
and more, I know I came in here and I was slightly subdued,
you know, probably because I just didn't really realize
what, you know, what had happened, you know, to get a few
wins against, you know, players like that, and to play a
match like today, you know, and be in there.
You know, it was Love-40 in that first game. Three aces in a
row is tough. That's why he's one of the best in the world,
and, you know, and to hang in there today and to have all
these matches and -- you know, you can't forget Hewitt
because he -- I put him up there with just about anybody if
he's playing well.
You know, you can't, just can't -- you can't count out, you
know, how well I did play, but the tactical side -- it was
-- I think that was a huge -- obviously a huge part of it.
If I don't play the way I need to play, I'm not going to
beat those games, that pace, if I don't put the pace on.
Q. Does Djokovic have the tools to be No. 1 at some place
MARDY FISH: Absolutely. I think the results speak for
itself. He's got all the weapons. He doesn't have any
weaknesses. He's extremely competitive, which is obviously a
loose term, loosely thrown-out term in sports.
He's very competitive. I mean, there are different levels,
and he's on the top levels of those. He wants to win badly,
and he's got game, for sure.
Q. Who do you think the best tennis player in the world
MARDY FISH: I think it's Roger Federer, hands down. He's --
he's, you know, he hasn't shown anything, you know, to say
otherwise. He's got, you know, few results these past these
few weeks that, you know, are uncharacteristic for him last
year to build on, and, you know, I think he's going to
continue to be No. 1 for a long time.
Q. When you came in here yesterday, you said you hadn't
realized what had happened yet. When did you, and what was
MARDY FISH: More like this morning at about 4:00 a.m. when I
couldn't go back to sleep, you know, kind of realizing, you
know, what I was about to embark on and what I was about to,
you know, try to do and try to, you know, try to win this
I think I came in here a few rounds ago and someone said,
Are you ready to fathom the fact that you could win this
tournament? It just seems so long ago. It was like -- I
think it was maybe my quarterfinal match or even before,
right after -- I was going into the quarterfinals, maybe.
And it was like, Jeez, I can't even fathom that. I've got a
lot of guys to go through and a lot of great players to go
through and I was one set away. It is what it is.
Q. What were your thoughts when you were trailing 2-4 in
the second set, and what do you think is the key to you
turning it around?
MARDY FISH: He was the aggressor, for sure. I felt like, you
know, obviously would have loved to have served better
today. And, you know, he's a guy who you need -- you have to
get free points against. He's going to kill you if you're
just hitting second serves all the time.
He's eventually going to just wear you down and break you
down. That was the case, and you know, he played a loose
game. Obviously, you know, obviously was nervous with a
couple of games away, and pretty much rolling, you know, my
opinion, to the title.
I remember he missed a couple backhands in that game and he
might have double-faulted, missed another backhand and made
the last point.
You know, I just tried to take over as the aggressor, tried
to get back to my, you know, style that got me where I was.
You know, I had a 30-All, I remember, at 4-2 down in the
third and he hit a serve out wide, and I kind of know that
guys are going to go to my forehand in that spot.
I would love them to go to my backhand, but I just assume
they're going to go to my forehand since it's my weaker
side. I said to myself, Look, you got here going after this
shot, and I'm not going to go home tonight go to bed tonight
thinking I didn't take my chances in the final when I got
all the way there.
So, you know, I put a good crack on it. Obviously I would
like to -- I would have liked to have made it, but it's one
of those ones where you can -- you can question all you want
as far as, you know, should I have gone for something like
that, you know, tried to get into a point, tried to get a
Q. Have you ever felt crowd support quite like you did
MARDY FISH: Outside of Davis Cup, no, not even close. It was
it was fun, for sure. It almost felt like a basketball game,
you know. It was amazing an atmosphere, amazing feeling,
something I'll never forget.
Q. Did it affect the way you played at all?
MARDY FISH: Absolutely. They definitely pulled me through.
You know, I don't win the Nalbandian match if it's in
Argentina, that's for sure. That same court, same surface,
same stadium, different fans, I don't win that match.
They pulled me through that one, and, you know, they were on
my side when I played Roger. Definitely today felt great.
Q. A lot of guys have good games for the surface, given
the way people are playing today and stuff, but are there
special things about his game that stand out and strike you
as being particularly difficult to play?
MARDY FISH: Well, he's a big guy and he serves well and he
just moves so well. You know, he defends -- he can defend
with the best of them, and he slides like a clay courter out
there on a clay court, and, you know, in the forehand and on
the backhand and he can change direction on any ball.
He's got great hands from the baseline. He can unload on the
forehand whenever he wants, and then he can just tighten the
screws up on you and not miss at all. He can play all
different styles of play, can play on grass. He can play on
clay. He can play on slow and fast hardcourts, and he's
going to be here for a while.
Q. So many people feel technology is flawless. My
question is two parts: Do you think Hawk-Eye is accurate,
and do you think it puts, the system puts too much pressure
on the players to make instant calls on?
MARDY FISH: I do think it's accurate. I think that's -- I
think that's a pretty good thing to think, if you're out
there, you've got to believe that it's right.
I know I had one out there today that I must have missed the
mark, because it was -- there was a mark that was long, and
it showed it in. I definitely missed the mark, because the
mark I thought definitely didn't show on the board. I do
think it's 100 percent accurate.
I don't think that we think about it too much. I think if
anything, it gives us peace of mind to know we're not going
to lose on something. We don't have to worry about, you
know, the human error aspect of it.
But the umpires are -- you know, you can tell. We put a lot
of points out there and it rarely happens. We hit a lot of
balls close to the line. It doesn't happen too often.
Q. Third set, at what point did you feel like the
momentum started switching? At what point did it feel like
he regained the momentum?
MARDY FISH: I think it was that first game was huge for him
to get back and win that game. Obviously I'm still, you
know, still 0-1 and I'm serving.
But if I could have gotten that game, he came out a little
lax in the first game, missed a couple easy shots he doesn't
I felt like the momentum was on my side, crowd was getting
into it big time. You could kind of sense there was a little
spot there I could take control of the match. And even
though I didn't really feel like I had control the entire
time, even though I did win that second set, you know, I was
serving sporadically and serving over the baseline
sometimes, and just didn't really know what I was doing on
the serve and trying -- I was just thinking about trying to
get that back, getting my rhythm back on that.
It obviously would have been awesome to get that first game
and go out there with a lot of confidence and definitely a
lot of momentum.
Q. What was the struggle with the serve today? Anything
you can pinpoint to?
MARDY FISH: No. You know -- I mean, obviously he puts a lot
of pressure on you because he returns so well. You know,
he's definitely a guy that you need to have free points
against, for sure.
Q. What did you do at 4:00 in the morning? You couldn't
fall back asleep. Did you start replaying yesterday's match?
MARDY FISH: I turned the TV on first and checked some
basketball scores and stuff that I had missed some
highlights. My bracket is just out of control, bad, so...
Q. Join the club.
MARDY FISH: Yeah. So, you know, eventually I went back to
sleep, but it's -- that was definitely a special day
yesterday to -- one to remember.
Q. There were some sporadic calls from the crowd all the
way through between the first and second serves. Did that
bother you at all?
MARDY FISH: No, no. And Novak was nice enough on that one to
give me a, to give me a first serve, which I made and then
he ripped back at my feet, so I was actually -- probably
would have been better with a second serve, but no, no, it
Q. Do you feel that you found yourself this week?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, yeah. That would be -- I think that would
be accurate. You know, it would be -- it would be really
nice to take this momentum and take this confidence into
next week, because next week is just as big, just as big of
a week for me. I didn't play last year.
You know, I think I put myself in a nice position now around
40 in the world with not a match to defend until August
19th, which I checked.
End of FastScripts