7‑6, 7‑5, 7‑6
Q. How are you feeling?
MARDY FISH: Much better. I'm sorry I wasn't I was just telling Nicola that was only the second time in 12 years I have missed press. I have been taking a lot of pain meds for my arm. Balls are extremely heavy here. I had a pretty bad stomach thing yesterday.
It was probably better for me to try to get home and lie down. It's tough to lie down in the locker room with tons of guys, so that was it. Luckily it wasn't or fortunately it wasn't anything heart related.
Q. You practice today and feel fine?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, fine. I mean, I don't feel like as good, but that might be because of yesterday. I mean, it seemed relatively hot yesterday, as well. I just haven't played that long in a while, so I knew I wasn't going to turn up as well as I'd felt in the days previous, but I'm sure it was just because of the match.
Q. You're a long experienced pro, playing matches in the mountains of Colombia, breaking your toe in distant lands, tough losses. Can you compare in any way the struggle, the strive of the tour with, you know, the far more significant travail that you have had recently?
MARDY FISH: I have never dealt with it's always been like you said, it's always been a rib or James was the toe. I had the broken rib in that tie. It's always been limbs and knees and arms and stuff.
The toughest part is just your confidence, just kind of getting your confidence back of trusting everything. When I don't feel well right now, I sort of automatically go to the struggles that I have had in the past couple months, and that hopefully will change over time.
It's gotten better. But again in the past few months I have stayed home every day. I have felt comfortable. You know, this is sort of out of my element as far as the past couple months has been.
So naturally I don't think I'll feel as comfortable. You know, I'm not sleeping in my own bed and things like that. The hardest part is just trusting that everything is fine, because it is, and everything structurally is fine.
Q. Your problems have been well documented. If I could ask, what does go through your mind when you go to sleep?
MARDY FISH: Like I said, it's just the confidence part. It's really the only thing. It's just me not convincing you know, sort of me convincing myself that everything is fine and that the doctors have given me the go ahead on everything.
During the day I don't have any issues. Like I said, just when I don't feel perfect and when I don't feel exactly the way that I feel like I should be, sometimes that's when I get into a little bit of trouble. Just over time I'll feel better.
I mean, that's pretty candid, as well. I haven't really had that type of conversation with very many people, but it's getting better and better. Hopefully I'll be, you know, back to normal in no time.
Q. On the court do you have the same worries?
MARDY FISH: I don't, but I have only done it once. I haven't in practice, but practice is much easier. I mean, you can dictate everything that goes on, really, how long you want to go. If you don't feel great, stop. You can't really do that.
So, you know, yesterday was it seemed hot out there, hotter than it has been this week leading up to this tournament. You know, so that was a bit of, you know, sort of out of the blue. It was supposed to be relatively spotty as far as the weather was concerned. I didn't anticipate it being, you know, that warm.
You can't really train for it when it's 62 and cloudy every day before it.
Q. But after you're going through a long point, sprinting back and forth, your heart starts racing a little bit, do you think about it, or do you just go back to how you were before? Oh, that's just tennis; I'm a little bit out of breath.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I did do that. Like I said, the more time I have to think about it is probably the worst time that I have. I don't have that much time, and obviously you're thinking about other things out there. So the more you keep your mind off it, the better.
So, yeah, during the match I haven't had I didn't have any issues yesterday. There were some points where I was pretty winded, and I'm not in shape as well as I was in the beginning of the year or last year in the summer.
That only comes with matches and more training and things like that.
Q. Seems like your life has been very eventful for a couple of years now. You get married, your whole transformation, suddenly this issue. Do you ever marvel at that? What's been the effect on you and how you perceive life?
MARDY FISH: The marriage has been good for me (smiling.)
You know, the past few years have been amazing. They've been great. You know, I have done some things I have never done in my whole career, and set myself up for, you know, some nice years to come now in tennis regards.
This is by far the toughest thing. Playing here last year at the end of the year and the World Tour Final and not being like 100% healthy, that part was hard a little bit. Just because I was sort of I pulled out of the two tournaments prior, and I was just kind of nursing a hamstring. I was just trying to get through. I wanted so badly to play and play well at that event.
I mean, I worked so hard to get there. It was such a great accomplishment for me that, you know, that part was hard.
This past couple months have tested a lot of things. I have gone on the good days from, you know, missing the French Open to the bad days where I thought about not coming back or when was I going to come back.
I was still in the top 10 in the world, and that part was hard. It made it probably harder.
Q. When you have an injury that's borderline, how difficult is it for you to withdraw from a tournament, and are you the type that likes to push a ways?
MARDY FISH: In regards to last year I had my eye on the World Tour Final, obviously, and I knew I was in a pretty good position to make it.
In Paris, when I pulled out of the event, I had already made it. So I wanted to make sure that I could do it for that.
But otherwise I haven't had too many ones where I said, I need to stop. Usually just take some Advil and keep going (smiling).
Q. What were the emotions like getting out on a court for your first match back?
MARDY FISH: They were easier than expected. I have said all along that this is the perfect I think it's the perfect preparation, or maybe Queen's would have been the perfect preparation, you know, two out of three sets on grass.
This surface is by far the best for me to come back on. Three out of five sets is tougher obviously. But, you know, the more you go, the more in shape you get, the more fit you get and more confident you get.
This is the best surface for me, which is tailored to my game. I'm most comfortable on this surface as far as it's tailored to my game, like I say.
Q. You made a passing reference a moment ago, but were there times when you thought you might not be back out there competing?
MARDY FISH: Well, it wasn't necessarily if I would ever come back. It was a lot of when am I going to come back. I remember just, you know, a week and a half before the French Open I was just thinking to myself, Well, I'm not even close right now. You know, I'm still sleeping with this heart rate monitor. I hadn't done the procedure yet. I didn't even know that that was necessarily an option quite yet.
So, yeah, I mean, there were definitely times not necessarily, you know, I'm done, but it's when am I I don't want to miss Wimbledon. I don't want to miss the summer. You know, so we have accelerated things quite a little bit.
Q. I want to ask about your next opponent, James Ward. On paper it should be a routine win for you.
MARDY FISH: It doesn't work like that. (Smiling).
Q. Home grown hero; his confidence is very high. How much does that change your mindset ahead of the match playing a guy who is waving the flag for Britain?
MARDY FISH: I have played Andy Murray at Queen's. Never played a British guy here at Wimbledon, though. So that part will be unexpected. But I have played a lot of away ties in Davis Cup and a lot of matches where you're the favorite or the underdog and the crowd's with you or against. Been out here for a long time.
So in that regard, I don't think it will be very different.
Q. Do you know much about him?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I played him in Atlanta in 2010 in the first round. I watched him play at Queen's last year.
Was it last year, 2011 or 2010 was his good Queen's?
Q. Last year.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, yeah. So I remember watching him play well there. He can play well on grass. I watched a bit of his match when I got home yesterday.
Q. What did you think?
MARDY FISH: He's a very good player. He's got a good grass court game. You know, he's got that sort of confidence about him that's good, good for him.
You know, you can't take anyone the guy that I played yesterday had never won a grass court match, but he's still a great player. He's here for a reason. These guys are in the second round for a reason. He beat a really good player yesterday. He'll be tough for sure.
Q. What strikes you most when you think of Andy Roddick back at Wimbledon with his history here?
MARDY FISH: To be honest, I think a lot about my struggles maybe with the Olympics and how I have kind of struggled to sort of come back and have really good memories about it when I was so close to winning, to winning the gold medal in 2004.
Then I just can't imagine how difficult it is for him to come back every year after that, after 2009. We haven't talked about it much. We talk about a lot of things. We have never really talked about it, because I know how much he wanted to get that second slam. I know how badly he wanted it to be here and how close he came.
I mean, I can't imagine how difficult it is for him to step on the court, and I'm sure he thinks about it a lot. He does an amazing job of redirecting sort of the pressure that's on him and the pressure that he puts on himself. His consistency of how well he's done here and everywhere, I think it speaks volumes for how many, you know, how he won 600 just last week. I think it's fitting that he won it on grass, as well. This has been probably his best surface, as well.
Q. In that 2009 loss, that heartbreaker, what did he show you?
MARDY FISH: I mean, I think he showed that it was hard for him to come back from that, especially right away. I mean, I don't think he was himself in the summer after that, and I can only imagine. I mean, guys in here, not just me in general, have so much respect for how he plays the game, how consistent he's been, how he just kinda goes about not cocky he doesn't walk around the locker room cocky or anything, like he's better and pissed off that his ranking is low and people don't write good things about him anymore.
He just goes about his business, and there's a lot of guys in the locker room that respect that.
Q. In your toughest days recently when things were really rough, can you point to one or two situations of the guys sort of stepping up and being supportive?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I got it's hard. I mean, when you're not at tournaments, when you're not playing, you're out of sight, out of mind, I mean, more in this sport than any other that I can even think of.
I mean, you know, I was still ranked 10 during the French Open, and I remember watching Isner playing and they were saying that he was ranked 10. You know, it's just I don't care, but it's just, you know, it's amazing how, you know, if you're not in the event or you just miss a couple of events that you're just out of mind.
You know, I got a lot of you know, James has been very nice. I mean, I've got a lot of great friends out here that have been certainly very supportive.
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