J. TSONGA/M. Fish
4‑6, 7‑6, 6‑4, 6‑4
Q. Tough going overnight, rain delays. Today you looked like you had started to have the upper hand in the second set, and then he hit a bunch of aces in the tiebreaker.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, four or five.
Yeah, no, look, I played well enough to win. I would have beat a lot of players today. He's one of the best players in the world on this surface and one of the best players in the world, period. So obviously there's a reason.
I was certainly satisfied with the way I competed and the way I played. Sometimes that can be even more of a bummer when you lose just because you know you would have won a lot of matches today.
Obviously yesterday, he didn't play as well yesterday as he did today. I played better yesterday than I did today maybe. So who knows what happens if there's not a rain delay.
But, you know, just a few spots throughout the match that I wanted back maybe that I can remember. But, I mean, just looking at the stats, I actually won more points than he did, so...
And I lost in four sets, not even in five. It's kind of a bummer, but I certainly am satisfied with the way I played today. I got better and better as the tournament went.
Q. How difficult was it coming on and off the court?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, it's tough. It's tough, especially for me, just because I haven't been able to train as much as I would have liked. And so, you know, my body doesn't sort of turn up as good if you stop and start like that. If you start, you can usually get through pretty nicely.
I didn't have anything serious going on, just sort of nags of the back and hips. Usually on the grass it's your low back and your hips are the first things to go. Those didn't feel great, but certainly not the reason that I lost.
Q. Given your fitness before the tournament, are you pretty pleased with the way you've played?
MARDY FISH: Definitely the last two matches, for sure. I had a pretty good draw, you know, in the first three, the ones I won anyway. I felt like I needed to expect myself to win those matches.
Like I said, I played well enough to win today. Jo hit a lot of big serves at a lot of big times. Obviously he hit four aces out of five service points that he had in the tiebreaker. The other one I didn't make a second serve return, so I wasn't even able to put the ball in the court when he's serving.
So what are you going to do? Too good.
Q. Seemed to have quite a heated discussion with the umpire towards the end. What was that about?
MARDY FISH: I don't remember. Nothing important.
Q. A line call?
MARDY FISH: I don't know. Nothing important.
Q. How would you describe what you were feeling when you took the medical timeout? Was it muscle tightness?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, my back had locked up pretty good. Like I said, I mean, it's sort of a theme on grass, is your hips and your low back.
I put myself behind the eight ball in that second round just playing that long, and that's what will happen.
But, again, just stopping and starting doesn't help at all.
Q. You felt it a couple rounds earlier, the back?
MARDY FISH: No, I didn't.
Q. What was the treatment?
MARDY FISH: The hottest cream they had so I could not feel it.
Q. Many years on the circuit, obviously lots of chapters. Stepping back, what would you like to achieve before you hang 'em up?
MARDY FISH: I'd love to make the semis of a slam and see what happens from there. Obviously Jo and I had a great opportunity in this match in particular, in this tournament in particular that Rafa went out.
I have made quarterfinals before, but every time I've played someone in the top two in the world. So to play Philipp Kohlschreiber, who is a great player, but that's a good draw for sure, a great opportunity for both of us, and now for Jo.
I really felt like the way that I was playing yesterday, I went to bed last night and I thought I could maybe win the tournament the way I was playing.
When someone in the top two go out, it's just one less of those big time matches that you have to win. So it was an opportunity for a lot of people on that bottom side to get there. Once you get there, you're real close.
Q. Jo seems like a bit of a different player. He was talking about the joy of the game. I don't know whether you're close to him at all, but any thoughts about what you brings to the sport?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I'm a big fan of his. I like the way he plays. I like his style. I like the way he goes about his business around tennis. You know, he's definitely French, but he's got an unbelievable he's an unbelievably athletic player.
Sometimes when his mind runs, he can get away with it with his physical ability. He's a lot of fun to watch when you're not playing him. When he's playing well, and I remember he played in Montréal when we were both doing well there last year, and he played a third set against Roger Federer which is one of the best sets of tennis I've seen anyone play. I think he beat him 6 1 or 6 2 in the third. He's a lot of fun to watch.
Q. You spoke about your goals going forward with your career. Looking backwards maybe six or eight weeks ago, what would your goals have been at this period?
MARDY FISH: Six, eight weeks ago I wasn't sure I was able to come. I certainly didn't want to miss this tournament. Realistically I didn't think I was going to be able to come, so I'm happy to be in the fourth round or to have lost in the fourth round at least. There's only 16 players that did that, so it's not a bad result, I guess.
Yeah, in that regard it's hard to look back like that. But, you know, I guess I'm happy with winning three matches here.
Q. There's been a lot of talk in the media about the roof and whether it's being used properly. How about in the locker room? Are you discussing that?
MARDY FISH: No. We were talking about the time thing, the 11:00 shutdown or whatever. I was wondering why Murray went to the chair at 5-1 instead of just going back to serve. That's about it.
No, we haven't talked about the roof. I think they need more roofs, though, with this weather.
Q. With summer coming up, obviously you'll be playing a lot of tournaments in the U.S. A lot of points to defend, but also a lot of opportunity. A lot of people are going to be away.
MARDY FISH: I used to worry about those points to defend and stress over it, literally stress over it. I'm not going to do that anymore. I achieved a lot of my goals as far as my ranking is concerned.
Yes, I won I think maybe seven tournaments in a row where I won at least three matches in every event. So, yes, I have a ton of points to defend. But I love playing in the summer. I had a ton of points to defend last summer as well.
I don't care what my ranking is after the US Open. But I'll certainly enjoy playing. I just love playing that time of the year. That's why I'm staying in the States. I love playing D.C. and Atlanta and these tournaments. It's super hot there. I love the weather. Usually doesn't rain all day.
Q. Will you play L.A.?
MARDY FISH: I'm not entered. It's hard to play. I would love to play, but it's hard to play every single week. Obviously with the Masters events after D.C. it's a lot of weeks in a row, but we'll see.
If I don't do well in Atlanta, it's a two minute bike ride from my house now, so it's hard not to play. I'm not entered, so...
Q. Will it be hard to watch the Olympics knowing you could have gone if you wanted to? Will you be excited to watch?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I'll be excited to watch someone like Ryan Harrison, an opportunity to go and to see what it's all about. But I'm not wavering in my decision for not going.
Q. Talking about roofs, were you surprised that the USTA came up with a huge plan spending millions of dollars to refurbish Flushing Meadows and it doesn't include a roof? Was that a surprise to you?
MARDY FISH: 'Surprise' is probably strong. I'm not really in those plans. But I'm excited to see what they'll be like. I'm sure the plans will be amazing. But, I mean, usually the weather last two years, just on that second Sunday it's been rough.
I mean, obviously last year it was tough with the rain, but usually it's fun. Usually you get good summer weather there. I don't think you need one as much as some of the other places.
Q. No Americans, South Americans, Australians in the semifinals.
MARDY FISH: It's a European dominated sport right now, for sure. That's surprising. Usually you get an American in the quarters of Wimbledon most of the time. I was somewhat surprised at the result.
I didn't watch Juan's match today with Ferrer, but surprised at the score. David is playing amazing, too. That may be a coincidence, but definitely dominated by them.
Q. Could you take a moment and talk about Tsonga's chances to go all the way?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, he certainly has all the game, all the talent. Obviously he's made Grand Slam finals. He's made tons of quarters and semis. He's been in those big time situations before.
I don't know. I would expect him to play Murray in the semis. I think that would be a great match. Obviously they both have a lot of work to do.
Once you get there, he's shown that he can beat anyone, so I wouldn't be shocked if he won the tournament.
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