Mardy Fish was featured today on an Olympus US Open Series conference call, and below are some highlights from the interview where he talks about being the Number 1 American, Ryan Harrison's temper, and his injured heel:
Q. I had a question about Ryan Harrison. You played him consecutive weeks and he certainly raised his game a little bit in Los Angeles. Just give us thoughts on where he's at, where he can go, and just what you saw from him in those two events.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, I saw a lot. I mean, obviously we didn't play in the first or second round at those tournaments, we played in the semis. It was a position that he hasn't been in before. He impressed me a lot even from Atlanta to L.A. He easily could have beat me there. Obviously 7-6 in the third is a kind of a coin flip, and I was really impressed with the way that he competes. He doesn't give up and get down on himself, even though he's young and inexperienced in that level. Yeah, he's going to be a great player.
Q. A lot was made about his temper and propensity for throwing racquets. Any thoughts on that? You've probably calmed down a bit in your years on tour.
MARDY FISH: Well, I don't know about that, but we've all been there. Look, he's a fiery kid. I bet that if you asked him if he played better, if he didn't get fired up, sort of subdued -- I think he was a little more subdued in Atlanta, and to be honest, he played a lot better in L.A. when he broke three racquets. Over the years he'll figure out how to channel that energy, but he's got a lot energy, a lot of good energy. You know he wants to win if it's he's breaking racquets like that. I think that's a good sign.
Q. I think, and correct me if I'm wrong here, but I think this is the first time you're going into the US Open as the top ranked American. Can you tell us a little bit about how that feels, if you're feeling a little bit more pressure from this.
MARDY FISH: It's definitely the only time that I've been ranked No. 1. I don't necessarily feel like I'll be the top American. I will maybe be ranked the highest. But it feels strange to say that considering Andy has been the No. 1 player - and I've said it all along - the No. 1 player throughout our generation or my generation that I've played. And James Blake has always been a guy who has played extremely well over the years as well and has taken on sort of the blunt of the pressure and stuff. I've gone under the radar pretty comfortably. Haven't had to answer too many critics. I had my reasons why, and that I could have worked a little bit harder or could have changed some things around earlier in my career than I have now. So, with being the No. 1 American comes a little bit of extra pressure, but it's good pressure. It's certainly a position you want to be in. Again, it's new for me. It's not a place that I feel extremely comfortable in. Like I said, I feel like there have been other guys that have had great careers, way better careers than I have had throughout the years.
Q. What kind of rehab have you done with your injured heel, and how are you going to prepare for the two Masters Series events coming up?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, we've been doing a lot stuff, just a lot of ice, a little bit of rest. Try not to lose too much fitness. I've tried to stay off the corners of the heel and things like that. You also can't just sit on the couch and feel like you'll be prepared for a Masters Series event. So we've done a lot of ultrasound and electric stim, a lot of ice. Basically just around-the-clock type stuff four and five times a day to calm the injury down a little bit. I know we can't get to where it's going to go away completely, but hopefully we can get to the point where it doesn't bother me too much on the court.