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~*~ Mardy news articles & interviews ~*~

06-23-2004, 02:44 AM
Some news on Mardy's hip .....

Third opinion gives Fish a chance

By Karen Crouse, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
June 23, 2004

WIMBLEDON, England -- You'd sooner mistake Mardy Fish for a Backstreet Boy than a middle-aged man.

No way do middle-aged men have shoulder-length hair that's so thick and unruly they shower before tennis matches because it's easier to coax their locks into a ponytail that way.

No way do middle-aged men produce 120-mph serves with the greatest of ease. Or admit to having been thoroughly entertained by Legally Blonde.

The thing is, the X-rays don't lie. And they show that Fish, 22, has the right hip of a 45-year-old.

The really scary thing? That qualified as good news.

Fish was petrified that Dr. Thomas Byrd, the third specialist whose opinion Fish solicited in late April, would see atrophied muscles and a lacerated labrum and insist on surgery posthaste.

The pain began the week after Fish, a former Boca Prep standout, represented the U.S. in its Davis Cup victory against Sweden at the Delray Beach Tennis Center. Fish was playing Alex Bogomolov in his first match at the Clay Court Championships in Houston when a muscle spasm rocked his hip.

The spasm eventually receded. It was replaced by a sharp pain. That's when Fish got fretful.

He had reason to be worried. If you're a baseball player and you get a sharp pain in your shoulder, you think of Tommy John. If you're a tennis player and you get a sharp pain in your hip, you think of Magnus Norman.

Norman was ranked fourth in the world in 2000. The following year, he suffered a torn labrum in his left hip and underwent surgery. The procedure was performed in Nashville by Byrd, who is to tennis players' hips what Dr. Frank Jobe is to baseball players' arms.

The Swede returned to the tour, but hasn't regained his pre-surgery form. He has finished outside the top 100 each of the past two years.

In 2002, a year after winning his third French Open title, Gustavo Kuerten had the same procedure done on his right hip. Again, Byrd performed the surgery. The winner of 17 titles in the five years before the operation, he has won thrice in the three years (including 2002) since.

If you're a baseball pitcher and you have a torn labrum in your shoulder, there's an 85 percent chance you'll make a full recovery. If you're a tennis player and you have a torn labrum in your hip, there's a pall that settles over your career.

"That thought definitely crossed my mind," Fish said Tuesday at Wimbledon.

The thought took up residence in his brain like an unwelcome guest after the first two doctors he saw recommended arthroscopic surgery.

"I thought I'd be looking to come back maybe at the U.S. Open (in August)," Fish said. "I was bummed out."

He flew to Nashville to see Byrd, who didn't believe surgery was necessary. Byrd told Fish the tear was nowhere near as severe as Norman's or Kuerten's.

Byrd prescribed two weeks of complete rest and a twice-a-day rehab regimen, which Fish said he followed faithfully.

Though he was sidelined for the balance of the clay-court season, Fish considered himself truly lucky. He had caught the injury in its nascent stages. "I honestly feel like I took care of the injury," Fish said. "I feel like I got it right away, so hopefully it won't be a long-term problem."

When he returned to the court, his practice surface was grass. So Fish had that going for him. He was playing on the surface two weeks before his peers, who were at Roland Garros.

Fish's game grows on grass, as was borne out when he returned to the Tour this month at the ATP Tour stop in Halle, Germany, and reached the final. Fish won his first four matches before losing in straight sets to Roger Federer, who ran his winning streak on grass to 17 matches (he extended it to 18 Monday).

Fish met Federer in the third round last year and was the only player in the tournament to take a set off the eventual champion. "It was cool (to do that)," Fish said. "It would have been nice to be the only guy to have beaten him on grass."

Fish advanced to the second round of this year's tournament Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 victory against Ivan Navarro Pastor that took roughly 26 hours to complete -- 1 hour, 34 minutes of playing time on the heels of a 24-hour rain delay.

Weather permitting, Fish will play Sweden's Joachim Johansson today in the Davis Cup match that wasn't (Johansson pulled out of the Davis Cup quarterfinal with a shoulder injury).

At No. 14, Fish is the second-highest seeded U.S. men's player in this year's tournament after No. 2 Andy Roddick, his former Boca Prep teammate. Fish keeps hearing that the Americans need a solid one-two punch in the top 10 to gain the attention of the U.S. public.

Fish's response? Yeah, right. Whatever.

"I want to go at my own pace," he said. " I don't want to go at anyone else's pace. I don't want anyone to say 'Why isn't he top 10 yet?' I'm not top 10 because I haven't matured as fast as (Roddick) has. But I'm getting there."

06-23-2004, 10:42 PM
Fishy diagnoses aside, Mardy looks sharp
Published June 23, 2004

WIMBLEDON, England · When Mardy Fish spun around at the baseline on Court 14 and hit the shot of the day, his family, girlfriend and coach Kelly Jones, who were settled into a section on the sideline, had every right to yell, in unison of course, "Hip, hip, hooray."

It was nearly two months ago that Fish, suffering chronic hip pain, thought he was facing the same laser operation that laid low fellow pros Gustavo Kuerten, Magnus Norman, Harel Levy and Sargis Sargsian. Two doctors told him the tear in his right labrum was that serious.

And both surgeons were wrong.

Thomas Byrd, the Nashville specialist and former University of Miami undergrad who operated on those four top 100 players, told Fish it was merely tendinitis and that if he did virtually nothing physical for the next two weeks, he'd be fine.

So here was Fish on Tuesday, pain free and playing great tennis again, racing after a perfect lob struck by Ivan Navarro Pastor, his racket poised to slap a return between his legs -- the macho shot players love to hit.

But with his Spanish opponent having raced to the net to knock off the drive, Fish instead spun and lobbed the ball back, all in one sweet motion, and it flopped down on the other side five feet inside the baseline, leaving Navarro Pastor snookered and helpless.

The British would call that cheeky. The chair umpire called it 40-15.

A set and a half later, Fish was in with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 victory that beat the rain and put him into the second round against big-serving Joachim Johansson of Sweden.

It was good buddy James Blake, his Tampa neighbor, who put that surprise lob into Fish's repertoire. Blake hit the same shot for a winner when he and Fish played the final of the San Jose doubles against Rick Leach and Brian McPhee.

"Nobody thinks you're going to hit a lob. They think you're going between your legs and 80 percent of the time you're not going to make that," said Fish, pulling out his mental slide ruler.

"Go on, admit it. You loved hitting that shot," I challenged him. Fish smiled slightly. "Yeah, it felt good. Just because I have that shot. I can do that shot," he said.

This is Fish's surface. He was born to grass, he can hit all the shots on it and, if he could get away with it physically, he would have played two grass court lead-ups to Wimbledon and not just Halle, Germany, where he stunned himself by reaching the final ... and getting whacked by Roger Federer 6-0, 6-3.

"I wasn't expecting to get that far and my arm was really tired. That's why I pulled out of Nottingham the next week," Fish said. He rested a few days, then got good training at Wimbledon last week.

This victory over Navarro Pastor was his fifth on grass this year against the single loss, but it's hard to assess the meaningfulness of this win. The Spaniard was playing his first Grand Slam match and, as Fish noted, he wasn't too experienced on the green stuff.

Still, this was all about Fish grooving his serve, and he did that well. He cracked 13 aces, was never broken and faced only three break points. Everything gets tougher now. Johansson's serve took him down in the semifinals at Memphis this year and it will look faster on grass. If he gets through to the third round, grass court aficionado Jonas Bjorkman could be waiting.

If Fish rolls into the second week, he could eventually run into Federer again, the man who put him out in the third round here a year ago, though not until after Fish became the only player to take a set from Federer in the tournament.

He's seeded 14th, six spots above his ranking, but that doesn't mean much. What is more important to Fish right now is that he's playing well again after getting out of fitness for the Davis Cup tie against Sweden in April and has left the hip scare behind.

"When I went to see Dr. Byrd, I was really there just to confirm from the specialist that I had to have the operation. It was a great surprise that I didn't have to have it." Would he send tickets to Dr. Byrd if he reaches the Wimbledon final? "Sure, I will," he replied without hesitation.

At 22, Fish has established himself as a top 20 player, even without good clay court results. And now, with the grass courts and hard courts dominating the rest of the schedule, he has a chance to make a move on the top 10.

His fitness is improved, his serving is strong and he's at a good place in his life with a solid coaching relationship with Jones and accompanied by the girlfriend of his dreams, Ally Browne.

They've been seeing each other for six months, thrown together by "Jim Courier's ex-girlfriend's sister." It must be a strong relationship. It has survived major football differences.

"She loves the Tampa Bay Bucs and I hate them," said Fish, who roots for the Minnesota Vikings. Both, however, are crazy about a good lob.

b/c I'm curious like that, I did a search for his girlfriend's name and came up with this page at a modeling agency

:eek: she is so pretty.

07-06-2004, 12:50 AM
:eek: She is gorrrrgeous!

Aleksa's Laydee
07-06-2004, 09:41 PM
sos he they make a good pair

07-07-2004, 05:36 PM
wow she has HUGE eyes! lol its scary. but they make a nice couple, don't you think so?

07-08-2004, 04:34 PM
The next big thing?

(Original publication: July 8, 2004)

MAMARONECK — Andy Roddick is the undisputed king of American tennis. Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion and 2004 Wimbledon finalist, looks poised to join a litany of American greats such as Connors, McEnroe, Sampras and Agassi, who is currently the second-ranked American.

As Agassi's professional tennis days dwindle to a precious few, another crop of Americans are candidates to take over the second spot, which is critical in National team events like the Olympics and Davis Cup. Possibilities include the likes of James Blake, Robby Ginepri, Taylor Dent and Vince Spadea.

But there is perhaps no more talented American player than Mardy Fish, a 22-year-old resident of Tampa, Fla.

"We all want to be ranked ahead of each other," Fish said. "We like pushing each other to get higher."

Fish was in Mamaroneck yesterday, competing for the Hartford Foxforce in World TeamTennis. In front of 937 fans at Harbor Island Stadium, the Foxforce defeated the Sportimes 24-14.

Fish, ranked No. 36 in the world, has one of the top serves on tour. During the 2003 summer hardcourt season leading up to the U.S. Open, he held serve in 92 straight games. With his 6-foot 2 -inch frame, he's an imposing player, one who is well respected on tour.

"I think Mardy has as much talent as anyone on the Tour," said John Roddick, the coach of the Sportimes and the older brother of Andy. "He's got the tools and the game. He's got the ability to be a top-10 or top-five player."

Fish actually spent a year of his childhood in 1999 living with the Roddicks in Florida, and developed a special bond with Andy.

"We were both maturing as tennis players and as kids," Fish said. "We were like brothers. We fought a lot and we competed at everything, whether it was one-on-one basketball or girls. I consider him a really good friend and I'm very happy to see him achieving his goals."

Fish and Roddick will be teammates on the Olympic team in Athens, and will be playing doubles together.

"The Olympics are going to be very exciting," Fish said. "I think it will really start hitting me once I start playing some more tournaments over the summer and getting my ranking higher. Hopefully, I can do well in singles, and medal in doubles."

For yesterday, though, he was just happy to enjoy the less competitive atmosphere of World TeamTennis. In WTT, players are introduced to the crowd as members of a starting lineup, music blasts between points, and the typical tennis whites are replaced by shirts with the player's last name on the back.

"I'm really excited," Fish said. "I like atmospheres like that."

Aleksa's Laydee
07-08-2004, 07:01 PM
loving the av tangy ;)

07-08-2004, 09:15 PM
Tennis star, Mardy Fish, talks style
Published Sunday, September 21, 2003 by Kay Renz

Naturally, Boca's been thrilled by hometown boy Andy Roddick's winning ways at the U.S. Championships and I will be sharing interesting fashion news regarding Roddick very soon, but today we turn the style spotlight on up-and- coming star, Mardy Fish.
I first heard of Fish a while back when I was chatting with some friends' teenage daughters who said he was just "soooo cute!" Never one to turn down an interview with a "definite hottie," I recently spoke with the Vero Beach native, who is getting ready to represent our country in the Davis Cup tournaments next week.
Admittedly, the tennis player's name has received numerous comments, his fans are called "Fish Heads" and there hasn't been a press interview that doesn't seem to mention his surname. Frankly, however, I find his first name more intriguing.
"I think I was supposed to be a girl," he said with a quick and natural wit. When I told him we were doing a lifestyle, not a sports interview, we both immediately started kidding about the slogan from the old Andre Agassi commercial, "Image is everything."
In sports today your marketing is almost as important as your game, and in some cases, ala Anna Kournikova, her look eclipses her on-court talent. However, with most athletes, they strive to create a balance. Curious as to how one handles that, I asked.
"I don't feel pressure," he said earnestly. "But I would be lying if I said it's just about playing the game. There is a lot more involved, this is a business."
"There are a lot of people involved," he continued. "And people try to create you, but you have to create yourself in a way that is as close to who you are as possible."
As far as fashion goes, Fish initially joked, "I don't care what they give me to wear." But followed up with the fact he likes his Nike on-court clothes to reflect his mood and that he does look everything over and chooses from the selection.
When both on-and-off the court, he prefers styles that express his outgoing personality. "I like to make people laugh and to have fun," he said. Shopping wise, you'll find him at stores like Guess and Express where he'll get advice from his sister on different looks. "Sometimes my sister puts her two cents in," he laughed. "And sometimes her advice goes right out the window." Imitating a recent reply to his sibling, "I can't wear that black shirt---it's 150 degrees out!!!"
While the mall is where you'll find him shopping for now, I assured him that as his current rank of 24 in the world steadily climbs, designers will soon be flocking to him. I told him of how many years back, Serena Williams was shopping at Neiman Marcus and we chatted about her not being able to find exactly what she was looking for. When designer Pamela Dennis overheard this, she quickly volunteered to make her something for her next event.
Skin care is another topic we touched on. Being out in the sun for such long periods of time can wreck havoc overtime. In his early 20's, Fish knows the importance of sunblock but admits that during matches he seems to towel it off and reapplication can be difficult.
A little advice I passed along is to road test a few waterproof sunblocks, apply vitamin c after any sun exposure, and implement a pomegranate supplement program, which can boost the effectiveness of your sunscreen. (For more information about the later, read Dr. Murad's latest book, "The Murad Method.")
We also touched on diet and fitness. "I don't 'watch watch' what I eat," he said. "But naturally I can't eat bad things during the season. I find that I eat a lot of pasta and steak, chicken and mash potatoes…that kind of stuff."
As with any athlete, no matter how rigorous their sport, just one activity alone will not help them develop their strength and endurance. Recently Fish began working out with a new fitness trainer at Saddlebrook, just north of Tampa. "We're doing a lot of things like running on sand and using a medicine ball," he explained.
One of the perks with being part of tennis new generation of stars is the travel. "I enjoy going to places like Paris, Stockholm and Madrid," he said. "But you hope you don't get too much time to really see things……that would mean you'd lost!"
To relax, he prefers jaunts to the Bahamas and to Roaring Gap, North Carolina. " I really love it there," he said almost wistfully. "My dad was a teaching pro there when I was a kid. It's a really small town…it's like paradise."
Currently, home is the Tampa area, where he just had a house built. Of course, I was wondering about the décor. " I picked out the furnishings…leather sofas and chairs," he said. " I have to say, for not knowing much, I did a good job!"
Fish also gives kudos to his mom and sister who "did an awesome job" with the other elements.
And what about girlfriends? And what about any famous girlfriends? "No," he laughed.
Fish does however surround himself with a strong base of friends, who are busy with college and not that into tennis.
"I think it makes it easy to stay grounded that way," he smartly confided.
With the world watching as the young guns take center court, the press is constantly speculating whether Fish, Roddick, Blake and others will be the next big thing like Agassi, Sampras and Courier.
Always modest he stated, "Who knows whether we will ever be as good as those champions, but it's very flattering to even be mentioned in the same breath with them."
Time will tell the number of Grand Slams that Fish will rack up, but with the a good head on his shoulders and innate sense of style, he already has champion written all over him.

07-08-2004, 09:16 PM
Here's one more on Mardy & Andy

Roddick leader of American uprising
By KEITH NIEBUHR, Times Staff Writer
Published June 21, 2004

Open a magazine, see his face. Flip on the tube, watch an interview. Andy Roddick is everywhere. He's the darling of American tennis and with that comes a certain amount of exposure from the media, which has chronicled everything from his off-court relationships to his love of Nebraska football. Heck, he even hosted Saturday Night Live. But exactly who is Andy Roddick, the real Andy Roddick? "I know more about Andy than anyone else on tour," Mardy Fish said. "I've got a little dirt on him." Fish was 12 when he met Roddick. As a kid, he lived with Roddick's family in Boca Raton for about a year. As each has ascended in tennis to join the world's top players, the two have remained friends. Others like James Blake, Taylor Dent, Robby Ginepri and brothers Bob and Mike Bryan have joined the gang. A gang seems to be the best way to describe how the top rising American players see themselves. They are fierce rivals on the court, best buds off it. Despite being young and hungry, the chase for success has not gotten in the way. Not yet. "Jim (Courier) has said, at times he feels a little envious that we're all such good friends," Blake said. Blake and Fish live in Tampa and train together at Saddlebrook. Away from tennis, it's not uncommon to find them at Bucs, Devil Rays or Lightning games. Fish says the two go to dinner every night. He calls Blake his best friend. "He's a fun guy, he's a good-looking guy," Fish said. "He's fun to go out with because the girls always like James. I can hang behind him." On the road, most top players travel in small groups. Some go from event to event with only their coach. It can get lonely, not to mention dull, so having friends around helps. "People don't think about that," said ESPN commentator Cliff Drysdale, himself once a professional. "They also don't think about the terror of having to play all of these matches. "It's a very tough way to make a living and it's even tougher if you're out there on your own. So to have that support system by having friends on the tour who you're close to is a huge plus." At tournaments, they practice together. Many go out after matches. Cell phones keep them close when they're scattered throughout the world. "It definitely makes traveling better for them," said Fish's father, Tom Fish. "It's hard enough to go all over the world. To go by yourself would be really rough. Mardy appreciates it a lot. He's a socialite. He likes people." After a fire ripped through the players' hotel recently in Rome, the Bryans were among the first to greet Roddick when he emerged from the building. And when Roddick won his first major at last year's U.S. Open, Blake was there to witness it and Fish watched closely on TV. "I think it's very important to them (to be friends)," said John Tobias, an agent for SFX Sports, which represents several top Americans, including Roddick, Fish and the Bryans. "I was talking to one of the guys and he said that when they're on the road and the other guys aren't playing that week, it's just not that fun of a tournament. " Having similar personalities helps, but there are other common links between them. Many played team sports as children and in high school, and that sense of camaraderie has followed them into adulthood, which may explain the lack of the every-man-for-himself attitude often prevalent in individual sports. "They really do enjoy spending time together," Courier said. Davis Cup is another factor. Most of the top young Americans have played for the U.S. squad at least once, and trips around the globe have allowed the players to bond even more. "Obviously, Roddick has been the leader of the pack, but when you get him together with the other guys, he really is one of the guys," U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe said. "They spend a lot of time supporting each other. They e-mail each other. I just spoke to Blake yesterday and he said he already had spoken to Mardy. It's genuine and obviously that's helped my role (as captain)." To date, only Roddick, the world's No. 2-ranked player, has tasted fame. But, Fish, ranked 18th, is playing the best tennis of his career and might be on the verge of a breakthrough. None of the others are in the top 25 in singles, though the Bryans are highly ranked in doubles. More achievement from the group, Courier pointed out, might "throw a little different element into the mix." For now, though, the gang is tight. And they hope to keep it that way. "We couldn't just hang out with coaches all the time," Fish said. "That would get old."

07-21-2004, 01:30 AM
:bounce: Go Mardy! Do well, if not awesome, at Indy! :bounce:

Tennis pro impressed with skill, speed of NASCAR aces at Indianapolis

by Ron Green
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Mardy Fish will not be awed facing 120-mph serves in the ATP RCA Tennis Championships from July 19-25 in Indianapolis.

What did awe him was a visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 20, the day before his opening match.

The size of the track and the speed of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series cars testing there for the Brickyard 400 on Aug. 8 were beyond his imagination. He watched some practice, then met veteran driver Kenny Wallace, who showed him the ins and outs of what goes on in the garage with his mechanics, followed by a couple of slow laps around the track in a van.

"They told me 400,000, 500,000 people at one track, and that's ungodly for how many people come and watch," said Fish, who will represent the U.S. in the Summer Olympics next month in Athens, Greece. "It's huge. Words can't even describe how big it is. I can't even tell my fans how big it is.

"It's enormous. It's unbelievable how many they can get in here. And there're four or five golf holes in the middle of the thing. That just tells you how big it is. And it's so cool. You see a car all the way down there at the end of the track on the straightaway and in less five-tenths of a second it's here. That's amazing."

Wallace, a veteran of eight Brickyard 400 starts, explained to Fish that the car speeds on qualifying day reach nearly 190 during the 2 ½-mile lap run. Fish called that unbelievable, too, but said he would like to take a ride at that speed.

"I'd probably have to go to the bathroom afterward," he said. "I'd love to. It would be great."

Wallace, one of two younger brothers of NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace, said it was nice to meet someone from another major-league sport. He said sometimes the people in NASCAR racing get wrapped up "in our own little circus" and do not realize there are other world-class athletes vying for attention in the same city at the same time.

"It is neat that he took enough time out of his schedule to come over here," Wallace said, "because this is the week of the tennis tourney. I was impressed with that. We're so busy we don't like to take time off and do other things. I love the (St. Louis) Cardinals. I take in all the games I can."
Did Wallace ever play tennis?

"No, I am absolutely horrible at tennis," he said with a laugh.

Fish, 22, asked the basic questions about speed, laps necessary to complete a race and how the pits were handled, Wallace said. Whenever Fish is in the United States, he watches Sunday NASCAR races on television. Wallace knew Fish was a fan when Fish mentioned that Dale Earnhardt Inc. had won all the restrictor-plate races.

"I had to inform him that the Hendrick team (driver Jeff Gordon) has kind of won the last couple ones," Wallace said.

Wallace is driving the Aaron's Lease Double 0 car owned by Michael Waltrip, a new entry as Waltrip works on forming a team for the future. Fish owns a BMW and a Porsche and notes the Porsche goes pretty fast, "but not like this."

Fish is a native of Edina, Minn., but his family moved to Vero Beach, Fla., when he was 4. He attended Boca Prep in Boca Raton, Fla., for his senior year in high school and lived with the family of fellow tennis prodigy Andy Roddick. They played basketball and tennis together.

Today, they've been teammates on the Davis Cup team that defeated Sweden earlier this year and both now will play singles and doubles in the Olympics. Fish recovered from a hip ailment in time to play at Wimbledon. He was ousted in the second round while Roddick went to the finals. Roddick is the No. 1 seed in the RCA Tournament.

"It's a dream come true for us," Fish said. "We get to play on the same Davis Cup team; we get to play in the Olympics. It's so exciting for us to be able to do it together. We dreamed about it growing up."

A number of NBA players have withdrawn from participating on the U.S. basketball entry in the Olympics. How does he feel as a pro about representing his country in tennis?

"Well, people ask me all the time, what would you like to do, win a gold in the Olympics or win a Grand Slam (tourney)?" he said. "My answer always is, I think it would be pretty cool to be on the podium with a gold medal around your neck.

"It's going to be something that will be a once-in-a-lifetime thing."

10-08-2004, 02:17 AM
According to Mardy's site, he's in Chile for the farewell for Rios, he's playing against him tomorrow in an exhibition. cool! :cool: Hopefully he's been working really hard these past couple weeks off

10-09-2004, 04:46 AM
well for what it's worth, Mardy lost the match 3-6 6-4 5-7

10-09-2004, 07:43 PM
Aw, how nice of him to tank the match for Rios. :o

Aleksa's Laydee
10-09-2004, 07:56 PM
Aw, how nice of him to tank the match for Rios. :o
:haha: just about to say the same thing!!

10-09-2004, 10:02 PM
Damn, Fishyboy chokes again. Stop doing that Mardy!!!!

12-05-2004, 04:16 AM
Here's sort of an official article I guess about Mardy's coaching change. Charlie Bricker from the Sun-Sentinel

Fish makes move to Martin
Published December 5, 2004

Mardy Fish's two-year coaching relationship with former doubles star Kelly Jones is over. Some time after Fish returns from the Davis Cup final being held this weekend in Seville, Spain, he'll begin working with his new coach, Todd Martin.

Jones deserves a lot of credit for improving Fish's serve and his volleying. But for the last several months, Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe has been publicly prodding Fish, who lives in Tampa, to knuckle down on his off-court training and to get into better shape.

That wasn't happening fast enough with Jones, though Fish has poured more effort into his fitness and strength the past four months. With Martin, he starts a new relationship and probably with a clear understanding that Todd is not only going to give Fish the benefit of his 16 years of tour experience, but he's going to drive Fish hard off the court as well.

Reached at his Ponte Vedra Beach home, Martin was reluctant to comment about the link-up with Fish until Mardy gets home.

But Martin, who was one of the most cerebral players in the game, can infuse Fish with the mental part of the game in the way Brad Gilbert has turned Andy Roddick into more of a thinking player.

Fish, who finished the year at No. 37 in the rankings, has flashed his brilliance most recently by finishing runner-up at the Olympic Games in Athens after a tense five-set loss to Nicolas Massu. But he has not been able to build on his successes, often suffering letdowns in his next big event. That's something Martin also will want to attack.

Fish went from the Olympics to an upset loss to Michal Tabara in the second round at the U.S. Open.

Martin retired, dramatically, at this year's Open, ending a remarkable career in which he established himself as the elder statesman of American tennis. He never won a Slam but finished runner-up at the 1994 Australian Open and 1999 U.S. Open.

12-06-2004, 04:19 AM
I think that we are going to see a great improvement in Mardy's game this coming year. Todd has got a lot of experience and he will make sure that Mardy works really hard especially off court and to also help him get a bit more mentally stronger. This is going to be good for him.

12-06-2004, 02:31 PM
I agree, Rue :) And I think Todd has the guts to be forceful with Mardy, he's been there and he can speak from experience. From my own observations that was Kelly's problem - he just wasn't tough enouigh on Mardy, they were too much like buddies.

12-08-2004, 03:21 PM
Tennis Week had to go and use this sad pic of Mardy for this story :o

Fish Joins Swingtime Roster

C.Lum/WireImage.com By Tennis Week

Mardy Fish follows his appearance in last weekend’s Davis Cup final by joining forces with standouts Venus Williams, Jennifer Capriati, Chris Evert, Stan Smith, Jim Courier, James Blake and Robby Ginepri at the Sixth Annual Swingtime Pro-Am Celebrity Tennis & Golf Tournament, benefiting the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation, December 11-12th at the Ibis Golf & Country Club in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Fish, who celebrates his 23rd birthday on Thursday, faces fellow Floridian and his good friend Blake during one of the four intriguing one-set or eight-game pro-set matches to take place during Swingtime’s tennis exhibition on Saturday. In doubles action, fans can see Capriati and Courier versus Venus Williams and Todd Martin, and Evert and Tom Gullikson versus Mary Joe Fernandez and Smith.

"I am looking forward to spending the weekend after playing in the Davis Cup final for the United States at Swingtime," said Fish, who cites golf as one of his favorite sports. "I’m expecting Swingtime to be a fun way to relax, entertain fans with some great tennis, and play a bit of golf."

Adding to the Swingtime excitement are some incredible auction items that can be bid on during Saturday night’s "Evening With The Stars" to be held at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. The gala, which will be decorated by Venus Williams’ interior design firm, V Starr Interiors, will feature a casino theme, and patrons will spend part of the evening gambling at poker, roulette, black jack and craps tables. But the best bet is that gala attendees can bid on many hot ticket auction items, including: lunch with Fish at the NASDAQ-100 Open in Miami that includes two player box seats; one hour with Jim Courier that could be filled by inviting two friends to play doubles with the former Grand Slam champion; a trip to the French Open that includes two coach airline tickets, tickets and hospitality access to two sessions during the first week of the tournament which has been donated by Swingtime sponsor, Rado; a 6-day, 7-night trip to the Couples Resort in Jamaica; an autographed pair of Shaquille O’Neal’s shoes, and a Lance Armstrong autographed jersey.

"We have some great auction items this year at Swingtime, which will help raise money for the Gullikson Foundation," said Tom Gullikson, the host of the Swingtime. "Just looking at the list of auction items available, I think I might have to put in a bid or two myself. My one concern is that I think my wife, Julie, might have her eye on different things than I do."

Swingtime, an event that is designed to publicize the Gullikson Foundation's aim of assisting brain-tumor patients and their families in managing the physical, emotional and social challenges presented by the illness — world-class tennis pro Tim Gullikson passed away in 1996 at age 44 after losing his battle with brain cancer — has raised nearly half a million dollars for the cause since its inception. Swingtime's unique design guarantees a weekend of fun as well as a rare opportunity for participants to mingle with celebrities. On Saturday, December 11th, a morning of round-robin doubles at Ibis’ world-class tennis facility, followed by the tennis exhibition. The day will be capped off with Swingtime's "An Evening with the Stars" gala that commences with cocktails at 7 p.m. On Sunday morning, Swingtime returns to Ibis for an enjoyable celebrity-amateur golf tournament.

Swingtime is managed by C & H Events of Boca Raton. The Official Host Sponsor is Ibis Golf & Country Club. Official Sponsors include Adelphia Media Services, Clear Channel - Palm Beach, Hilton Singer Island Oceanfront Resort, JetBlue Airways, Nike, Rado, The Palm Beach Post, Tennis Week and TIAA-CREF. Participating Gala sponsors include V Starr Interiors and Atlas Party Rental.

Swingtime tennis exhibition tickets are $55 for Box Seats and $35 for General Admission. Invitations for the "Evening with the Stars" are $200, or if bought in conjunction with exhibition tickets, there is a discounted price of $150 per invitation. Groups of 10 will receive a 10 percent discount on exhibition tickets. There are also a few choice spots remaining to take part in the tennis and golf pro-ams. For information, phone C & H Events at (561) 394-9190.

12-08-2004, 05:05 PM
Thanks for the article Tangy!!!

12-09-2004, 05:37 PM
Mardy Fish confident of 2005 Davis Cup title
He's encouraged because crucial ties would be played be on U.S. soil.

By Steve Megargee
staff writer
December 9, 2004

VERO BEACH — The United States hasn't won the Davis Cup in nearly a decade.

Mardy Fish doesn't expect the drought to last much longer.

"We think we can win it next year," Fish said Wednesday at Riverside Park. "Next year we'd have Spain, France and Argentina all at home. And those are some big ties."

The former Vero Beach resident received a key to the city Wednesday while playing host to a benefit exhibition just three days after the United States lost to Spain 3-2 in the Davis Cup final at Seville, Spain.

Fish split two singles matches last weekend, losing to Carlos Moya and then defeating Tommy Robredo after Spain had wrapped up a team title in the best-of-five championship. The United States was seeking its first Davis Cup title since 1995.

"We were just one match away," Fish said.

Winning the Davis Cup is one of Fish's chief goals for the 2005 season. He also wants to advance beyond the third round of a Grand Slam event for the first time in his career.

That's why he hired Todd Martin as his new coach.

Martin won eight career titles and reached two Grand Slam finals — the 1994 Australian Open and 1999 U.S. Open — before ending his playing career this year. He was ranked as high as fourth in the world and earned a reputation for winning five-set matches.

Fish and Martin never played against each other. They were scheduled to meet in the second round of this year's Australian Open, but Fish lost his first-round match to Ivo Karlovic in three straight tiebreakers.

Martin then proceeded to defeat Karlovic in three straight tiebreakers.

"That's the thing," said Fish, ranked 37th in the world. "He wins those kind of matches and I've been losing those matches. I'm just trying to get over the hump and I think he can help."

James Blake, an American touring pro and former Davis Cup player, joined Fish at Wednesday's benefit exhibition that attracted nearly 700 spectators.

Fish and former Vero Beach High School teammate Robert Kowalczyk lost a one-set doubles match to Blake and ex-University of Georgia All-American Bo Hodge. Fish then defeated Blake in singles.

The exhibition supported Adopt-a-Family Project Inc., which assists needy area families during the winter holidays..

- steve.megargee@scripps.com

12-09-2004, 06:31 PM
Thanks for the article Carole!!!

12-09-2004, 09:56 PM
Here's a Q&A

But Mardy is wrong.... we'd play Argentina in Argentina. eep.

Q&A: Tennis pro Mardy Fish
By Steve Megargee
staff writer
December 8, 2004

Mardy Fish couldn't even hear himself talk.

The former Vero Beach resident was playing in front of 27,200 fans — the largest gathering ever for a sanctioned tennis match — last weekend in the Davis Cup final at Seville, Spain. The crowd included a brass and drum section that created the type of deafening atmosphere typically reserved for football games or soccer matches.

The United States lost 3-2 to Spain, marking Fish's second runner-up finish while representing his country this year. He also won the silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics after dropping the gold-medal match to Nicolas Massu of Chile 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a four-hour marathon.

Now Fish wants to enjoy similar success when he isn't wearing the red, white and blue.

Fish's world ranking dropped from No. 20 to No. 37 this year, and he didn't get past the second round of any Grand Slam events.

Fish, who turns 23 on Thursday, has only about a month to rest and prepare for a 2005 season that begins in January. But that didn't prevent him from returning to Vero Beach this week to help support a local charity.

Fish and fellow American touring pro James Blake are playing an exhibition match today at Riverside Park to benefit Adopt-a-Family Project Inc., which provides food and Christmas gifts for needy people in the Vero Beach area.

As he prepared for the benefit, Fish spoke about his Davis Cup and Olympic experiences, his 2004 season and his switch to a new coach.

Q: How impressive was the atmosphere playing that Davis Cup final in Spain?

A: It was like nothing ever seen before in tennis, and it was a great experience to be a part of. I could only compare it to a college football game, except instead of everyone looking at a team, there were only two guys there. The crowd was so close and so vocal.

Q: Did the fans ever cross the line in their excitement?

A: I'd played Davis Cup ties in Croatia and Slovakia, and those also are tough places to play. They're all extremely supportive of their team. Every once in a while, you'd get someone who would blow a horn or do something like that when you were still playing a point, but overall, they were fine.

Q: How much of a home-court advantage was it for Spain?

A: We had about 100 people cheering for us, and they had 27,100. It was an unbelievable edge. It shouldn't mean that much in tennis because it's not like football, where they can scream at the away team and you can't hear yourself in the huddle. The only thing you couldn't hear is you couldn't hear when you were talking to yourself. You had to speak to yourself in your mind.

Q: Why do you think the Davis Cup is so much more popular overseas than in the United States?

A: Tennis in general is way more popular over there. It's the second-biggest sport outside the U.S., behind soccer. They're very passionate about it over there. There are a lot of people who love to play tennis over there, and it's been that way for a long time. They have stars they can relate to over there, especially in Spain with (Carlos) Moya and (Alex) Corretja, who's on his way to retiring pretty soon. They've had a lot of good players to watch.

Q: There's been a lot of talk about changing the Davis Cup format to broaden its appeal. What would you think about that?

A: I enjoy it the way it is. The format in general is fine. I think what may be more appealing to fans is a Ryder Cup format where it's every two years. The schedule is very tough for us. I just finished the season (Sunday), and I leave for Australia on Jan. 5. It's not too much of a break. But if we didn't make the finals of the Davis Cup, we'd have been off in the middle of November. It's nice to go this long, but I didn't have much of a break.

Q: How does the Davis Cup experience compare to representing your country in the Olympics?

A: The only thing similar about it is you're representing your country. It was very, very special to win a medal and obviously something I'll never forget, but there's nothing like playing for your country and playing for teammates as well. The four guys (on the Davis Cup team), we do nothing for ourselves when we're in Davis Cup. We do everything for each other, for the doctors, the trainers, the coaches, the practice partners. We don't do anything for ourselves. That's what makes it special. And if it's an away tie, you're going against all these people, and you feel like it's you against everyone.

Q: When you look back on your Olympic experience, what sticks out the most —making it all the way to the gold-medal match or the way that match ended?

A: To be honest, I really don't think about how the match ended at all. I honestly felt when I got off the court, I gave it everything I had. There may have been a few different things I could have done. I obviously wanted to win more than anything. But I felt when I came off the court, I left everything I had on the court. I was extremely happy to get the silver and to take away the experience of living in the Olympic Village and meeting all those great athletes, making friends and the whole experience.

Q: You had a year where you made the Davis Cup final and played for a gold medal, but your ranking dropped. Do you think of this year as a success or a disappointment?

A: That's a good question. Personally, ranking-wise, it wasn't where I wanted to be, but yet again, No. 35 in the world isn't so bad. Next year I don't have many (points) to defend. I started at No. 20 this year and got to No. 17 in the world, which is my career high. So you can look at it a few ways. I made the finals of the Olympics and Davis Cup the same year. I won a silver medal. It's been a great year; there's no way around that. But personally, ranking-wise, I'm not where I want to be. That will change.

Q: What do you think you need to do to improve your performance in the Grand Slams?

A: I made one step of hiring a new coach. I'm not working with Kelly Jones anymore. I'm working with Todd Martin. With his skill and experience in those matches, he can help me out a lot. Hopefully, his experience and knowledge will help me.

Q: Todd Martin played many five-set matches in his career, particularly in the Grand Slams. What do you think he can add to your game?

A: It's great to have someone with that type of experience. Kelly was a great coach. That wasn't the issue. It wasn't his coaching. I just needed some sort of change to get me over the hump. Hopefully, this is it.

Q: What are your goals for next year?

A: I'd like to make the top 10. I'd like to make the Masters Cup. I'd like to win a couple of tournaments. I'd like to win a Masters Series event. I'd like to make the semifinals of a Grand Slam. And we'd like to win Davis Cup, and I think every year we have a great chance. Next year will be no different. We'd have Spain at home, we'd have France at home, we'd have Australia in Australia when you're looking at the top teams we might play.

Q: It's been almost two years since you moved from Vero Beach to Tampa. Why do you still return here to hold these benefits?

A: This is where I grew up. It's where all my memories are. I want to give back to a community that gave a lot to me.

12-10-2004, 05:44 AM
Interesting interview there, but really good. Lets hope he can make it into top ten which I know he is capable to doing considering how talented he is.

12-10-2004, 02:33 PM
I was watching an Andy match from earlier this year, it was right before the DC tie against Sweden, and Cliff and PMac were talking about Mardy and some of his tough losses and then they mentioned how well he always plays against Andy and Cliff said that Mardy has to play every match like he's playing against Andy. I thought that was really interesting. Mardy really does play great when he's playing other top players, not just Andy. His matches against top 10 players in general (whether he wins or loses) are some of his best matches. That's just so odd. It seems like it's often the matches he can or should win that is where he has the mental troubles.

12-11-2004, 04:54 AM
I was watching an Andy match from earlier this year, it was right before the DC tie against Sweden, and Cliff and PMac were talking about Mardy and some of his tough losses and then they mentioned how well he always plays against Andy and Cliff said that Mardy has to play every match like he's playing against Andy. I thought that was really interesting. Mardy really does play great when he's playing other top players, not just Andy. His matches against top 10 players in general (whether he wins or loses) are some of his best matches. That's just so odd. It seems like it's often the matches he can or should win that is where he has the mental troubles.

I was thinking the same exact thing, that Mardy does seem to play really wel against someone like Andy. I think that if he had beaten Andy in any one of those finals they played he would be a different player. He would love to beat Andy and I think that he will one day do it. It is a work in progress.

12-14-2004, 03:24 AM
I like this:
(I got it from si.com)
After losing to Mardy Fish in the San Jose final, Agassi was asked what he thought of Fish. Agassi responded: "I eat it all the time. It's got lots of protein."

12-14-2004, 05:04 AM
oooooo that was after a reaaaaaalllllyyyyy contentious match. Still :fiery: I never got to see it :(

but yea, funny :)