Fish angles Davis Cup semis bid with Roddick, Bryans
NEW YORK (AP) — Olympic silver medalist Mardy Fish was picked Wednesday to join Andy Roddick and the doubles pair of twins Bob and Mike Bryan for the U.S. Davis Cup team's Sept. 24-26 semifinal against Belarus.
The matches will be played on hard courts in Charleston, S.C.
While reigning U.S. Open champion Roddick and the Bryans were locks to make the team, captain Patrick McEnroe had to choose from among the Fish, Olympic semifinalist Taylor Dent and Vince Spadea for the second singles slot.
Fish, at No. 28, actually is ranked the lowest of that trio. Dent is 22nd, and Spadea is 24th.
"All didn't play too well here," McEnroe said at Flushing Meadows, where Fish, Dent and Spadea lost in the second round. Roddick is in the Open quarterfinals, slated to play No. 28 Joachim Johansson on Thursday.
"I believe in Mardy. He still has a tremendous upside. I feel he's just scratched the surface of what he's capable of doing," McEnroe said. "He's got a lot of game. I legitimately think he's a top 10 player. We need to keep pushing him and believing in him."
It helped Fish's cause that he beat Max Mirnyi at the Olympics. Mirnyi and Vladimir Voltchkov are expected to play singles and doubles for Belarus; they teamed up to upset Argentina 4-1 in the Davis Cup quarterfinals in April.
Mirnyi lost in the first round of the U.S. Open, while Voltchkov decided not to enter the qualifying tournament.
If the U.S. team wins, then it would host France or travel to Spain for December's final.
09-08-2004, 11:02 PM
interview with patrick mc talking about mardy and andy too lols
An interview with:
DAVIS CUP CAPTAIN
RANDY WALKER: Thank you for joining us. Let's kick it off. Patrick will announce the team. We'll open it up for questions. It's US versus Belarus, September 24 through 26 at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, South Carolina.
Turn it over to Patrick.
PATRICK McENROE: Thanks, Randy. Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and the Bryan brothers will be our team - big shocker for you all. Scoville Jenkins will be there as a practice partner. Maybe I will bring in one more of the Juniors as a practice partner. Just haven't made that decision yet. So that's the plan.
RANDY WALKER: We'll open it up to questions.
Q. What was the final decision on Mardy Fish or Vince Spadea?
PATRICK McENROE: I think, to me, it was three guys: It was Spadea, Fish and Taylor Dent. You know, they all didn't play too well here, but I got to spend quite a bit of time with all of them at the Olympics and was obviously very happy with what I saw from both Mardy and Taylor; both had good tournaments there. I believe in Mardy. I think Mardy has gotten -- still has a tremendous upside. I feel like he's still just scratched the surface of what he's capable of doing. He's got a lot of game. I feel like it's a good matchup for him. He beat Mirnyi at the Olympics, which helped, and I just like the type of talent and firepower that he brings. We need to get him -- we need to keep pushing him in what I think is the right direction, which is to get stronger, get tougher. As he does that, I feel like his results will be more consistent.
Q. What do you think he gained from the Olympic experience, Mardy?
PATRICK McENROE: Well, I mean, I think Mardy understands that he's got a game that is imposing, you know, that he can impose on other players. I think what he did very well in Athens was he played his game, which, to me, is an aggressive game - serve-volley, a lot of the time, and looked to attack, you know, looked to come in. I think when he does that, I just think he plays better, he plays with more intensity. That's one of the things that I liked what I saw from him in Athens, his intensity was better match in, match out. I think the harder he works on that on a daily basis in practice, I think that will really help him. Sometimes he gets a little bit negative on the court, and, you know, his feet get a little flat. I think that all stems from his attitude, you know. And I think if we can continue to work on that - and then that's obviously a big, big part of my job with him - I feel like, as I said, I mean, I legitimately think he's a Top 10 player. But we've got to keep pushing him and keep believing in him. I believe in him, and I think that this is another great opportunity for him.
Q. He's had some pretty big wins. You never seem to get the bounce out of him into the next tournament, next final. Got to the final in Cincinnati, goes out to Karol Kucera here. What specifically has to happen to make him tougher?
PATRICK McENROE: I think he's got to put the work in. I think he's got to put the work in every day. You know, when Andy Roddick goes out in practices, he's intense all the time, every time. Mardy is obviously a different type of personality. He likes to play sort of a flowing type of style. But in saying that, I believe that if he brings more intensity to what he does every day -- see, I think when you practice things, you then do them in a match, and you do them just without having to think about doing them. To me, if Mardy just brings up his intensity just a little bit, I think when he gets nervous in a match, which we all do, you know, you can go to that. I think part of the reason he lost here was, you know, he gets into a fourth or fifth set, gets a little frustrated, starts getting a little lackadaisical, gets irritated at certain things going on. When those things happen - and they happen - if you have a certain work ethic that you've done, I think you can go back to those things. I think it's really a consistency thing. As you've just said, and we've seen, Mardy's talent to beat anybody in the world is there and to get hot, get on a run, is obvious. But it's a question of doing -- the difference between being a guy who's ranked 20 to 25 and being a guy ranked in the Top 10 is consistency and, I believe that comes from your work ethic. Because if you do the work physically all the time, mentally it's a little easier for you.
Q. You said that you believe he can be a Top 10 player. Do you think that Mardy truly believes that? Have you seen maybe a difference in how he sees himself in that respect?
PATRICK McENROE: I think he believes it, but I think he has to do the work to get there. I think, as I've always said about, you know, the young guys, especially, moving up the rankings, the higher you get, the tougher it becomes to move up. It's hard to get to the Top 150. It's harder to get to the Top 75, etc. Mardy has gotten now into the Top 20. To get from 20 to 10 I think is a significant jump. I think he's extremely capable of doing that. Yeah, at the end of the day, he's got to want it. I believe he does. I believe that if he continues to do the work, that he'll get there.
Q. Do you feel like he has shown more of the propensity to do that? You've clearly been harping on that with him over the last year?
PATRICK McENROE: It's a constant work in progress. Mardy is a good kid, and he needs to be pushed and I intend to keep pushing him. That's part of my job. You know, sometimes that can irritate him, but that's okay, you know. I mean, if it takes me to irritate him to keep pushing him, that's what I'm going to do. I do it because I believe in him, and I believe he can get more out of what he has. In saying that, he's still done damn well so far. But I like to challenge him, you know, and I've done it -- I've certainly done it with Andy over the years. He's at the point now where he doesn't need it. He's challenging himself every day. That's nice to see. This is, for me, is sort of the rewarding part of the job, the fun part of the job, is to really be in there with these guys. Obviously, I'm not their day-in, day-out coach, so I have to walk that fine line between, you know -- my goal is not to piss them off, but my goal is to get them better (smiling), and to do what I think I can do to help them get better.
Q. Hitting partner?
PATRICK McENROE: Scoville Jenkins will be one. The other one, I haven't decided yet, but we may bring one more.
Q. Looking at the likely matchups, can you talk about how they will shape up from what you see, especially on the surface?
PATRICK McENROE: Part of the reason we went to Charleston is the conditions, I believe, will be favorable for us with the relatively slow hard court, outdoors, same balls as we are using here, hot conditions, pretty humid. So I think we've done what we can do to give ourselves the advantage, because both of their guys prefer to play on fast courts. Obviously, Roddick can play on any hard court. He told me, "Just make sure it's not slippery, as in clay, and I'll be fine." We tinker with the speed of the hard court based on our opposition. So I feel like it will be tough for them. They're essentially a two-man team, to play singles and doubles in those kind of conditions. We want to make them work. Our goal -- we've got two great singles players, we've got a great doubles team, so we can gear ourselves up for those matches. If they're going to beat us, they're going to have to work awfully hard to do it. We respect what they can bring to the table. Voltchkov is a flashy guy, a shot-maker, he's capable of playing, you know, one great match. He got to the semis at Wimbledon, so he's not a total bluff in that sense. Anybody that can do that can play. Mirnyi is obviously as competitive as they come, a tough serve-volley player. He just played Andy 7-6 in the third a couple weeks ago in Cincy. We know what he brings and we're going to make sure we're ready.
Q. Do you have any intelligence on the...
PATRICK McENROE: No, I have no intelligence. You know that, Charlie.
Q. On the somewhat mysterious medical condition of Vladimir Voltchkov?
PATRICK McENROE: Well, I watched him play in Athens. I saw him play singles. He actually played doubles against the Bryans. I didn't see the match because we had two singles guys playing at that same time. He was fine. Apparently he's having a little trouble, I believe, with his wrist, is what I heard, which is why he didn't come here to play the quallies. He was supposed to play the quallies. But this is a guy who plays a couple tournaments then sort of disappears for a few months, then shows up against Argentina and drills somebody in straight sets on lightning fast courts, obviously. So we're aware of what he can do. I think he played Kiefer at the Olympics. So I watched him play some of that match. You know, physically, he looked fine to me. He didn't look like he was enjoying the heat too much, but that's another reason we went to Charleston - in addition to it being a beautiful town.
Q. I'd like to ask a question not on the topic of Davis Cup. What's your opinion on instant replay in tennis? After last night, there was some discussion.
PATRICK McENROE: We've been having this in lots of matches. This is certainly not the first time. I'm of the opinion we should work towards using it. You know, obviously, different people have different opinions on whether or not this particular system is 100 percent accurate. I think it's pretty close. I don't know. I just don't know. I just know what I see in the booth and on TV. But in my mind, we should have something where it's used, you know, and maybe it's not used every point, but maybe you get a couple of challenges per set type of thing. I think that would be fun for the fans. I think it would be good for the game. I think it would be good for tennis. I think it would help with some calls. What was the match -- wasn't it the women's final in the Australian, Henin and Clijsters this year, there was another huge call? I mean, it's not like this is the first time. This has happened. In my mind, last night, you know, Jennifer deserved to win the match. That was my read on it. I think Serena got, obviously, some bad calls. But she made 57 errors, and a lot of those were because Jennifer was scrappy and clawing and fighting. I thought she deserved to win the match - taking nothing away from Serena; she competed great and she'll be back. To me, that wasn't the reason she lost the match.
Q. Has your view of instant replay changed since you got in the booth?
PATRICK McENROE: Yeah. Well, I mean, when I was playing, we didn't really have that much. I mean, we had the Mat-Cam at that point, but that was only on two lines at the US Open. But I certainly think that, you know, with the technology that's out there and available, to me, it's a good system to have, you know. If the chair umpire's got it right there, the replay, it's proven to be -- even if it's 99.9 percent accurate, it's probably still more accurate than some of the calls that we're seeing and some of the decisions that are being made. I think it's an improvement. I think it adds something to the game for the viewer, which I think is important. I think it adds a little more intrigue to, you know, a player making the decision, "Do I question that one? Do I use up one of my...?" Cliff Drysdale has always been a proponent of that. He's sort of convinced me through the last couple years that I like that. At first I thought, "Maybe it's not great. Maybe you shouldn't do it all the time." I think it adds a nice little spice, I think it could add a nice little spice to the match and to the sport. I think we should be looking for ways to do that to attract more fans.
Q. Even if the technology, somewhere down the road, becomes so good that we do get 98, 99 percent accuracy level, isn't there the fundamental, philosophic question of whether or not we want to take the human element out of this game?
PATRICK McENROE: First of all, you have humans playing, so that's number one (laughter). You're going to have a human in the chair.
Q. We're talking about calling the lines.
PATRICK McENROE: I understand that. Let's face it, they're not an integral part of the match, the lines people. They do their thing and it's sort of a nice part of the game. But, I mean, I don't know too many people who are turning on the TV to watch the linesmen. In saying that, I think you can still have them and you can use this technology as a way to enhance the line calling. You may still have them there. Maybe you have them on a couple less lines than you might have right now. So, no, I don't think it completely takes it away, no.
Q. But it just seems like it would be much better if someone came up to a human being, rather than a machine, and said, "You cannot be serious"?
PATRICK McENROE: That's a good point. Cindy?
Q. Should the human in the chair lose his or her job over one missed call?
PATRICK McENROE: No, I don't think so. No. I mean, unless it's... I mean, no one would ever lose track of the score, so that could never happen (smiling).
Q. You make a point that perhaps you should institute a system in which a player would get a couple of challenges per match.
PATRICK McENROE: Right.
Q. They do the same thing in the NFL, but there's a punitive factor. If you make a challenge, and it's denied, you lose a time-out. What kind of punitive factor would you suggest?
PATRICK McENROE: Well, you only get two. Let's say, for example, maybe you get two a set or one a set. First of all, you lose the point. I mean, you lose the point and then you lose your chance, if it's 5-All, breakpoint, you get a bad call, guess what? You've used up your challenge. To me, that's a penalty enough. No Gatorade on the changeover, try that. Only one visit from the trainer. What would women's tennis do? Don't quote me on that (smiling).
Q. The Bryans haven't been winning quite as regularly?
PATRICK McENROE: They've been a little inconsistent. I think they've been disappointed in their summer. They had a good start to their year, played well at the French. Obviously, Mike has had a little problem with his hip; that's been a bit of an issue, so he's had that treated. He may have to have surgery at some point down the road, which has, I think, been playing on his head a little bit. I think right now he's fine. He obviously played here and they won two rounds and lost in the third round. So, you know, they've had a lot of big goals. They've had a big summer with the Olympics and with the Open, and they haven't met their goals. But another one big goal for them is Davis Cup. This is an opportunity for them. They're still, obviously, extremely comfortable in the team format. But definitely for them it's been a tough summer.
Q. Maybe it's something the other doubles teams have become more familiar with their style of play?
PATRICK McENROE: It's possible. I mean, you've got to -- just as in singles, in doubles you've got to adjust and you've got to adapt and you've got to improve, you've got to add some wrinkles to your game and you've got to respond to what players are doing to you. So I think that's part of it, and I think they will. I think they work hard, they're committed to what they do, and I think once Mike gets over this thing with his hip, you know, from more of a psychological standpoint, I think it's been tough for him because he's just wondering, "Okay, am I going to have to have surgery?" He's more looking at the big picture even though at the moment I think physically he's fine. But when you know you have something that's sort of nagging at you, I think that's been, you know, tough for him.
Q. They beat Mirnyi and Voltchkov pretty easily in the Olympics.
PATRICK McENROE: Correct. That made me feel pretty good. That means nothing when we get to Charleston. The guys have a good record in Davis Cup. They thrive in the atmosphere. The one match is a good setup for them, and Mike can get all the treatment he needs to get read for that match. That's all we can do.
Q. A lot of the Americans on your team talk about the role Todd Martin played. Can you reflect on Todd Martin in Davis Cup and overall as a player.
PATRICK McENROE: Todd has been the ultimate sort of class act in tennis. The ultimate professional. He was part of a couple Davis Cup teams that I played on. He was part of a team that I was a captain of a couple times in 2002. And, you know, he's genuine. He cares about the young guys coming up. He spends a lot of time with them. You know, he's going to be around for a long time in tennis. We need him. He's had an unbelievable career. I mean, he squeezed everything out of that 6'6" frame of his that anybody could ask. He deserves to go enjoy some time with his wife and his kid. I'm sure he'll be around in tennis and probably one day be in the position I'm in, which he should be at some point as well. He's just a great role model and a great ambassador for tennis and for American tennis.
Q. Will he have a role in Charleston?
PATRICK McENROE: No, he won't have one in Charleston.
Q. Andy has dropped fewer games this year than he has last year at this point. Is there anything you attribute that to?
PATRICK McENROE: He's playing with more confidence. I think the fact he won last year obviously makes a difference. He's in better shape. Physically he's stronger, he's lighter, so he's moving better. Whether or not that means he's going to win the tournament, doesn't mean he's going to win it. What I love about Andy is he gets the big picture and he gets the fact that you got to try to get better and you got to improve. And if you do that, the results will take care of themselves. You know, that's the thing I'm trying to stress with all the guys that have played on our team or that could play, is do everything you can to maximize what you have. Andy Roddick can look in the mirror right now and say, "I'm doing everything possible to be the best player I can be. And if that means I win The Open again this year, great. If that means I lose in the finals, whatever that may be, well, I'll be disappointed, but I did everything I could do." I think that's all you can ask, out of anybody, particularly in this world of an individual sport. It's all "you" out there. You know what's on the line every time you go out there. Give yourself the best chance to succeed and then I think you could look in the mirror and be proud of what you've done.
Q. Do you think because he has such a big serve and such a powerful forehand that people maybe overlook that part?
PATRICK McENROE: I know the players don't and I know I don't. And I think you follow it well enough that you don't. So, yeah, the serve and all that stuff is a huge part of why he's where he is, but his domination so far, it's hard to get the ball past him. He's just playing smarter. He's competing better. Those things happen when you're physically stronger and quicker. It's just inevitable that you're going to make better decisions, you're going to not have to rely on whatever your A game is; you can go to a B game or a C game if need be. He's got that at his disposal now. So it gives you a lot more confidence when you walk out there when you know you've done the work.
Q. Assemble on Monday in Charleston? What day will you go?
PATRICK McENROE: We may spend a couple days down in Austin to do a little mini camp down there for a few days, down at Andy's place. Andy wants to have some of the guys come and stay with him, which would be great, sort of see how Andy does here, obviously, and how he's feeling. But then we'll come to Charleston probably Sunday night and start Monday morning.
Q. Could you handicap the Federer-Agassi quarterfinal.
PATRICK McENROE: Well, I picked Andre to get to the final from the start. I could fence it a little bit now. But, I mean, I think -- look, it's got the makings of a classic. I feel like Andre has to have everything go right, you know, for him to win it, which I think could happen based on how well he's played and the crowd and the elements that will play in his favor. I think the fact that Roger didn't play his last match, you know, could hurt him. I don't think that helps him because I don't think physically there's any question about his fitness or being fatigued. The guy's like a -- you know, he doesn't sweat. So to me, that could hurt him. But from an Xs and Os standpoint, Andre has to, I think, play a little more aggressively than he maybe would like to, but I think he knows that. I think he knows that he's got to play a little bigger and take a few more risks early. You know, if they get into rallies and longer points, I think Roger has the advantage because he's too quick and he's too good on defense. And if Roger serves well, then I think Andre's in trouble. But, you know, Andre's got to attack his second serve early, I believe, and try to, you know, rush Roger. The only time Roger struggles, I think, is when someone can get the ball on him, you know, quickly, consistently. Andre is one of the few guys that's capable of doing that.
09-09-2004, 05:43 PM
Yayyyy!! Good idea Tangy :hug:
Go team USA :banana:
09-09-2004, 10:18 PM
lols cani be an hourary american just for the davis cup threads coz my team suck and all my fave players are american?
09-10-2004, 02:36 PM
someone stealing my thread title? ;) :p
I'm glad PMac has faith in Mardy. Probably his biggest win is that match last year against Kucera, coming out right after Andy lost, on clay, against a guy he'd just lost to at the USO. And he came back after losing the first set. Huge win. I'm sure that's one big reason why PMac puts Mardy on the team, too, because we wouldn't be here this year if it weren't for his win. I'm sure beating Max on decoturf didn't hurt either
The whole mini-camp at Andy's place sounds nice... all the guys need to support each other, the four of them are a bit of a mess now, between them all.
09-11-2004, 12:32 AM
i'm glad mardys in coz it's one of the rare times i get to see him on tv!
09-11-2004, 02:47 AM
I'm so glad that Mardy made the team. I hope they kick the crap out of Belarus. Hopefully Andy, Mardy, and the Bryans will be healthy and ready to go.
09-21-2004, 03:02 AM
Can't wait for this weekend :tennis: GO TEAM USA!!!
09-21-2004, 09:20 PM
McEnroe Fishing for Caution in South Carolina
After a training camp in Andy Roddick’s home town of Austin, Texas, Patrick McEnroe will take his four-man squad cross country to Charleston, South Carolina, confident that the United States has the beating of surprise semifinalists Belarus in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group semifinals.
All the statistics point that way, because Roddick has a winning record over the big Belarus No 1 Max Mirnyi (3-0), and Mardy Fish defeated Mirnyi when the pair met for the only time just a few weeks ago at the Olympic Games in Athens. Another Olympic result also went America’s way with Mike and Bob Bryan defeating Mirnyi and his partner Vladimir Voltchkov in the doubles.
But all this is history and no competition in world sport is more capable of making a mockery of form and the over-hyped crystal ball than the Davis Cup. The younger McEnroe, who has grown up close to sporting genius and has carved out his own success story with more mundane tools, does not need to be told that the psychological aspects of Davis Cup play can be just as important as a fine backhand or a big serve.
With that firmly in mind, McEnroe will do everything he can to foster the great comraderie that has developed between this young squad, while treating each person as an individual on the practice court. Roddick, who has honed himself into a mean fighting machine that requires little motivation to flip into top gear, will be allowed to practise just as much or as little as he wants.
But Fish will find himself on the end of his captain’s line.
“Sometimes Mardy’s attitude can be disappointing,” McEnroe told me in between one of his commentating stints at Flushing Meadows. “Obviously he did great in winning a silver medal in Athens and he was rightly thrilled about that.
"But I don’t think he did himself any favours with his attitude during the last two sets he lost against Michal Tabara here. He had 9,000 people dying to root for him but he made it tough for them. And tough for himself.”
Earlier in the day, McEnroe had followed the same theme at a press conference to formally announce his team (which includes the promising junior Scoville Jenkins as a practice partner).
“Mardy is a good kid but he needs to be pushed and I intend to keep on pushing him,” the captain said.
“That’s part of my job. Sometimes that can irritate him but that’s OK. If it takes me to irritate him to keep pushing him, that’s what I’m going to do. I do it because I believe in him and I believe he can get more out of what he has.”
McEnroe’s frustration stems from the fact that he is such an admirer of Fish’s talent as well as liking him as a person. He is certain this tall, gifted player can reach the world’s top 10 if he can take a more positive attitude on court with him both in practice and competition.
Voltchkov remains the unknown quantity in this tie that will be played on a slow hardcourt at the Family Circle Tennis Center. The 26-year-old finished last year at 127 on the ATP Entry ranking but he was as high as 46th in 2000, the year he popped out of nowhere to reach the Wimbledon semifinal. Voltchkov has been suffering from a wrist injury recently and that, along with Mike Bryan’s hip problem, throws an unknown fitness element into the duel.
No matter what the outcome, Mirnyi will feel he has nothing to lose. Reaching the semi-final of this 104-year-old competition for such a young nation as Belarus is a dream for his countrymen, and yet Max will also feel right at home. Most of his formative years as a tennis player have been spent at Bradenton in Florida or New Jersey, where he worked briefly in Randolph with a Russian coach, and he will have a lot of support in Charleston.
In fact, given his popularity, it would not be too surprising to hear some spectators shouting support for Mirnyi in an American accent. But Patrick McEnroe won’t worry about that. The US captain has a place in the final firmly in his sights.
09-22-2004, 12:59 AM
i love teh fact that was mardy was attacking andy hat and undoing the velcro althrough teh press conference till andy moved thats just cute!
09-22-2004, 03:23 PM
.....Mardy get it out of you system now!! :mad: No choking this weekend please!!!
FISH BREAKS ONE
Mardy Fish pulled even with Andy Roddick Tuesday in one Davis Cup semifinal practice statistic. The session was closed, but McEnroe confirmed that his No. 2 singles player was now tied with Roddick for the team lead in smashed rackets.
"It's one-up. Andy was thinking about a second one today, but he decided against it, and had a good practice," McEnroe joked.
Link for entire article: http://www.charleston.net/stories/092204/spo_22_beckdavis.shtml
09-22-2004, 06:10 PM
omg seriously :o You can only be like Andy if you're gonna play well when he does too :p
09-22-2004, 06:41 PM
i hope we get lots of good pics this time, especially of fish and roddick *together*
09-23-2004, 12:50 PM
Lets go MARDY!!! :banana:
09-23-2004, 10:10 PM
Cmon Mardy :bounce:
09-23-2004, 11:36 PM
Good luck to the DC team tomorrow :bounce: Make us proud!
09-24-2004, 12:13 AM
So Mardy will play 2nd. I think this will be good for him, especially if Andy goes out there and plays well and wins and allows Mardy to relax a bit :)
09-24-2004, 05:14 AM
09-24-2004, 05:19 AM
omg carole the third pic
09-24-2004, 03:47 PM
Great Pics!! Not long to go now (im guessing :shrug: :lol: ) Goooooooooo USA :banana:
09-24-2004, 04:30 PM
great pics!! thanks for sharing, carly!!
09-24-2004, 04:39 PM
Thanks for the pics, Carly :wavey:
Breaking speed barriers
U.S. Davis Cup hopes ride on fast-serving Roddick and his frat brothers
By PATRICK OBLEY
Staff Writer, Charlotte Observer
Sep. 24, 2004
CHARLESTON — The racket had committed its last atrocity, its final crime against humanity ... or in this case, Andy Roddick.
Roddick slammed the racket to the court, bending its head at a 90-degree angle. Two more whacks snapped its neck, ending this particularly nefarious episode of Davis Cup practice ... though most onlookers would have trouble discerning what made the practice so troublesome for the world’s No. 2 player.
“That’s the first racket I’ve smashed in my life,” Roddick said defensively when asked about the incident earlier this week.
Of course, it wasn’t the first racket Roddick had annihilated. Far from it.
Roddick’s untruth quickly unraveled in a fit of laughter when Davis Cup teammate Mardy Fish whispered something facetious in his ear.
“That’s the first racket you’ve busted today, you mean,” Fish said, outing Roddick to the gathered media.
Roddick pulled his cap tight over his eyes and grumbled.
“I’m so sick of Mardy,” he said.
With that, this exceedingly young U.S. Davis Cup squad devolved into a puddle of silliness. Roddick and Fish began slapping at each other. Doubles partners Bob and Mike Bryan began whispering conspiratorially.
And team captain Patrick McEnroe shook his head and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“My goal is to get us back in the running to win the Davis Cup every year,” McEnroe said. “I think we are in that position now. We have a group of guys who are real passionate about winning this ...”
Another wave of laughter washes over the group. Fish and Roddick are at it again.
Hey, if you’re Roddick, it’s hard to maintain your composure when some smarty-pants like Fish keeps whispering “you’re a success” or “you’re so sexy” in your ear while goosing you in the side during a supposedly serious meeting with the media. But carefree and loose is the way Roddick tries to play tennis and live his life. In fact, that’s how everyone in this band of rising stars likes to roll.
Roddick will open the best-of-five semifinal match against upstart Belarus today with a singles match against Vladimir Voltchkov. Fish will follow with his match against Belarus’s top player, Max Mirnyi. Depending on today’s results, the Bryan brothers could face Mirnyi and Voltchkov in Saturday’s doubles match.
On the surface, this showdown for the chance to meet France or Spain in the Davis Cup final is a mismatch. Of course, that’s what many golf experts said when the U.S. Ryder Cup team took on the Europeans last week.
As that Ryder Cup team proved when it crashed and burned, team chemistry can be everything. Fortunately for this Davis Cup crew, everyone gets along splendidly. Imagine a bunch of frat brothers who play tennis on the side.
“Our biggest thing is that our whole team is on the same page,” Roddick said. “We all have the common goal of trying to win this together some day. I think it helps that we do get along and that we are friendly off the court. It makes these weeks a lot easier, and it makes our decisions to compete as a team a lot easier as well.”
Before arriving in Charleston for this week’s showdown, Roddick invited the entire team to his house in Austin, Tex., following the U.S. Open. There, the group just hung out and, occasionally, picked up rackets and practiced.
“Actually, they just showed up,” Roddick said, slipping back into his standup routine. “I fed them occasionally... . No, I thought it would be a good idea to get together and have some fun.”
Although he is the youngest of the group, Roddick is the unquestioned leader. On his shoulders rests the United States’ best hope for a Davis Cup title in 10 years.
"I think it says a lot about his maturity. I think it says a lot about what Davis Cup means to him, what it means to be the leader of a team," McEnroe said.
Roddick and his fellow teammates have struggled through what can only be called an off year by their lofty individual standards.
Roddick lost the world’s No. 1 ranking to a surging Roger Federer, lost a match in Cincinnati to an aging Andre Agassi and bowed out of his U.S. Open title defense in an early round. Fish, despite winning a silver medal at the Olympics, has been maddingly inconsistent. The Bryan brothers have seen their doubles ranking dive from No. 1 to No. 7 thanks to a spate of injuries.
The season could still be salvaged for all with a Davis Cup title. With a win, all of the past year’s woes would be wiped away.
“There are a lot of things I wanted, but they are just not in the cards for me this year,” Roddick said. “But one thing still alive this year is this title. This is where I’m at. This is definitely the most important thing left for me... .”
Fish goosed Roddick for the last time. Roddick quickly sought out the nearest exit. With luck, someone thought ahead and hid his rackets.
09-24-2004, 04:43 PM
Counting on fish
Second singles pick can take pressure off coach, team with win over Mirnyi.
BY DAVID CARAVIELLO
Of The Post and Courier Staff
Sept 24, 2004
The highlight of Mardy Fish's promising but somewhat uneven career came in a situation not unlike the one he faces this weekend on Daniel Island. Playing as much for national pride as personal satisfaction, he beat Max Mirnyi in four sets in what eventually became a silver medal performance last month at the Athens Olympics.
The site has changed, but the opponent and the international implications remain the same as they were during that breakthrough run in Greece. Once again, it's Fish vs. Mirnyi with the world watching. The prize isn't a medal, but an edge in the Davis Cup semifinal between the United States and Belarus, and a step toward December's championship against Spain or France.
Much of the attention in this Davis Cup semifinal has revolved around Andy Roddick, the U.S. No. 1 and world No. 2, who opens play against Vladimir Voltchkov of Belarus at 1:30 p.m. today at the Family Circle Tennis Center. But the wildcard for the Americans is Fish, who doesn't need to win a match -- Roddick and doubles partners Mike and Bob Bryan can do most of the heavy lifting in the best-of-five format -- yet could take plenty of pressure off U.S. captain Patrick McEnroe with a victory today over the hard-serving Mirnyi.
"It really doesn't get any bigger for me than the Davis Cup and the Olympics," said Fish, ranked No. 28, who plays Mirnyi today after the Roddick-Voltchkov match. "I feel like I've played him not in a small tournament, but in a situation where you know that he really, really wanted to win, and so did I. It obviously helps. I feel like I have the type of game that can play with him. My return is one of the best parts of my game, and Mirnyi has a great service. That's obviously the key for me."
Fish beat Mirnyi 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 at the Olympics, before losing a five-set gold medal final to Nicolas Massu of Chile. It is the only previous meeting between the two players, and one Mirnyi remembers well.
"I've known Mardy for a long time, so there's not much to be surprised about as far as the style is concerned," he said. "Davis Cup is just as important for me and my country as participation in the Olympics. So these events following one another is a good opportunity to get revenge not only at a personal level, but also for the country."
Fish's Olympic performance stands out, both because of the silver medal it produced and the mediocre results surrounding it. He's been out by the second round in five of his last seven events. Cliff Drysdale, who competed in 45 Davis Cup matches for his native South Africa and will call the action this weekend for ESPN, believes Fish has the talent to be a top-level player. But he wonders if the 23-year-old has the work ethic to match.
"He has got to make up his mind that he really wants it, and he's got to work as hard as he's ever worked," Drysdale said. "He's a very nice man, maybe too nice. I'm not sure that he really wants to bear down. He enjoys life. He's a great guy. He's a joker. He's a madman in a certain way that I really love. But he's not in good enough shape. He'll go to Saddlebrook and work out with the best in the business for a while, and then he'll bag it. He just needs to get into the best shape of his life, and needs to compare himself to some of the great physical specimens on the tour, which he is not yet."
McEnroe has been on Fish since the Olympics to stay aggressive and keep coming to the net. He believes Fish is at his best when he's constantly on the move.
"Sometimes when he gets a little frustrated, the feet get a little lackadaisical," McEnroe said. "That's something I'm trying to remind him every day, keep moving, keep getting in position. When he's in a good position and he lines up his shots, good things happen."
The only mystery regarding the order of play this week is who Belarus will pair with Mirnyi in the doubles match against the Bryans on Saturday. In Thursday's official draw, captain Sergei Teterin had his No. 1 player teamed with 18-year-old Alexander Skrypko, fueling speculation over whether Voltchkov -- who has battled a sore wrist -- could hold up to three matches in as many days.
"I'm ready to play," Voltchkov said. "Alexander is ready to play. It's up to the captain to decide who's going to go on the court."
Belarus has until one hour before Saturday's match to alter its doubles lineup, and Mirnyi said the team will meet after today's two singles matches to finalize its pairing. The Americans will believe Skrypko will play when they see him enter stadium court Saturday afternoon.
"As the Bryans just said, they don't think they've ever played a team that's actually been on the board," McEnroe said. "So we're not really concerned with who's on the board. We're just concerned with who shows up on the court on Saturday."
09-24-2004, 05:43 PM
2 more pics :D
09-24-2004, 08:19 PM
Please win Mardy!! The US needs this point!!! It's 5-5 in the 1st, Max to serve.
09-24-2004, 08:32 PM
Alright fishy fans, mardy won the 1st set 7-5, and just broke in the second. Mardy's up 1-0, on serve, 15-0
09-24-2004, 08:40 PM
3-0 Mardy in the second. He is blowing Max away right now!!! GO FISHY!!!
09-24-2004, 09:14 PM
Fishyboy won the 2nd 6-2, but is down 0-3 in the third. 30-0 Mardy serving.
09-24-2004, 10:18 PM
Mardy wins 7-5, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3!!! GO TEAM USA!!! UP 2-0!!!
09-24-2004, 10:31 PM
GO TEAM USA!!
09-24-2004, 11:31 PM
Great win Mardy :yeah:
09-24-2004, 11:36 PM
09-25-2004, 12:22 AM
:banana: yay for mardy! i was jumping up and down when he broke in the 4th set :lol:
09-25-2004, 12:29 AM
ARGH I set my VCR wrong and at the wrong speed so it cut off at 3-3 at the beginning :fiery: I hate being stupid. I missed all the good stuff :mad:
but YAY MARDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!
09-25-2004, 12:31 AM
yay mardy! couldn't watch it :( they no showing it here :( but still yay mardy :) :) :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:
09-25-2004, 12:42 AM
:woohoo: I can't believe it! Mardy actually won! He didn't choke. Well, he almost choked but for once he kept himself under control and didn't freak out. That's terrific, I really thought Beastie would get the better of Fishyboy. AWESOME JOB MARDY!!!!!! :banana:
And hurray to me for keeping the VCR running an extra half hour. I didn't miss the ending or any of the interviews. :D Good thinking, Tangy :yeah:
09-25-2004, 01:14 AM
picture from the match.. Getty put it as Mardi Fish.. :rolleyes:
09-25-2004, 05:23 AM
Getty always makes so manyt mistakes.
09-25-2004, 06:28 AM
:woohoo: well done mardy! too bad we dont have it shown here too :bounce: :bounce:
09-25-2004, 08:16 AM
MARDY!!!! :D :woohoo: :banana:
09-25-2004, 08:17 AM
Fish Powers USA to Commanding Lead
Mardy Fish battled to a 7-5, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win over Belarusian No.1 Max Mirnyi to put the USA 2-0 up in its Davis Cup by BNP Paribas semi-final in Charleston.
Thanks to Fish's win the home team could sew the tie up on Saturday if Bob and Mike Bryan can win the doubles rubber for the USA. Mirnyi is scheduled to team up with 18-year-old Alexander Skrypko for Belarus but the teenager may be replaced by the more experienced Vladimir Voltchkov now that the rubber is a must-win match for the Belarusians.
Earlier, Andy Roddick gave the USA the perfect start to their semi-final against Belarus by beating Vladimir Voltchkov 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 to put the US one point ahead and a step closer to a place in a Davis Cup by BNP Paribas final against either France or Spain.
Fish and Mirnyi locked horns in the first set until the American, cheered on by most of the 9,500-strong capacity crowd in the Family Circle Tennis Centre in Charleston, made the crucial break to lead 6-5.
He broke early in the second set and, with his confidence growing as he romped to a 2-0 lead, it looked like Belarus might be destined for a drubbing on the first day of its first ever Davis Cup semifinal.
Mirnyi, however, had other ideas. After struggling to hold his own serve in the opening game of the third, he quietened the crowd by breaking Fish to lead 2-0 up in a fight-back which must have given Fish flashbacks to his Olympic gold medal match against Nicolas Massu, which he lead by two sets to one only to lose in five.
Fish, anxious to avoid a repeat, found a way to break the Mirnyi serve in the third set and withstood relentless pressure from Mirnyi to hold on and give the USA a 2-0 lead.
Roddick was helped to his win by a record serve of 155 mph (249.4 kph) achieved despite cool, overcast conditions, a delivery which surpassed his previous mark of 153 mph (246.2 kph), set at Queen's club in June. Roddick bowed to the crowd when he saw the speed gun but was more impressed with the fact that it gave him a match point.
"It's great for the fans to see a record serve like that but to me it was another point, and that's the important thing," said Roddick. "I wanted to take the pressure off Mardy by winning my match and I think I did that."
The USA has not been in a Davis Cup by BNP Paribas final since 1997, when they lost to Sweden, and hasn't won since triumphing over Russia in 1995. This year Roddick in particular seems intent on bringing his nation its 32nd Davis Cup by BNP Paribas. After Friday's singles, the American doubles team of twins Bob and Mike Bryan are scheduled to take on Mirnyi and Alexander Skrypko on Saturday, with Roddick playing Mirnyi and Fish up against Voltchkov on Friday.
The venerable city of Charleston is hosting its first ever Davis Cup by BNP Paribas tie and Charlestonians would dearly love to crown their historic weekend with a home win. However, they will be keeping a careful eye on the weather map during the next three days in order to monitor Hurricane Jeanne, which is currently hovering offshore and could hit the South Carolina coastline as early as Sunday, the last scheduled day of the tie.
09-25-2004, 03:28 PM
Mardy is getting a ton of great press from this. Now he needs to keep it up and stop disappointing us and keep this level and mental strength up throughout entire tournaments!!!!! :)
09-25-2004, 10:01 PM
:hearts: :bowdown: :bigclap:
09-25-2004, 10:02 PM
BRYANS won = 3-0 :banana: INTO THE FINAL!!! :worship:
09-25-2004, 10:03 PM
:haha: great minds think alike!!
09-25-2004, 10:28 PM
and some more ;)
09-25-2004, 10:33 PM
LOL Bjorkfish!! Great minds DO think alike ;) :yeah:
09-26-2004, 12:53 AM
With Roddick"s help, Fish begins to believe
by:*Karen Crouse, Palmbeachpost.com
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA*--*9/25/2004*--*
CHARLESTON, S.C. — You had brother Mardy experiencing a rebirth in front of 9,189 ardent Southerners. You had brother Andy bearing testimony about teamwork.
Given the affirmations both imperiously stated and subtly sent by the Americans Friday at the Family Circle Tennis Center, it seemed less a Davis Cup match than a Revival meeting.
Andy Roddick dispatched Vladimir Voltchkov 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in the first singles match of the United States" semifinal against Belarus, then was brought into the press room while Mardy Fish"s match against Max Mirnyi got under way.
Roddick delivered an opening statement before entertaining any questions. "I think it"s very, very stupid that the ITF makes us come in here and do (interviews) while our teammate is on the court," he said of the International Tennis Federation. "It"s a very, very bad rule."
The room went silent. It was like hearing Nancy Grace announce on Court TV that she thought it was a very, very stupid thing, entertaining all these questions about the Scott Peterson case before there was a verdict.
Roddick, a Boca Raton resident, is normally one of the more good-natured athletes you"ll interview. Ask him a question — no matter how silly — and he"ll give you a sound bite. The 22-year-old"s outburst simply drove home the point that the Davis Cup is not a normal competition.
It can make a trusty patriot testy.
Deadlines? Roddick didn"t want to be bothered with details. "That"s fine," he said, "but when news reports take precedence over supporting your teammate in team competition ... the ITF... talks about how great the team concept is but that takes a backseat when reporters need to put their stories in. I don"t agree with that."
Another awkward silence ensued. Reporters were getting an idea of how Voltchkov must have felt, getting pinned into all those tight corners by Roddick. Who knew his tongue could be as stinging as his serve?
The United States Tennis Association official cleared his throat. "Next question," he said.
But wait. Roddick wasn"t through.
"Sorry," he said, squinting out at his audience from his seat on the podium. And then: "Thank you."
Now that Roddick was one everybody instantly recognized. His manners are like his 150 mph serve — they help set him apart from the rest.
An ITF representative later would collar captain Patrick McEnroe and primly inform him that he needed to speak with Roddick about his outburst.
If you ask us, it was much hullabaloo about nothing.
Roddick"s play against Voltchkov left no questions unanswered. Yes, he"s fired up. Didn"t you notice that 152 mph ace he unleashed on the first point and the 155 mph serve he delivered in the last game?
Yes, he enjoys playing for his country. Couldn"t you see him working the crowd into a tizzy? Of course he is desperate to lead the United States into the final. That would explain why he couldn"t wait to get back to the court and command Fish to victory.
Mirnyi was a tall challenge for Fish and not just because he stands 6-feet-5. Mirnyi made the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open in 2002. He has a serve that can be stinging.
Fish, who defeated Mirnyi on his way to the silver medal at the Athens Olympics, was coming off two dispiriting losses. He was defeated in the second round of the U.S. Open by a qualifier, Michal Tabara, and in the Round of 16 at the ATP tour stop in Delray Beach to Ricardo Mello. Not coincidentally, both times he lost his composure at critical times.
"I"ve lost some tough matches," Fish said. "There"s no hiding it."
It was vital that he keep his cool against Mirnyi. That"s where Roddick came in. He wanted to be in the stands acting as sort of a calming influence — a third eye if you will — for Fish, a good friend whom Roddick knows better than he does his two older brothers.
"It"s great," Fish said. "In the broad scheme of things, we"re playing for our country. But you know, we kind of boil it down to just a little team. We play for each other ... and, you know, that"s a good thing."
Serving for the match at 5-3, Fish fell behind 0-30. He glanced up in the stands, at his third eye, and recentered himself. Then he strung together an ace, a backhand winner and another ace. When Miryni"s return at 40-30 sailed inches long, Roddick jumped higher than Fish did.
Because Fish didn"t need to prove anything to him, it freed him to prove something to himself.
"I stayed in there and hung in there and didn"t get discouraged and pulled it out," Fish said.
He sounded like somebody who suddenly really, truly believes.
09-26-2004, 03:26 AM
y does everyone hav red shoes except mardy
09-26-2004, 06:28 PM
Nice sock line Andy!!! LOL!!!
09-26-2004, 08:43 PM
tangerine_dream... where did you get those pictures? especially the one with mardy and bob bryan... where mardy is uh... well i'm not really sure what he's doing to his head lol
09-27-2004, 03:31 AM
More pictures of Mardy :banana:
I :hearts: the first and last ones! HOoooOt. :lick:
09-27-2004, 12:27 PM
bless him in the last pic :tape: :drool: :inlove:
Great pics thanks :D
09-27-2004, 06:23 PM
09-27-2004, 09:20 PM
:hearts: Thanks Tangy! :lick:
09-27-2004, 10:13 PM
09-28-2004, 02:12 AM
10-03-2004, 04:37 PM
LOL!! Great pics!! Thanks for posting.
11-12-2004, 06:20 PM
November 11, 2004
McEnroe goes with squad that beat Belarus
NEW YORK -- Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish will play singles for the United States in next month's Davis Cup final in Spain, with twins Bob and Mike Bryan in doubles.
The best-of-five final will be held on clay Dec. 3-5 in Seville, and the United States will be trying to capture its first title since Pete Sampras led the team to the 1995 championship. The Americans have won the title a record 31 times, but this is their first appearance in the final since 1997.
Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe announced his lineup Thursday, going with the same squad that beat Belarus in the semifinals. The Americans also defeated Austria and Sweden en route to the final.
"We've got a great chemistry and camaraderie on the team," McEnroe said. "I think that's important in Davis Cup."
Spain, the Davis Cup champion in 2000, is playing in the final for the third time in five years. It will have the advantage of a home crowd and will be led by Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya, two former No. 1 players and French Open champions. Rafael Nadal and Tommy Robredo also are on the squad, with Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco the substitutes.
This is the same squad Spain used in the quarterfinals against the Netherlands and the semifinals against France.
"Playing against a Spanish team that includes two former world No. 1 players and two French Open champions on a clay court before 15,000 fans is the ultimate challenge and test for our team," McEnroe said. "Nothing would be sweeter and more satisfying than to win the Davis Cup in this environment and our guys are certainly excited about the opportunity that is in front of them."
Roddick, ranked No. 2, has a 14-3 Davis Cup record in singles since joining the team in 2001 and has not lost a set in six Davis Cup singles matches this year.
Fish, ranked No. 37, won the silver medal at the Athens Olympics. He has been a Davis Cup player since 2002, holding a 4-4 record.
McEnroe picked Fish over players such as Vince Spadea, who has had some success on clay.
"The bottom line is that he's the guy that gives us the best chance to win a match in the second singes match," McEnroe said of Fish.
The Bryan brothers have won 20 doubles titles as a team entering the 2004 Tennis Masters Cup in Houston. They have yet to lose a set in Davis Cup play.
The United States leads 4-2 in its series with Spain. In their last matchup, the United States won 3-1 in the 2002 Davis Cup quarterfinal in Houston. This will be the first time they have met in a final.
Just one match, Mardy. That's all you have to do: win ONE match on clay. :D
Check out this pic of Mardy and Andy I found on Yahoo. It was taken in 2002.
11-12-2004, 09:19 PM
aaw bless that pic!!
and yes 1 MATCH MARDY WIN IT!!!
11-12-2004, 10:44 PM
Here's an interview with PMac about Mardy being picked, among other things. he says a lot of things about Mardy's mental and physical issues and stuff...very interesting read, methinks:)
Tennis Week: I want to ask you about your reaction to Vince Spadea's letter. It seems the core of his argument is that performance typically dictates results in sports: if the Knicks outscore the 76ers, the Knicks win. If Roddick wins more sets than Ferrero in the U.S. Open final, then Roddick wins the U.S. Open title. Spadea is saying: "With that in mind, I'm ranked ahead of these guys, I've got more wins this year, so why am I not on the team? Isn't that the way sports work?"
Patrick McEnroe: Well he has more match wins and he also has 10 more losses than Mardy. First of all, let me say I have tremendous respect for what Spadea has done. I know from getting to my highest ranking when I was in my late 20s that it's very tough to do that.
Tennis Week: Your career as a player was similar to his: you both had your best years late in your career.
Patrick McEnroe: Right. My best years were late so I have a real understanding of what he's been able to do, particularly with not having all the natural game. He's a workhorse and so I have a lot of respect for what he's done. First of all, I believe Mardy has the best chance to win the match, based on his ability, based on his experience playing Davis Cup, based on the fact he's played well in the Olympics, he's played well in some big, big matches for us. I still believe Mardy's got a tremendous upside as far as his career goes. And I think he's got a lot of game. I don't think he's lived up to his potential yet. In saying that, that's not really the reason why I'm picking him in this match. Mardy won probably, at least in my tenure as captain, the biggest single match we've had, which was winning on clay (Fish scored a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-1 victory over Karol Kucera in the World Group Playoff tie in September of 2003) away, in front of a hostile crowd, down 1-0. Roddick had just lost.
Tennis Week: And if Fish loses that match, you're pretty much done?
Patrick McEnroe: If he loses that match then you've got the Bryans, who are obviously favored, but you know they hadn't played a match yet in Davis Cup. So you know, down 0-2 with the crowd (against us), we're in a tight spot. So Mardy stepped up and won a big match, he's also had some poor matches, but he did it on clay. I made a decision, Richard, four years ago, to go with the younger group we had. The only way that I could justify to myself putting in someone that hasn't been part of the team, they'd have to be so far clearly better (than the current players)...
Tennis Week: You mean if it was Agassi...
Patrick McEnroe: If it was Agassi then you make an exception — and this is in no way meant to disparage Vince Spadea — because he's Andre Agassi. There's only one Andre Agassi. He's won eight Grand Slams, he's one of the greatest players ever, he's Andre Agassi.
Tennis Week: I don't think Spadea — or just about anyone else for that matter —would have a problem with Agassi on the team.
Patrick McEnroe: Well I'm not making the decision based on the fact Vince is older. The primary reason is I believe that Mardy has the best chance to win a match. I believe he's got a game that can frustrate those guys. Obviously, it's clay so it's a different situation. But the key for me, in my mind, is that Mardy works his butt off these next few weeks, which obviously I'm on him about doing, so that he's in great shape. And I think if he's in great shape, then I think he's got a good chance to win a match.
Tennis Week: How do you respond to people who say: "Fish has played only one match on clay this year?" Spadea had better clay-court results this year and last year?
Patrick McEnroe: Well, Fish was injured this year during the clay court season. Obviously, he's had better results on fast courts. Spadea's had better results on hard courts than on clay this year. He's had better results than Fish on clay, but this isn't a clay-court season. We're playing one match. I'll say it again: in my mind, in my opinion, Mardy has a better chance to win a match (than Spadea). Does that mean that he's necessarily a guy who's going to win more matches (than Spadea) on clay throughout the course of a two month season? Well that's debatable. I'm asking him to try to go win one match. And if you put Vince Spadea — or anyone — in their first live match in Davis Cup in the Davis Cup final in front of 25,000 people who are going crazy — and I've been there for Roddick's first Davis Cup match, for Mardy's first Davis Cup match, for James Blake's first Davis Cup match, for Ginepri's first Davis Cup match, down two sets to love, the whole deal — that's very tough. We can't afford that in this big a match. And as I said, as solid a year as Vince has had, he hasn't done great in the majors. He hasn't had great results in Slams, which leads me to think that in five-set matches, it's one thing if the guy's unbelievable in five-set matches or if the guy got to the semis of the French. Yeah, he's had better results than Mardy on clay this year. He hasn't had the results that to me make it a no-brainer that he is the obvious pick. To me, Mardy has a better chance to win a match, he's been part of the team. If everything were exactly equal between the two guys, yeah, that counts. Team chemistry counts, with this group especially because they get along so well, they push each other, they prod each other, they get on each other's case and that's all good. That's the thing that I tried to start building four years ago, so to think they when we make it to the finals that I'm going to go against that would not be fair to the goal that I set and it wouldn't be fair to the team.
Tennis Week: You mean in the sense that you're asking Fish for his loyalty and commitment to Davis Cup and then when it comes time to play for the Cup if you said: "thanks for helping, but see you when we get back..." I mean, I can see it both ways: if you bail out on Fish at this point, after what he's contributed, after he's been there for you, understandably he's not going to feel that's fair.
Patrick McEnroe: Right. Mardy was there for us in (the first-round tie against Austria in) Connecticut when he didn't play and he knew he wasn't going to play. I believe in Mardy. I believe in what Mardy is capable of doing.
Tennis Week: So you're saying it's more pro-Fish than anti-Spadea?
Patrick McEnroe: Oh, completely, clearly, no question.
Tennis Week: Well then how do you respond to Spadea's situation? Vince is saying: "I've done what they've asked, I've produced the results and rankings and now I'm in a Catch-22 because experience counts, but how can I get experience when nobody picks me?" You know, how can I gain Davis Cup experience if no one picks me to play Davis Cup?
Patrick McEnroe: I wasn't the captain when Vince Spadea was out on the tour for 10 years. If you get to be ranked high enough you're going to be chosen to play early in your career. It just so happens that now he's ranked higher than those other guys, but throughout the year that hasn't always been the case. As I said, I have tremendous respect for what he's done. But you gotta prove it more than just having a good couple months. And he's had a good year — I'm not taking anything away from him. To say that he wants it on his record to play Davis Cup, well first of all, he's played Davis Cup, number one. He was on the team and you know my goal as the captain is not to fulfill someone's personal dream. You know, I would have wanted to play singles in Davis Cup too, many players would. I mean as much as I respect Vince for his desire and for wanting to play and for doing what he's done, when I came on as captain, I think he was ranked 200 in the world. OK. So it wasn't like I brushed off Vince Spadea for four years. I mean, he wasn't even in the mix, as far as even a possibility, really, until this year. And I believe in the young guys we have. I believe in working with them. I believe in sticking with them. And I think they need to be pushed and prodded and I'm going to keep doing that.
Tennis Week: What do you think about Spadea's point that we should revise the selection process. Let's just make it cut and dried, merit based, let's just go right to the rankings and go with the highest-ranked players first. Do you think that will ever happen?
Patrick McEnroe: No, that's absolutely never going to happen. Absolutely not. It will certainly never happen as long as I'm the captain.
Tennis Week: Why not?
Patrick McEnroe: Because I have to pick guys who I feel are best prepared to play on particular surfaces. The morale of the team is important. Match-ups, the fact that Mardy has matched up well with these guys, on different surfaces, but I watched him play Moya at the Australian and that was pretty slow conditions. I watched him play Ferrero at the Olympics. I mean, that's not a guarantee that he's going to win, but that helps. So in other words if we had this system where as Vince says we went strictly by the rankings, I mean that's just not going to happen. What if someone's hurt? When I put Ginepri in he wasn't ranked the highest at that point; when I put Blake in over Todd Martin in North Carolina, he wasn't ranked higher than him. So you have to have some flexibility. I completely disagree with going in that direction.
Tennis Week: How seriously did you consider Vince for a place on the team? Did you consider him at all for this tie? I know you contacted Agassi so when he declined what was the thought process that led you to this team?
Patrick McEnroe: I certainly considered Vince seriously. I certainly follow all the results from Europe and thankfully I have the Tennis Channel so I watch a lot of matches. I watched his match against Nadal, I watched Mardy beat Ancic and Andy lose to Mirnyi so I see a lot of tennis. Obviously, the case of Agassi is the exception because he's Agassi. Without having him available for this match, unless Vince did something extraordinary, like winning Madrid or doing something outrageous, I was pretty comfortable that I was going to stay with Mardy. He's got us here, he's won some big matches for us, he's got the experience of playing. You can't just say "Vince is in the Catch-22 because he wasn't picked before." I'm not going to put someone in there just to give him experience — especially when we're playing in the final for the Davis Cup. I mean, I'm going to throw him out there in his first live match when we're playing for the final? I have always thought — and this was as a brother, as a player, as a practice player, as a commentator, whatever role I've been associated with in Davis Cup — I believe that team chemistry really matters and really counts. Not just for one match, but for the whole program and for what we're trying to do. And that was really one of my goals: was trying to turn around the mind-set of the program, to say every year we are going to be into it. We're not just going to hope "God, we hope we get Andre, we hope we get Roddick to play..."; we want to really have a cohesive unit of guys and that's why I've had Mardy there as a practice partner, that's why Ginepri's been there, that's why Blake came to South Carolina (for the semifinal victory over Belarus) when he was injured. All those things, I think, count, when you step out on the court to play. Would it count if Spadea were five in the world? Then of course, that's different.
Tennis Week: So you're saying the disparity (between Spadea and Fish) is not great enough?
Patrick McEnroe: Exactly. The disparity is not like saying it's Andre Agassi who has won the French Open and eight majors. I'll say it again without any negativity toward Vince Spadea: you make that exception for Andre Agassi — because he's Andre Agassi.
Tennis Week: Are you concerned you're leaving yourself short if there's an injury to Roddick or Fish and one of the Bryan brothers has to go out there and play singles against a former French Open champion like Moya or Ferrero on clay? Is that a concern?
Patrick McEnroe: Sure I'm concerned about it. I mean, I may bring someone as the fifth guy just to have there.
Tennis Week: What is the exact rule on the fifth guy's eligibility to play?
Patrick McEnroe: Once you make the call on Thursday, before you do the draw ceremony, that's it. Unless, like let's say we did the draw at noon and Roddick went out at 2 and twisted his ankle, then I believe you have a doctor right there and you could substitute at that point. There is a window, right after the draw, I believe.
Tennis Week: Well why not bring Spadea as the fifth guy then?
Patrick McEnroe: Well I may bring someone, but I'm not sure I'm going to bring him.
Tennis Week: Has anything Vince has said in stating his belief impact his potential future in being selected as part of the team?
Patrick McEnroe: What's going to impact it more is how he does.
Tennis Week: His results?
Patrick McEnroe: His results. Certainly next year is a new year and a new potential for a new team. But to say I'm going to throw him into the final...Am I discounting you just because you wrote some letter? I'm glad to see he's interested, I'm glad he's interested. Hey, the guy's passionate about it, he wants to play, and that's great.
Tennis Week: Has he come to you and say "Patrick, let's talk?"
Patrick McEnroe: No. I've left him a few messages and I've never heard back from him. Maybe he doesn't want to talk to me, you know whatever, but that's fine.
Tennis Week: Do you have a good relationship with Vince overall?
Patrick McEnroe: I have a good relationship with him. I mean, I don't know him as well as I know the other guys. Obviously, I don't spend as much time with him. He came to the Olympics and had a good time, I thought, there. I tried to be there and help him when he asked. I mean, he's 30 years old so he's more set in his ways. It's like when Todd Martin played Davis Cup, I'm not going to tell Todd Martin a million things. OK. He's been out there for 10 years. So it's a little bit different. I've known Robby, Mardy and Andy since they were 17, 18 years old. So I think I've been more mentor-like and been someone who's there for him or given them opinions whether they like it or not and have been there for them. With Vince, it's not like that. Certainly, if he came and asked me, I'd give him my opinion, which I've done before. But no, I don't keep as much in touch with him as I do the other guys.
Tennis Week: But the actual selections, is that a product of the friendships you have with Roddick, Fish or any of the guys or even the friendships the players have with themselves? You're saying that the friendships have nothing to do with it?
Patrick McEnroe: It absolutely has nothing do with why I'm picking the team. I'm picking the team because I feel that Mardy has the best chance to win a match. And all the other stuff that Vince points out, the friendships, etc., you know that's not it. If Vince Spadea beat Mardy Fish, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1, then you throw friendship out the window. Obviously, the chemistry of our team is very good and it's been successful to this point. To turn around and change at this point makes no sense in my mind. You're certainly entitled to disagree and he's certainly entitled to state his case.
Tennis Week: I can see it both ways. If I was Fish and you came to me and said: "Sorry Mardy, I'm leaving you off the team for the final" I'd be upset. I would not be happy. At the same time if I was Spadea and I had the superior ranking and results and felt I'd earned the right to play and was not given it, yeah I'd definitely be upset and I can completely understand being pissed.
Patrick McEnroe: Look, just judging by our conversation it's a tough call. It's a tough call. There's no perfect answer. There's no easy answer and I've got to take all that into account.
Tennis Week: But getting back to your earlier comment about taking a fifth guy, who will that be? Who is it?
Patrick McEnroe: It could be Ginepri because he's been on the team before. He's been a guy who would be a good practice guy. I can do do that (pick the fifth guy) anytime I want. Basically once you name the four guys that day (the day of the draw) you're stuck, you're locked. So in other words, if Roddick goes out and twists his ankle the first game of the match, that's it, you're in trouble. That's the nature of the beast. That's more of a (risk of having a) doubles team as opposed to singles guys playing doubles. Obviously for us its worked, having a doubles team. They (the Bryan twins) are undefeated and haven't lost a set. They bring a very strong commitment to the team, they bring an energy, they bring an enthusiasm, they take pressure off the singles guys because they know these guys are going to be there on Saturday. They gear up for it, they want to be there and they win. And I think it takes some of the pressure off the singles guys. Andy knows going out there: "I don't necessarily have to win two matches", which he's been able to do, certainly at home. Would Spadea play well over there? Yeah, I think he could play well. I do, I think he can play well. But at the same time, I feel Mardy's got a bigger game, he's got more weapons and he's someone I feel I can work with him over the course of a match.
Tennis Week: Let's talk about the tie overall. On paper, Spain is an immense favorite with the two former French Open champions Moya and Ferrero. In fact, even if they went with Robredo and Nadal, I think they'd be favored. But at the same time, Ferrero has had an injury-plagued season, his confidence is not what it was. Moya has complained of shoulder problems and hasn't played recently. They seem like they might be vulnerable — or maybe I'm just reading too much into it with the injuries. What do you think?
Patrick McEnroe: Clearly, we're the underdogs. I don't think they're as dominant as they've been on clay. Clearly, Ferrero is struggling, he's trying out this new racquet. Moya's been out.
Tennis Week: What have you heard about their health?
Patrick McEnroe: I've heard basically what you've heard. I mean even Nadal pulled out and had some shoulder troubles in Madrid. I saw that match with Spadea in Madrid and he looked to be struggling toward the end. Robredo seems to be pretty fit. I think we can see any one of those four guys in singles. I don't think it's by any means a given that it's gonna be Ferrero and Moya playing all the singles matches. And by the way, they've also got (lefthanders Fernando) Verdasco and (Feliciano) Lopez, who they can also pull in. I'm not really looking too much as to who they're going to have. For us, the main thing is being in great shape and to be physically ready to go the distance. And if we do that, we can beat those guys. We're the under dog, but we're not playing Ferrero or Moya two weeks after they won the French. They're not quite at their peak point, but in saying that they're still gonna be practicing their butts off now and they're going to be as prepared as they can possibly be. But confidence means a lot and in a situation like that having had wins and success is important. I think it will be good for Andy to play Houston and Mardy played a bunch of tournaments and the Bryans have had a pretty good last two months, so I feel pretty good about them. My concern is that we're physically ready to go. I think the mental stuff — dealing with the crowd and trying not to get over excited — I think we can handle that. We want to play our game: we want to hit some big serves and be able to end points quickly, but we also want to be able to play 15 to 20 shot rallies here and there.
Tennis Week: Do you think Mardy is physically fit enough and has the stamina to play those type of demanding rallies in a best-of-five set match?
Patrick McEnroe: Well that's a huge question mark. That's a big part of what I've been working on with him and continuing to push him physically and to upgrade his fitness. Look, if he's not in great shape, he's gonna struggle. But if he's in great shape, he's got a chance. So I've told him that. I've talked to (fitness guru and noted trainer) Pat Etcheberry and I've talked to his people about it.
Tennis Week: How does Mardy feel? Does he feel he's in good enough shape to do it?
Patrick McEnroe: He feels he's working hard now. He's trying to lay a good base. He's working on his cardio, doing some running, doing some hills. He's got a few more weeks and I think that's enough. He's a good athlete. He's a natural athlete. He played five sets at the Olympics and he was fine, physically. He lost the match, but he was fine physically. What I'm saying is that I don't feel he has too far to go. I just feel he needs that push.
Tennis Week: I agree with everything you've said about Fish's athleticism, his weapons, his ability. The thing that concerns me is he occasionally seems to lose focus by getting cranky and caught up over a questionable call. Remember what happened in Australia after he beat Moya when he's up two sets to love against Ferreira? He just mentally loses it and only won five games the rest of the match. At those times you feel like yelling at him: "Dude, you've got game, you've got the ability. Just play the game and don't get caught up in the calls and lose it." Can you explain it? What's that all about?
Patrick McEnroe: First of all, let me say if you know you're in physically great shape, that makes a difference. You don't get as cranky. That happened to me a little bit. You look at a great player like Lendl and look at how getting into great shape changed him mentally. Lendl was known as being mentally fragile until he worked so hard physically that he was able to overcome it. Agassi used to flail at balls sometimes before he got into great shape. So I've worked on that a lot with Mardy in Charleston. As far as: "Listen, you're going to get some bad calls. The guy's going to hit a lucky shot. Forget about it." I remember in (the Davis Cup semifinals) Charleston at one point in the fourth set with Mirnyi he got a shaky call or he double faulted twice and then sort of got one bad call. All of a sudden, in his mind, that's why he lost serve; forgetting the fact he double faulted twice and missed an easy shot. So he got up and was doing his usual bickering with the umpire. So I said: "Mardy, listen when you get up (from the changeover) you can say one more thing to the umpire and that's it, it's over." Because you have to understand his mind frame, you can't just turn it off. So he got up, he made a little comment to the umpire, he turned and sort of smiled at me and that was it. Then he went on and played a hell of a fourth set. So get the last word and then just forget it.
Tennis Week: So are you saying if his body is in better shape then it's going to strengthen his mind?
Patrick McEnroe: No question. Absolutely no question. There's no doubt in my mind that will play a big part. Is it going to solve all his problems? No, but it's going to help a lot in his attitude, in his ability to move his feet every point. Because if you're a little concerned about your fitness, you think: "I'll save a little energy" then you get a little lazy, a little lackadaisical, a little irritated. All those things connect in some way. So the good thing about Mardy is that I feel there's still a big upside there. And I feel that he's had, not a great year, a little inconsistent. So I think it all does matter. I believe in Mardy. I believe in his potential.
Tennis Week: This could be a big moment for him. It could really help his confidence in his career, but I thought the Olympics would do that for him — that his performance there would propel him the rest of the season.
Patrick McEnroe: The thing with Mardy is that he needs to be constantly kicked in the butt.
Tennis Week: You've got big feet so you're the right guy for the job.
Patrick McEnroe: I do it in a loving way. I believe in him. Sometimes, I piss him off. I think he knows I'm trying to help him. That doesn't mean he always agrees with what I'm saying, but that's OK. I think he knows I have his best interests at stake.
Tennis Week: You look at Fish, Dent and Ginepri and I don't believe they've had the type of years that they wanted to have or that people expected. Why is that? What's it going to take for them to pick it up and reach their potential?
Patrick McEnroe: I could go on forever about each of them. I'll say in a general comment they each need to look hard at being more professional in whatever that means — whether it's a mental thing, whether it's Taylor Dent getting into better shape, whether it's Mardy in a combination of physical and mental — you know whatever it is for them it was not easy, but it was relatively routine to get from No. 200 to No. 50 to No. 30. To get to 20 from 30 and from 20 to 15 and to 10 is a lot harder. It takes a lot of dedication and incredible amount of hard work.
Tennis Week: Do you think they each have it within to get there?
Patrick McEnroe: Yes, I do.
Tennis Week: Do you think the desire is there?
Patrick McEnroe: I think it's in there somewhere. Is it obvious and right there on the surface? No, but I do think it's there and they all have it in different ways. But they've gotta realize if they want to maximize their potential, then they've got to do everything possible to get there. Because everybody else is. Everybody else around the world is killing themselves to try to get there.
11-14-2004, 04:43 AM
That was a really interesting interview there. I think that Patrick is right about all he said about Mardy. He just needs to be pushed and if he does get himself really fit and strong he will do so much betta. I mean look what happened with Justine for example. She worked hard on her fitness and that enabled her to become so mentally tough. I think next year might be a betta year for him. Lets hope he does win a match for Davis Cup too. That would be great.
11-14-2004, 12:23 PM
too long for my brain to take in!!! :sad:
11-14-2004, 04:34 PM
Siobhan, you should read it, it's really interesting what he says about Mardy.
rue, you're exactly right about Justine... and she even works with the same trainers (Pat Etcheberry) as Mardy does - but there are rumors that Mardy will leave Saddlebrook and stuff like that in the off-season. He's gotta want to do it himself - Justine did, I hope Mardy will decide that too. by the time DC rolls around, he will have had about a month - you can get in really great shape in that amount of time, so let's just hope he has been working really really hard.
11-17-2004, 05:27 PM
There is a post at the TW boards that Mardy has fired Kelly Jones. Has anyone else heard this?
11-17-2004, 08:33 PM
no, never heard that, just have to wait and see if it is true.
11-17-2004, 09:48 PM
There is a post at the TW boards that Mardy has fired Kelly Jones. Has anyone else heard this?
:eek: No, but, I hope it's true!
I wonder how Mardy's handling the Spadea debacle? The sudden public criticism that PMac is taking by choosing Mardy over Vinny could actually have a positive effect , in that it'll piss Mardy off and make him want to prove all the doubters wrong. :)
11-18-2004, 02:51 PM
omg I hope that's true!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been saying for months that Kelly is Mardy's biggest problem and was holding him back.
11-19-2004, 12:24 AM
Martin to coach Fish?
Unconfirmed reports out of Florida say that Todd Martin will be announced as the coach of Mardy Fish. An announcement could come before Thanksgiving with the two getting ready in December for the Australian circuit.
11-19-2004, 12:47 AM
Oh I hope that's true!!!!!!!!!!!!
11-19-2004, 01:31 AM
As I said in GM, I really hope Martin is a good fit for Mardy. Mardy needs his ass kicked; I don't know if Todd would be that type of coach.
Either way, I'm glad Kelly is gone. He did absolutely nothing to improve Mardy's game and attitude.
Here's an article I found and it looks like a lot of people are pointing at Mardy as being "the weakest link". :sad: I hope Mardy can rise to the occassion. It will be very tough but he can do it if he can block out all the negatives.
Roddick tough to swallow but Spain could enjoy Davis Cup Fish feast
Nov 18, 2004
HOUSTON, United States (AFP) - Second-ranked Andy Roddick is already working on adjusting his game to Spanish clay for next month's Davis Cup final, but the Americans' key factor could be Olympic silver medallist Mardy Fish.
The US team of Roddick, Fish and brothers Mike and Bob Bryan will face a Spanish squad led by former French Open champions Carlos Moya and Juan Carlos Ferrero in the Davis Cup final December 3-5 at Seville.
Roddick, known for his power serving game, displayed serve and volley skills in a round-robin victory over Britain's Tim Henman here at the ATP Masters Cup and US captain Pat McEnroe expects more such moves before leaving for Spain.
"I think he can do that on clay. That will make it tough for guys to return his serve," McEnroe said. "I would like to see him mix it up a little more on clay. That's something we will work on."
Lleyton Hewitt, who sparked Australia to the Cup last year, said Roddick is vital to American hopes but tagged Fish as the weakest link.
"I think Fish is going to find it extremely hard playing against those guys on clay over there. I don't think he has got the experience on clay to do it," Hewitt said.
"I don't think there's probably anyone else that does apart from (Andre) Agassi that the Americans could put in."
But McEnroe has confidence in his number two singles player.
"I think he's got the kind of game that can translate onto different surfaces," McEnroe said. "He has got the capability of playing well on the big occassions."
Hewitt said the Bryans must also come through if the Americans are to claim the Cup for the first time since 1995.
"Roddick holds the key. Obviously the doubles I think is a must win for America - absolute must," Hewitt said.
"Still it's hard to see. They've just got so much depth. Moya - the way he's playing at the moment, Andy is going to have his hands full on a slow clay court against him.
"Whether Ferrero is playing his best tennis or not, he plays awesome in Davis Cup."
The Spanish will be bolstered by a home crowd of 23,000. Hewitt recalled a 2000 Cup finals loss at Barcelona in less than thrilled terms.
"It was probably the toughest place I've ever played tennis in," he said. "There's no doubt you have got to be mentally tough out there. You're going to have absolutely nobody going for you and you're going to cop a lot (abuse) out there.
"I think Andy is the kind of guy that will handle the situation pretty well. He might even thrive on it a little bit like I did."
McEnroe and his players have a good idea what troubles they will face.
"It's going to be crazy but we understand what it's going to be like. The key is for us to keep our heads down and play the way we know we can," McEnroe said.
"We face a tough test in Spain but we think we can go over there and get the job done."
11-19-2004, 04:15 PM
We will just have to wait and see how Mardy plays, you never know in Davis Cup. Wierd things could happen and you may see that Mardy will win a match and Andy will lose a match. Mardy may be the weak link to the team, but he deserves that chance and people have really questioned Patrick's decision. He believes that Mardy can do something and I think the fact that Patrick believes in him may even help him play better and win a win during Davis Cup.
It will be a tough one, but it is not impossible.
11-22-2004, 01:55 AM
I'm glad that Mardy changed coaches. He needed to do something. It helped Andy to change coaches, maybe it will help Mardy. It helped my golf game a lot when I changed swing coaches, gives you a breath of fresh air.
11-25-2004, 03:22 PM
Seems pretty official now - According to tennis-x, Mardy will be coached by Todd and another former player, Scott Campbell, next year. Dunno who he is
11-25-2004, 04:04 PM
i hope the fresh insight would be good for him :)
11-28-2004, 10:30 AM
Seems pretty official now - According to tennis-x, Mardy will be coached by Todd and another former player, Scott Campbell, next year. Dunno who he is
Lets hope everything turns out ok for him and he gets better :D
Right guys not long to go now :aparty:
11-29-2004, 01:27 AM
Well, I hope this works for Mardy and I hope his coaches have experience in removing heads from butts.
Mardy does look thinner. Good, all the boys are starting to get in shape. DAMN FAT AMERICANS!! LOL!!!
12-01-2004, 01:25 AM
LMFAO WHAT is he doing in that pic!
Thanks pieross :kiss: maybe if you find some of Andy you could post them in his forum? :angel:
12-01-2004, 01:43 AM
Pwoarrrrr :lick: :hearts: :drool:
I concur. :D
12-01-2004, 08:30 PM
Fish Feels Heat From All Sides At Davis Cup
By EDUARDO A. ENCINA
Nov 30, 2004
Mardy Fish and his American Davis Cup teammates arrived in Seville, Spain on Friday, eager to quell all the talk and the doubters.
After two months of constant questioning whether Fish can excel on clay and after team captain Patrick McEnroe flirted with inserting Andre Agassi into his No. 2 singles spot, it's finally time for the Tampa resident to prove his worth in USA's Davis Cup final tie against Spain.
The meeting, which takes place Friday through Sunday, will be a remarkable test for an American team full of hard hitters. Seville's Olympic Stadium will be packed with an estimated 26,600 partisan fans, the most for a sanctioned tennis match. And Spain selected Seville's sea-level site to further slow the pace of matches that will already be deadened by the clay surface.
The American team consists of Andy Roddick and Fish in singles and Bob and Mike Bryan in doubles. The U.S. and Spain have met six times in Davis Cup, with the Americans winning four of the matches. Both of Spain's wins have been at home on clay.
Fish hasn't played on clay since April, when he lost to Alex Bogomolov in Houston. Some critics, expecting Fish to fall flat, have said that Roddick will have to win both of his singles matches for the U.S. to have a chance.
"Mardy Fish won't be able to beat any of our players," said former Spanish captain and Madrid Masters Director Manuel Santana, the 1966 Wimbledon champ.
Fish will face two clay technicians in singles play - Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya - both of whom have won the French Open. Fish rallied to defeat Ferrero during his Olympic silver-medal run, albeit on hard court.
Despite the doubters, Fish remains confident.
"We're confident with the way that we think we can play,'' Fish said. "We think that we can play with these guys. It's Davis Cup. We don't have to beat them in an entire tournament. We don't have to beat them five times. We have to beat them only hopefully one time. If Andy can get a win, I can get a win, the Bryan brothers can get a win, that's all you need, is three points. You don't need to win an entire tournament. We're confident because Andy, and the Bryan brothers haven't even lost a set [in Davis Cup] yet this year.'' COURIER MAKES PITCH: On the eve of the Davis Cup final, McEnroe's captainship was extended through 2006, but Dade City's Jim Courier, who had great success as an American Davis Cup player in the '90s, said he would like to captain the team once McEnroe's tenure ends.
"[The Davis Cup] is something that I have loved to participate in for many years,'' Courier said. "I think it's a natural evolution for players of our caliber who have played at our level and who have really enjoyed the fruits of The Davis Cup and have been in the battlefields and it's definitely another way to get back into it.''
The odds on Mardy are so bad that some are merely betting on how many bagels he'll get, not on how many sets he'll win. :eek:
This will be a huge challenge for Mardy, I really hope (pray) he can get through it. :bigclap:
12-01-2004, 08:43 PM
man i'd be tempted to go put a bet on him winning one (well i would if i actually had any money to do it) i think they're overly harsh but then i always think that! come on mardy boy prove em wrong!
mardy and andy love all the way to the davis cup ;)
12-02-2004, 01:41 AM
Here are a few pictures:
Seems like he was not too happy from what is shown in both pictures.
I feel sorry for Mardy because everyone seems to be against him. I can understand if he feels a lot of pressure. It is going to be a hard task him to pull out a win but if he can play the way Mcenroe has been teaching him how to play then you just never know. This is the Davis Cup as they said and anything can happen. It goes the same way for Andy too in saying that it will be hard for him to win too. I am hoping for them to play their best and try their hardest even if they come out as losers. They can still hold their heads up high with some sort of pride.
12-02-2004, 02:55 AM
I hope he can put up a good fight and hopefully win one match. You never know, he could play the match of his life.
12-02-2004, 04:19 AM
For me, it's not about having faith in Mardy or not. I just purely see that he is not READY for this. Sure, he's even older than Andy, but he didn't start playing tennis as young as Andy did... he's not the same, and he is not as experienced. He has never played in a hostile crowd that even remotely comes close to this. He played ONE singles match on clay this year and I was there and it was absolutely miserable because he was injured (though no one knew that at the time) and it was just horrible. I just don't think he, or his game, are ready, let alone his head and body. His physical shape seems to be on the upswing and that can only be good, but whether he's in good enough shape to last against the best clay-courters in the world in a best-of-5 match REALLY remains to be seen. One of the first things to break down in Mardy's game besides his serve is his movement. He gets completely lackadaisical and flat-footed, and that's basically suidical on clay.
I don't see how he could possibly have any confidence at all going into this weekend, and surely he has to know what the buzz in the press is about how he's expected to lose. That can't be good for someone who's mental state is as fragile as his is to begin with. He didn't end the year on a high note (in fact he ended it on a pretty horrific one, which started at the Olympics gold medal match and continued right through to the end of the year, save for his one really good DC match against Miryni).
But just because I don't think Mardy is really ready for this doesn't mean some good can't come out of it. #1 of course anything *could* happen, I'm just being realistic about it. #2 Just b/c I'm pretty convinced he'll lose his match(es), doesn't mean some good won't come out of it. B/c it'll probably be the best way to gain this kind of experience which he SO BADLY needs. He'll never learn how to play in big, tough matches if he never plays in them, even if he loses. It's the only way you learn. If he fights hard til the end, plays as well as he can, and most importantly, keeps his head together in front of a huge and very hostile crowd, it can only be a good thing for him even if he ultimately loses. Same for Team USA in general.
12-02-2004, 03:14 PM
Thanks for the pictures, Rue. :)
Mardy going first, that's not good. Mardy playing Moya, that's bad too. Maybe Andy can beat Nadal but I'm not betting on it. We will be in the hole on the first day. :sad:
12-02-2004, 03:58 PM
Friday 3 December - 1200 hrs (1100 GMT)
Carlos Moya (ESP) v Mardy Fish (USA)
ooooh first up!! GOOOOOOOOOOO FISHIE BOY!!! :yeah:
12-02-2004, 05:56 PM
Come on Mardy!!!!! Play hard, stay mentally strong!!!!
12-02-2004, 08:42 PM
For me, it's not about having faith in Mardy or not. I just purely see that he is not READY for this.
I just hope that Mardy plays his best and doesn't get down on himself.
12-02-2004, 11:27 PM
I just hope that Mardy plays his best and doesn't get down on himself.
Yes, getting down on himself is one of his biggest problems...hopefully with Pmac there, he can help with that respect. Don't know how much of a difference it'll make against a player like Carlos with all the other conditions, but yeah. I hope he just plays as well as he can.
12-02-2004, 11:40 PM
Good luck to Mardy, just do your best and stay upbeat.
12-03-2004, 01:27 AM
Good luck Mardy :) Just try your best :yeah:
12-03-2004, 05:01 AM
Soon it will be time and Mardy should just give it his best whether it is a win or a loss. We want to see him fight to the end.
12-03-2004, 11:21 AM
oooh mardy :sobbing: 4-6 *1-5
12-03-2004, 01:47 PM
Well, I'm trying to be positive about Mardy's match. At least he got a break from Moya then Moya remembered how to play. I'm thinking Vinny will play on Sunday if they need a win.
12-03-2004, 05:17 PM
at least he played well at the start till moya warmed up....
12-03-2004, 05:27 PM
All right, I'm going to positive about this: it wasn't a total washout. At least Mardy wasn't bagelled by the claycourt experts! :banana:
Some cool pics of Mardy. I like the Beckham shirt :yeah:
:drool: was a good defeat but now he HAS to win!! :unsure:
12-03-2004, 08:38 PM
12-03-2004, 10:22 PM
well it's clay and yea.. clay's a big ermm no no for Americans :p
but great pics :drool:
12-03-2004, 11:21 PM
great pics!! thanks for sharing!!
12-04-2004, 02:33 AM
. I'm thinking Vinny will play on Sunday if they need a win.
He can't. It's Mardy or one of the Bryans. and it's not gonna be one of the Bryans. So if it's a 5th rubber it's Mardy.. but uh... that ain't gonna happen. so mardy is safe for now.
And that pic of Mardy changing his shirt... um... gross. Mardy. Get to a gym and get in shape. NOW.
He says he tried and gave it everything he had. That's all you can ask. I hope he takes the experience and learns from it and gets all the positives out of it and uses it to motivate him to get better, fitness-wise and game-wise and mental-wise and on clay.
12-04-2004, 02:48 AM
Mardy does need to get into shape. My abs look better than his and I'm a golfer :devil: Seriously Mardy, lift some weights!!!!
12-04-2004, 04:19 AM
If you look at Andy's stomach his kinda looks the same his abs are not obvious at all.
12-04-2004, 04:21 AM
I think that he did okay but like he said he hopes to take this experience and learn from it. I am not sure if Mcenroe will put him in to play on Sunday if perhaps Roddick does win against Moya and the Byran Brothers win tomorrow. It would be interesting to see who will perhaps play on Sunday, either Mardy or Vince, but would think that Mardy may perhaps be put in the spotlight.
12-04-2004, 04:47 AM
2004 DAVIS CUP FINALS
USA vs. SPAIN
December 3, 2004
C. MOYA/M. Fish
6-4, 6-2, 6-3
RANDY WALKER: Questions for Mardy, please.
Q. Can you explain, you seemed to take control early and then it kind of fell apart.
MARDY FISH: I mean, yeah. I started great. I would have liked to have kept up, you know, that kind of play the entire match. You know, I mean, he started playing better and better as the match progressed. I mean, three out of five sets is tough in a way and good in a way. I mean, it gives you time to try to think about some things that you can try to do differently, you know, to be successful. And I tried. I mean, I tried everything. I tried serving and volleying. You know, I tried coming in on a lot of balls. I tried to stay back a lot. You know, he had answers. I had some chances. And he served a few of those chances away. You know, you just kind of have to tip your hat to him. He played well.
Q. What was the experience like? I don't think any American team has been in a situation like this, with so many people and so loud.
MARDY FISH: Yeah, it was awesome. Everybody, before we went out there, and just now with Andy, too, just said, "Have fun." And I tried as well as I could to have fun, and I did. I would have liked to have had a lot more fun, obviously. You know, the experience was invaluable. I mean, hopefully we'll be in this situation again. You know, this tie is definitely not over by any means, but hopefully in years to come, we'll be in this situation many more times and we'll know how to deal with it.
Q. Crowd wasn't bothersome?
MARDY FISH: No, they were fine. I mean, you know, European fans, especially Spanish fans in general, are very knowledgeable, tennis knowledgeable. I mean, they're tough. They're tough. But that's to be expected.
Q. Is that correct, you only played one single match on clay all year, in Houston?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, that is correct. I would have liked to have played more, but I was hurt. I hurt my hip.
Q. When he plays that well on clay, did you feel like you had enough game to hurt him or did you feel like he's at a level right now that you can't touch?
MARDY FISH: I mean, that's a good question. I don't know. I mean, I played great tennis, you know, the first couple games of the match, and he didn't have an answer, but that was only the first three games (smiling). I mean, as the match went on, like I said, he played well, he played great. Every chance that I had, he took it away from me rather quickly. I mean, I didn't really get into any points when I had break points other than the, you know, first time he served. So to answer your question, I don't know. I mean, I don't know, maybe not on this surface. But, I mean, you know, if it was a little quicker, perhaps. But I definitely would have liked to have played, you know, better as the match progressed.
Q. Did you feel the weight of playing for your country out there today? Will you prepare any differently for Sunday's match than you prepared for today?
MARDY FISH: To answer your question first, I mean, the first question, I've been in that type of situation before a couple times. I mean, not the finals like that, but playing for my country in the Olympics, and played well there, and have played well in Davis Cups in the past. So not really. I mean, you feel it, but we're kind of used to it now. You know, we're used to these type of matches being obviously very important for our teammates and for everybody who came all the way over to watch us here in Spain, and for our country. And then the second one, you know, I prepared. I came out playing great, you know, so hopefully I can do that again on Sunday.
Q. Is it more difficult to serve a second serve after everybody's clapping when you hit the first serve in the net?
MARDY FISH: Well, more difficult than if nobody was in the crowd? I mean, if nobody was clapping, then that would obviously be a little bit easier than if everyone cheers when you miss a first serve. I mean, it didn't really affect me. I knew that that's going to happen in Davis Cup. It didn't really affect me.
Q. Could you actually take us through the first 15 minutes or so of the match in terms of before the first ball toss. In those first 10 points, what is going through your head?
MARDY FISH: I mean, the whole experience, the whole thing of walking out, everybody obviously cheering for them and knowing, reaffirming that we are the underdog, for sure, and just -- I don't know. I mean, it's -- sometimes when you go out in matches, matches like that, big pressure situations, you're kind of oblivious in the first couple games or couple points and you don't really remember. I mean, I remember a time I actually asked Andy when he was most nervous - and this was in the Olympics, when he was most nervous - and he said in the finals of the US Open -- actually, he said the semis of Wimbledon, he was nervous serving that match out to make the final. I said, "What about the finals of the US Open?" He was like, "Honestly, I don't even remember that whole day. It was just a blur. Everything's a blur." I kind of had the same thing in the semis of the Olympics, to serve out my game. I don't even remember what happened. It was just a blur. You know, it kind of feels like that. Went out there today. Who knows, maybe it would be nice if the whole thing was a blur because sometimes when it's a blur, you play a lot better (smiling).
Q. Did you feel any extra pressure or responsibility knowing you don't have the greatest clay court record, Patrick had to make a tough call to pick you over Vince?
MARDY FISH: I mean, I felt like -- I felt like if I could steal - and still do - if I could steal one point, one of my matches, that we'd be in good shape. And, obviously, it's a pretty tough task, playing Moya in Spain on clay. You know, I mean, I feel like coming in the past couple months, coming off of the Olympics and stuff, and Davis Cup in Charleston, you know, that I've shown Patrick that I can play in those big matches. And I felt like he, you know, even though maybe Vince was ranked a little bit higher than me right now, that my experience in those type of situations would weigh a little bit more than if, you know, someone hadn't been in that situation. So, I mean, not really, to answer your question. Not more pressure. I mean, I would have liked to have got us off to a good start. I wanted to go first. I wanted to play first. I thought, you know, if I could get us off to a 1-0 lead... I think Andy, regardless, he's going to play the same. I feel like if it's 0-1 or 1-0. I wanted to try to get us off to a good start hopefully.
Q. You talked about the match being a blur, but you also said earlier that it was fun. Could you go into that? What were the fun aspects?
MARDY FISH: Well, I kind of -- sometimes I play at home, when I'm really, really bored, I play video games, I play like college football video games. Actually not -- I'll watch college football games on TV and stuff. When they kickoff, they do all those weird sounds, whatever they do. I didn't go to college, I didn't really get that. But, you know, the whole crowd makes the "whoo" noise or whatever. I felt like I was in a college football game. You know, I've gone to college football games before, but I've never played in a college-football-type atmosphere. And this was definitely, definitely the closest thing to it that we have in tennis, I'm sure of that.
Q. But definitely a road game?
MARDY FISH: A road game, in Southern Miss or something like that, Ole Miss.
Q. What can you do between now and the time you play on Sunday other than sleep, eat and practice in order to help your team? What will you try to bring to the effort between now and Sunday?
MARDY FISH: If somebody has a question about, you know, the court or the fans or how is it out there. I can yell and scream as loud as I can (smiling). Apart from practicing and trying to get ready for the match, preparing the best way I can, yeah, those things come to mind, I guess.
End of FastScripts….
12-04-2004, 05:14 AM
:sad: He lost... :sad:
12-04-2004, 05:20 AM
OK for the last time... Vince CANNOT play. He was not on the 4-man squad named at the draw. Therefore he cannot play. Mardy will play on Sunday if it goes to a 5th rubber (which it won't anyway). Bob or Mike Bryan could play. but not Vinny. That's just the DC Rules. Only one of the originally named four-man team can play. For Spain, Ferrero could play because he is technically on the team even though he wasn't named to play singles. But Feli Lopez, even though he was there as the 5th person, could not.
and no, Andy's stomach is not in wonderful condition either. But, #1 it's been improving lately, #2 he doesn't have fat rolling off it anymore and #3 he is moving better than he ever has. But Mardy is out of shape. He admitted himself when he said he could move better, he looks like he has lead feet all the time. He gets tired much more quickly than a top tennis player should. I think lately he's taken steps in the right direction but he still has a loooooooooong way to go. Hopefully the new coaching team will help him take that next step - Todd was always in great shape physically.
12-04-2004, 03:52 PM
Andy is in better shape than Mardy and you can definately tell by the way they move. Maybe Mardy will train hard during the off season to get ready for the Aussie Open.
12-04-2004, 04:55 PM
Yeah and Andy's never knowingly left his fitness facility because he didn't feel like training. That's what Mardy did last year - he just left Saddlebrook. now, Saddlebrook has produced some of THE fittest players on tour - incl. JHH's incredible transformation. Mardy just simply hasn't yet shown the dedication. I hope he does it soon.
12-04-2004, 06:38 PM
OK, I love Mardy and all but please....no more shirtless pics until he finally decides to whip his ass in better shape. ;)
12-04-2004, 06:55 PM
Mardy..chest hair..stomach..ew...pukes.. :scared:
12-04-2004, 07:16 PM
:lol: we knew you were gonna love the chest hair!
12-05-2004, 03:06 PM
Mardy defeated Robredo 7-6 6-2 :yeah:
12-05-2004, 03:28 PM
Congratulations Mardy!!!!! :)
12-06-2004, 02:16 AM
Mardy played quite a good match.. well done! :)
12-06-2004, 03:17 AM
At least he can say he won a match on clay this year now.
12-06-2004, 04:01 AM
But isn't it odd? Whether he defeats Robredo or not, Spain still won the Davis Cup. Maybe Robredo's kind of saying "it's okay if I lost this match. We won anyway..."
Anyways, Congrats Mardy!!!
12-06-2004, 03:52 PM
well, yes, akazukin, maybe so. But it's important for Mardy's psyche, to know that he can play well on clay. To make it through a 10-8 tiebreaker on clay even if it didn't really "matter" - he's in a big transitionary phase and whatnot and he needs to be able to take any positive from any experience that he possibly can :)
12-06-2004, 10:03 PM
Mardy beating Tommy in the dead rubber is still significant. For one thing, the final score reads as 3-2 Spain and not 4-1, which is an excellent showing for the US on their worst surface. :bigclap: And two, it gives Mardy some confidence to know that he can play and win on clay. :banana:
I'm so glad Todd Martin will be coaching Mardy. A huge improvement over Kelly, imo. I can't wait to see how Mardy's results will be in 2005 as a result. :yeah:
Here are some more pics of Mardy. The first one is from his dead rubber match with Tommy. :)