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Archive for March, 2008

Safin bombs out in Miami first round

Thursday, March 27th, 2008
Former world No. 1 Russian Marat Safin came up a first-round loser at the hands of unheralded American Bobby Reynolds on Thursday at the $3.77 million Sony Ericsson Open — the second of nine ATP Masters Series events this year.

The qualifier Reynolds, ranked 104th in the world, snuck past the two-time Grand Slam event champion Safin 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 7-6 (7-5) at Crandon Park. Safin is now a dismal 1-5 so far this year, including setbacks in his last five outings. The Sports Network

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Hawkeye challenge system to be overhauled

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
ALL tennis tournaments using an electronic replay system will offer players the same amount of challenges each match.

In a move to remove confusion over the allowable number of Hawk-Eye challenges, tennis officials have decided the Australian Open and Wimbledon quota of three unsuccessful challenges a set will be the limit.

Players would have a maximum of three unsuccessful challenges a set, plus one wrong challenge in a tiebreak, the International Tennis Federation said.

Players can make an unlimited number of correct challenges.

Previously, the men’s and women’s pro tours offered two unsuccessful challenges a set, plus one in the tiebreak.

The ITF’s team competitions, including the Davis Cup and the Fed Cup, had unlimited challenges. Herald Sun

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Players requests: behind the scenes at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
World No. 1 Justine Henin isn’t crazy about the humidity, wind and traffic in South Florida. But she apparently does like rice milk. The Sony Ericsson Open, which starts today, is paying people to make sure it shows up in her hotel refrigerator.

Men’s No. 1 Roger Federer wants golf reservations for his parents. Done.

Defending champion Serena Williams needs a room with a kitchen. Check.

Andy Roddick likes NBA tickets but sometimes switches hotel reservations two or three times before the tournament starts. Covered.

Henin, a finalist last year in Key Biscayne for the first time, did not mention rice milk when asked what she liked and didn’t like about this competition. She did say she is finding Key Biscayne a little more to her taste over time. Three times since 2001 she has lost her first or second match.

“I like Miami, but I am not a big fan of the tournament - although I like it better since last year,” Henin said. “It is a big tournament, and they do a lot to make it a big event and it is like the fifth grand slam.”

The tournament spends an estimated $500,000 to $800,000 annually on what might be called player amenities, little touches to nudge player opinion upward. This year, for example, it will buy about 150 Miami Heat tickets and provide them free to players. In some cases, it works out deals with sponsors. All players get a free rental car for the duration, and the top 10 tool around in a Mercedes.

Evidently, it pays off. The 12-day event has been voted the tournament of the year five straight times by the men’s tour. The women’s tour named it the top event in 2004. Palm Beach Post

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Serena and Common make news again

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
People magazine tried to get to the bottom of a new paparazzi shots showing rapper Common and tennis star Serena Williams hitting a West Hollywood nightclub together over the Easter weekend.

One witness told the magazine that they were “affectionate,” holding hands and kissing” during their night on the town. Reps for both Common and Williams declined to comment on their clients’ personal life.

Meanwhile, Serena, who appears in Common’s video for “I Want You,” recently played the first ever tennis match on water as part of an event hosted by Sony Ericsson to launch the Sony Ericsson Open.

Williams took on men’s tennis star Rafael Nadal in what was billed as “The World’s First Tennis Match on Liquid Terrain.” The event took place Monday, March 24, 2008, atop Miami’s new Gansevoort South Hotel overlooking South Beach. Eurweb

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No more Seles on “Dancing”

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
Magician Penn Jillette and tennis champ Monica Seles were booted off “Dancing With the Stars” on Tuesday night’s double elimination episode.

And in a new twist, their dancing shoes were ceremonially burned in a flaming trash can during their guest appearance later that evening on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

Jillette, touted as the biggest (in terms of height and weight) star ever to compete on “Dancing,” got kudos from the judges for being entertaining, but was criticized for his clumsy footwork.

Seles, a newcomer to dancing, never seemed comfortable on the ballroom floor. Still, she said she enjoyed the experience because she never got to go to prom and this made up for it.

With Jillette and Seles gone, that means radio host/comedian Adam Carolla, another low-scoring celebrity, is safe for another week. Detroit Free Press

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Jankovic will fix Jamie Murray’s hair

Monday, March 24th, 2008
JAMIE MURRAY says he will do anything to persuade Jelena Jankovic to partner him again at Wimbledon.

The Scot has said he will even cut his flowing locks if it ensures the Serb helps defend their mixed doubles title.

Murray said: “I think I could manage to get my hair cut for her, yeah. It’s just been growing and growing I think. Everyone can see that.

“I quite like it the way it is now but when it dries out and stuff it’s a bit wild and not very good.

“You can’t always get a comb through it and there’s probably acouple of them stuck in there somewhere.”

He may have to visit the styling salon inMiami, where Jamie and his brother Andy are preparing for the start of the Sony Ericsson Open, to make sure that a hairdresser can get to his mop of hair before Jankovic does.

She said: “I think he should get it cut. Every time I see him it’s longer and longer. I think if he straightens it, it would be longer than mine.

“I will do it with a straightening iron and fix it in time for Wimbledon. I’ll pull it back in a ponytail and see how he looks.”

Murray has yet to ask Jankovic officially if she will partner him again but the Serb will probably take little persuading. She enjoys the idea of being an honorary Brit when she plays alongside the elder Murray brother and she clearly loved every minute of her time on court with him.

She said: “It was an amazing experience and I really had so much fun playing with Jamie.

He’s really one of nicest guys on the tour and I really enjoyed the whole time on court.

“I see him around all the time in the players’ lounge. We always talk and we make fun of each other.

“It’s good. I would love to play again but singles is my priority. Depending on how I feel and injury-wise if I’m healthy I would like to defend the title. Daily Record

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Jankovic builds house in San Diego

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Amid economic gloom and doom in the United States, Serb Jelena Jankovic has tipped property as the best investment for these troubled times. And the world number four is putting her own advice to good use by purchasing her second in the US located north of San Diego.

With around four million dollars in career prize money, the 23-year-old had a large wad to toy with. And with the weak state of the dollar, buying becomes even more of an incentive for a European.

“I have a house in Miami and I also bought a lot in San Diego,” Jankovic said. “It’s on a hill and just amazing. But it will take maybe a year and a half or two years to build a whole house.”

With two parents trained as economists, little is being left to chance in the project. Some of the amenities Jankovic is planning for her palace in a gated community: huge swimming pool, tennis court, sauna, cinema.

As of yet, the busy player has not seen the property. But the architect did visit the family at Indian Wells to go over the plans.

“It’s like a fairytale to me to listen to it,” said the excited Jankovic. “When I have time I will go and check it out.”

As for furnishing the mansion, that won’t be a problem for Jelena, who hates to shop for household items.

“I don’t have to deal with that. My mom, she loves going to those shops, and she drives me nuts,” Jankovic said. “She goes there like she’s in a museum and she just keeps looking at all those things.”

“She has really good time because she was a designer before when she was younger, so she has good taste for that,” Jankovic added. “So she’s really the expert and she’ll do all the job.” Earth Times

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Serena and Venus on the cover of ESPN the Magazine

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Here’s a video relating to the making of ESPN the Magazine with Serena and Venus Williams as the cover girls.

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PacLife Interview: Ana Ivanovic, upon winning the title

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Originally uploaded by -robynw-

Q. Congratulations.
ANA IVANOVIC: Thank you.

Q. Very confident victory, and in the final match, as well. You probably can tell us how many winners you hit down the line, but as well what does this win and the championship mean to you and for the future of your game and this season?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it’s great victory for me. We always have tough matches. You know, usually our previous matches we both started nervous and it was always either side the first set.
But today I think we both played good tennis from first point on, so that was — I was really happy with that. We both kept level. When I managed to break her on 4-All it gave me confidence, and, yeah, went strong from that point on.
Because that game I stepped up a little bit more, and I realized that’s what I got to do. I’m happy I managed to do that later.

Q. This is the first time you’ve come into a big tournament, Tier 1 as the top seed with pressure, and you came through. Can you talk about that process and how it feels?
ANA IVANOVIC: Obviously I was a little bit nervous coming into this tournament because it hasn’t happened that many times. It’s such a strong field and still I’m No. 1 seeded. Obviously more pressure comes into the play.
The first few matches I was more nervous, but then I just started to focus on each match and not even think about who I play against, just to do what I have been doing in practice. I’ve been practicing really well and working hard on my fitness. That’s something I tried to focus on when I was on the court.
So thinking technically what I got to do and as the tournament was going on and on, I played better. So I was really happy about that.

Q. What parts of your game were you most happy with today? Could you describe them?
ANA IVANOVIC: I was most happy about my aggressiveness, so I was staying low and following the shots and taking my opportunities, knowing when she would hit the short ball, I would try to attack and take away time from her.
I was serving really well. I had quite a few aces, and that was important.

Q. You always mention how Monica Seles was your idol and you watched her as a young kid. It seems that the biggest similarity between you and her is that mental toughness that you have. Like in the eighth game of the first set you had those unforced errors and you then you came back roaring with like three points. Do you think about that at all, or that toughness comes naturally to you.
ANA IVANOVIC: I’m a big fighter and I hate to lose. I think that also comes into play. I felt I was doing much better as I progressed here was that I kept my composure so I didn’t get upset about some mistakes that I would usually get upset about.
So just try to do it next time better. In that game on 4-All, the first return I had chance, and I really made a big error. But then the very next point I went for it again, and it was a good shot.
Because I practiced that well. And I felt comfortable about it. I just had to take a risk and I had to be aggressive and it paid off today.

Q. Svetlana talked about at some point in the match she felt like the pressure was starting to build and maybe she lost a little bit of her confidence. From the other side of the net, can you tell when an opponent is starting to lose it a little bit or maybe there is a slippage of confidence that you can jump on?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. You can tell, but you have to be also, you know, sharp and know when to look and where to look. It’s obvious you can tell by their body language, shoulders get down, they’re not so comfortable, they’re not confident, so you have to try to use that opportunity. Go for your shots, but still not overpower.
So in that game on 3-All, I noticed she was — in second set I noticed she was little bit struggling with her forehands. I tried to keep my composure and to technically play as I should. Yeah, I managed to win that game. I think that was really, really important moment.

Q. With Milorad Cavic, what happened with him with the suspension, is there pressure on prominent Serbian athletes to kind of make their voices heard in the situation going on with Kosovo?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, it’s hard to say, because we are athletes and we’re trying to do the best we can on the court and promote our country in the best possible way. I’m really sad to hear about this.
But then at the other hand, I’m really not — I don’t know much about politics and I don’t get involved in that area. You know, I just — when I’m out here playing I just want to represent my country in the best possible way. Whatever’s happening, you know, it’s tough, but still, it’s very hard for me to say anything about it.

Q. What would be more important for you to win this year, the Wimbledon or the Olympics?
ANA IVANOVIC: Oh, it’s hard question. Can I have both? (laughter.)
Yeah, I mean, they’re both very special. Obviously Wimbledon, it’s very traditional and I feel my game can fit very well grass if I keep working on my volleys like I’ve been doing. But on the other hand, the Olympics are very special, and you have opportunity to play them once in four years.
So it would be really special to win a medal.

Q. Novak is very careful to talk about the future. I’ll go back to my original question. How high you’re setting the goals for your season at this point.
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, obviously I have big goal, you know, to make it one more step in the rankings and to become No. 1. It’s very tough competition, and I think there are many, many players that are really close in achieving that.
So that’s my goal definitely. But as I said, I don’t want to get, you know, overexcited about it. But I’m really enjoying my time and I’m playing some good tennis and I worked hard for it.
The hard work is paying off, so I’m just happy to see that.

Q. It was very sporting of you to apologize for the fans who cried out in the middle of points. But how does it affect you on the court when something like that happens?
ANA IVANOVIC: It does. People don’t understand, but it affects both players, I think. You know, I really — I really wanted to apologize, because it’s not my fault. But then at the other hand, they’re just very excited. They had basketball that was really popular and football and they are allowed to scream during the game, so, you know, they just need some more time to get used to in tennis you have to be quiet in between serves.
But, you know, they are just — they’re also learning, and I think they’re doing a good job.

Q. Some players, like Sharapova or Hingis or Seles or Graf came to No. 1 as teenagers, 17, 18, win Grand Slam titles. You’re 20 now and you keep rising. Do you feel like you needed more time to get yourself personally, mentally, technically together?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah. I just had feeling I had — I needed more time to get mature and to realize that potential I have. You know, because my coaches obviously always believed in me by working with me, and they always said I had potential to win Grand Slams.
You know, as long as I didn’t believe it inside it was impossible for me to do it. But now slowly I believe that I can do it, and also competing against top players and beating them regularly. And, you know, trying to win a big tournaments, that’s also something that gives you confidence and it’s necessary in order to win a Grand Slam. I think I’m in a good way.

Q. When did that belief begin to take off? When did you really feel that, Hey, I’ve got it going?
ANA IVANOVIC: Obviously last year in the summer I had a great tournaments winning Berlin final, French Open semifinal, Wimbledon. But it kind of all happened quite fast. It was hard for me to absorb it all at the same time.
And then in off season I had time to think about the previous season and to figure out where, in areas I have to work to improve. And that was the time when I realize, you know, I’m actually the top player, and I can achieve even more.
So coming into this season, I felt more confident and also more determined to do it.

Q. Have you and Novak ever had the same coach? I ask because there seems to be some similarities in the way you play, you know, the hard forehand?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, we never, no, the same coach.

Q. Are there any areas of your game that you want to improve, that you think need improvement right now?
ANA IVANOVIC: Right now, I wish I could be little bit more coming to the net more often, because many times I hit a good shot. Even today she was defending really well, but I thought there were some points where I could finish at the net and come in with a spin volley or volley, and that’s something I’m working on.
I have to do it in the matches, and in the practice I do it often. But when I play matches I still have to be able to do it. But, you know, it’s just progress, and also I’m still working on my serve. So, no, it’s good to know that you still have place and possibility to improve.

Q. You said you don’t know too much about the politics, but you know history, and the history between Russia and Serbia was always good. Maybe great. Isn’t it difficult for you to beat your close friend Svetlana from Russia, who was always friendly to Serbia?
ANA IVANOVIC: When we are on the court we are all enemies and opponents. Obviously, no, it’s hard to play against people you know well and friends. But then on the other hand, the best thing you can do is not focus on that and play like you have to play against anyone. I’m sure she also wanted to beat me today, so it’s both sides.

Q. You talk a lot about keeping your emotions in control on court, and even though you have a good disposition, looks likes sometimes you’re fighting with yourself to keep emotions in check. When you win the tournament you let out this squeal, this squeak that pierces everyone’s eardrums. Can you just talk about the moment of winning, what it feels like and everything coming out then?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah. I try during — obviously during the match to keep it inside and to control it, you know. Even if I’m angry or when I’m positive sometimes I do little squeak, squeaky, but it just happens.
You know, I don’t try to do it or I don’t try to control it. Obviously I’m just very happy, especially when it’s — when I play a good point like I did against Jankovic, the match point, and today with both winners.
It was a lot of emotion and tension built up inside, so it was just sort of moment of happiness and, yeah, just happiness.

Q. How are you going to celebrate this great win? Now your mother is here. Are you going to be with your team or here or somewhere else?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes. We’re going to have lunch later or dinner, whatever it happens. But with the team, definitely, and then obviously my father and brother, they’re going to come to Miami, so I’m looking forward to see them.

Q. One of the things you see the No. 1s and the champions do is win a big tournament and then follow it up, not going second round, third round out. But mentally and physically you’re being able to keep it together. Is that part of the process going forward for you?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. That’s something I’m now trying to work on. Obviously I want to enjoy this victory and have couple of days relaxing and maybe just light practice. The good thing is I have almost a week to recover for the next tournament.
But that’s definitely my goal, you know, to continue strong next week. There are tough opponents even in the first few rounds. Like I said, the nerves are a little bit more involved in the first few rounds.
But coming from this tournament I have confidence and, yeah, I just want to still enjoy it on the court and not put too much pressure on myself.

Q. I remember last year when you won LA Novak won Canada, but I don’t think on the pro tour you’ve won in the same place. Did you ever win a junior tournament on the same day or same place together?
ANA IVANOVIC: Not that I can remember, no. No, I don’t, sorry.

Q. A lot of the fans that were up in the upper deck, they come from Texas and San Francisco and Phoenix, far away, to kind of watch you and Nole play. Can you describe how maybe your success as individuals or in a group are important to people in Serbia?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think it’s very important, you know. They really love tennis now, and they love to wake up in the middle of the night. It’s a cool thing to do to wake up and watch us play. I really appreciate their efforts, because everywhere we go, you know, people — maybe they don’t live in that particular place, but they come from all over the country just to watch us play.
You know, you don’t realize that they’re like, Please, can I have your signature? Actually it means a lot to them because they made an effort to travel there to come and support us.
So I really appreciate all their efforts and it’s amazing, you know, how much support we get.

Q. Does that sort of speak to the pride and Serbian culture that people have amongst each other?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it is. And also, we are very — I think people in Serbia are very emotional and, you know, you can even see a man when they greet each other they hug each other, you know. It’s not common in many other cultures.
So that shows their emotion, and that’s why they are maybe so much more talkative even during the points. But, yeah, they just — they’re just proud to be Serbians, like I think everyone is in their own country, so, yeah, they’re really patriotic.

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PacLife Interview: Mardy Fish, after final loss to Djokovic

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Q. Congratulations, Mardy.
MARDY FISH: Thank you, Bud.

Q. You have restored yourself. Have you been planning or thinking about this and wondering what has happened to your game and how you could restore yourself?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, sure. Obviously, you know, with some results that came early in my career and wanting to, you know, stick with those and improve on those, you know, with the injuries and, you know, just bad game plans or not sticking with the game plan I need to stick with, it was definitely gratifying to know that — I had some, you know, some tough times at the end of last year, in the summer of last year, and, you know, during grass court season, stuff like that, and I just — I was, you know, playing injured and trying to get through it, and wondering when I was going to get healthy again, feel better again, and, you know, that’s come this entire year, and, you know, hopefully it will continue.

Q. How much of what you accomplished here do you put into the technical and strategic excellence of the game this week and how much do you put in the emotional bin?
MARDY FISH: I think everything has to go together. I think one thing has to be stated that I did play about as well as I can, you know, and that yesterday, thinking about it more and more, I know I came in here and I was slightly subdued, you know, probably because I just didn’t really realize what, you know, what had happened, you know, to get a few wins against, you know, players like that, and to play a match like today, you know, and be in there.
You know, it was Love-40 in that first game. Three aces in a row is tough. That’s why he’s one of the best in the world, and, you know, and to hang in there today and to have all these matches and — you know, you can’t forget Hewitt because he — I put him up there with just about anybody if he’s playing well.
You know, you can’t, just can’t — you can’t count out, you know, how well I did play, but the tactical side — it was — I think that was a huge — obviously a huge part of it. If I don’t play the way I need to play, I’m not going to beat those games, that pace, if I don’t put the pace on.

Q. Does Djokovic have the tools to be No. 1 at some place soon?
MARDY FISH: Absolutely. I think the results speak for itself. He’s got all the weapons. He doesn’t have any weaknesses. He’s extremely competitive, which is obviously a loose term, loosely thrown-out term in sports.
He’s very competitive. I mean, there are different levels, and he’s on the top levels of those. He wants to win badly, and he’s got game, for sure.

Q. Who do you think the best tennis player in the world is now?
MARDY FISH: I think it’s Roger Federer, hands down. He’s — he’s, you know, he hasn’t shown anything, you know, to say otherwise. He’s got, you know, few results these past these few weeks that, you know, are uncharacteristic for him last year to build on, and, you know, I think he’s going to continue to be No. 1 for a long time.

Q. When you came in here yesterday, you said you hadn’t realized what had happened yet. When did you, and what was that like?
MARDY FISH: More like this morning at about 4:00 a.m. when I couldn’t go back to sleep, you know, kind of realizing, you know, what I was about to embark on and what I was about to, you know, try to do and try to, you know, try to win this tournament.
I think I came in here a few rounds ago and someone said, Are you ready to fathom the fact that you could win this tournament? It just seems so long ago. It was like — I think it was maybe my quarterfinal match or even before, right after — I was going into the quarterfinals, maybe. And it was like, Jeez, I can’t even fathom that. I’ve got a lot of guys to go through and a lot of great players to go through and I was one set away. It is what it is.

Q. What were your thoughts when you were trailing 2-4 in the second set, and what do you think is the key to you turning it around?
MARDY FISH: He was the aggressor, for sure. I felt like, you know, obviously would have loved to have served better today. And, you know, he’s a guy who you need — you have to get free points against. He’s going to kill you if you’re just hitting second serves all the time.
He’s eventually going to just wear you down and break you down. That was the case, and you know, he played a loose game. Obviously, you know, obviously was nervous with a couple of games away, and pretty much rolling, you know, my opinion, to the title.
I remember he missed a couple backhands in that game and he might have double-faulted, missed another backhand and made the last point.
You know, I just tried to take over as the aggressor, tried to get back to my, you know, style that got me where I was. You know, I had a 30-All, I remember, at 4-2 down in the third and he hit a serve out wide, and I kind of know that guys are going to go to my forehand in that spot.
I would love them to go to my backhand, but I just assume they’re going to go to my forehand since it’s my weaker side. I said to myself, Look, you got here going after this shot, and I’m not going to go home tonight go to bed tonight thinking I didn’t take my chances in the final when I got all the way there.
So, you know, I put a good crack on it. Obviously I would like to — I would have liked to have made it, but it’s one of those ones where you can — you can question all you want as far as, you know, should I have gone for something like that, you know, tried to get into a point, tried to get a break point.

Q. Have you ever felt crowd support quite like you did today?
MARDY FISH: Outside of Davis Cup, no, not even close. It was it was fun, for sure. It almost felt like a basketball game, you know. It was amazing an atmosphere, amazing feeling, something I’ll never forget.

Q. Did it affect the way you played at all?
MARDY FISH: Absolutely. They definitely pulled me through. You know, I don’t win the Nalbandian match if it’s in Argentina, that’s for sure. That same court, same surface, same stadium, different fans, I don’t win that match.
They pulled me through that one, and, you know, they were on my side when I played Roger. Definitely today felt great.

Q. A lot of guys have good games for the surface, given the way people are playing today and stuff, but are there special things about his game that stand out and strike you as being particularly difficult to play?
MARDY FISH: Well, he’s a big guy and he serves well and he just moves so well. You know, he defends — he can defend with the best of them, and he slides like a clay courter out there on a clay court, and, you know, in the forehand and on the backhand and he can change direction on any ball.
He’s got great hands from the baseline. He can unload on the forehand whenever he wants, and then he can just tighten the screws up on you and not miss at all. He can play all different styles of play, can play on grass. He can play on clay. He can play on slow and fast hardcourts, and he’s going to be here for a while.

Q. So many people feel technology is flawless. My question is two parts: Do you think Hawk-Eye is accurate, and do you think it puts, the system puts too much pressure on the players to make instant calls on?
MARDY FISH: I do think it’s accurate. I think that’s — I think that’s a pretty good thing to think, if you’re out there, you’ve got to believe that it’s right.
I know I had one out there today that I must have missed the mark, because it was — there was a mark that was long, and it showed it in. I definitely missed the mark, because the mark I thought definitely didn’t show on the board. I do think it’s 100 percent accurate.
I don’t think that we think about it too much. I think if anything, it gives us peace of mind to know we’re not going to lose on something. We don’t have to worry about, you know, the human error aspect of it.
But the umpires are — you know, you can tell. We put a lot of points out there and it rarely happens. We hit a lot of balls close to the line. It doesn’t happen too often.

Q. Third set, at what point did you feel like the momentum started switching? At what point did it feel like he regained the momentum?
MARDY FISH: I think it was that first game was huge for him to get back and win that game. Obviously I’m still, you know, still 0-1 and I’m serving.
But if I could have gotten that game, he came out a little lax in the first game, missed a couple easy shots he doesn’t usually miss.
I felt like the momentum was on my side, crowd was getting into it big time. You could kind of sense there was a little spot there I could take control of the match. And even though I didn’t really feel like I had control the entire time, even though I did win that second set, you know, I was serving sporadically and serving over the baseline sometimes, and just didn’t really know what I was doing on the serve and trying — I was just thinking about trying to get that back, getting my rhythm back on that.
It obviously would have been awesome to get that first game and go out there with a lot of confidence and definitely a lot of momentum.

Q. What was the struggle with the serve today? Anything you can pinpoint to?
MARDY FISH: No. You know — I mean, obviously he puts a lot of pressure on you because he returns so well. You know, he’s definitely a guy that you need to have free points against, for sure.

Q. What did you do at 4:00 in the morning? You couldn’t fall back asleep. Did you start replaying yesterday’s match? Answer e-mail?
MARDY FISH: I turned the TV on first and checked some basketball scores and stuff that I had missed some highlights. My bracket is just out of control, bad, so… (laughter.)

Q. Join the club.
MARDY FISH: Yeah. So, you know, eventually I went back to sleep, but it’s — that was definitely a special day yesterday to — one to remember.

Q. There were some sporadic calls from the crowd all the way through between the first and second serves. Did that bother you at all?
MARDY FISH: No, no. And Novak was nice enough on that one to give me a, to give me a first serve, which I made and then he ripped back at my feet, so I was actually — probably would have been better with a second serve, but no, no, it wasn’t bad.

Q. Do you feel that you found yourself this week?
MARDY FISH: Yeah, yeah. That would be — I think that would be accurate. You know, it would be — it would be really nice to take this momentum and take this confidence into next week, because next week is just as big, just as big of a week for me. I didn’t play last year.
You know, I think I put myself in a nice position now around 40 in the world with not a match to defend until August 19th, which I checked.

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