New Haven Register Blogs: Pilots' Blog: Quick with the quips

Pilots' Blog

Our bloggers check in with the latest news and views from the 2008 Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Quick with the quips

Mardy Fish is doing more than putting on a show on the court, he has been delivering the one-liners during the press conferences.

On the subject of the hurricane expected to wreak havoc in the area near Fish's Tampa, Florida home he had this little nugget:

"It rained quite a bit but that is about it. I had to get my pool pumped. I didn't know about it, I haven't been there for a few weeks but my mom told me there was a hurricane coming there but it was a tropical storm. I have been in Florida my whole life so we don't get scared unless there is a (category) 3."

A few hours before Fish came in for his post-match press conference after beating Jesse Levine, some Evian bottles were left on the table, a reminder of the James Blake press conference set up by Evian and the ATP tour. Fish, who lives on the same street as Blake in Tampa, was asked if he ever considered designing a facial spray like Blake did for Evian.

"I actually heard about that for the first time this week. I don't have any, I don't see any in Tampa but if he has some there, I know where the spare key is to his house."

Speaking of Evian, expect there to be more events with Blake at future Pilot Pen Tennis tournaments. Evian has been sponsoring the former Fairfield resident for three years. Whether it will be a meet and greet session like on Thursday where people were able to get their pictures taken with Blake and were given the framed photos, that will be decided at a later day.

On a more somber note, Fernando Verdasco - the top seed in the men's draw - dedicated his quarterfinal win to the victims of the plane crash in his hometown of Madrid. More than 150 are feared dead.

Verdasco requested to make a statement before taking questions from the media.

"First of all, I want to dedicate my victory today to all the victims and all the families of the victims in the flight in Madrid and send them all my support. I am so sorry about that. Is my hometown. I really felt so bad yesterday and today. It's really hard. But I only want to send them all my support and everything for them."

Play kicks off at noon on Friday with the women's semifinal between 18 year olds Caroline Wozniacki and Alize Cornet on Stadium Court while the men's doubles semi between the team of Lucas Arnold Ker/Bruno Soares and Marcelo Melo/Andre Sa on Grandstand Court. The rest of the Stadium Court day session schedule will be Verdasco vs. Fish in the men's semifinals followed by the women's doubles match between Anastasia Rodionova/Galina Voskoboeva and Kveta Pescke/Lisa Raymond. The men's doubles match between the teams of Simon Bolelli/Andreas Seppi and Mahesh Bhupathi/Mark Knowles.

The night session, which begins at 7 p.m., begins with the women's singles semifinal between Anna Chakvetadze and Amelie Mauresmo followed by Luka Gregorc facing either Igor Andreev or Marin Cilic in the final men's semifinals.


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