Monday, March 11, 2013

Fish wins in singles comeback after health scare

Mardy Fish, left, chats with close friend and doubles partner
Andy Roddick at last year's BNP Paribas Open. Roddick retired
last September, and Fish came close to following him. They won
the 2009 doubles title at Indian Wells. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Mardy Fish was just happy to be on the court.
   Winning was a bonus.
   In his first official singles match in six months, the 32nd-seeded Fish edged qualifier Bobby Reynolds 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 Sunday in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
   Fish is scheduled to return for his second part-time season with the Sacramento Capitals in World TeamTennis in July. He trailed by a break in the last set against Reynolds in a matchup of 30-something Americans but won the final four games. Reynolds embraced Fish after the match.
   Fish, who drew a bye in the first round, has battled an irregular heartbeat since last spring. He had not played since defaulting against Roger Federer in the round of 16 at the U.S. Open last September because of his heart problem.
   "It's been a tough few months, for sure," a subdued Fish, 31, told Tennis Channel analyst Justin Gimelstob. "You sort of feel like it was a win just to go back out there.
   "I retired (from tennis) about 15 times in my mind. Only a few people know what we went through. I say 'we' because it's a team."
   Ranked as high as No. 7 in 2011, Fish has dropped to No. 32. He defeated Federer in the 2008 semifinals at Indian Wells before losing to Novak Djokovic.
   Fish will meet eighth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France on Tuesday in the third round. Tsonga beat wild card James Blake of the United States 7-6 (6), 6-4.
   The wild-card team of Blake and Fish will play Feliciano Lopez of Spain and Milos Raonic of Canada today in the second round.
   Sam Querrey, who also played part-time for the Capitals last season, dispatched 6-foot-10 (2.08-meter) qualifier Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 6-4 in the second round.
   Querrey, ranked 23rd, almost certainly will replace John Isner as the top American when the new rankings are released next Monday. The 15th-seeded Isner, who toppled Djokovic in last year's semifinals at Indian Wells before losing to Federer, fell in the second round to 32-year-old Lleyton Hewitt, who won the title in 2002 and 2003.
   On the women's side, 13th-seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia stopped qualifier Mallory Burdette of the United States 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in the third round.
   Burdette, who turned pro six months ago after her junior season at Stanford, will crack or approach the top 100 in the new rankings. She's currently No. 125.
   Kirilenko, a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon and Indian Wells last year, won the title at Pattaya City in Thailand last month. 
   No. 24 Cal def. No. 4 Duke 4-3 in Berkeley. No. 1 singles: No. 9 Henrique Cunha (D) def. No. 56 Ben McLachlan 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4. Records: Cal 7-5, Duke 12-3.
   No. 49 Stanford def. Boise State 4-3 at Stanford. No. 1 singles: No. 30 Andrew Bettles (BSU) def. No. 45 John Morrissey 6-4, 7-6 (2).
   Nevada def. Sacramento State 4-3 in Sacramento. No. 1 singles: Victor Ouvrard (N) def. Aliaksandr Malko (substituting for injured Marek Marksoo) 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4. Records: Nevada 8-4, Sac State 4-9.
   Santa Clara def. Northern Arizona 5-2 in Santa Clara. No. 1 singles: No. 66 John Lamble (SC) def. Shaun Waters 6-3, 6-4. Records: Santa Clara 11-5, Northern Arizona 2-12.
   Texas-Arlington def. UC Davis 5-2 in Davis. No. 1 singles: Yauheni Yakauleu (TA) def. Toki Sherbakov 6-4, 7-5. Records: Texas-Arlington 5-4, UC Davis 6-8.
   No. 20 Stanford def. No. 38 Texas 7-0 at Stanford. No. 1 singles: No. 87 Nicole Gibbs (S) def. No. 28 Aeriel Ellis 2-6, 6-4, 10-1 match tiebreaker. Records: Stanford 8-2, Texas 3-6.
   No. 49 Saint Mary's def. USF 6-1 in San Francisco. No. 1 singles: No. 18 Jenny Jullien (SM) def. Andrea Ka 6-2, 6-4. Records: Saint Mary's 7-6, USF 6-3.
   Sacramento State def. Northern Arizona 5-2 in Sacramento. No. 1 singles: Rebeca Delgado (SS) def. Ghizelene Doballah 6-1, 6-0. Records: Sac State 2-7, Northern Arizona 6-8.
   Cal State Northridge def. Pacific 4-3 in Northridge. No. 1 singles: Maria Pistalu (CSN) def. Iveta Masarova 3-6, 6-1, 6-0. Records: Cal State Northridge 6-3, Pacific 6-6.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Paul, thanks for the article!
    This is great news for Mardy Fish :)