Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Fish named Davis Cup captain; no ex-Stanford clash

Mardy Fish warms up between sets during a Sacramento
Capitals home match in 2013. Photo by Paul Bauman 
   Mardy Fish, the runner-up in the 2009 SAP Open in San Jose and a former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis, was named the captain (coach) of the United States Davis Cup team today.
   Fish replaces Jim Courier, who stepped down in September after eight years.
   "It is something that is a dream job for me, something I won't take for granted," Fish, 37, said during a conference call. "To be the next Davis Cup captain is incredibly humbling."
   Fish retired in 2015 after battling an irregular heartbeat and severe anxiety. He competed in the Davis Cup from 2002 to 2012, won the singles silver medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics and reached a career-high No. 7 in 2011.
   Fish lost to Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in the final of the 2009 SAP Open and played part-time for the Capitals in 2012 and 2013.
   The SAP Open ended a 125-year run in Northern California in 2013. The Capitals announced in February 2014 that they were moving to Las Vegas after 28 years in Sacramento and folded the following month.
   The Davis Cup will enter a new era this year. Instead of rounds being played months apart each year, an 18-team tournament is scheduled for Nov. 18-24 in Madrid.
   Australian Open qualifying -- Nicole Gibbs won't have to play a friend and former teammate for a berth in the main draw in Melbourne.
   The 18th-seeded Gibbs beat Paula Ormaechea of Argentina 7-5, 6-2 in the second round of qualifying, but Kristie Ahn lost to third-seeded Victorija Golubic of Switzerland 6-4, 6-4.
   Gibbs and Ahn played No. 1 and 2, respectively, on Stanford's 2013 NCAA championship team.
   Golubic, ranked No. 104, is 3-1 (2-1 on hard courts) against Gibbs, ranked No. 127. They last met in September, with Golubic winning 6-4, 6-2 in the second round of qualifying in Wuhan, China, on the WTA tour on an outdoor hard court.
   College rankings -- The NCAA defending champion Stanford women are No. 1 in the year's first rankings, and the Cardinal men are No. 10. Neither the Cal men nor women cracked the Top 25.

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