Tag Archives: Mardy Fish

Mardy Fish Overdue for Masters Series Win

14 Aug

Today will be 29 year-old veteran Mardy Fish’s 4th chance at his first Masters 1000. For a player who just recently cracked the Top 10 and only has 6 titles overall at much smaller events, Mardy has had more than his share of looks at the elusive Masters Series Shield. If you want an honest assessment, you can always ask Mardy himself…

Mardy will be the huge underdog against Novak Djokovic today, but they do say every dog has its day.  Not only is Djokovic having one of the most dominating seasons ever with a 52-1 record, but he also owns a 6-0 record against Fish with the most recent being a 6-3 6-1 destruction this year in the semis of Miami. As they have both pointed out though, the faster and lower-bouncing courts of Montreal are much more favorable than the courts of Miami that allowed Nole to dictate with his aggressive baseline game.

No one said it would be easy getting that first big title as he has been the huge underdog in all of his 3 previous Masters Series finals. In 2003, the older but less experienced Fish lost 4-6 7-6(4) 7-6(3) to World #4 Andy Roddick in Cincinnati. In 2008, Fish was once again the surprise finalist against World #3 Novak Djokovic in a 6-2 5-7 6-3 losing effort in Indian Wells.  In 2010, Mardy failed to take out World #2 Roger Federer in another close final of 6-7(5) 7-6(1) 6-4 in Cincinnati. Maybe Mardy was just counting down to face a World #1 for his big breakthrough win.

Or am I just Fishing for that happy ending?

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Unofficial & Unauthorized ATP Champions Race of 2011

8 Aug

Is anybody else getting just a tad curious about which players will qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London at the O2 Arena in November? Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have already qualified. Roger Federer and Andy Murray will surely follow soon to keep the Big 4 of the past few years in tact. While Soderling has been Top 5 for quite some time, his place in London is less secure than David Ferrer as you will see in the unofficial rankings below. It really is just a matter of time before the Spanish bulldog makes the quietest return to the Top 5 ever.

Let’s assume everybody listed above qualifies for the Tour Finals as they have in multiple years prior, but who will grab those last two spots? You may be surprised to see where things are shaking out at this moment since if there were an official Champions Race, it would vary greatly from the 52-Week Entry List rankings. Let’s sneak a peek at the Race as of 8/8/11 straight from my unofficial Excel spreadsheet:

Race Entry Player Name YTD Pts 2011 W-L
1 1 Novak Djokovic 9765 48-1
2 2 Rafael Nadal 7640 51-8
3 3 Roger Federer 4180 39-9
4 4 Andy Murray 3720 29-9
5 6 David Ferrer 3250 39-11
6 5 Robin Soderling 2135 38-9
7 10 Nicolas Almagro 1750 41-15
8 19 Juan Martin Del Potro 1665 36-10
9T 9 Tomas Berdych 1630 34-15
9T 16 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 1630 28-14
11 8 Mardy Fish 1560 29-15
12 11 Gilles Simon 1510 30-17
13 13 Richard Gasquet 1400 27-13
14 15 Victor Troicki 1370 32-16
15T 7 Gael Monfils 1340 25-10
15T 21 Alexandr Dolgopolov 1340 26-18

Similar to Messieur Monfils whose Race position of 15 is far lower than his 52-Week ranking of 7, both 12th ranked Andy Roddick and 14th ranked Mikhail Youzhny are lagging in the Race as they have so many ranking points from 2010 to defend. Conversely, Juan Martin and Jo Willy have a much better chance to qualify than their 52-week rankings indicate.

Who do you think will grab those last two spots. Will both Del Potro and Simon return to the Tour Finals just like they climbed up the rankings to the Top 8 back in 2008? Can Nicolas Almagro or Mardy Fish qualify for the first time? There is still plenty of tennis to be played in 2011, so it is quite possible someone outside this list will make the cut. Who are your dark horses?

Quick Hit: Does anybody else find it ironic that former Top 50 singles player Daniele Bracciali who is probably best known for being suspended by the ATP for gambling just won his second doubles title of the year in Kitzbuhel? Oh, did I forget to mention the tournament happens to be called the Bet At Home Open? Maybe Wayne Odesnik’s first title after his suspension will be at the HGH Classic.

Congrats To Mardy Fish, His Long Winding Road To Top Ten

18 Apr

Mardy Fish Top Ten

This may not have been a typical path to the tennis elite, but Mardy Fish can now and forever call himself a Top 10 player. The 29 year-old American veteran didn’t need to earn any points last week to inch up from #11 to #10, but 2010 Monte Carlo finalist Fernando Verdasco helped by losing early in Monte Carlo this year to take the tumble from #8 to #12 which made room for Mardy. 

Fishy may not have earned ranking points last week, but he truly earned this moment of achieving his long-standing goal of reaching the Top 10. Mardy could have believed the tennis script already written that painted him as wasted talent stuck in the shadows of Andy Roddick and James Blake, but instead he dedicated himself to fitness and the game more than he ever had before. More importantly, Mardy seems to now have this self-belief and confidence that gets him through matches that he sometimes found a way to lose in the past.

One last message to Mardy that he probably knows already, but I still feel the need to say. Keep pushing, there is no reason to stop at #10. But please take a moment to enjoy and reflect the hard work that got you here…your friends at TCW sure did today.

And Nicolas Almagro, please don’t think we didn’t notice that you are just 6 points behind Mardy of making the Top 10 for the first time as well. It may take a little more effort for Nico to emerge from the shadows of his countrymen, but matching his career-high ranking of #11 is a small step. Just imagine being the 11th best in the world at anything before you judge these two supposed examples of wasted talent. I’m just saying.

Fish Jumps Rod: Mardy New American #1 and World #11

31 Mar

Mardy Fish may still be two wins away from lifting his first Master Series trophy, but his 7-5 6-2 quarterfinal win over David Ferrer today was still a milestone for the 29 year-old veteran. Mardy will pass his buddy Andy Roddick as the highest ranked American when the new rankings are released on Monday. Roddick will drop to 15th since he was not able to defend his points from wining the Sony Ericsson last year. Mardy will lift his current career-high ranking of #15 to #11 at the very least, but he needs to win one more match to reach his goal of cracking the Top 10. His next match will be on Friday and will have a tough ask against Novak Djokovic, who is still undefeated in 2011.

Many of you know that Fish and Roddick lived together while growing up and still remain very close. Take a look at Mardy’s interview after today’s match to see what he and Andy preferred to talk about today.

In other Roddick news, TMZ reported on his baldness which of course we covered weeks ago but gave us here at TCW some interesting traffic spikes today with this becoming a TV “news” story. Thanks, TMZ!

But let’s get back to the man of the hour. This humble and now-trim veteran deserves all the extra attention and love that this new label of #1 American brings him. Congrats, Fishy!

It’s Nice To Know That I Can Go To Bed With Gilles Simon

17 Jan

After watching Mardy Fish come back from 2 sets down against Victor Hanescu, it was almost 2AM when I saw that Gilles Simon just started playing his first round match versus Yen-Hsun Lu. Oh crap, poor Gillou got down an early break too. Should I stay awake and watch the shaky live feed?  No way, I know my boy Gilles will wrap this up.

Gilles Simon defeated Yen-Hsun Lu 67(3) 62 64 62

Well, I did watch for a few minutes just to check out his form and although Gilles did not convert the break points in the game I watched, my confidence in Simon only grew stronger. Not only has he been playing some great ball as of late, but the fact that he beat Lu 60 63 last week in Syndey also made the decision to get some sleep a lot easier.  The Frenchy has the tendency to win matches when he loses the 1st set.  I would not call him a slow starter per se, but he does a great job adapting his game to match the style and quality of play from his opponent.  The next opponent however is King Roger himself, and I will be wide awake for that one.  Although Gilles has beaten Roger in both of their two meetings, I feel far from confident yet I look forward to watching the match no matter the outcome.  And not on a shaky feed as I assume it will be on ESPN2, somewhere that I hardly ever get to watch Gilles play.  The only thing that I am not looking forward to is hearing Brad Gilbert refer to Gilles as “Simon Says”.  Can someone please tell Brad it’s pronounced See-Moan?  Merci.

How about the Mardy Fish comeback win that got me all tuckered out? Despite the valiant effort, he sure did look sluggish and of course we hope his blood tests come back positive. Um, I mean negative. But with positive news because he will need to run all day against Tommy Robredo next. Mardy has complained about low energy but does not know the reason behind his recent lethargy. I wonder if his body is in a bit of delayed shock from having lost so much weight so quickly. Even though he felt weak, you could see his improved fitness kick in toward the end of the match when he remained calm and did not resort to ending each point quickly like he did when he was heavier. 17th-ranked Fish’s goal of cracking the Top 10 is quite close when you realize he has few ranking points to defend during the first half of the year. The same can be said for Gilles actually.

Huffin' and puffin' but not out of breath

Kubot Does Can-Can, DeBakker Does Can’t-Can’t

17 Jan

Lots of drama happened on Day 1 of the Australian Open.  Uncomfortable to watch drama.  Think Black Swan instead of The Fighter.

The day started out with Maria Sharapova hitting five consecutive nervy misses on serve.  She finished the game with 10 double faults overall and looked uneasy throughout, but a very out of shape Tammy Tanasugarn could not chase down Maria’s shots.  In fact, she often did not even try.  The 63 61 scoreline might suggest a dominant performance, but like P-Mac said “Maria left us with lots more questions than answers today.”

Sam Querrey had his own troubles as he lost to Lukasz Kubot, who made the 4th Round here last year.  The Polish player known more for doubles until recently looked like the more confident singles player as he won 57 62 36 61 86.  Kubot looked quite tired in the last set, but he played more aggressively than Sam to go up a break in the 13th game and then proceeded to serve out the match.  He also made sure to show us that he had more energy than we all thought by doing the Can-Can for his victory dance.  Querrey despite being a Top 20 player continues to disappoint in Grand Slams bowing out 10 out of 14 times in the 1st Round.  Miserable.

The match that may have been hardest to watch was Thiemo De Bakker choking away a 2 set and a break lead over Gael Monfils.  Gael looked a bit gimpy in the 2nd after losing the 1st in a tiebreak, but then it was De Bakker who must have injured his brain when he was trying to close out the match.  One missed sitter volley in particular caused groans from spectators at Hisense Arena and in front of TV sets around the world.

Thiemo made sure to explain on Twitter by saying, “Pulled my groin at 4-1 in the third! Sick of it”  I think Gael Monfils said it better after the match, “I know Thiemo a bit. I know sometime he snap in the head. So this is like a strong belief. We know like he can snap. It’s a weakness for him. So you play with that.  You know, before the match my coach Rog told me, ‘Sometimes Thiemo is not a big believer.’ When I saw that, you get it (snapping fingers).”

Like Monfils, Fish pulled off his first ever comeback down 2-Sets-to-Love against Romanian Victor Hanescu.  Many other 5-setters played today, but for now I must get some sleep.  Not sure De Bakker or Hanescu will be falling asleep so easily though.  Too soon?