Roddick Nets Fish in Thriller at ATP San Jose
Posted on February 17, 2004
Top-seeded Andy Roddick faced a net-rushing barrage Sunday from countryman and friend Mardy Fish in the San Jose final, but held on 7-6(13), 6-4 for his first title of 2004.
The first set featured Roddick pumping in an average of almost two aces per service game, and Fish backing up his own serve with a hard-charging net game, ending after Roddick and Fish both had multiple chances to clinch the set. Roddick and Fish grew up together and for a short time lived together in their junior days.
"We just know what each other's going to do," Roddick said. "I found myself going against what I do instinctively because he knows what I do instinctively...I know when I make a joke, no matter how intense it is, he's going to get it. No stepping on toes." After one mishit overhead winner, Roddick joked that Fish was jealous of his "ups."
Roddick saved four set points in the first set tiebreaker.
"It was one of those tiebreakers when anything could happen," Fish said. "It was good quality. There weren't that many errors. It was an exciting breaker, that's for sure." In the doubles final, Fish teamed with James Blake to defeat No. 4 seeds Rick Leach and Brian Macphie 6-2, 7-5.
In the all-unseeded Milan final, 30-year-old Frenchman Anthony Dupuis won his first career title, outlasting Mario "Baby Goran" Ancic 6-4, 6-7(12), 7-6(5) in a match that extended almost three hours. "I cannot describe in words how happy I feel," said Dupuis, who needed an amazing 10 match points to close the deal. "I am 30 years old and fitter than ever, this gives me the motivation to work even harder in the future. I had lost after having match points at the Australian Open and the challenger in Wroclaw, so obviously it was in the back of mind after I wasted the seven match points in the second set." In the doubles final, No. 2-seeded Jared Palmer/Pavel Vizner beat Italian wildcards Daniele Bracciali/Giorgio Galimberti 6-4, 6-4.
On the dirt in the Vina del Mar final, No. 5-seeded Fernando Gonzalez beat Gustavo Kuerten 7-5, 6-4. In the doubles final, Argentines Juan Ignacio Chela/Gaston Gaudio edged Nicolas Lapentti/Oscar Rodriguez 7-6(2), 7-6(3).
Rotterdam is where the money is this week on the ATP, with three of last year's Masters Cup performers in world No. 1 Roger Federer, Juan Carlos Ferrero, and Rainer Schuettler, with former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, Paradorn Srichaphan, Tim Henman, and Dutchmen Sjeng Schalken and Martin "Berzerker" Verkerk among the top seeds. First round matches of interest abound in (1)Federer vs. Arnaud Clement (Frenchman leads series 3-2), (5)Henman vs. Tommy Robredo, (6)Hewitt vs. Vina del Mar winner Fernando "Gonzo" Gonzalez, (4)Srichaphan vs. dangerous Russian Nikolay Davydenko, and (7)Schalken vs. (WC)Goran Ivanisevic. In last year's all-unseeded final, Max "The Beast" Mirnyi d. "Everybody Loves" Raemon Sluiter 7-6(3), 6-4. Former champions in the draw are Mirnyi (2003) and Ivanisevic (1996). On tap for Monday are O.Rochus vs. Stepanek, (WC)van Lottum vs. Kucera, (7)Schalken vs. (WC)Ivanisevic (Schalken leads series 2-0, both in 2000), and (3)Schuettler vs. Koubek (tied 2-2), while in doubles, Hewitt and coach Roger Rasheed play Dutchmen Sluiter/Verkerk.
Eleven Americans (not counting qualifiers) compete this week in Memphis, led by seeds Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish, Taylor Dent, Robby Ginepri, Vince Spadea, James Blake, Wayne Ferreira, and Nicolas Kiefer. Roddick faces a tough first-rounder against veteran countryman Todd Martin, while other first round matches of interest are (WC)Tommy Haas vs. countryman Alexander "My Serve Has" Popp, (5)Spadea vs. Thomas Enqvist, (3)Dent vs. Jan-Mike Gambill, (6)Blake vs. the hot-handed South African Wesley Moodie, (4)Ginepri vs. Cyril Saulnier, who Blake lost to last week, and (7)Ferreira vs. (WC)Bob Bryan. Dent hopes to resurrect his play of last year, when in the final the unseeded serve-and-volleyer gave top-seeded Andy Roddick a 6-1, 6-4 lesson. Past champions in the field are Dent (2003), Roddick (2002), Haas (1999), and T.Martin (1995-94). On court Monday are Saulnier vs. (4)Ginepri, Enqvist vs. (5)Spadea, Popp vs. (WC)Haas, (Q)De Chaunac vs. Labadze, J.Johansson vs. H.-T. Lee, and Malisse vs. NCAA champion (Q)Delic.
This week in Buenos Aires features three of the top dirtballers in the business in Guillermo Coria, Carlos Moya, and Gustavo Kuerten, joined by seeds Nicolas Massu, Agustin Calleri, Mariano Zabaleta, Gaston Gaudio, and Juan Ignacio "Just Say No" Chela. No real first round matches of great interest, but dangerous floaters in the draw include Nicolas Lapentti, Guillermo Canas, Richard Gasquet, and Spanish backboard David Sanchez. In last year's final, (1)Moya d. (8)Coria 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.
At the Paris-indoor Sunday, top-seeded Kim Clijsters made a mockery of Mary Pierce's attempted comeback to the top ranks, stomping the unseeded Frenchwoman 6-2, 6-1 in the final in under an hour. "It wasn't such a bad effort in getting to the final and playing five matches in five days," said Pierce, appearing her first final since 2000 Roland Garros. "I'm just disappointed that I didn't play better today, but a lot of that was down to how Kim played. I'm pleased in getting to the final of my first tournament of the year and look forward to having more good results in the weeks and months ahead." It was the first title of the year for Clijsters. In the doubles final, (3)Barbara Schett/Patty Schnyder beat down Italians Silvia Farina Elia/Francesca Schiavone 6-3, 6-2.
With the pull-out of Venus Williams, Belgians Justine Henin-Hardenen and Kim Clijsters are left to rule the roost this week in Antwerp, joined by seeds Elena Dementieva, Patty Schnyder, Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi, Silvia Farina Elia, Maggie Maleeva and Magui "Don't Call Me Maggie" Serna. First round matches of interest are (7)Smashnova-Pistolesi vs. Croatian teen Karolina Sprem, (9)Maleeva vs. Mary Pierce, and a potential second-round match-up between (2)Clijsters and little sis Elke, who received a wildcard. Only three main draw matches Monday in the 'twerp in Pisnik vs. Mandula, Safina vs. Barna, and Callens vs. Loit.
The WTA Memphis stop is looking very Tier III this year with top seeds Zvonareva, Lisa "You've Got a Friend" Raymond, Maria "Grunt-o-rama" Sharapova, Laura Granville, Ashley "Anna 2.0" Harkleroad, Amy "Joltin' Joe" Frazier, Kristina Brandi, and Akiko Morigami. The American-heavy draw also features unseeded "C"-level U.S. residents Carly Gullickson, Shenay Perry, Tara Snyder, Bea Bielik, and Lindsay Lee-Waters. In last year's final, (2)Raymond d. (3)Amanda Coetzer 6-3, 6-2. On court Monday are Talaja vs. (5)Harkleroad, (Q)Haynes vs. (6)Frazier in an all-American, (Q)Panova vs. Grande, and Jankovic vs. Sucha.
Excuse the pun, but the WTA stop in Hyperbad, India this week is -- freakin' hyper-bad. See how many of the seeds you recognize in Saori Obata, Marion Bartoli, Tamarine Tanasugarn, Nicole Pratt, Jelena Kostanic, Jie Zheng, Maria Elena Camerin, and the ever-recognizable Lubomira Kurhajcova. In last year's final, (2)Tanasugarn d. (5)Tulyaganova 6-4, 6-4. According to the draw sheet, No. 464-ranked Ruxandra Dragomir Ilie gained direct acceptance to the main draw? Nice event, why isn't this a futures stop? The Hyperbad Monday schedule is Kostanic vs. Lakhani, Obata vs. Yoshida, Beygelzimer vs. Zheng, Fokina vs. Vanc, Schruff vs. Ad.Serra Zanetti, and Kurhajcova vs. An.Serra Zanetti.
NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
Mardy Fish on beating Andre Agassi in their first meeting in the San Jose semis: "It's a huge win for me. It's probably one of the biggest I've had, if not the biggest. It's a slower court, which doesn't suit my game as well as a faster court would, but all things considered this is probably the best win ever."...The ATP signed a new sponsor for the rankings, INDESIT, a household appliance manufacturer in Europe. Nice. To celebrate the signing, the ATP asked a few top players to talk about the rankings, and mention "INDESIT" as many times as possible: "It's great to have a new major sponsor on board with the ATP," Roger Federer said in an ATP release. "It's my goal to win the INDESIT ATP 2004 Race and be No. 1 in the INDESIT ATP Entry Ranking." Juan Carlos Ferrero chipped in, "My objective in 2004 is to keep fighting for the No. 1 position in the INDESIT ATP Entry Ranking and my ultimate goal is to end the season by winning the INDESIT ATP 2004 Race." Next up for the ATP: singles draws sponsored by Whirlpool?...For the 31st year, the ABN AMRO group will sponsor the Rotterdam event this week, an ATP record...If you haven't already, sign your lazy ass up for the daily Tennis-X e-mail newsletter, all the news right in your in-box each morning (EST).