Defending champion Mardy Fish isn’t showing any signs of a post-Davis Cup let down. Last night Mardy dusted Somdev Devvarman 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the semifinals today against upstart Ryan Harrison.
The 19-year-old Harrison is the latest American sensation. But unlike predecessors like Donald Young and Sam Querrey, Harrison bring a lot more game to the table. His all-court style has given his opponents fits, and his fighting spirit has to be applauded.
Late yesterday, Harrison fended off a match point to turn away the Indian Sampras Rajeev Ram 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(5). The win not only puts Harrison into his first career ATP semifinal against Fish but also into the Top 100 come Monday.
“I’m extremely excited to break the Top 100 of the ATP World Tour Rankings for the first time in my career,” said Harrison. “It’s always been a goal of mine and this is the first accomplished goal of many of my dreams. I’m looking forward to keeping it going.”
Harrison has never beaten a Top 10 player, and he and Mardy have never played before.
In the afternoon semifinal, John Isner and Gilles Muller clash in a battle of monster servers. Isner has won seven straight matches since the start of Newport and he edged Muller 9-7 in a third set breaker in Atlanta last year.
“I remember that match was so tough and I was fortunate to win it,” said Isner. “It could come down to just a point here or there, it’s truly anybody’s match.”
We’ll probably see more of the same today on the quick, hot Atlanta courts.
ESPN2 has live coverage of Isner v. Muller at 1pm ET. Tennis Channel will have the 7pm ET Fish v. Harrison match.
Over on the red clay at Hamburg, the final has just been set with Gilles Simon taking on Nicolas Almagro. Simon beat No. 5 seed Mikhail Youzhny 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 to reach his 11th career ATP final – he’s won eight of them.
And just moments ago, Almagro eased past his countryman Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-1. Nico is bidding for his fourth clay title on the year, 11th overall. Simon and Almagro haven’t played a meaningful match since 2006 Valencia which the Spaniard won in straight sets.
Given the surface the edge here also goes to Almagro.
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