Fish Forges Ahead in Atlanta, Faces Harrison in SF; Almagro v. Simon in Hamburg Final
by Sean Randall | July 23rd, 2011, 11:14 am
  • 29 Comments

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.


Also Check Out:
Fish, Isner, Harrison Lead Americans into Atlanta QFs
Roddick, Davydenko Headline Atlanta, Hamburg this Week on ATP
Blake Bests Harrison For First Win Of Season; Roddick v. Mahut Today In Atlanta
Nalbandian v Blake in Washington; Harrison, Isner Also in Action
Fish, Golubev, Goerges, Chakvetadze Win Tennis Titles

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29 Comments for Fish Forges Ahead in Atlanta, Faces Harrison in SF; Almagro v. Simon in Hamburg Final

Dan Martin Says:

I don’t mind if Isner wanted to change his shirt and even his shorts at the end of the second set. To change his ankle braces and take a 10 minute break at 1 set all seems crazy. The ATP, ITF and individual tournaments/umpires need to find a way to prevent this sort of thing.


someone Says:

But Dan, if Rafa can waste time by pretending to be injured, anyone can do it :)


Kimmi Says:

almagro would be very happy if it is only clay throughout the year.

Lets see what he can do to simon.


Kimmi Says:

almagro, he hits a great shot that leaves simon scrambling but does not move to the net to finish the point. The commentator says that is the reason he does not excel on hard courts.

Simon counter punching is exceptional. nothing goes past him at the moment.


Kimmi Says:

simon took the first set. he was 0-40 down twice in this set..almagro could not capitalize.

almagro needs to go to the net and finish those easy put away to have a chance the commentator says. I agree.


Kimmi Says:

almagro strikes back


Kimmi Says:

awww sweet, i did not know simon has a little kid. congrats to simon. he was the stable one today. almagro should learn to move forward imo.

great match :)


dari Says:

THX for update kimmi. You gotta love Simon, happy for him winning the tourney and earning some $ for the bebe.


Dan Martin Says:

Here is something the ATP should fix. The next slam is on a hard court. The clay court event in Europe is worth 500 rankings points and the Atlanta event is worth 250. I think they should have a preferred surface leading into the slams. If you play off of that surface the event is at best worth 250. From the end of Miami through the FO – clay is preferred. From the end of the FO through Newport, grass is preferred. From the end of Newport through the USO, hard courts are favored. The first weeks of the season through the AO hard courts are preferred. USO – season ending and AO – Indian Wells there would be no surface preference. Computer points not prize money (US Open Series has not brought the big names over prior to Canada) could motivate some focus on building logically toward the season at hand.


Dan Martin Says:

I am not accusing Isner of trying to throw his opponent. He apparently sweats a lot. I can see needing to change shirt and shorts. However, if he is sweating so much that his ankle braces and tape job need fixing over 10 minutes, it seems preposterous for the other guy’s concentration. Also, John is looking more fit, but a 10 minute break indoors during a heat wave can’t hurt Isner’s chances moving forward.


madmax Says:

Dan, I think that’s unfair. Rafa had his foot taped at Wimbledon. (kimberly will confirm), and he took 6 minutes to have it retaped, much to the commentators annoyance. If the world no. 1 (as then) can do it, then surely, so can Isner. The trainer came onto the court and retaped it. What was rafa supposed to do if it was digging into his foot? Presumably it had the same effect on Isner?

You can’t just change the rules for one player.


dari Says:

Atlanta final is on. cheering for JIsner. wanna see how his return game is going, people are saying its improved


dari Says:

hmmm, not bad isner. was in most of mardy’s service games, broke him once and held on to take the first set
groundies looking a bit more… determined from isner


Kimmi Says:

wow, just tuned in and isner is on fire. up a set and a break in the second. did not expect this, i didn’t give him much of a chance over fish..good for him.


Kimmi Says:

oh, i was speaking too soon. fish breaks back.


dari Says:

hey,kimmi. fish is a little frustrated. challenges going isner’s way and maybe mardy making more mistakes than he wants to


dari Says:

at least that was the case a few minutes ago when i started typing that ;)


dari Says:

okay, well it wouldn’t be a fish/isner match without a TB.


Kimmi Says:

wow, fish saved 2 match point..go fish!


Kimmi Says:

wow! from down 4-6, fish wins 4 straights points to take the second set. what a come back, sure isner must be mad


Kimmi Says:

fish with an early break in the third. isner must still be thinking about those match point..


dari Says:

bummer, fish broke and then held in about a minute!
i hope john can put the mp’s behind him and break back in this set. go JI


dari Says:

balle de break!


dari Says:

awww, isner had two break points and couldn’t convert. one was an ace not much to do about that


Kimmi Says:

thats it. isner lost his chances. double faults to give a second break.

happy for fish. go finish him


dari Says:

bollocks! JI df’s on break point down, now mardy serving for title.
getting waiter service of ice towel and banana from ball kid, that kid was quick on top of things!


dari Says:

repeat of last year.
congrats to fish, i guess he is #1 american, its only fitting he got the title. but isner was so close!
ugh, so painful when the loser had match points


Kimmi Says:

congrats to fish. number 1 seed winning title..exactly what it should be :)

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