Fish Wraps Up Roddick, Meets Isner in Atlanta Final
by Sean Randall | July 25th, 2010, 12:59 am

It’s worth repeating: Nobody beats Mardy Fish 10 times in a row. And that includes Andy Roddick. The top-seeded Roddick had won nine straight (9-1) over his buddy, but the night belonged to Fish who outplayed Roddick for a well-earned 7-6(5), 6-3 win to reach the Atlanta tennis finals. ADHEREL

“It’s one of the best wins I’ve had,” said Fish. “It’s tough to beat a great friend… He said to me at the net:’I know how hard you’ve worked, so enjoy it.’… I’ve put away a lot of things I enjoy.”

Fish has now won nine straight matches dating back to his Newport win, and no one has taken a set from him this week.

Fish, however, did appear to be in trouble as Roddick was up a mini-break in the first set breaker. But Mardy roared back to win the breaker and then seized an early break in the second to put the match away.

Roddick said yesterday how coach Stefanki wanted him to play “first strike” tennis. Well, where was it? Once again Roddick has fell into that comfortable routine of trying to out-rally his opponents. And with his serve it’s going to work against most of the lower ranked guys. But as we’ve seen against the better players and/or hot guys if often falls flat.

And Roddick runs into further trouble when he gets to tiebreaks. Andy use to dominate breakers. Now he’s losing them by scores of 7-1 to players who think they’re Pete Sampras (Ram). It’s hard to play so defensively and win breakers.

Again, Roddick’s a far more consistent player off the ground then he was six years ago, but it seems to have comes at the expense of his aggressiveness. And it’s that aggressive, reckless attitude that got him a Grand Slam title and the No. 1 ranking, and most recently that scintillating win over Rafael Nadal in Miami.

It’s still early in the summer hardcourts but the way Roddick looks he might be out of the Top 10 by the time we get to New York.

“Mardy did a good job on his second serve dropping it short in the box and getting action out wide,” Roddick said. “He was taking that first ball and dictating with it. When someone is executing that well a lot of it will be out of your control.

“I got outplayed in the second set for sure, but it was a close match and this puts me in a better position going into Washington that if I hadn’t played at all.”

While Roddick’s slumping, the Fish is flying. Much has been made of Fish’s weight loss and it sure seems to be helping. His get at 30-30 at 4-2 in the second was majestic. It’s good to see hard work payoff.

“You’d be amazed by taking away 30 pounds how much harder you can go,” said Fish. “I can work and train harder.”

Isner is another guy who has also learned the virtues of hard work. Big John was in a dogfight with fellow giant Kevin Anderson in the daytime heat of Atlanta. After splitting the first two sets with the heat index over 100F, Isner shook off the exhaustion and capitalized on Anderson’s nerves to secure a late break for the 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-3 victory.

“The conditions were just brutal,” Isner said after the 2-hour, 30-minute match. “It took a lot out of me. But thankfully then the cloud came across [during the second set]. Honestly, the temperature dropped so much. Without clouds the sun was just beaming down. I felt the court temperature dropped significantly and made it a lot easier to play.”

With John struggling with the heat so much in his singles – he then played doubles! – I have to give Mardy the edge Sunday. Fish is fresh, focused and feeling as confident as he ever has. While John has to be fatigued from all the court time in the heat on Saturday. Mardy’s also beaten some pretty good servers already in Roddick and Taylor Dent so he should be well tuned to face another one in the final.

In Hamburg, Jurgen Melzer is backing up his French Open semifinal with a final appearance against Kazakh Andrei Golubev.

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34 Comments for Fish Wraps Up Roddick, Meets Isner in Atlanta Final

Dory Says:

Beaten both Andys this year, Fish.

margot Says:

Golubev is playing fabulous tennis and takes the first set. You folks in the Americas are still snoozing, I guess.
Just climbimg aboard another band wagon….

Kimmi Says:

margot – i agree. where was this guy before. he should not be ranked 82.

i am with you on that bandwagon too dear.

margot Says:

kimmi: just leaning over to haul you up…..welcome! I think he’s gr8, just needs a bit more match savvy, especially on return of serve.

Kimmi Says:

margot – thanks, a little early here but its nice to wake up with some beautiful tennis.

I agree with you about being match savvy..he goes for his returns too much. some go in but a lot go out.

melzer is fighting back here..

margot Says:

Yes kimmi,Meltzer’s experience is beginning to tell and he’s playing better in this second set, which I feel he will take. This is the first tennis I’ve seen since Wimbledon, so a real treat!

margot Says:

Wow! Did not expect that! Golubev to serve for the match. Now we’ll see…

Kimmi Says:

break! Goubev breaks margot. can he win this?

Kimmi Says:

nervous a little maybe? 0-15

Kimmi Says:

0-30 .. oh no!

Kimmi Says:

30-30 can he win it..c’mon

Kimmi Says:

match point margot..championship point.

ace..or is it? the umpire comes down, no its out, crazy stuff.

Second serve

melzer hit it long and Golubev wins.

Apparently he is the first player from kazastan to win an ATP title.


margot Says:

kimmi: A brilliant week, a brilliant win! A new, young player and one to watch definately! Gr8!

Chico Says:

Golubev makes you think a little bit of a young, on the virge of overdue, wonderboy from the suizze. More free swinging than crunch. He has more strength than Federer though.

How long will it take for him to get his confidence in his strokes on such a level that they wont fall apart in clutch moments. And will it some day be enough to challenge the big boys, like eg. Nadals steadiness that has its base in strength and stamina.

Congrats to Fish, great to see work being paid off. Textbook example of how you can walk in the shadows for ages even if you have the talent but dont do the work to back it up.

Jake Willens Says:

Fish is going to have a huge summe ron the hard stuff and upset someone BIG an the Open!

kimberly Says:

I’m picking fish if its a three pm match. I live in miami and went out and played at five and was cramping up recently. Isner was having trouble against anderson with the heat. I think fish is fitter and will take it in 3. Just my humble opinion.

Andrew Miller Says:

As for Fish and a big US Open (such as a semifinal) I will believe it when I see it! Only two U.S. players of the current crop have shown themselves able to pull off that feat:

Andy Roddick (2006)
Robby Ginepri (2005)

Agassi made the 05 final and that was it for Agassi, save a few interesting matches in 2006.

If there is no U.S. player in the semifinals this go at the US Open, I will be pretty darn disappointed. One of these guys should make it, and although Roddick’s always the favorite to do it, at this point I’ll take any U.S. player.

Andy Murray’s shown he can make the semis in his home country slam. The U.S. players should too.

Andrew Miller Says:

I would pick Fish but he gets nervous and Isner is usually ice-cold focused in finals. Isner’s a guy I would never want to face in a final. He’s got his work cut out for him.

Kind of feel that in D.C. there will be a better gauge of how well the U.S. players are playing. They have a good draw there and a decent one in L.A., it’s tough to determine how well they are doing because the competition is not yet here in North America. Cincy and Canada should also give an idea of where these guys are at.

Ginepri in 05 had a good Cincy tournament and Roddick in 06 had a good Cincy tournament, and both years had them doing well at the Open. I say DC because I looked at the draw, and it looks like one of the best in years.

jane Says:

Fish has leveled it; it’s anyone’s title now. Tough to pick at this point.

Congrats to Golubev, though I was hoping for Melzer. : /

grendel Says:

Melzer definitely outplayed Golubev in 2nd set. Still contrived to lose, though – even when it was obvious that Golubev was struggling with the occasion. That’s Melzer for you. There are some players who can be let down by nerves, and yet you feel there is a potential strength there which could engineer a real upset. Perhaps Fish is one of those. Some players are just flaky, and Melzer seems to be like that. Helluva player to watch, though. That chap from Romania who looks like a Mafia gangster, Ion Tiriac, you see him a lot at courtside gazing through dark glasses and Stalin moustache, he once said that if he’d had Feliciano Lopez under his wing, the Spaniard would have won Wimbledon. Melzer needs somebody like that.

grendel Says:

anyone got a stream for Fish/Isner?

grendel Says:


grendel Says:

anyone? (3-2 in 3rd – still time…)

grendel Says:

nobody. story of my life

Kimmi Says:

look for ATP atlanta

tennislover Says: or

grendel Says:

thanks, kimmi – I asctually tried that atdhe,net – but din’t know what to do then. but got it now. looks like tiebreak – definitely worth watching – thanks again

Bin Says:

has live scores and results of tennis tournaments

Kimmi Says:

Fish, back to back titles. wow wow wow. Wishing him all then best in the up-coming tournies.

grendel Says:

thanks to tennislover, too – watched interviews on fromsport. Looked like a furnace out there.Something to enjoy in contemplation over an ice cold lager, I suspect, rather than at the time.

sar Says:

Yeah but Fish dropped out of doubles because of his ankle and stayed in singles. Isner played his doubles.

Rick Says:

Jane, you are wrong! I know that you are a Roddick fanatic. But Fish really deserved some credits. He just recently won 2 tournaments. And Roddick basically hasn’t do that well. It is true that, occasionally he would wins a tournament. And beat Nadal earlier this year. But Lube that did, too! So I wouldn’t give him much credits for that! I predict that he is on his way out of the top 10 before Federer does.

madmax Says:

Fish has done well this year, beating power players like Andy Murray and Andy Roddick. And he looks so slim. I remember a year or so ago, when he was a bit of a chunk. He has clearly worked really hard to get his physique in tip top shape. He said he feels fitter than ever, and he is 30? Awesome.

I know we have a few masters tournys coming up, but really, I so want it to be US open time!

Margot, what time did you get up to watch the match and what stream were you on?

It wasn’t on sky or espn over here in UK and I thought both had wider rights than some of the other channels. I suppose it is an online job?

Anyway, hope you are well. Weather in UK has taken a bit of dive after a glorious June! Hoping for this heatwave to swing by some time soon!

Rick, roddick is doing okay and I take it you are not a Federer fan. what a surprise.

jane Says:

Rick, I did think Roddick, if playing well enough, had the best shot at winning in Atlanta. Roddick’s record over Fish is 9-2 so my thoughts were not based on nothing. In terms of the semis between Rod and Fish, I merely said (on the other thread) that the “edge” should go to Andy, especially if both Fish and he were injured.

This is what I wrote: “Fish looks very lean and fit, more so than I’ve seen him in a while. But if both he and Roddick are injured the edge should go to Andy.” I also wrote this on the Blake thread: “I can’t see who could knock out Roddick on his side of the draw, except maybe a hot Fish ”

There is no doubt that Fish deserves credit; he can be a formidable player and has caused a number of upsets in his day. It’s just that he’s never been consistent enough, imo, whether due to injuries or dedication or whatever.

As for Andy R. being out of the top ten, it’s difficult to say when this could happen; he played really well last season, and at the beginning of this one too. However, since Miami, he hasn’t been playing his best. Maybe his hiatus during the spring threw his rhythm off a little. But for now, he is still a top ten guy (ranked #9) and a threat. Let’s wait and see how he does during the remainder of the summer hard court season. He can gain some of the points he lost at Wimbledon at the USO and perhaps in Asia too, providing he’s well.

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