Tag Archive | "Fish"

Can’t Stop Him: Djokovic into Fourth Successive Final

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Can’t Stop Him: Djokovic into Fourth Successive Final



In the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson Open, Mardy Fish hoped to pull an April fools’ surprise on Novak Djokovic with an upset. Unfortunately for Fish, the Serb was not game. Djokovic dominated Fish 6-3, 6-1 to reach his fourth straight final of the year and extend his winning streak to 25 matches.

Fish was the first to have double break point in the initial set. Yet, Djokovic took care of those to salvage the game. Then at 2 all and Djokovic serving at 15-30, the rain came.

Once the court was dried and the players picked up where they left off, Djokovic guarded serve and went ahead 3-2.

Soon, with Fish burying a volley into the net from a low forehand by Djokovic, the Serb had break point. Although Fish won the next point for deuce, with Djokovic connecting on backhand crosscourt pass for a winner, Fish faced the third break point of the game. When Fish netted a forehand in an extensive rally, Djokovic pocketed the break for 4-3.

Then, with Fish sending a return wide, Djokovic consolidated for 5-2.

Serving for the set, Djokovic dumped a forehand into the net to hand Fish double break point. Still, with Fish misfiring on forehand shot and backhand volley, Djokovic got to deuce and later shut the first set.

By double faulting in the opening game of the second set, Fish donated break point to his adversary. After saving one break point, Fish gifted another with a forehand volley error. With Fish’s forehand landing wide, Djokovic broke.

After comfortably consolidating and getting a 3-1 lead, Djokovic found himself with double break point when Fish’s backhand volley went wide. On Fish’s second backhand volley mistake in a row, Djokovic had his second break and a 4-1 advantage.

Subsequent to erasing a break point to get to 5-1, Djokovic provoked a series of miscues from Fish to arrive at double break point. By breaking Fish for the third time in the set, Djokovic clinched a berth into the final.

Fish was trying to defeat Djokovic for the maiden time in six attempts. Considering that Djokovic is unbeaten, it was perhaps an impossible task.

Maybe the tone of the match would have been different had Fish converted on his break point chances. Fish said “those were huge points. It was extremely disappointing. . . I thought I played well. . .down 63, 51 you look at the total points won and he’s only won like eight more points. I [just] didn’t win any of the big points. . . I left a lot shots out there today.”

Again, Fish confirmed that fellow competitors are amazed by what Djokovic has done so far “He’s not losing games. He’s crushing us. . . He doesn’t give you much out there at all. . . The matches are so long you’re bound to lose focus here and there. . . Sometimes for guys it’s games, for him it’s maybe a point or two at the most right now. He zones in pretty well”.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer play tonight for a place in the final. In terms of Nadal or Federer being able to vanquish Djokovic, Fish cited “I think those guys are at another level than myself. . . [They] have played in matches like this before all the time. . . Certainly both guys can beat him; they came close at Indian Wells. . . You have to favor [Djokovic but] he’s got to lose sometime”.

After the match, Djokovic stated that he was glad for the rain delay “after I came back from the locker room. . . I felt different on the court. [The] first couple of games were quite strange. The wind was blowing, it was quite humid, just different conditions. . . I came into the match not really moving well, just lucky enough not to go a break down”.

Djokovic has yet to be broken this tournament and it’s been a difficult task for his competitors this year. The Serb was asked the secret to guarding serve in those pressure situation.

Djokovic responded “any time I was down break points. . .I served really well. That’s something that makes me happy. You [need] some luck as well in some moments”.

The last time Federer claimed a victory over Djokovic was at 2010 Barclays ATP World tour final. Federer’s three knockdowns this year have come at the hand of Djokovic. Nadal has met Djokovic once this year at Indian Wells and was the runner-up.

With a good hardcourt record against Nadal but having yet to surrender a match to Federer this season, does Djokovic have a preference as to whom he sees in the final? Djokovic answered “I don’t really know how to answer. Both have played great tennis over the years regardless of the surface. They’re such great competitors and tennis players that it doesn’t matter really. They always play at a very high level”.

Further, Djokovic said “in order for me to win the final. . . . I will have to be at the top of my game against either of those two players”.

On Sunday, Djokovic, the 2007 champion in Miami, will attempt to hold the Indian Wells and Miami titles simultaneously. An achievement that was last realized by Federer. Federer did it twice in 2005 and 2006.

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Fish Steamrolls Ferrer to Reach the Semifinals at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Fish Steamrolls Ferrer to Reach the Semifinals at the Sony Ericsson Open



With a 7-5, 6-2 win over world number six David Ferrer, Mardy Fish booked a spot in the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson Open for the first time in his career.

Ferrer and Fish’s record was knotted at 3-3 coming into today. Their last meeting was at the ATP Masters in Paris in 2007. Therefore, Ferrer had yet to play the new trimmed up version of the American. With Ferrer being such a good retriever and defender, Fish’s fitness at least would not be a factor in the outcome.

The first few games of the opening set, the players seemed to be getting reacquainted with one another. Soon though, Ferrer saved a break point to get to 3-2. Subsequently, Fish salvaged two break points to equalize at 3 all.

Down the road, serving at 5 all, Ferrer double faulted to donate break point to his opponent. Ferrer produced a second double fault to hand Fish a 6-5 lead. Despite Ferrer’s resistance, Fish won the next game and captured the initial set.

The second set, Ferrer committed a spate of backhand errors to give Fish double break point. When Ferrer’s forehand found the net, Fish had the break for 2-1.

After consolidating at love, Fish was gifted another break point from a Ferrer miscue and capitalized to widen his advantage by a double break. Once again, at love, Fish captured the following game to move ahead 5-1.

Despite an open court, with Fish at triple match point, Ferrer sent a backhand wide to finish the day.
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Del Potro Falls to Fish at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Del Potro Falls to Fish at the Sony Ericsson Open



Mardy Fish avenged his Delray semifinal loss today. Fish toppled Juan Martin Del Potro in 7-5, 7-6 to qualify for his first quarterfinal at the Sony Ericsson Open.

Following steady play from both competitors, Fish was the first to get a break point in the eighth game of the initial set. Del Potro blotted that out to level the set at 4 all.

In the subsequent game, Del Potro had five break points but failed to capitalize. Perhaps a tad disappointed, Del Potro found himself in a love-40 hole. However, the Argentine dug himself out and drew even with Fish.

Yet, serving to extend the first set to a tiebreaker, Del Potro got down double break point and could not recover. As such, Fish banked the first set.

In the second set, Fish seized a break to go up 3-2. But, Del Potro rebounded quickly and erased the deficit. With neither man surrendering another service game, the second set went to a tiebreaker.

Fish sprinted to a 5-0 lead in the tiebreaker. Although Del Potro narrowed the gap to 6-5. On his third attempt at match point, Fish converted.

Fish was content with his play “it was one of those matches that a couple points here and there and you lose the match. . . He had a ton of break points. I had a few and converted on two of them; he got me on one. . . It was high quality tennis for the better part of it, I think. I’m sure he came off thinking he played pretty well and I played great”.

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Del Potro Sacks Soderling, Djokovic Easily Wins at the Sony Ericsson Open

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Del Potro Sacks Soderling, Djokovic Easily Wins at the Sony Ericsson Open




With each passing match, Juan Martin Del Potro looks one step closer to the form which made him the 2009 U.S. Open champion and a world number four. In the third round of the Sony Ericsson Open, Del Potro knocked out current world number four Robin Soderling 6-3, 6-2.

With three titles already this season and a 20-2 record, Soderling should have felt pretty good going into this contest. However, a recent ailment and an earlier than expected exit at Indian Wells allowed just enough room for Soderling to doubt his chances.

As a result of a net court winner, Del Potro obtained his fourth break point opportunity in the fourth game of the first set. The Argentine capitalized when Soderling’s backhand down the line sailed wide. Then, with an ace on game point, Del Potro consolidated for 4-1.

Because of sensational serving, Del Potro guarded the one break advantage and carried the first set.

After Del Potro broke the first game of the second set, Soderling came alive with two winners to go up 0-30. Yet, Del Potro’s serve came to the rescue. The Argentine saved the game for a 2-0 lead.

Later, Del Potro captured an insurance break. Then with a strong game closed out the match.

When Del Potro won the title in Delray, he felt that the true measure of the state of his game would be prevailing over a top ten player. Having accomplished this objective, Del Potro was asked to evaluate his progress “when you play against these kinds of players and [win it gives you a little bit of confidence]. Today, my serve, my forehand, my backhand, everything worked incredibly well. He’s a really good player. He had chances, too, but I took my opportunities. . .that was very important for my confidence”.

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Del Potro Punches His Ticket into the Delray Beach Final

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Del Potro Punches His Ticket into the Delray Beach Final



Derailed by a wrist injury in 2010, Juan Martin Del Potro’s last final was the 2009 U.S. Open.  Tonight, the Argentine took care of American Mardy Fish 6-1,7-5 in the semifinals of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships to advance to his eleventh career final.

Following a comfortable opening game, Del Potro obtained a break point when Fish pushed a forehand up the line wide.  With a forehand crosscourt winner, Del Potro broke.  This was the first time Fish had surrendered his serve the entire tournament.  When Del Potro’s forehand crosscourt landed wide, Fish had a break point of his own.  However, after scrambling beautifully to defend, Fish misfired on a neutral backhand down the line to let Del Potro off the hook.  With two good serves, Del Potro consolidated for a 3-0 edge.  Subsequent to both players holding without difficulty, Fish committed three straight errors to hand Del Potro triple break point.  By bludgeoning a forehand crosscourt for a winner, Del Potro broke again for 5-1.  Promptly with another unadventurous game, Del Potro pocketed the set.

Throughout the initial set, Del Potro was crushing the ball and Fish played right into the Argentine’s hand by camping out on the baseline.  The second set, Fish altered his strategy and decided to take his chances at net.  Subsequent to a difficult hold, Fish provoked three forehand flubs from Del Potro for double break point.  When Del Potro’s backhand failed to go over the net, Fish had a 2-0 lead.  But, by connecting on a backhand down the line for a winner, Del Potro got to break point.  When Fish’s forehand bounced wide, the players were back on serve.  Nevertheless, Fish continued to press and again with three miscues in a row from Del Potro, he arrived at triple break point.  On that occasion, Del Potro double faulted to gift the American the break.  Despite facing a break point, Fish ultimately consolidated for a 4-1 advantage.  Although his service games got harder, Del Potro kept up with Fish to limit the deficit to one break.  Serving at 4-2, Fish made three mistakes to donate double break point to his adversary.  Del Potro gladly accepted by ripping a forehand down the line which lead to Fish’s response going wide.  Then at love, Del Potro leveled the set at 4 all.  With a quick hold, Fish inched ahead 5-4.  Yet, Del Potro had no problem squaring the set.  Later, off a booming backhand down the line by Del Potro, Fish watched his backhand land into the net to give the Argentine break point.  Del Potro converted by overpowering a forehand which resulted in a mistake by Fish.  After falling behind 0-30 while serving for the match, Del Potro produced two sensational winners to get to 30 all.  When Fish’s forehand did not clear the net, Del Potro had match point.  Del Potro sealed the victory when Fish misfired with the backhand.

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Consistency Earns Tipsarevic Berth in Delray Beach Final

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Consistency Earns Tipsarevic Berth in Delray Beach Final



Earlier this year, Janko Tipsarevic and Kei Nishikori met in the quarterfinals of the Chennai Open with the former besting the latter 6-4,6-4.  This afternoon, the two had a rematch in the semifinals of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships.  Once again, Tipsarevic got the better of Nishikori by the same score to move on to his third career final.

As the 2008 champion, Nishikori has great memories from this venue and began strongly with a love hold.  When Tipsarevic flubbed an overhead off a defensive lob, Nishikori was one point away from taking a 2-0 lead.  However, with his opponent making three consecutive errors, Tipsarevic managed to guard serve.  From that point on in the first set, Nishikori was the one pushing the envelope while Tipsarevic was satisfied with putting the ball in play.  As a result of that tactic, Tipsarevic forced multiple miscues from his rival.  Nishikori had to bounce back from love-30 to stay ahead 3-2.  But serving at 4 all, Nishikori netted a backhand crosscourt to hand Tipsarevic double break point.  When Nishikori sent another backhand long, Tipsarevic captured the break for a 5-4 edge.  Then at 40-0, Tipsarevic thumped an ace to put the set to bed.

During the interlude, Nishikori had an injury time out to address his foot.  Showing no ill effect, Nishikori went back to work.  Subsequent to an opening double fault, Nishikori fought hard and salvaged the game for 1-0.  Now in a groove, at love, Tipsarevic found the equalizer.  Next, by floating a forehand wide and committing a double fault, Nishikori was in a love-30 hole.  After recovering and getting to game point, Nishikori produced another mistake leading to deuce.  When Nishikori sliced a backhand wide, Tipsarevic had break point.  Tipsarevic converted as a result of Nishikori loosing control of a forehand stroke.  With another error plagued game from Nishikori, Tipsarevic easily consolidated for 3-1.  Despite staying one break down, with a myriad of errors, Nishikori failed to rattle Tipsarevic’s serve.  Consequently, as in the first set, an untroubled Tipsarevic arrived at triple match point and with an ace booked his spot into the final.

In his post match interview, Tipsarevic stated:  “I’m really happy with the week and my match today.”  When asked what he thought was the key to his win, Tipsarevic commented:   “the main difference was the serve. I managed to win one or two points per service game on my serve just by making an ace or a good serve while Kei had to grind for every possible point on his service game.”  Moreover, Tipsarevic cited:  “Novak [Djokovic] beating [Roger] Federer today made me want to win just a little bit more”.  In fact, Tipsarevic received a congratulatory text message from his countryman, Djokovic, after his victory.

To claim his first ATP title, Tipsarevic will have defeat either 2009 Delray Beach champion Mardy Fish or 2009 U.S. Open champ Juan Martin Del Potro.  Fish and Del Potro will clash in the night session.

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Del Potro, Fish Advance to Quarters in Delray

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Del Potro, Fish Advance to Quarters in Delray



Juan Martin Del Potro advanced to the quarterfinals of the Delray Beach Tennis International Championships Thursday night with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Teymuraz Gabashvili.

After the match Del Potro commented that he “had a good night” adding that he is “getting better match by match” and that he “played better than [his opening match on] Tuesday”.

Looking ahead to BNP Paribas and Sony Ericsson Open, MiamiTennisNews asked Del Potro the following :

Q : Do the matches that you have won last week in Memphis and here in Delray give you confidence heading into Indian Wells and Miami?

Del Potro : Yes, I need to get more confidence and rhythm in matches. [I need] to get on the courts and feel the sensations of playing a match – nerves, being in a stadium with crowds – it is something that I lost while being out for a year. I need to recover [these experiences] as they are what lets one win matches.

Del Potro will face fifth-seeded Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals on Friday. Anderson advanced in straight sets by defeating Florent Serra 6-1, 6-4 in the final match of the night session.

In the afternoon session second-seeded Mardy Fish advanced in straight sets over Ricardo Mello 6-2, 6-1. Fish is attempting to return to the Delray final after winning the title in 2009.

In another second round match, qualifier Alejandro Falla advanced in straight sets over Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-2. Falla faces Fish in the first match of Friday’s night session.

The first quarterfinal match of Friday features qualifier Ryan Sweeting taking on 2008 Delray champion Kei Nishikori. Ivan Dodig faces sixth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic in the second quarterfinal match.

Here is the order of play for Friday, February 25 :

STADIUM start 11:00 am
[1] E Butorac (USA) / J Rojer (AHO) vs A Fisher (AUS) / S Huss (AUS)

Not Before 12:30 PM
[Q] R Sweeting (USA) vs K Nishikori (JPN)

Not Before 2:30 PM
I Dodig (CRO) vs [6] J Tipsarevic (SRB)

5:30 PM
F Ferreiro (BRA) / A Sa (BRA) vs M Ebden (AUS) / S Groth (AUS)

Not Before 7:15 PM
[Q] A Falla (COL) vs [2] M Fish (USA)
[5] K Anderson (RSA) vs J Del Potro (ARG) 

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Tipsarevic Advances in Delray, Querrey and Blake Bounced

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Tipsarevic Advances in Delray, Querrey and Blake Bounced



Six-seeded Janko Tipsarevic advanced to the third round of the Delray Beach Tennis International Championships Wednesday night with a 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 win over Blaz Kavcic.

In the first night session match, Kei Nishikori eliminated wild card James Blake 6-3, 6-4. The second round encounter was a rematch of the 2008 final whereby Nishikori was also victorious.

In the afternoon session third-seeded Sam Querrey went down in straight sets to qualifier Ryan Sweeting, while Ivan Dodig advanced over Dudi Sela 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

In another second round match Adrian Mannarino rallied from a set down to advance over Leonardo Mayer 1-6, 7-6, 6-4.

Thursday afternoon, 2009 ITC champion Mardy Fish will take on the 2004 ITC champion Ricardo Mello. The night session is highlighted by 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro who takes on Teymuraz Gabashvili. Gabashvili eliminated John Isner in the first round.

Here is the order of play for Thursday, February 24 :

STADIUM start 11:00 am
B Becker (GER) / M Kohlmann (GER) vs C Kas (GER) / A Peya (AUT)

Not Before 12:30 PM
R Mello (BRA) vs [2] M Fish (USA)

Not Before 2:30 PM
[8] A Mannarino (FRA) vs [Q] A Falla (COL)

5:30 PM
S Lipsky (USA) / R Ram (USA) vs J Murray (GBR) / K Skupski (GBR)

Not Before 7:15 PM
J Del Potro (ARG) vs T Gabashvili (RUS)
[5] K Anderson (RSA) vs F Serra (FRA)

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Del Potro Advances In Delray Beach Debut

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Del Potro Advances In Delray Beach Debut



Juan Martin Del Potro advanced to the second round of the Delray Beach Tennis Championships Tuesday night with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Richard Berankis of Lithuania.

Del Potro and Berankis traded breaks early in the first set before going back on serve in the sixth game. Serving at 4-5, Berankis was broken, handing Del Potro the first set. In the second set, Berankis was no match for Del Potro who easily ran away with the second set and the match.

In the post match interview, Del Potro responded to following questions from MiamiTennisNews.com:

Q: Since your return from your wrist surgery have you had to adjust the way you play or are are playing at the same level when you won the US Open?
Del Potro: It depends on the climate and how I feel on a given day. I do not have the same strength however my game remains the same. I try to be aggressive with all my shots as that is what has allowed me to win tournaments.

Q: Are you taking any special measures to protect your wrist or are you back to 100%?
Del Potro: No, I’m still rehabbing and receiving treatments. It is a very long process. It still hasn’t been a year since I had the surgery. The norm would be that I would have some pain. At the moment [the recovery] is going well.

Del Potro, who is making his first appearance in Delray, will face Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia in the second round. On Monday night Gabashvili upset the fourth-seeded American John Isner in a three sets.

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Delray Beach Draw Displays Potential for an Exciting Final

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Delray Beach Draw Displays Potential for an Exciting Final



As usual, Delray Beach will be the ATP’s first stop in South Florida.  This year, the field is more spectacular than ever with 2003 U.S. Open title holder Andy Roddick and 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro gracing fans with their appearance.  Moreover, former champions Marty Fish, Kei Nishikori, Xavier Malisse and Ricardo Mello will also take part in the festivities.  The draw has been announced, here’ a closer look as to how this thrilling week may unfold.

Roddick, the top seed, may have to face Janko Tipsarevic for the second consecutive week.  This time, Roddick would battle Tipsarevic or 2010 finalist Ivo Karlovic for a spot in the semifinals.

Third seed and wildcard entry Sam Querrey may be another threat to Roddick’s quest to the final.  However, prior to a potential date with Roddick, Querrey may have to overcome either Nishikori, Russian Igor Andreev or the always dangerous Benjamin Becker in the quarterfinals.

In the bottom section, 2009 titlist Fish is the second seed.  Veteran Rainer Schuettler could present a grave challenge for Fish in the second round.  Then, in the quarterfinals, Fish could contend with Radek Stepanek.

Also, in Fish’s part of the draw are John Isner and Del Potro.  These latter two just clashed in Memphis and could see each other again in the second round.  American teenager Ryan Harrison has a terrific opportunity to get to the quarterfinals.  But, in that round, Isner or Del Potro may await him.  Consequently, Fish, Del Potro, Stepanek and Isner appear the ones with the truest chance to advance to the final.

While the likelihood of an all American final exist, Roddick vs. Isner or Roddick vs. Fish, there are plenty of potential spoilers.  Since returning from his wrist injury, Memphis seems to be a turning point for Del Potro.  The Argentine looks to have regained some of the form and confidence which propelled him to the top ten.  As a result, it would not be surprising to see two former U.S. Open champions Del Potro and Roddick duke it out for the ITC title.

Click here for a complete look at the draw as it appears on the ITC tournament website.

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