Atp Masters: Cincinnati, U.s. Open Series
A Semi Finals Preview
Andy Roddick vs. Mardy Fish.
Post Comment|0 Liked It
This spring Andy Roddick looked like he was in top form coming off of an injury which shortened the end of his 2009 season. Roddick made back to back finals in Masters 1000 level events and won one of them. He was on absolute fire as the clay court season start but then began to faulter. It began with several withdrawals from a couple of clay events including a ATP 1000 masters event which are required for players in the ATP rankings top 10 to compete in. Roddick then performed poorly at Wimbolen and missed several hard court events as the summer heated up due to mono. Roddick fell out of the top 10 for the first time in nearly a decade. What start out as one the best starts to a season in recent history for Roddick has turned into one of the most frustrating. Included in this string of failures was an absolute drubbing delivered at the hands of one of his good friends Mardy Fish in Atlanta back in July. Roddick finally appears to be overcoming his bout with Mono and regaining form just in time for the final Grand Slam of the year (U.S. Open). Yet his fitness must still be less than it was at the start of the year.
Mardy Fish’s 2010 season has been in stark contrast to Roddicks. Fish had fallen all the way down to 108th on the ATP rankings in March of 2010 but since has skyrocketed to 34th. Fish had a total of 3 titles in his career coming into the 2010 season, and had only won 1 tournament since 2006. Then suddenly while Roddick was faltering Fish went on a role, he won 5 matches in a row to take the ATP 250 title in Newport and followed that up with another 5 consecutive victories including a semi final drubbing of his good friend Andy Roddick in the ATP 250 in Atlanta. Fish’s streak of victories ended at 12 when he was finally defeated in the ATP 500 in Washington in the round of 16 vs. world #13 Marin Cilic. But that loss did not result in Fish returning to earth. Instead Fish lifted his game even further and in the ATP Masters 1000 in Cincinnati he won his first round match before upsetting the world #8 in the second round, winning the 3rd round and pulling off another incredible upset by defeating world #4 Andy Murray in the quarter finals. Fish has won 16 of his last 17 matches and has posted a 4-1 record vs. players in the top 20 during that run.
Andy Roddick appears to be playing with confidence, resolve and finally a clean bill of health so far in this tournament but even a healthy Andy Roddick could have a tough time vs. the new Mardy Fish. Both players know each other very well and are very close friends. That said while Roddick is the more talented player he is coming into the match still recovering from a draining illness (mono) and he has yet to perform late in a tournament since returning from his ailment. Fish took advantage of Roddicks health in Atlanta and look for him to try to do so again. Expect a much closer match than odds makers would normally give this matchup. In the end I expect Roddick to win this match but only just so. If Fish can extend the match into a 3rd set all bets are off.