CITI OPEN 2013
Fish Claims Comeback Win In D.C.
Washington D.C., U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
American Mardy Fish claimed the first win of his comeback as he rallied past Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 on Monday at the Citi Open. The 31 year old, who returned to action last week in Atlanta, went up the decisive break at 4-2 in the third set after Ebden committed a double fault.
Fish was playing just his fourth tour-level match since the 2012 US Open. Before he was sidelined with heart trouble, the former World No. 7 had put together solid results on hard courts last summer, reaching the semi-finals in Washington, the quarter-finals at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati, and the fourth round at the US Open.
He is currently two victories shy of the 300-match wins milestone and next faces 12th-seeded Frenchman Julien Benneteau.
Another American veteran, former World No. 4 James Blake, bowed out in his opening match against Australian Marinko Matosevic 6-2, 7-6(6). Blake, a quarter-finalist last week in Atlanta, won the Washington title in 2002 (d. Srichaphan) and finished runner-up to Andy Roddick in 2005.
Czech Radek Stepanek extended his winning streak in D.C. to seven straight matches after opening with a 7-6(3), 6-3 victory over American wild card Steve Johnson. The former World No. 8 captured the title on his last visit in 2011 (d. Monfils).
Belgian Xavier Malisse, a Washington semi-finalist in 2010, accounted for Ram 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 51 minutes. Australian qualifier Samuel Groth recorded his first win since 2009 after firing 20 aces in a 7-6(2), 6-2 win over wild card Kudla. They respectively go on to face 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov and fourth seed Milos Raonic.
Meanwhile, Indian qualifier Somdev Devvarman set up a meeting with defending champion Alexandr Dolgopolov after beating lucky loser Williams 7-5, 6-1. Devvarman, a standout at the University of Virginia, won the NCAA singles title in 2007 and '08 .