Fish survives scare to reach semis | Pakistan Today

Fish survives scare to reach semis

Top seed Mardy Fish wasted two match-winning chances and then lost 10 of 11 points before pulling out a 6-4, 6-3 win over Somdev Devvarman to reach the semis of the Atlanta Championships.
The ninth-ranked holder Fish began to rush his shots as thunder could be heard in the background and rain threatened. He was one set up and leading 5-0 in the second when he misfired on two match points against Devvarman’s serve.
It took three more games to finally get the job done as Fish temporarily lost form before his late recovery for victory.
“The weather was rough, I was too eager to get off the court,” said Fish, who lost two Davis Cup rubbers this month but has regained confidence. “I played one bad game and rushed a bit.”
Fish spent 52 minutes in claiming the first set against India’s Devvarman despite poor early form. The American struggled at times with more than 20 unforced errors and managing on only one of seven break points through the first eight games.
He plays the winner from American teenager Ryan Harrison and Rajeev Ram.
John Isner, vying to improve on his runner-up finish last year, lost just seven points on serve as he crushed Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan 6-1, 6-2.
The third-seeded American will play Saturday against Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller, who ended his six-year ATP semi-final drought with a straight-sets upset of second-seeded South African Kevin Anderson.
The 28-year-old Muller, who won his sixth career Challenger title last May on grass but has been beaten in the only two ATP-level finals he has played, fired 14 aces and mustered one break of serve en route to a 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/3) victory over Anderson.
Isner, who starred at the University of Georgia, thrived in hot-house conditions.
“This court is perfect for me. It’s hot but the ball is moving pretty well, that’s good for my serve,” he said.
Isner secured two breaks per set to defeat Lu in 54 minutes on his second match point.
He saved an early break point but was never again threatened.
“I’ve been serving well,” said the player who managed 30 aces in the previous round. “When I’ve had a chance, I’ve converted it.”
Isner said his confidence has been boosted by the grasscourt title he won in Newport the week after Wimbledon.
“I feel like I have my swagger back, it’s all about confidence now,” said last year’s Wimbledon marathon man. “I’m playing well.”
Muller was pleased to make a breakthrough after more than two and a half years of toiling on the lower-level Challenger circuit as he tries to improve his world No. 82 ranking.
He is competing in just his third ATP tournament of 2011 after coming back from a knee injury and falling from the Top 100 in recent seasons.
He last made an ATP semi-final at Los Angeles in 2005.

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