Monday, November 21, 2011

Rafael Nadal fight back to sink Mardy Fish

Posted by Admin On 11:09 AM


Rafael Nadal edged a titanic struggle with debutant Mardy Fish 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7/3) at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London on Sunday night. There were question marks about both men caption into the contest, with Nadal having not played since losing to Florian Mayer in Shanghai a month ago while Fish was nursing a constrain injury.
The world number two certainly did not look rusty in a first set he conquered but his opponent settled into the match in the second and could easily have come out on top in a topsy-turvy decider. The Spaniard next faces great rival Roger Federer, who beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2 2-6 6-4 in the opening Group A match earlier.
Nadal said:It will be a really difficult match for me. He's playing very well and it's a really difficult challenge but this is a fantastic win and I will try my best.What Fish wanted to settle his nerves, which must only have augmented as he was kept waiting while Nadal had his fingers taped, was a good start but instead three errors saw him facing instant break points and the Spaniard took his chance.
The higher bounce at the O2 this year would have been a welcome detection for Nadal and his forehand looked particularly sharp as he maintained his advantage. A second break in the seventh game, clinched with a clean come back winner down the line, took him to 5-2, and the set quickly followed.
Fish's only win in eight preceding meetings with Nadal came in Cincinnati this summer when he was at the top of his form, which was far from the case in the early stages tonight. The American, who turns 30 next month, at least held serve at the start of the second set, and in the next game he broke through, earn the reward for a more aggressive move toward.
Fish nonchalantly swatted away a Nadal forehand at the start of the sixth game to display his growing self-assurance but could not take benefit of two break points. The world number two was under the cosh but he dug deep to save four set points and force Fish to serve it out.
The debutant wobbled and coughed up a break point of his own but again he resist the temptation to go defensive and held on, packaging up the set with a crisp backhand volley. Fish had no answers to Nadal in the second game of the decider, though, the French Open champion breaking through with a trademark passing shot before running off for a lengthy bathroom break, for which he apologised to his adversary - and later the crowd.
The American did not look best pleased but he responded in the perfect way by right away breaking back, showing pleasant touch with a half-volley winner. Nadal's self-confidence has been strangely fragile this season and there were signs his head was start to drop as a poor choice of shot allowed Fish to reel off a third successive game.
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