Fish back in the swim as Washington Open top seed
Date published :
30 Jul 2012 - 04:16:52
Mardy Fish will hope to put his recent health issues firmly behind him when the American plays as top seed at the Washington Open, which starts on Monday.
While the Olympic tournament at Wimbledon hogs the tennis spotlight, the former top-10 ranked player may be able to lift his game at this hardcourt tournament that he will be playing for the seventh time.
Fish, who has recovered after doctors corrected an accelerated heartbeat which gave him frights during the first part of the season, had to quit a match last week in Atlanta with an ankle injury.
After nearly three months out, he made his comeback at Wimbledon and went on to reach the fourth round before losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The 30-year-old, currently ranked 13th in the world, is glad to be back in the frame and is especially pleased to be playing in what promises to be the usual heat and humidity of the American capital.
"It's the kind of weather I enjoy playing in. It's not just about being fit," he said in the run-up. "It's about convincing yourself you like it more than the other guy."
Fish will open with a first-round tie against German Bjorn Phau at a tournament where his best showings to date have been runs to the quarter-finals in 2003 and 2006.
Last year's winner here, Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, is at the Olympics, and in a weakened field Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine takes the second seeding ahead of South African Kevin Anderson.
Dolgopolov is not in London due to a clash with his federation while German fourth seed Tommy Haas was denied a nomination for a London 2012 wild card by his national federation, who chose to stick to the letter of Olympic law.
The 34-year-old is in form though, having reached the Hamburg final on clay last weekend, where he lost to Argentine Juan Monaco.
Dolgopolov starts against Italian Flavio Cipolla, while Anderson plays Jurgen Zopp of Estonia and Haas takes on a qualifier at Rock Creek Park.
In the women's side of the newly combined event, Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova leads the field with South African Chanelle Scheepers seeded second.
Americans take three of the remaining seedings, with Sloane Stephens third, Vania King fourth and Stanford finalist Coco Vandeweghe seventh.
Mardy Fish (USA x1), Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR x2), Kevin Anderson (RSA x3), Tommy Haas (GER x4), Pablo Andujar (ESP x5), Jeremy Chardy (FRA x6), Benoit Paire (FRA x7), Sam Querrey (USA x8)
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x1), Chanelle Scheepers (RSA x2), Sloane Stephens (USA x3), Vania King (USA x4), Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE x5), Iveta Benesova (CZE x6), Coco Vandeweghe (USA x7), Olga Govrtsova (BLE x8)