Fish wins 11th straight match 6-4, 6-3 against Troicki, Verdasco narrowly wins in Washington

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fish beats Troicki, Verdasco advances in 2nd round

WASHINGTON — Mardy Fish extended the longest winning streak of his career to 11 matches and third-seeded Fernando Verdasco narrowly avoided a second-round upset in the Legg Mason Tennis Classic on Tuesday.

Fish, seeded 15th, beat Viktor Troicki 6-4, 6-3. Verdasco twice faced match point in the second set before coming back against Michael Berrer 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (6).

Fish has won his past two tournaments, in Newport and Atlanta. His last loss came in the second round at Wimbledon. He credited his recent success to a new fitness regimen which led to him losing 30 pounds since undergoing knee surgery last September.

“You’d be surprised at how much easier you can move around the court with 30 pounds less,” Fish said.

Troicki double-faulted six times in the match, included three times in one game during the first set.

“He’s a fiery guy,” Fish said. “He’s a very hot and cold type player. He played very well at times and he played poorly at times. I was able to keep it steady.”

Verdasco, who entered the tournament ranked No. 10, trailed 2-5 in the second set before winning five straight games to close out the set.

“Even when I was match points down, I was just trying to put all the balls in and make no mistakes,” Verdasco said. “I think I was also lucky, that he didn’t make like a pretty good serve close to the line to win the match, or a winner to the baseline or something like that.”

In the third-set tiebreaker, Verdasco briefly sat on the court in pain holding his left foot after running to return a drop shot in a point he lost to tie it at 6-all. After the Spaniard rose, he won two straight points for the victory.

“I hit really hard the nail of the big toe,” Verdasco said. “It’s just so painful for about one minute and then I’m fine again.”

Also in the second round, fourth-seeded Marin Cilic defeated Denis Istomin, 6-4, 6-2, and Xavier Malisse upset No. 12-seeded Julien Benneteau 7-5, 6-4 in their second-round match.

In Tuesday’s first-round matches, Marco Chiudinelli beat Brian Dabul 7-6 (3), 6-2; Janko Tipsarevic defeated Arnaud Clement 6-4, 6-0; Alejandro Falla won against Yen-hsun Lu, 7-5, 6-1; and Kristof Vliegen advanced when Richard Gasquet retired after dropping the first set 6-3.

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