Fish to face Isner in final after Roddick’s knockout

July 25th, 2010 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Andy Roddick Atlanta, July 25 (DPA) Mardy Fish ran his career-best win streak to nine straight as the sixth seed stunned top seed Andy Roddick 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 in the semifinals of the Atlanta Tennis Championships.
The victory in 90 minutes Saturday ended a seven-year dry spell for the Floridian, who once shared a house in his teenaged years with Roddick. Fish earned his only previous win over one-time number one Roddick in 2003 when the pair were beginning their careers. Roddick then won the next nine.

Fish is on fire this season with a Queen’s club final in London and the Newport title this month to show for his efforts.

“This is fantastic, to finally beat Andy is great,” said Fish. “It was a tough match but I served well and took my chances. I know I’ve improved my game and it’s showing.”

The 28-year-old has lifted to new levels after losing around 15 kilogrammes last autumn as he recovered after knee surgery. The final against compatriot John Isner will be his third from his past four tournaments.

Isner, the Wimbledon marathon man from a month ago, booked his spot in the title match on a sweltering afternoon, benefiting from late cloud cover as he beat Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-7 (7-9), 6-3.

Fish stands 1-0 over Isner after a 2009 win. The winner managed nine aces and needed only one break to overcome Roddick, who has struggled in three sets all week.

The afternoon Isner match ended with a win as a siren wailed to alert golfers to leave a nearby course with lightning in the area after a day of temperatures on court in excess of 35 degrees Celsius.

Second seed Isner easily won the first set, but made a hash of the second set, allowing Anderson to take it into a deciding set as the challenger won the second in his fifth opportunity.

Isner struggled with the heat three weeks after achieving record book status by winning the longest match in tennis in the Wimbledon first round over Nicolas Mahut.

“The heat was brutal against today,” said the number 19. “But I was really waiting for that cloud in the third set. I needed it.

“I had melted before in a match like this and I was determined not to do that again. I stayed strong mentally. I was able to play through and pull it out.”

Isner won his lone title this season last January in Auckland and was beaten in finals in Memphis and Belgrade.

“It was disappointing to lose today, I thought I was playing pretty well,” said Anderson. “I made him work harder for his service games than he did for me.

“He just served too well and capitalised on the two break points against my serve. This is my second-best career result (after the 2008 Las Vegas final).

“It was really hot, I was sweating through my shoes. I knew it would be tough. I started well in third but I played one average service game and he took advantage.”

Isner improved to 3-1 on the ATP over Anderson, whom he also played during the pair’s university days in the US.

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