A day after World No. 59 Olivier Rochus took out Novak Djokovic, No. 101 ranked Mardy Fish beat defending champ Andy Murray 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday afternoon in Miami. It wasn’t even a hometown advantage for the American – Scot Andy Murray has an apartment nearby and practices at the Key Biscayne facilities. Murray’s going to use his unexpected time off for some self-help:
“Mentally the last few weeks I’ve been really poor and unacceptable. . .I think it’s just I need to get my mind right; I need to get focused again. You know, when I do that, my game will get better again. That’s for sure. . .That’s something I need to sort out myself. It’s purely down to me, what goes on inside my head. No one else can, you know, make that better or change it, you know. You need to do that yourself. Doesn’t matter how well you practice. You know, you need to be tough in the matches. I need to get better, you know, mentally, because since Australia where I was great in all of the matches, I’ve been poor.”
Mardy’s secret to success is a low-carb diet and a new dedication to fitness. While rehabbing from a knee surgery he underwent in September, the Miami Herald reports that Fish lost 25 pounds and trimmed down from a 36 inch waist to a svelte 32. “It was almost impossible,” Fish told the Miami Herald. “I felt like I was starving myself for a month and a half. It was really hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it.” Fish also says his injury layoff gave him the time he needed to change his body and, maybe, his career:
“I knew I had an opportunity. I wanted to make the most of it, you know. And obviously not being able to play all summer healthy wise was tough. But like I say, it gave me an opportunity to try to, you know, sort of resurrect and try to make a push in the next four, five, however many years I have left and try to stay as healthy as I can.”
Fish faces Feliciano Lopez next.
Roger Federer was certainly looking fit (and tan) in orange during his 6-3, 6-3 win over Nicolas Lapentti on Saturday night, though he admitted that the conditions were tricky and he credited his serve for keeping him out of trouble. He said watching Djokovic and Murray get booted early was a little unsettling, too:
Q. With some of the top seeds out, Djokovic and Murray, does it feel good to get your first match out?
ROGER FEDERER: Sure, worries me as well being the top seed, seeing high seeds fall out of the tournament. You know, I haven’t even started playing yet, and there’s two, you know, big names out of the tournament already. It’s a bit worrying at times. But then again, I’m worried on my own work. I’m relieved I’m through the first round, anyway.
Federer says he’s no longer worrying about Roland Garros:
Q. You’re gonna be returning as the defending champion at Roland Garros. Is there a different feeling that you’re gonna have walking in as opposed to the past where you’re only a finalist?
ROGER FEDERER: Very different, yeah. Finally less pressure, even though I’m defending champion. I have to defend 2,000 points, and defend the Coupe de Mousquetaires. It’s not something that’s so simple. I know that. I love those kind of challenges, you know. I’m happy I have that kind of pressure. But I think it’s probably gonna be one of the first times at the French Open I’m gonna walk in the grounds smiling thinking, you know, what? I’ve already won this tournament. It’s fine. But I will try everything I possibly can to defend again.
One more photo of Roger, so you can decide if you like his collarless orange shirt:
Anna Wintour approves, of course:
Rafael Nadal’s run for back-to-back doubles titles came to an end on Saturday. He and childhood friend, “Tomeu” Salva lost to the Bryan Brothers, 0-6, 3-6 on Saturday. (Score one for the doubles specialists!) Everyone’s just happy that Rafa ditched “those” shorts from IW. He’s looking lovely in lemon this week:
Oh, I was so excited by his new look that I almost forgot: Nadal will rise to No. 3 when the new rankings come out, thanks to Murray’s early exit. He plays David Nalbandian on Sunday in an interesting 3rd round match.
Speaking of wardrobe, Venus Williams was asked about her flashy new dress after her win over Roberta Vinci:
“My dress, it’s really about being fun and sexy at the same time. Just the movement of the dress with the flounce at the end really gives it a lot of movement and a lot of character. So this dress has a lot of character. It’s really fiery, and that’s why it’s red, too. You know, I never wear red and black together, but it just the design really lent itself to that. I’m happy with it.”
I like everything about it except for the dust ruffle flounce. What say you?
Ana Ivanovic failed to extend her two-match winning streak in Miami on Saturday, losing 7-5, 7-5 to Agnieszka Radwanska in the third round. But she built up some good karma, according to her website:
[Ana] fell 0-30 behind (in the seventh game of the second set) and then, remarkably, she herself over-ruled a Radwanska shot that had been called “out”, thus giving the Pole a free point and taking the score to 0-40. At this moment Ana was determination personified and she reeled off five consecutive points to take the game and a 4-3 lead. However, such exertions appeared to have an effect on her several games later, as she suffered a letdown when serving at 5-5.
Ah well, it never hurts to build up credit with the Tennis Gods.
Radwanska also won her doubles match on Saturday with partner Maria Kirilenko, taking out the No. 6 seeded team of Mattek-Sands/Yan. Kuznetsova (d. Szavay), Bartoli (d. Dulko), Hantuchova (d. Petrova) and Wickmayer all advanced to the fourth round of singles. Top doubles seeds Huber/Black lost to Grandin/Spears.
On the men’s side, Soderling, Gonzalez, Verdasco, Berdych and Baghdatis were among the second round winners. Isner/Querrey advanced in doubles as did the teams of Clement/Tsonga and Almagro/Robredo.
Click here for more results.
April 3rd’s Champions for Chile charity doubles match with Andy Roddick, Fernando Gonzalez, Jim Courier and Guga Kuerten was announced on Saturday. Click here to buy tickets, starting at $25.