Thursday, March 1, 2012
DUBAI: Mardy Fish is in search of last year's form
Mardy Fish is the only top-eight seed not to advance to the quarter-finals in Dubai after the American suffered a 6-2, 7-6 (7/0) defeat to Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny.
The No6 seed, who was making his debut in the UAE, has not won back-to-back matches this season where he lost in the second round of the Australian Open to Alejandro Falla before falling to unheralded Frenchman Albano Olivetti in his opening match in Marseille last week.
A frustrated Fish, who had a breakthrough season last year becoming the No1 American and breaking the top-ten for the first time, says he is inexplicably low on confidence.
He said of his loss to Youzhny: “He’s a good player, it’s no disgrace to lose to someone like him. It’s just frustrating to lose. The start to the year – Davis Cup was a blast – but I had a rough trip. Lost a couple of matches that sting a little bit going into Indian Wells and Miami, which are the big ones.
“Confidence is such a big part of sport, and when you just lose that a little bit, it’s a big difference from No8 in the world, or top-ten player, you know playing top-ten tennis last summer and obviously all last year, to lost that little bit, and just one or two matches, like the match in Australia that I played, it kind of opens your eyes a little bit.
“It’s been a few months where I haven’t strung together a few tournaments, and that gets you, at any level, whether you’re playing a Future or a World Tour Final. A loss is a loss. It still hurts.
“These are good courts for me. It’s a good tournament and I want to do well. I want to turn the corner. I’ll put in the work, it’s just frustrating to lose.
“Youzhny likes the fast courts, ball stays low, he hits the ball flat and when he times it well and when he’s playing well, he’s tough to beat. It’s not a bad loss but you know I beat these guys last year, especially on this court.
“I made those shots for the past ten months and for some reason I haven’t this year.
“A lot of it is confidence, just in the back of your mind. It’s a fickle thing and when you struggle it’s frustrating because I’ve had some injuries and when you don’t have injuries you want to maximize and you want to do well.”