Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: *dreams of sweden*
Re: Beating up the Beast! (Davis Cup thread)
Fish Powers USA to Commanding Lead
Mardy Fish battled to a 7-5, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win over Belarusian No.1 Max Mirnyi to put the USA 2-0 up in its Davis Cup by BNP Paribas semi-final in Charleston.
Thanks to Fish's win the home team could sew the tie up on Saturday if Bob and Mike Bryan can win the doubles rubber for the USA. Mirnyi is scheduled to team up with 18-year-old Alexander Skrypko for Belarus but the teenager may be replaced by the more experienced Vladimir Voltchkov now that the rubber is a must-win match for the Belarusians.
Earlier, Andy Roddick gave the USA the perfect start to their semi-final against Belarus by beating Vladimir Voltchkov 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 to put the US one point ahead and a step closer to a place in a Davis Cup by BNP Paribas final against either France or Spain.
Fish and Mirnyi locked horns in the first set until the American, cheered on by most of the 9,500-strong capacity crowd in the Family Circle Tennis Centre in Charleston, made the crucial break to lead 6-5.
He broke early in the second set and, with his confidence growing as he romped to a 2-0 lead, it looked like Belarus might be destined for a drubbing on the first day of its first ever Davis Cup semifinal.
Mirnyi, however, had other ideas. After struggling to hold his own serve in the opening game of the third, he quietened the crowd by breaking Fish to lead 2-0 up in a fight-back which must have given Fish flashbacks to his Olympic gold medal match against Nicolas Massu, which he lead by two sets to one only to lose in five.
Fish, anxious to avoid a repeat, found a way to break the Mirnyi serve in the third set and withstood relentless pressure from Mirnyi to hold on and give the USA a 2-0 lead.
Roddick was helped to his win by a record serve of 155 mph (249.4 kph) achieved despite cool, overcast conditions, a delivery which surpassed his previous mark of 153 mph (246.2 kph), set at Queen's club in June. Roddick bowed to the crowd when he saw the speed gun but was more impressed with the fact that it gave him a match point.
"It's great for the fans to see a record serve like that but to me it was another point, and that's the important thing," said Roddick. "I wanted to take the pressure off Mardy by winning my match and I think I did that."
The USA has not been in a Davis Cup by BNP Paribas final since 1997, when they lost to Sweden, and hasn't won since triumphing over Russia in 1995. This year Roddick in particular seems intent on bringing his nation its 32nd Davis Cup by BNP Paribas. After Friday's singles, the American doubles team of twins Bob and Mike Bryan are scheduled to take on Mirnyi and Alexander Skrypko on Saturday, with Roddick playing Mirnyi and Fish up against Voltchkov on Friday.
The venerable city of Charleston is hosting its first ever Davis Cup by BNP Paribas tie and Charlestonians would dearly love to crown their historic weekend with a home win. However, they will be keeping a careful eye on the weather map during the next three days in order to monitor Hurricane Jeanne, which is currently hovering offshore and could hit the South Carolina coastline as early as Sunday, the last scheduled day of the tie.
*mmm sweaty hugs from dima *
[♥Faithful Mitya Slave♥]
[Big right back at ya dude]
Jonas Bjorkman - Joachim Johansson - Simon Aspelin - Jiri Novak - Richard Gasquet
Andy Murray - Fernando Gonzalez - Max Mirnyi - Jan Michael Gambill
James Blake - Greg Rusedski - Alex Bogdanovic
♥ Andrew Kennaugh & Michael Ryderstedt ♥