Good one, Mardy. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!
Steely Pavel sinks Fish
Paris - 02/11/04
omanian Andrei Pavel, the No 11 seed, showed steely nerves to shatter the hopes of American Mardy Fish on Tuesday.
On US election day, the 30-year-old Romanian veteran used all his court savvy to contain the young American, breaking down the resistance of his opponent 7/6 (3), 6/4 to move into the third round.
Pavel hammered eleven aces to Fish’s twelve and did not face one single break point throughout the battle.
The 24-ranked Romanian is now slated to meet the victor of the match between reigning French Open champion, Gaston Gaudio, seeded seventh here in Paris, and Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
In the opening set, both men produced a near-perfect performance of hard-court tennis and held stubbornly onto their deliveries one after the other.
They served big in spots and sent their groundstrokes whizzing into the corners.
Fish burst ahead 3-0 in the tie-breaker but the Romanian, a runner-up here last year, remained composed under fire and turned the match back in his favour. He reeled off the final seven points to secure the first set.
Unable to hold his nerves afloat, the dejected Fish, ranked 37 in the world, cracked and earned a penalty point by the chair empire after the loss of the first set.
Fish endured a monumental collapse in the opening game of the second set and conceded his delivery. Pavel applied steady and unrelenting pressure onto his opponent and maintained his advantage until the end to close out the contest on his serves in the tenth game.