Nikolay is tough but looking at the scoreline I'm happy to see that Mardy gave him a bit of push.
Former star gone Fishin'
BY MICHELLE KAUFMAN SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN
Posted on Thu, Mar. 23, 2006
Once upon a time, when Mardy Fish was ranked No. 17 and winning Olympic medals, surviving a first-round match over a 90th-ranked player barely would have been worth mentioning.
But Fish has been through two wrist surgeries since 2004, didn't play for 10 months last year, and, as a result, his ranking is down to No. 256. He had to get through two qualifying matches just to get into the NASDAQ-100 Open main draw.
That is why Fish was so happy to advance to the second round Wednesday with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic.
''It's nice to be back,'' Fish said. ``This is the first time in a while I've won three matches in a row, so I'm excited. I think the last time was probably the  Olympics. After the Olympics, I won a few Masters Series, won rounds, but never won three. That's a little bit tougher competition than playing in the qualifying, but nevertheless, a win's still a win.''
Because he couldn't do much on the court, Fish spent much of 2005 working on his fitness. He says he is reaping the rewards, staying in points longer than before his injury.
''I'm feeling good, feeling fit. It's a matter of putting points together and remembering how I played,'' he said. ``I kind of forgot how to compete.''
Fish has been working with former tour player Todd Martin since last year and said it has been beneficial.
''He's been in every situation I can imagine,'' Fish said. ``Whenever I have a tennis question, he's the first one that I call. I play a similar style to his, but I didn't have the mental game he had, and I think that's where he can help me the most. We've made good strides, and hopefully it will keep going.''
photos from today's match.....