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Fish is in Dubai, And He Likes It





February 28, 2012



© 2012 Daily Tennis News Wire -
Mardy Fish is a first time visitor to Dubai. And he senses it is just the perfect place to jump charge his career again after a disappointing start to 2012. 

After qualifying for last year’s ATP World Tour Finals in London, Fish has not exactly hit the ground running in a new campaign. He lost to Alejandro Falla in the second round of the Australian Open, chalked up a five set Davis Cup over Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka but then suffered arguably the worst defeat of his career. The world no.8 was beaten in Marseille by Albano Olivetti, a French qualifier who is ranked No.388 and was playing in the main draw of an ATP World Tour event for the first time.

“I had been sick in bed for a week and actually postponed my trip a couple days going over because I couldn't fly because I had a nasty cold,” admitted Fish. “I would have liked better preparation.  Playing someone like him and his style last week was not ideal. I was frightened at time with his serve.”

For a player who grew up practicing regularly with Andy Roddick, that is some admission.  But Fish was adamant after being pounded by 23 aces: “That guy had the hardest, fastest serve that I've ever played against.”

Now Fish thinks he’s found the right conditions to regroup his confidence. After a couple of practice sessions and an impressive 6-1,6-1 win over Andreas Beck he said: “The courts here are quick, which is good for me. They will suit me well and so I’m excited.

“They've slowed everything down.  They've slowed Wimbledon down; they've slowed the US Open down. We've lost the variety, no doubt about it.  There are hardly any faster‑surface tournaments anymore.  There should be a couple more at least. I'm glad it's here and I'm glad I'm here.”

Some Americans are reluctant to travel to the Middle East but Fish has no qualms and even consulted Roddick about the trip as his former classmate won the Dubai title in 2008.

“I asked a lot of friends and tennis players and golfers that come over, friends of mine, and everyone has said they loved it,” said Fish.  “Everyone is super nice here, and every hotel is like a resort.

“It's a pretty nice part of the world.  It's far away from home.  Feels like it's far way from home for sure.  But I don't have to move house.  I'm hopefully just going to spend a week and a half here.”


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