Match report

Xavier Malisse ©
2nd round
7/21/11 1 2 3 Tot
be  Xavier Malisse 7 4 4 1
us  Ryan Harrison 6 6 6 2
Ryan Harrison ©
Mardy Fish ©
2nd round
7/22/11 1 2 Tot
us  Mardy Fish 6 6 2
fr  Nicolas Mahut 3 3 0
Nicolas Mahut ©
  • Fish rolls, Harrison advances to surprise Atlanta QF

    7/22/11 7:48 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Mardy Fish beats Nicolas Mahut in straight sets on Thursday night in Atlanta. Fish is joined in the quarterfinals by Ryan Harrison, who will go up against Rajeev Ram after ousting Xavier Malisse.

    (1) Mardy Fish d. Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 6-3

    Fish's title defense at the Atlanta Tennis Championships got off to a routine but impressive start on Thursday night, as the top seed dismissed Mahut in one hour and 22 minutes. Perhaps the match's most interesting development took place with the first set still on serve. At 0-30, Mahut was awarded a point but he admitted his winning serve had been a let and called for the point to be replayed. Fish went on to win it and capitalized at 0-40 for the break.

    The world No. 9 American dropped a mere two service points in the entire first set, so one break would have been enough. For good measure, though, Fish struck again at 5-3 to end the opening frame of play in style. Mahut showed signs of a comeback with a sudden break in the first game of set two, but the Frenchman gave it right back and could not recover. Fish wrapped up his effort with six aces and two double-faults en route to a quarterfinal clash against Somdev Devvarman.

    Ryan Harrison d. (4) Xavier Malisse 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4

    Thursday's most bizarre of the four Atlanta second-round matches saw Harrison upset Malisse after a significant rain delay and a total of two hours and 19 minutes of play. Harrison, however, came out slow and double-faulted three times in the opening game--including on break point. The 19-year-old American got it back with a break of his own at 3-4, after which Malisse seemed content to throw away the set. Despite poor body language and a 0-30 deficit at 4-5, the 40th-ranked Belgian managed to force a tiebreaker and he promptly woke up to dominate it seven points to three.

    Still, Malisse never looked comfortable on court and his woeful demeanor continued in the second. Harrison capitalized on the opportunity with a break for 2-1 and that was all he needed. The world No. 120 dropped only five points in five service games as he consolidated the advantage with ease. Fortunately for Malisse, rain halted play for almost three hours with Harrison serving at 1-2, 40-30 in the third.

    Faced with the tough task of trying to hold right away, Harrison lost three straight points to give Malisse the break. Nonetheless, Atlanta's No. 4 seed could not hang on even though his movement had improved dramatically. Harrison broke back immediately and struck again at 4-4 with a huge forehand. The underdog then served out the match with ease at 5-4 to finally pull off the upset. Next up for Harrison is compatriot Rajeev Ram, who stunned Lleyton Hewitt 7-5, 2-6, 6-2.

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Lol @ Mahut's picture.

xrf , 7/22/11 8:53 AM

It may go down as an upset based on rank, but to me it's not a surprise and I expect him to beat Ram and at least make the semis.

numero , 7/22/11 2:09 PM

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