• Two-time finalists Fish, Isner take court in Atlanta

    7/19/12 8:56 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Two-time finalists Fish, Isner take court in Atlanta The only finalists in the two-year history of this Atlanta event will be in action on Thursday. Mardy Fish is facing Gilles Muller and John Isner is going up against Ruben Bemelmans.

    Gilles Muller vs. (2) Mardy Fish

    Muller and Fish will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers and for the second time this season when they clash in round two of the BB&T Atlanta Open on Thursday. Fish has won both of their previous encounters; 7-6(1), 6-1 last year in Los Angeles and most recently 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 at the Australian Open. The 13th-ranked American may be a bit rusty for this one having missed much of 2012 due to a heart problem, but he should be feeling good about his Wimbledon performance. Fish advanced three rounds before losing to eventual semifinalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets.

    This is generally the best time of the year for Muller, who is no stranger to American hard-court success. The veteran Luxembourgian is a former U.S. Open quarterfinalist and he has played well in Atlanta each of the past two seasons (semifinals in 2011). Muller kicked off his week on Monday with a 7-6(5), 6-4 victory over Marinko Matosevic. The world No. 63 should make this one relatively competitive, but two-time defending champ Fish in straight sets is the pick.

    (1) John Isner vs. (Q) Ruben Bemelmans

    Isner and Bemelmans will be meeting for the fist time in their careers on Thursday night. Bemelmans has been in stellar form and he is up to a career-high ranking of No. 125 in the world. The Belgian qualified for Queen's Club and Wimbledon before losing to Ryan Harrison in a three-set thriller in Newport. Bemelmans also qualified for Atlanta then hammered Rajeev Ram 6-1, 6-3 on Tuesday.

    Of course, Isner presents a huge step up in class for Bemelmans. The 11th-ranked American is once again heading into Atlanta fresh off a title in Newport. This Newport triumph was especially big for Isner, because he had been slumping mightily through the French Open and Wimbledon. Look for the No. 1 seed to maintain his momentum after two tight sets.

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Fish crashed into net post, then retired -

RickyDimon , 7/19/12 11:46 PM


ts38 , 7/20/12 2:06 AM

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