• Fish battles Berankis at Citi Open

    8/2/12 6:05 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Fish battles Berankis at Citi Open Mardy Fish will continue his Washington campaign on Thursday, but a quarterfinal spot likely won't come easy. Next up for Fish is in-form Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis.

    It has been a tale of two very different U.S. Open Series campaigns for Mardy Fish and Ricardas Berankis heading into their first career meeting in round two of the Citi Open on Thursday.

    Fish won the entire U.S. Open Series in 2011, but he sustained a sprained ankle in his opening match at the Atlanta Open (as the two-time defending champion) and was forced to retire. Berankis, on the other hand, qualified for both Atlanta and Los Angeles and he went all the way to the L.A. final.

    It has been a hard-luck year all around for Fish, who dealt with a heart scare during the spring and early summer. He is a modest 11-8 for the season after overcoming Bjorn Phau 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 on Tuesday night.

    Berankis has endured more than his fair share of physical problems, but he is finally close to 100 percent and the results are starting to show. The 103rd-ranked Lithuanian ousted an in-form Nicolas Mahut en route to the Los Angeles title match and he got the best of Mahut again in the Washington first round with a 6-4, 7-5 victory.

    This has danger written all over it for Fish, who is still lacking match practice as the fourth and final Grand Slam of 2012 rapidly approaches. At the same time, though, Berankis has played a ton of matches of late and fatigue could be an issue. Look or Fish to survive in three tough sets.

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