Sunday, August 17, 2003

Schuettler finds Fish too tough in semis

By Dustin Dow
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mardy Fish returns to Rainer Schuettler in the first set.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
| ZOOM |
MASON - The list of finalists at Tennis Masters Series events this season reads like a who's who.

Agassi, Roddick, Federer, Ferrero, Hewitt and ... Fish?

American Mardy Fish continued his surprising run to the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters final by outlasting Rainer Schuettler 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6) Saturday in the semifinal round at the Lindner Family Tennis Center.

An up-and-coming 21-year-old who has never been past the round of 32 of a Masters Series event before this week, Fish has frustrated opponents here with his powerful serve and ability to save break points. At No. 41, he is the lowest-ranked player to reach a final at any of the seven TMS events this year.

"This is the best week I've ever had tennis-wise," Fish said.

Fish, who plays Andy Roddick today for the title, has won 57 consecutive service games since the first round of this tournament, and has saved 16 straight break points.

"I wouldn't be here without the serve," Fish said after the match.

Schuettler pushed Fish to the brink of losing his service game five times in the first set Saturday, but Fish saved break point each time, usually with an ace or service winner. Fish hit 13 aces and 12 service winners throughout the match.

"He had a bunch of break points there in the first set," Fish said. "I tried to take a little bit off the first serve and put a lot of pressure on him by making the first serve."

Fish won his sixth game of the set with four aces. He took control of the tiebreaker by breaking Schuettler's serve on the first point.

Each player held serve during the second set. On match point during the second-set tiebreaker, Fish hit a volley near the sideline, and Schuettler's return flew wide. Fish threw his arms up as his coach, Cincinnati's Kelly Jones, applauded.

Jones is moving to Miami after the tournament and will give Fish a ride to his Tampa home in the truck. As far as Fish is concerned, a championship trophy would fit nicely in that truck.

Mardy Fish

Seed: Unseeded

Ranking: 41

Season: 29-19, no titles, $296,113

Hard courts: 20-9

Tennis Masters Series: Previous best showing was round of 32 this year at Miami and Rome

Career tournament finals: 0-2

Path to final

def. M. Philippoussis 1-6, 6-3, 6-4

def. X. Malisse 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-1

def. Arnaud Clement 6-2, 6-2

def. D. Nalbandian 7-6 (3), 6-3

def. R. Schuettler 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6)



Bengals 23, Lions 10
Bengals Q&A
Bengals notebook: First hit no trouble for rookie

Martin on a tight training leash
Sat. games: Dungy's defensive designs pay dividends
Tressel says Clarett decision imperative for opener status
AP voters like Oklahoma No. 1 over Ohio State

Astros 5, Reds 2
Reds rethinking how they develop pitchers
Thumb makes Dunn sit down
Reds Q&A
Flurry of call-ups has Louisville scrambling
Reds chatter
Reds notebook: Prized lefty done for season

NL: Dodgers knock out Wood, Cubs
AL: Twins clobber KC, trail Royals by 2
Pirates send 1B Simon to Cubs
MLB power ratings

Old pals new rivals for title
Perfection eludes Roddick in victory
Schuettler finds Fish too tough in semis
Bigger, faster, stronger ... and hurt
Familiarity helps Australians rule

Hornish keeps 3rd IRL title within reach
Consecutive-starts record is within Sharp's reach
Dow: Auto racing insider
Lepage happy to be a factor again

Sports finds its stars younger and younger
Groeschen: High school insider
Ernst: Kentucky high schools
Boys cross country preview
Girls cross country preview
Kentucky boys cross country preview
Kentucky girls cross country preview

Koch: College basketball insider
Secret tapes implicate Bliss in cover-up

Micheel falls into a tie for lead with Campbell
Thorpe ties senior tour record with 10-under 60

The boys of summer
Page Two Power Rankings

Sunday sports on TV, radio