Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Mardy Fish, John Isner chosen
Top American Mardy Fish is eager to play for the United States next week, when he'll lead the Davis Cup team against France.
The Olympics are another matter. Fish may skip the London Games, even though the tennis is at Wimbledon.
The Davis Cup team announced Tuesday includes Fish, John Isner and top-ranked doubles partners Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan. The tie will be played on red clay April 6-8 at the Monte Carlo Country Club in Roquebrune Cap Martin, France.
In February, Fish and Isner swept the opening-day singles matches to help the U.S. team win at Switzerland.
"Davis Cup means almost everything to me," Fish said after winning his fourth-round match Tuesday at the Sony Ericsson Open.
When it comes to the Olympics, however, Fish is undecided. He reached the final at the 2004 Games but settled for a silver medal when he lost a five-setter to Nicolas Massu of Chile.
"I have a lot of great memories from the Olympics, and I have a lot of tough memories from the Olympics as well," Fish said.
He skipped the Games four years ago and may do so again, citing the schedule as the reason.
"Scheduling, yeah -- staying closer to home, playing tournaments that I'm comfortable in," Fish said. "I haven't decided yet."
The London Games conflict with tournaments in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Fish lives in L.A. and said he can ride his bike to that tournament.
Fish is the highest-ranked American on the men's tour at No. 8. He arrived at Key Biscayne with a disappointing 4-4 record this year but earned his first quarterfinal berth since October by beating Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-3.
"Mardy is feeling a lot better having won a couple of matches," Davis Cup captain Jim Courier said. "He has gotten himself back on track, and he is fighting and competing and grinding. He's not playing his best tennis yet, but he's playing a lot better."
Fish likes the U.S. team's chances against France, even on clay. That was the surface in Switzerland as well.
"Everyone keeps playing us on clay, and we keep winning on clay," Fish said. "Any team that we play, they've got to beat Isner both times, they've got to beat the Bryans, and they've got to beat me. We have a good team right now."
Andy Roddick wasn't part of the team at Switzerland, and after that victory, he wasn't eager to bump Fish or Isner from the squad.
"Andy said pretty clearly that Mardy and John deserve the right to continue on with what they've started," Courier said. "I agree with Andy's assessment. He remains open to opportunities down the line for the team. If one of our guys was to be injured, he would be available."
The French team includes Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils, Julien Benneteau and Michael Llodra. The U.S.-France winner will face the winner of the quarterfinal between Spain and Austria.