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2008 ATP-WTA Tour Pacific Life Open - At The Indian Wells Tennis Garden - Day 7

Tournament Coverage
Story By Matt Osias
Staff Writer


Unseeded American Mardy Fish continued to write his Cinderella story, this time adding a sort of David vs. Goliath chapter, beating the world No. 1 Roger Federer in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 in the Pacific Life Open semifinals.

The Fish victory ended Federer’s 41-match win streak against Americans dating back to 2003.

“This obviously wasn’t Roger’s best day, but hopefully I had a little something to do with that,” Fish said. “I put the pressure on him from the word go.”

After securing the break in the first set and capitalizing, Fish also stole two more breaks in the second set, en route to his first victory over Federer on his sixth try. Regardless of the ‘defeat, Federer still takes away positives from his performance in the desert.

“Today it’s hard to judge, because Mardy took everything on the rise; not many rallies out there,” Federer said, a three-time Indian Wells champion. “But all in all, I’m happy with the way the week went for me. Obviously, the walkover (over Tommy Haas) is sort of an awkward situation, but you have to take them when they come around. So a semifinal to start off with at the first Masters Series is a good thing, and I hope I can go from here and win in Miami, and on to clay.”

Federer won just five games in the loss to Fish, his fewest since taking over the world No. 1 ranking four years ago. Fish entered the tournament ranked an abysmal No. 98 in the world, however, that will obviously change a lot. Though he became the second-lowest ranked opponent Federer has lost to during that span.

“I’ve always been the hunter almost my whole career, and I felt like I was always capable of beating everybody, but it was always here and there. It was always sporadically,” Fish said. “Putting together these wins this week gives me a heck of a lot of confidence to know that I can beat three guys in the Top 10 so far, and hopefully one more to go.”

Fish has beaten No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets, former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, and No. 7 David Nalbandian.

Fish has beaten No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets, former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, and No. 7 David Nalbandian.

Fish became the fifth-lowest ranked ATP Masters Series finalist and the second-lowest ranked player to reach the tournament final. In his only other appearance in an ATP Masters Series final, five years ago in Cincinnati, he lost to Andy Roddick in a third-set tiebreak.

The victory gives Fish the opportunity to win his first Masters Series title, though to do so he will need to get past the 2008 Australian Open winner, No. 3 Novak Djokovic.


Djokovic, in the earlier semifinal, took out last year’s Pac Life winner Rafael Nadal in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 earning his second straight desert final.

“I need to stay calm and just go step by step and try to get to my lifetime goal, which is to be No. 1,” Djokovic said. “It’s getting closer, but still, I don’t want to go too fast and skip some things. I really need to be consistent with my results in the most important events, major events. I started the year in the best possible way, but it’s not over yet.”

In Sunday’s women’s final, top seed Ana Ivanovic will face No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Check back for more information.

Matt Osias can be reached at mosias@californiatennis.com

Roger Federer – SUI

Novak Djokovic – SRB
Photos By Adam Davis


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