Querry/Fish put on a show; Safin barely hangs on
Mardy Fish - USA
Photo by Adam Davis
On the first night of the 81st
annual Countrywide Classic tennis tournament, local boy Sam
Querry and fellow American Mardy Fish put on quite the show,
outlasting the duo of Alex Bogdanovic and Ross Hutchins 4-6,
Querry and Fish began the match looking a little shaky, but
regrouped and made their move in the third game of the second
set. Tied at 1-1, Querry charged the net and took a ball out of
the air for a risky forehand winner. The very next point found
Fish with an easy overhead slam at the net, leveling the game at
30-30. Following a 130mph ace, Querry approached the net and put
a difficult ball away for a winner and the 2-1 lead.
Minutes later, with the score at 3-2, Querry and Fish found
themselves with a break point opportunity. Perhaps feeling the
momentum shifting, Bogdanovic double faulted away the game,
giving the Americans the 4-2 advantage.
Just as it looked like it would comedown to a third set,
Bogdanovic and Hutchins made things interesting, rallying to tie
it at 5-5. But in the very next game with the score at 30-30,
fans saw the point of the match. Querry and Fish were both at
net when Bogdanovic successfully sent a lob to the back of the
court. Unable to reach it, Fish tracked it down and managed to
smack a between-the-legs lob that sailed over the approaching
opponents, saving the point for a 6-5 lead.
Querry and Fish rallied in the next game to secure a break point
chance at 30-40 before Fish precisely placed a backhand return
of serve ace cross court, sending the match to a decisive
third-set 10-point tiebreaker.
Querry and Fish jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead before Bogdanovic
and Hutchins reeled off four straight points to go ahead 5-4.
With the score tied at 9-8 in favor of the Americans, Fish
sealed the deal smashing Hutchins service offering past
Bogdanovic down the line for a winner and the match. In the next
round Querry and Fish could face last years finalist, Eric
Butorac and Jamie Murray.
In the late match, No. 3 seed Marat Safin fought off the
Australian giant Chris Guccione in a 6-3, 6-7(4), 7-6(2) battle.
Though Safin looked to be in for an early exit, losing his serve
in the first game of the match and breaking a racquet mid-way
through, the past No. 1 relied on his experience to vault
himself into the second round.
Safin managed to save all seven break point chances he faced in
the final set, before finishing Guccione in the tie-break after
failing to convert with a match point at 5-4.
Safin will face qualifier George Bastl in the second round.
Bastl took out Serbian Ilia Bozoljac 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3
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