Story by Matt
Roger Federer - SUI
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
Novak Djokovic - SRB
By Adam Davis
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.
DJOKER GETS LAST LAUGH
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
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