The Newport Casino and Tennis Hall Of Fame were host to the only grass court ATP event still held in the USA.
By defeating Olivier Rochus, Mardy Fish proved at Newport, that he has reinvented himself from a journeyman into a contender by dropping nearly 35 pounds since knee surgery last year.
His skill as a grass court player were evident all week. The big serve, deft volleys, blistering passing shots and speed!
Yes I said speed !
He worked in a knuckle scraping crouch for every point of every match.
The fitness angle here can not be dusted over lightly.
He played fearless tennis in the crunch-- attacking- attacking- attacking.
The crucial moment in the final came at 4 games all in the 3rd set.
After two viciously contested points with both players ripping groundies from the back court, Fish had the legs and guts to close to the net on the Rochus second serves eventually pressuring the Belgian into a double fault that Mardy quickly parlayed in to a service break to go up 5-4 in the deciding set.
Fish fought hard to hold serve after being down 0-30 and closed the match out 5-7,6-3, 6-4.
I think Mardy has put in the HARD YARDS over the last year and is now reaping a handsome dividend
If the Knee holds up during the US Open Series look for him to make some noise in Queens in August!