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By Robert Martin                               Photo Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
Mardy Fish Backhand
(August 13, 2011) Mardy Fish will have another chance to capture a maiden Masters Series title after dispatching Serbian Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-4 in the first semifinal of the day. The American is ranked No. 8 this week, a career high, and had not made it past the third round at a Masters event outside of the United States until this week.

It took only one hour 16 minutes for Fish to dismiss the streaky Serb, who was playing in his first Masters Series semifinal match. The farthest he had been before was one quarterfinal appearance in 2008 in Miami where he was outmatched by then-ranked No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko 6-2, 6-1.

Both aggressive players, Fish appeared to be in command, often trading groundstrokes with Tipsarevic while standing on top of the baseline moving his opponent around. Other than being broken once, Fish did not face much threat on his own serve while breaking the Serb three times in four chances.

Tipsarevic was able to take advantage on Fish’s second serve, winning 12 of 21 points, but could only manage five points out of 34 first serves. Fish appeared to tone down his own aggression, content to rally from the advantageous position until Tipsarevic forced a shot, often resulting in errors.

Fish has made three Masters Series finals before, losing all three to players ranked in the top four, including Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer. All three of his previous finals have been decided in three sets.

If history is any indication, Fish will be pulling for Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in tonight’s semifinal matchup with World No. 1, Djokovic, who has beaten Fish in all six matches, including three masters and three grand slams. Fish and Tsonga have never played each other.


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