Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Top-seeded American John Isner rallied from a
set deficit to beat Belgian Ruben Bemelmans Thursday in second-round action at
the Atlanta Open tennis event.
Two-time defending champion Mardy Fish retired from his opening match. Fish,
second-seeded, was leading Luxembourg's Gilles Muller 6-4, 3-2 when he called
it quits due to a left ankle injury on the hardcourts at Atlantic Station.
Fish, who received a bye into the second round this week, stumbled while
trying to return a drop shot and his left ankle appeared to buckle as he
approached the net. He then dropped his racquet and fell to the court.
The Minnesota native stayed on his back for about a minute before limping off
the court for a short break. Fish returned to finish the fifth game of the
second set with a pair of aces. But after he and Muller changed sides, Fish
decided his day was over.
The 30-year-old Fish recently returned to the ATP World Tour after being
sidelined for three months. He was slowed by fatigue-like symptoms and
ultimately underwent a heart procedure called cardiac catheter ablation, which
deals with misfiring electrical pulses in the heart.
Fish beat Isner, last week's Newport champion, in the last two Atlanta
Isner fired 16 aces during his 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory Thursday night. Isner
will next take on 19-year-old American wild card Jack Sock, who defeated
fellow countryman Steve Johnson, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5).
Meanwhile, Aussie Matthew Ebden fired 20 aces before coming back to beat
fading 32-year-old American James Blake 6-7 (6-8), 6-4, 6-4. Ebden will meet
Muller here on Friday.
The winner of this $477,900 tournament will pocket $86,270.
The Sports Network