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Page last updated at 15:55 GMT, Friday, 20 August 2010 16:55 UK

Andy Murray v Mardy Fish as it happened


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By Pranav Soneji

2025: Right, judging by that stupid time I gave in my previous entry, it's time for dinner and to say goodnight. Goodnight.

2021 Meanwhile, a jubilant Mardy Fish will play the winner of the tantalising last-eight encounter between Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick.

2017: Another draining three-setter for the British number one to recover from, although with the US Open on the horizon it's probably not the worst possible result for Murray. The US Open is just 10 days away, giving him plenty of time for rest and recuperation following a very intense few weeks in North America. However, his seven-match unbeaten run is over - and once again beaten by a man who has had the better of him three times this year.

MarcusBackInKensington on 606: "Well played Fish. Nevertheless, that was an excellent performance by Murray, all things considered. Lesser players would have tanked it long ago... these sort of matches separate the potentially great players from the also-rans."


Murray* 7-6 1-6 6-7 Fish
Sublime pick-up volley from Fish's toes just kisses the top of the net cord following a sizzling backhand return from Murray, reducing the deficit to 4-3 - and the scores are level as Murray wearily slams a return into the net, much to the delight of the fiercely partisan crowd. And Fish wins his third successive point when Murray sends a forehand return wide to take a 5-4 lead with Murray to serve. Impressive resilience from the Scot, who levels before Fish earns match point with yet another brilliant volley which Murray cannot control. And Fish beats Murray for the third time this year when the world number four cannot send a service return over the net, sealing the tie-break 7-5.

Murray 7-6 1-6 6-6 Fish*
Murray earns a mini-break courtesy of an unforced error from Fish, but the American has the crowd on their feet as he anticipates an attempted Murray winner which the Scot cannot return. Another ace down the middle gives Murray a 2-1 led but Fish immediately levels with a thumping overhead smash. But Murray once again responds admirably, thumping a double-handed backhand winner cross court for a 3-2 lead. And an unforced error gives the world number four a 4-2 lead at the changeover. More to follow.

Murray 7-6 1-6 6-6 Fish*
Murray opts for the drop-shot which Fish makes, but can't find sufficient racquet to fashion the ball over the net from an acute angle. Fish successfully challenges a return at 40-0 before punching the replayed point down the line for a winner. However, Murray seals the game with a thumping serve down the middle - and so a tie-break will decide the match.

Murray* 7-6 1-6 5-6 Fish
Awesome defensive resolve from Murray, chasing down cast-iron winners and sending up lob after lob, draining valuable stores of energy, but Fish puts away a short high-ball at the fifth time of asking. Fish once again has Murray sprinting all over the court with a cute drop-shot which Murray frames into the net, but the Scot responds with an authoritative forehand winner for 40-30. However, Fish holds and Murray will be serving to stay in the match.

Murray 7-6 1-6 5-5 Fish*
Confident start from Murray, slamming a forehand winner into an empty court. Sweet strokeplay from Fish, floating a wonderful backhand winner before correctly challenging a call with the ball just kissing the edge of the baseline for 30-30. Excellent composure from Murray, rattling down a fast first serve before a bad error at the net hands the world number four the 10th game. And we continue...

doctormanray on 606: "I'm worried about Murray, never saw a thing like that on a tennis court. The man looks terrible tired, almost dying of exhaustion and suddenly he is full of energy, fit again and that goes on and on - what a bore..."

Murray* 7-6 1-6 4-5 Fish
Fish's turn to look scrappy, this time pummelling a weak forehand into the net. But he shrugs off his earlier indifference with a well-placed forehand winner for a 30-15 lead, extending that to 40-15 after dispatching an overhead smash before unleashing another ace to take a 5-4 lead.

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From Anon, via text 81111: "Sounds like a good game. Bet its not as good as Wrong Turn 2 which I'm watching right now while the fiancee is on her hens do. Awesome. Best horror sequel of recent times. Come on Andy!"

Murray 7-6 1-6 4-4 Fish*
Lovely start by as he fires his seventh ace of the match down the middle with Fish nowhere in sight. Two unforced errors later and Murray's 40-0 up with Fish looking ragged. Maybe the intense humidity is taking its toll on the Tampa-based player. Murray holds to love.

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From Chris, via text 81111: "Murray's a great fighter, but you start to wonder if it's really worth it in this match with Flushing Meadows on the horizon. Can't really see him winning tomorrow and Sunday after being this drained."

Murray* 7-6 1-6 3-4 Fish
Excellent double-handed return has Fish sprawled on the green external part of the hard court. The American has done well not to injure himself in that stumble with his feet in such an awkward position. Murray steps in for Fish's second serve, but the world number 38 spots this and sends a superb ace past the Scot's outstretched racquet. Fish banks the game with a sizzling forehand winner down the line to regain the lead once again.

Murray 7-6 1-6 3-3 Fish*
Sensational return from Fish, guiding a backhand winner with minimal backswing down the line for deuce. Another attempted winner just fizzes beyond the baseline - and Murray levels the match when his American opponent goes long from the baseline.

Murray* 7-6 1-6 2-3 Fish
Fish challenges a wide return - and the crowd can't quite believe why he would do so when the replay shows the ball landing a good four inches past the line as Murray takes a 0-30 lead. Fish levels when Murray chops a backhand slice into the net before slamming down ace number 11 for a 40-30 lead. Fish is in total control of the eighth point - but somehow contrives to put a volley into the net with Murray nowhere in sight. Murray saves two game points, but the Scot once again turns the air blue with a series of expletives when he fails to make contact with a forehand. After a game which lasts for almost 10 minutes, Fish eventually holds on to his serve as Murray hits a forehand wide with the match clocking 135 minutes in total.

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From Anon, via text 81111: "Job done for Murray this week in securing his ranking for Flushing Meadows. Let Fish win and have a few days off!"

Murray 7-6 1-6 2-2 Fish*
Better from Murray, following two punchy serves with winners. A drip of sweat stings Murray's eyes, causing the Scot a delay his serve, but he regains his composure and seals the game with a dismissive forehand flick, causing Fish to give up his chase. Apologies, got my serving star a bit mixed up - refresh your web page and all should be fine.

Murray* 7-6 1-6 1-2 Fish
Fish slams his 10th ace right down the middle but poor judgement from Murray, stepping into a serve that was too deep to dispatch. Murray elects to challenge a Fish serve, but the replay shows the ball land smack bang on the line. More hope than expectation there. And Fish wraps up the game when Murray overhits a double-handed forehand. Murray is lacking that invention, spark and verve which characterises his all-round game.

Murray7-6 1-6 1-1 Fish*
The despondency and negative body language is there for all to see as Murray is down 15-40. He follows that up with a belting example of serve-and-volley to cut the deficit to one break point before taking the game to deuce as Fish overcooks a double-handed forehand following an impressive array of gets from the back of the court. And Murray holds on.

Murray* 7-6 1-6 0-1 Fish
More like it from Murray, sending Fish wide with an accurate return before pumping a forehand winner into the empty court charging into the net. Fish rallies to take the next three points, rounding off the game with a wide forehand which has Murray scuttling around at the back of the court, zapping even more valuable energy from his rapidly depleting reserves.

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From Ian, Eastbourne via text 81111: "Murray's dizzy in 33 degree heat? Who'd have thought it!! The organisers really should think about sharing out the cool night matches as Murray's been shown no consideration whatsoever. They'll be the first to moan when their big names don't get through to the later stages!!"

Murray 7-6 1-6 Fish*
Double fault number two gives Fish a 0-15, soon extended to 15-40 as Murray struggles at the net. A deep forehand return is netted by Murray, handing Fish the second set. Little enthusiasm from Murray in that game, which probably means he's saving his reserves for the decisive third set.

Sportsfan87 on 606: "Can't blame Murray for showing signs of heat exhaustion how many games has be played in the last week and a bit winning the Rogers Cup and now this in mid-day heat?? That's hell for most players Murray has done well to last this many matches in this short period of time before starting to feel the effects."

Murray* 7-6 1-5 Fish
The doctor and trainer return, placing ice packs under Murray's armpits while his right knee is massaged thoroughly. The treatment seems to have had its desired effects as Murray takes a 15-30 lead before taking the game to deuce. A Murray return pings off the net cord, but Fish reacts swiftly, swatting away a dismissive forehand before a double-handed backhand winner takes the game.

Murray 7-6 1-4 Fish*
Murray, cheeks reddening to beetroot hue with every game under the intensity of the Ohioan sun, makes a confident start to the fifth, slamming two decent first serves before ending a four-game losing run when a Fish return is long.

Murray* 7-6 0-4 Fish
The trainer is on and has his hand placed on Murray's knee, although it seems the Scot is struggling with dizziness, which explains his dramatic drop in form in that last game. Murray is breathing deeply with a cold towel draped around his neck to cool him down. Nevertheless, he's up and ready to receive, slamming a cracking double-handed backhand winner for a 0-15 lead. But more muscular serving from Fish, along with a deft forehand sweep at the net, earn the 28-year-old a huge 4-0 lead.

Murray 7-6 0-3 Fish*
The thermometer is racking up 33 degrees in the shade, so imagine the intensity out on court under the unrelenting mid-day sun. Murray is clearly struggling with something as Fish earns two break points with a forehand winner down the line, converted at the first attempt as Murray slams a weak return into the net.

Murray 7-6 0-2 Fish*
Supreme passing shot from Murray leaves his opponent utterly flat-footed while two unforced errors allows Murray the opportunity to break back immediately. Fish reduces the deficit to one point with a spanking forehand, a point which has Murray reaching gingerly towards his knee. Crikey, let's hope that's not too serious. Murray is labouring, no doubt about it as Fish sends him all over court once more with a well-placed first serve for deuce. Disaster for Murray as he breaks a string mid-rally, prompting a little chat with the umpire about using the net machine. And Fish holds serve with a booming ace down the middle.

Murray 7-6 0-1 Fish*
Murray labours out of his chair while his opponent is the exact opposite, sprinting out of the blocks to prepare for round two. And his sprightliness is rewarded by two break points. The world number four cuts that deficit down to one point but Fish takes the decisive break - the first of the match - when Murray's sliced return can't skim over the net.

eloquentJarath on 606: "Despite probably being the more deserving of that set Fish is going to have to try really hard not to be steam rolled now. He was so confident but just couldn't get it done, without the confident he might not last much longer."

Murray 7-6 Fish
Murray is struggling with his first serve again, relying on his slice second serve to get him out of trouble. And it does as Fish returns deep from the baseline, handing Murray his first set point. And he duly converts from the next point when Fish floats a forehand just wide of the line. it prompts a hopeful challenge, but the replay shows the ball landed outside of the line. Murray wins, but that was not easy.

Murray 6-6 Fish
Nice start for Murray, murmuring a quiet grunt at the point of contact as he slams a forehand winner down the line to take an early 1-0 lead against serve. But a point goes begging as he nets a forehand with Fish struggling to stay in the point. An overhit backhand return from Murray is greeted by self-admonishment as he squanders his two service points. And Fish extends the lead to 3-1 with a big forehand winner. But an unforced error from the American is greeted by a chorus of "ooohs" from his compatriot in the stands as Murray hands a forehand on the line to level at 3-3. More to follow.

Murray 6-6 Fish*
Fish punishes a short Murray second serve to take a 0-15 lead before slamming the point of the match from Murray's first serve, a vicious forehand down the line with Murray watching in amazement. The crowd love that. But Murray is a doughty fellow, two solid serves and an overhit volley from Fish ensures the first set will be settled by a tie-break.

Text in your views on 81111
From Thomas, UCL via text 81111: "It's an amazing feeling being a Murray fan. On Sunday we were all convinced he was headed for a great US Open with a good chance to win it. Suddenly after a few not so wonderful matches, admittedly in serious heat, we're all nervous wrecks. Help calm our nerves Andy. Please."

Murray* 5-6 Fish
Fish dispatches a backhand volley at the net, much to the sparse crowd's enjoyment, but he concedes the next point with a shocker as he completely mis-hits an attempted drop-shot, which spins embarrassingly by his feet. Fish is mixing up the sublime with the not-very-good with a backhand volley winner followed by another unforced error, this time with a forehand. Murray challenges a call which lands on the tramline - and Hawk-Eye confirms the Scot's suspicions as the ball lands flush on the line. Break point to Muzza - but Fish just about holds on Murray misdirects a forehand, an error which prompts a four-letter word tirade from the Scot. However, he earns his second break point when Fish overhits a double-handed top-spin forehand volley, but once again Fish saves when he sends Murray the wrong way with a forehand winner. The same shot earns him advantage - and Fish takes the lead once again when Murray's double-handed forehand return is well wide.

eloquentJarath on 606: "Fish is serving a lot better than Andy right now so I'd rather a cheeky break than a tie-breaker."

Murray 5-5 Fish*
Murray, serving to stay in the set, sends Fish the wrong way with a passing forehand winner but dispatching a double-handed backhand at the net for a 30-0 lead. Murray slams an unforced error into the net but Fish squanders the chance to level as he opens up his body for a cross-court forehand, but misdirects his winner. And Murray wraps up the game with the next point as Fish's service return is long.

Murray* 4-5 Fish
Not to be outdone, Fish slams two killer first serves for a 30-0 lead before slamming a mighty ace straight down the middle, a point which Murray challenges. No doubt about that one - 40-0 and the American uses Hawk-Eye to his advantage when a long forehand from Murray is not called by the umpire. The replays confirm Fish was spot-on with his judgement, earning the world number 38 the game.

Murray 4-4 Fish*
It's alright Jack, Murray's found his first serve again - his mum had it sat in Row K. Murray slams down a couple of unreturnable belters before smashing down a belter of an ace to win the game to love.

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From Jack via text 81111: "Where on earth is Murray's first serve? Finding it should be the priority for any new coach?"

Murray* 3-4 Fish
Fish's volleying, with the exception of the odd aberration, has been faultless so far, landing the perfect cross-court forehand winner which even Murray and his jet-heeled shoes cannot chase down. Fish seals the game with an impressive range of forehands at the back of the court. No cracks in the American's game so far.

Murray 3-3 Fish*
Tremendous athleticism from Fish, chasing down a subtle drop-shot before dispatching an overhead volley a couple of shots later in an entertaining rally. Murray's first-serve ratio is poor, racking up only 23% to give Fish his first sniff of a break. But as soon as that stat is made public, Murray unleashes a killer ace before two further serves seal the game from deuce.

Murray* 2-3 Fish
Fish is a big ol' unit, using giant strides around the court to cut down the angle for Murray, dispatching yet another volley at the net following a good, wide forehand. The American is making Murray run in the unrelenting sunshine, chasing down another well-placed forehand which Murray somehow returns at full stretch, but Fish is in the right place to dispatch the winner for the game.

Murray 2-2 Fish*
The winner of this quarter-final will play the winner of the intriguing match-up between Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick. Fish is charging into the net once more, allowing Murray to unleash his top-spin lob, but the Scot just overcooks it. It's the first point Fish has won on Murray's serve but the world number 36 can't do any further damage as a wayward return hands Murray the game.

Text in your views on 81111
From Kev, Blackpool via text 81111: "Literally just clicked on live text and the missus called to say it's a fish supper tonight. Omen? Or am I codding myself?"

Murray* 1-2 Fish
Quality slice of serve-volley action from Mardy Fish, slamming a comprehensive winner as Murray struggles to return a muscular first serve. A Murray return lands on the wrong side of the tramline - but Murray challenges the ball, even though it looked out. And lo and behold, Hawk-Eye agrees. Another game won to love.

pottiella on 606: "Don't know why they're making it out like the heat is only affecting Andy - quite a few players including Rafa said they found the heat very difficult to play in yesterday...It's just that Andy was in the hottest part of the day, already a little tired and so was Gulbis from having played a three-setter at a similar time the day before...and it shows on Andy more when he's feeling it with paler skin..."

Murray 1-1 Fish*
Good start by Murray, who goes 30-0 up before moving to 40-0 as Fish thumps a doube-handed backhand long. And the world number four closes out the game to love with a fiery first serve which Fish cannot control.

Murray* 0-1 Fish
Fish opens up with a monster first serve but Murray just about keeps it in court. The American goes for a killer cross-court forehand but Murray anticipates well and fires a winner into the open court for a confidence-boosting start. Fish, owner of a beautiful biomechanical serving action, unleashes two huge aces. However, a clumsy forehand volley at the net is wayward, allowing Murray to take the game to deuce. The Scot thumps a forehand winner for an early break point, but a drop-shot allows Fish to level before taking the match when Murray returns a checked forehand into the net.
* denotes next to serve

The sun is out
1701: Murray, currently on a seven-match winning run following his win at the Rogers Cup in Toronto on Sunday, wins the toss and elects to receive first. Game on. The sun is beating down - it's another warm one in Ohio...

Text in your views on 81111
Anon via text 81111: "Can someone tell me why Murray spent so much time training in the Miami heat when he's struggling in Cincinnati?"
More a one-off, it was a three-set match on a hot day. I would imagine he'll have drunk as much water as a baby elephant this morning to combat the dehydration.

1708: If you haven't done so already, I would strongly urge you to check out Andy Murray's photoshoot by celebrity photographer Mario Testino, which features in American Vogue this month. The man is what streetkidz describe as "peng" but what in Borg's name is he doing wearing what can only be described as a bulletproof vest held together by an elastopast around his midriff? Apparently it's a weight training vest. Would Miles Maclagan have allowed this under his watch? Errr, probably. Thoughts? Vest forgotten or en Vogue?

MarcusBackInKensington on 606: "I am expecting a far improved performance from yesterday. 6-4 6-4."

1701: Intriguing match-up between these two players this afternoon - they've met six times in their professional careers and both men have three victories each. Fish has the psychological advantage having beaten the world number four in their previous two encounters, both this year. The world number 36 beat the Scot at the Miami Masters in March before a straight sets defeat at Queen's in June.

1655: Hello all and welcome to coverage of Andy Murray's quarter-final match at the Cincinnati Masters against American Mardy Fish. World number four Murray will again not only have to compete with wildcard entry Fish, but also the fierce afternoon heat. The Scot struggled to overcome Latvian Ernests Gulbis in heat approaching 30C on Thursday. However, despite not being at his best in Cincinnati, he has extended his winning streak to seven matches following his Canadian Masters win. Again, like on Thursday, if you want to text on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with TENNIS before your message, or post on 606 then that would be much appreciated.

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see also
Murray fightback sees off Gulbis
19 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Shaky Murray wins in Cincinnati
18 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Cup win boosts Murray for US Open
16 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Murray sees off Federer in final
15 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Querrey beats Murray in LA final
02 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Murray in no rush for new coach
08 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Murray looking for new direction
29 Jul 10 |  Tennis

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