Tokyo: Fish Speeds Through The Final Eight
Fourth favorite Mardy Fish has booked a place into the Tokyo quarter finals after easing past Ernests Gulbis in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4 to face Bernard Tomic in the best eight term.
It took the American nearly one hour and a half to oust the Latvian whom he gave no chance break him. Winner of this term’s Atlanta event, Fish stole a couple of services in the opener to go four games atop and clinch the first advantage with ease. The second set saw Ernests struggle for a comeback but the underdog could only convert four of his services. Fish broke the Latvian again amid the term to make an easy progress.
The United States player finished the game with a 57 first serve percentage, four aces and three break point conversions out of six tries. Fish also won 75 percent of service points and 42 of return ones, compared to Gulbis whose showing featured a poor 25 receiving percentage, seven aces and three double faults.
The head to head series between the two has now gone 2-1 to Fish whose first win comes from this term’s Rogers Cup in Montreal. His next opponent Bernard Tomic edged host Tatsuma Ito in three sets after losing the opener at the death, 6-7, 6-1, 7-5. Tomic, who had previously stunned one of the main favorites and grate shaped Viktor Troicki, created himself eight break points only in the opener, but he could only convert one throughout the entire meeting, something which allowed the Japanese to push the opener into a tie break.
Ito impressed with a late effort, leaving his opponent three points adrift in the opener to take the first set in nearly one hour. Tomic controlled the second set, breaking his opponent three times without giving him any chance to break through. The Aussie leveled the score in nearly half an hour and pushed the game into a third set decider he managed to win at the death.
The two exchanged three breaks in the last term, two of which being taken by Tomic who closed the clash thanks to a late one. He is now two wins from his best season performance. Tomic won 73 percent of first serve points, hit 15 aces and committed a double fault, while the crowd favorite came up with a 54 first serve percentage, ten aces and five double faults.
The same day second seed Andy Murray, winner of three titles this year, edged Marcos Baghdatis in three tough sets, 7-6, 2-6, 6-4. World number four Scott needed two hours and a half to oust the Cypriot who threatened with a consistent comeback in the second set. The two exchanged two breaks in the opener but it was Murray to win the late run at four.
New look Baghdatis stunned the favorite with a couple of breaks in the second set to put Murray in big difficulty. The Cypriot built four break points and converted half of them, sufficient to push the meeting further into a third set.
Finally, Murray broke his opponent twice and only allowed Baghdatis to steal a service amid the decider. He then powered through to a two game lead he eventually transformed into a well deserved victory. The Scott finished the game with a 55 first serve percentage, eight aces and a 63 service percentage, while Baghdatis, who converted four out of eight break points, set a 59 first serve percentage, hit six aces and won just 37 percent of return points. The head to head series between the two is led 3-2 by the world number 54 Cypriot.
Said Murray after the game: “I think he played very well. At the end of the third set, we were both playing good tennis, but in the first two he was the better player. He might not have played his best tennis so far this year, but he has been close to the Top 10 before. He has a lot of talent, a big serve and has many ways to hurt you on the court.”
Tokyo Prize Money and points:
Winner – $295,000 and 500 points ATP
Runner up – $133,000 and 300 points ATP
Semi finalist – $63,000 and 180 points ATP
Quarter finalist – $30,400 and 90 points ATP
R16 – $15,500 and 45 points ATP
R32 – $8,525 and zero points11