Mardy Fish says Rafael Nadal looks pretty healthy
Mardy Fish was like most everybody else when Rafael Nadal hurt his left foot in a fourth-round match. The top-seeded and top-ranked Nadal needed an injury timeout and had spoken about feeling, for a moment, as if he had broken his left foot.
Nadal, however, moved without hindrance Wednesday while beating the 10th-seeded Fish 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. Fish was asked after the loss if he felt Nadal was hindered at all by the sore foot.
"You tell me," Fish said. "I mean, you know, he seemed fine. He moved fine. I don't know."
Fish said he paid attention, as did most tennis fans, to reports about Nadal's injury and that he wouldn't have been human if he hadn't hoped, just a little bit, that Nadal might have been unable to play his quarterfinal.
"Yeah, the first few hours, I guess Monday night, I mean, you're a human being, so those things creep into your head," Fish said. "You know, they blew it up pretty good. He went to the hospital, this and that.
"So, yeah, I mean, that's not the way that I want to go through. Would I take it? Sure, I mean, I'd take it. But, you know, I'm glad he's not injured. And clearly he's not."
Fish, who hadn't played on Court 1 where his match against Nadal took place, said his unfamiliarity with the court contributed a bit to his slow start. "It takes some time to get used to," he said. "I feel like I started hitting the ball really well in the third set, got my teeth into the match a little bit. Then, all of a sudden, the shadows are right there in the game [in the fourth set] that I lost serve. Just completely lost the ball when I missed the volley to get broken. Little bit of misfortune, I guess."
Fish said it was too soon, after the loss, to take away a sense of accomplishment from having made the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time.
"Knowing that I haven't broken through and haven't had that huge win at a major, I know that. I know that I'm playing well enough to make the quarterfinals of Grand Slams and beat top-10 players. But I'm lacking that one huge result, that one big one where it opens everyone's eyes and says, 'Wow, I can't believe he beat him. That's a really good win.' I don't have that. That's just, off the top of my head, what I'll take away from here.
"I'm sure tomorrow will come around and I'll be pretty satisfied with the way that I played here. You know, beating (Tomas) Berdych is a great win. I think that's my only top‑10 win in a major. So I'll take that out of it. But it's tough right now."
-- Diane Pucin, reporting from Wimbledon, England
Photo: Rafael Nadal serves during his quarterfinal victory over Mardy Fish at Wimbledon on Wednesday. Credit: Clive Brunskill / Getty Images