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Mardy Fish is first into Farmers Classic tennis finals

July 30, 2011 |  5:01 pm


Mardy Fish, 29 and seeded first, made it to the finals of the Farmers Classic for the first time in his career Saturday, when he knocked out 19-year-old Ryan Harrison, 6-0, 4-6, 7-6 (3), in a 2 hour and 11 minute semifinal.

On Sunday, Fish will play the winner of Saturday evening's semifinal between American veteran Alex Bogomolov Jr. and Ernests Gulbis of Latvia.

Harrison won only six points in the 20-minute first set, but he grabbed the second set suddenly, in the 10th game, when Fish double faulted to give Harrison a set point and then banged a forehand wide to let Harrison have his first service break of the match.

In the tightly-contested third set, Harrison angrily smashed his racket and got a warning from the chair umpire when he was broken in the third game. Harrison grimly gave the abused racket to a young fan in the first row. Harrison evened the final set in the sixth game, breaking Fish by cleverly constructing points from the baseline.

The match stayed even until the tiebreak, when Fish won the first five points and took his first match point with a 119 mph ace.

A week ago in Atlanta, Fish had beaten Harrison in the semifinals, 6-2, 6-4. Fish lives near the Los Angeles Tennis Center at UCLA and said he enjoys sleeping in his own bed -- even though, he said, his dog vomited in the bed early Saturday morning.

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: Mardy Fish hits a backhand return against Ryan Harrison in their semifinal match Saturday at the Farmers Classic. Credit: Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images