James Blake and Mardy Fish are close friends — Blake will even be one of the groomsmen at Fish’s wedding in September — but they’ll put that aside for a couple of hours to face each other in the third round. “No matter what happens,” Blake said, “we’re gonna be friends afterwards.” He said that they’d likely be going to dinner after the match, and “maybe the winner’ll have to pay.”
Fish will be there after riding his powerful serve to an upset victory over 24th-seed Paul-Henri Mathieu, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Fish’s first serve percentage was 60%, and he won 85% of those points. He also had 27 aces. Blake had lost the first set of his second round match to Steve Darcis, but came back to win the second convincingly and was up 1-0 in the third when Darcis retired with an injury.
Fish said he was sympathetic to the pressure his friends Blake and Andy Roddick were under to carry U.S. men’s tennis, saying that “it’s extremely tough to top” guys like Agassi and Sampras.
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