No. 8 seed Mardy Fish took care of business on Monday, surrendering only five games during his first-round 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 victory over German Tobias Kamke. The Los Angeles resident was brutal, jumping on Kamke from the start and never letting him get on a roll. The match is a testament to Fish's outlook on this U.S. Open: he's ready to lock down and make some noise this year.
Fish has had a stellar 2011 campaign thus far, catapulting past fellow peer and good friend Andy Roddick to become America's top tennis player. He holds a 36-17 record in 2011 and has posted his best personal results in the French Open and Wimbledon during his 11-year career this season. He reached the third round of the French Open (still relatively early, but an improvement from his performance of past years) and the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. The American cracked the Top 10 for the first time in his career earlier this year, back in May.
Fish's best showing at the U.S. Open is his quarterfinal appearance from 2008. That year, he was ranked No. 23 and wasn't expected to go far due to poor showings at the French Open (first-round exit) and Wimbledon (second-round exit).
Now, Fish is in the best position of his career to advance beyond a major quarterfinal and maybe even capture his first Grand Slam. This isn't to say that he is a lock to do so or even that he is the favorite to do so (that honor belongs to either Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer, depending on who you talk to), but he can certainly give those guys a run for their money if he continues to play methodically.
He is 0-3 against Djokovic this year, which seems to be the trend amongst all players on the ATP right now (the Serb boasts a baffling and near record-breaking 57-2 record this season). Fish has yet to face Federer this year, but he did recently beat Nadal in the quarterfinals of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati, prevailing 6-3, 6-4 just over a month ago.
Before we can start looking ahead to those match-ups, though, Fish needs to take care of business now and make it through to the later rounds of the U.S. Open. Step one is done: Kamke is in the books. Now it's on to Round 2, where Tunisian Malek Jaziri awaits.