Fish and Querrey Split Against Colombia

Patrick McEnroe wanted to make a statement with this Davis Cup team. Instead of going with the veterans, who have helped him over the past 10 years, he decided to make his swan song with youth by taking Ryan Harrison, John Isner, and Sam Querrey with him to Bogota.

Yet, it was the old man of the team in Mardy Fish who save the United States in their Davis Cup match against Colombia.

The 28 year-old Fish, who has made a tremendous comeback this year, pulled out a five set thriller over Alejandro Falla 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the best-of-five.

And it came in handy, because Querrey was not able to pull off the sweep, being downed Santiago Giraldo, 2-6 4-6 7-5.

“We’ve been in this situation before a few times — in a relegation match at 1-1 going into doubles,” McEnroe said to reporters in Bogota. “I feel good about our doubles. We have three players who have played together so there are a lot of options. I like that we have three or four players available tomorrow and Sunday.”

Both Fish and Querrey seemed to have problems adjusting to the altitude. At an estimated 8700 feet, it is the highest elevation either player has played. And McEnroe believes the higher elevation was the reason both players dropped the first set of their respective matches.

“The first set of both matches was pretty rough for us,” McEnroe said. “We practiced well all week, but you can’t simulate match conditions. Moving forward I think we’re in good shape now that the guys have gotten a match under their belts at the altitude.”

Querrey also said he was caught off guard during his match.

“I wasn’t surprised how well he (Giraldo) played,” Querrey said. “I have seen him play before and he hits the ball low and flat which is perfect for these conditions. It is difficult to adjust to the altitude.”

Fish, though, was able to adjust to the heights and even took the send and third sets in the match, but couldn’t close it out in the fourth. It took a veteran’s fifth set for Fish to pull out the match.

“The key was staying ahead in the fifth set,” Fish said. “I had some tough games to hold but was always able to stay ahead of him. When he (Falla) had to serve to stay into it at 5-4, that’s when all the pressure kicked in.”

It was also difficult to get adjusted to the surface. After two months on the hard courts, this series will be played on red clay, something most of the Americans consider their worst surface.

“He (Falla) hits the ball flat and I think he would have preferred a hard court,” Fish said. “We both would have preferred to play on a hard court. Maybe the tennis would be a little bit better.”

Tomorrow it may be as doubles take place. Colombia is expected to field the team of Robert Farah and Carlos Salamanca. The Americans have announced they will counter with Ryan Harrison and John Isner, although Fish said to reporters after his singles victory that he would be ready to step in.

Reverse singles are Sunday.

If the U.S. loses this quarterfinal, then it will be eliminated from Davis Cup play in 2011, only the second time in the country’s history.

Wozniacki Shows A Lions Heart Against Cibulkova

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – In the squared circle, boxers knew Mike Tyson was mean and Mohammed Ali would talk their ears off, right before making them into cauliflower.

Yet, it’s tough to see Caroline Wozniacki in that position. She looks so nice on the outside that it’s hard to see the tiger raging within.

Actually, though, look closely on the court and there’s a bit of Ali’s technician and Tyson’s fire in that’s beautiful blonde body. And maybe that’s why she feels as comfortable in the boxing ring, as she does on the tennis court.

“Boxing, it’s just a different way for me to work out,” Wozniacki said. “It’s fun, it’s interesting, and it’s great because I have this great coach who knows how to get me in good shape and what I need for my tennis, as well.

“Yeah, I wanted to try something different, something that was not the usual things.  I just love the training.  It’s great.  It’s really hard not only physically, but also the conditioning.”

Dominika Cibulkova learned that the hard way today as she was swept out of the Open by Wozniacki, 6-2 7-5. It was the No. 1 seeds 20th win since Wimbledon as she improved her record to 20-1.

Although this may have been her toughest match to date in Flushing Meadows, the 20 year-old still seemed to have a pretty easy time. That is of course with the exception of this year’s Open nemesis, the heavy swirling winds of Arthur Ashe.

“It was really difficult to play today,” she said. “It was very windy, and from one side you barely hit it and the ball was flying, and from the other side you had to really hit through because the ball didn’t go anywhere. “So it was tough, but it was the same for both of us.”

Much like every good fighter, Wozniacki endured and even fought for the tough points. In fact, the chair umpire saw some of the toughness come out as the tournament’s top player gave her an earful on a replayed point.

“I’m really competitive,” she said.  “I really don’t like losing, and, you know, when I’m on court I’m just thinking about the next point and the match that I want to win.  I’m focused on that.”

So now Wozniacki will move onto the Semifinals against Vera Zvonareva, someone the rising star knows very well and calls it “definitely a tough match. I mean, she’s a really good ‑‑ she’s playing really well at the moment.  She’s playing aggressively, hitting through the ball.”

That will be on Friday. So maybe with tomorrow off, Wozniacki will go back into the squared and score a boxing knockout.

Or maybe not.

“I’m a good girl,” she said. “I don’t do those things.”

No, only on the court. Look out Vera.