Tue, Jul 13, 2010 - Page 18 News List

Fish rallies when the chips are down to grab title

AP , NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND

Hungary’s Agnes Szavay celebrates after beating Patty Schnyder of Switzerland in the Budapest Grand Prix final in Budapest on Sunday.

PHOTO: EPA

Mardy Fish captured the Hall of Fame Championship on Sunday, rallying for a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 victory over fourth-seeded Olivier Rochus of Belgium.

Fish overcame his frustration at a close line call at the end of the first set to win his fourth career title. The fifth-seeded American entered the week ranked 79th.

On the final point of the first set, Rochus hit a return to the back corner. Fish appeared ready to play the ball and let it go. The chair umpire said Rochus won the game and set. Fish argued and waved his racket to the chair.

Fish took control in the best game of the match, breaking in the ninth game of the third set to go up 5-4. He squandered three break-points, before closing it out with a forehand cross at the net.

“I wanted to play this match on my terms. I wanted to win it or lose it on my racket,” he said of the key game. “I’ve certainly lost a lot of heartbreak finals. It certainly feels great to win one.”

In the final game, Rochus failed on a pair of break-point chances. On the final point, Rochus lunged on a wide serve, barely getting a backhand over the net, before Fish put an easy forehand cross in to end it.

The 29-year old Rochus entered the week ranked 65th. He hadn’t lost a set this week until the final.

“I can’t say I did play a bad final, didn’t go for it,” Rochus said. “I went for it. The last two games were so close. Mardy was pushing hard at the end.”

■BUDAPEST GRAND PRIX

AFP, BUDAPEST

Hungary’s Agnes Szavay successfully defended her home title on Sunday when she beat Swiss veteran Patty Schnyder for the second straight year.

The 21-year-old seventh seed won through 6-2, 6-4 against 31-year-old Schnyder to claim her fourth WTA title and her third on clay.

For Schnyder it was her 15th defeat in 26 finals she has competed in.

Both players had not reached a final since they met here a year ago. Then, Szavay had to work harder, rallying from a set down before winning through in three sets.

“It’s unbelievable to win in Hungary again,” Szavay said. “The crowd was great, just like last year. To win two times at home, I can’t describe this feeling. It was a tough match, especially because of the weather — it was really hot. We also both had long matches yesterday, so we were both pretty tired.”

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