Fish exits U.S. Open but walks away a winner

Wed Sep 2, 2015 6:43pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Under a blazing sun a drained Mardy Fish walked onto the court in front of thousands of adoring fans, raised his hands, smiled and waved goodbye to the U.S. Open and a career following a second-round loss.

For those suffering from severe anxiety disorders, who at times struggle just to leave their home, it is probably the last place they would want to be, but Fish tried to soak up the moment as he signed off on his own terms.

"It's tough to say because I don't feel that great just from the match," the 33-yer-old American said after his 2-6 6-3 1-6 7-5 6-3 loss to Spain's Feliciano Lopez. "So it takes a little bit away, I don't know (how I feel).

"I mean, it will probably sink in a little bit later when I start feeling a little bit better."

Fish, who suffers from a severe anxiety disorder, played in only four events since returning to the ATP Tour in March after an 18-month layoff but he went down swinging in his Flushing Meadows swan song and nearly pulled off an impressive upset of the 18th-seeded Spaniard.

In this defeat, however, there was a distinct sense of triumph hanging over Louis Armstrong Stadium, as Fish refused to give into a disease that disrupted the latter stages of his promising career to pen his own ending.

"I have worked hard to try to get back," said Fish, who reached a career-best number seven in the rankings. "Obviously I'm not in as good of shape as I used to be a few years ago.

"I gave it everything I had; that was all I had.   Continued...

Mardy Fish of the U.S. waves to the crowd as he leaves the court after losing to Feliciano Lopez of Spain in five sets at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 2, 2015. The match was the last of Fish's professional career. REUTERS/Mike Segar