(September 2, 2015) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Former Top 10 player Mardy Fish ended his singles tennis career on Wednesday in the second round of the US Open, falling to 18th seed a fellow 33-year-old Feliciano Lopez 2-6, 6-3, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3. Fish had a chance to serve out the match in the fourth set in a match which lasted 3 hours, 11 minutes. Fish began suffering from leg cramps in the fifth set.
“I was starting to sort of feel pretty tired and starting to get a couple of twinges in my legs at the end of the fourth set, so I figured that was my opportunity,” Fish said. “You know, didn’t pick a great time to play the worst game I played all day.
“You know, I haven’t been in that position in a long time, obviously. So things happen.”
Fish came back to the tour this year admitting that he’s been suffering from anxiety disorder. He wrote about it in the Players’ Tribune.
“I was lucky that I won the fourth set,” said Lopez on court “And then in the fifth set, he was not feeling well. He was cramping and he was so tired. I think he really deserved the win today.”
“It’s been many years together. We played many times. He beat me a couple times,” Lopez said. “I have to say, he was the better player, normally, when we played. And he was a great player, had a good career. It was very sad what was happening the last two, three years with this illness, and it’s great to have him back at least for a few weeks.”
“I’ve got a lot of great memories,” said the former world No. 7. “I have got a lot of great memories; I’ve got a lot of good wins out here. I have made a lot of really good friendships with almost everyone out here.”
“And then the health stuff, I mean, I’m just trying to help any way I can and share my story. Like I say, if it helps other people, that’s great.”
“I wanted this (US Open) to be — this one specifically to be the last one. I probably would have chosen this one as my last one regardless if I didn’t have any issues with my health in the past couple of years just because this is the biggest one and the most fun and the one that you want to go out on.
“But this one was extra special or extra special meaning for me because of how it happened in 2012.”
“I’m bummed that obviously my career didn’t end the past few years, you know, the way I had imagined. But it is what it is, and you try to make the best of your situation obviously.
“You know, it’s tough. I mean, it’s tough. It sort of, you know, starts kind of kicking in every once in a while in my head as I answer these questions that this is probably the last time I will do this.”
As to the future: “I’m going to try to help out with the USTA as much as I can, some of the younger Americans. I have a lot of experience over the last 15, 16 years. I have been playing tennis tournaments since I was six years old, so it’s a long 27 years of playing tournaments that matter, and now it’s over.”
ASk about telling his “life story” he said: “I was helpful to other people, that I was open and honest about a topic that is supposed to be masculine, or not supposed to be masculine.
“We are trained as tennis players from a very young age to not show weakness. I was very good at that throughout my career. I would not complain very much if I didn’t feel well or, you know, fake it on the court if I didn’t feel well, and, you know, not show that side of it.
“So I’m sort of out front with that part of my life because it helps me a lot when I talk about it. Makes me feel better when I talk about it. I want to help people that have gone through it and try to be a role model for people that are deep into some bad times, that they can get out of it, because I was there. They can conquer it.”