Up one set and on serve in the second, two-time defending champion Mardy Fish was forced to withdraw from his match against Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller in the second round of the BB&T Atlanta Open. Attempting to return a drop shot, Fish stumbled at the net and injured his ankle which eventually led to the premature end to the match.
The American said later, “it was either going to be my knee, it was going to be my ankle or it was going to be my head. Thankfully, it was my ankle. That would have hurt pretty bad.”
Fish, who reached the ATP Tour World Finals in 2011, has struggled with injuries this year. The Minnesota-native took time off earlier this season to address an irregular heartbeat, and will not be competing in the Olympics in order to take care of his health.
It wasn’t all bad news for the Americans at the tournament though, as first-seed John Isner battled his way past qualifier Rubens Bemelmans after dropping the first set. The South Carolina-native and former University of Georgia student played to a hometown crowd, but was admittedly rusty after a long break from hardcourts. After losing a break in the first set, Isner fired 14 aces in the remaining two, helping him earn a win at 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The soon-to-be Olympian has made it to the finals in Atlanta in both 2010 and 2011, and is looking to improve upon his past results. He plays fellow American John Sock in the the quarterfinals.