Mardy Fish called for hindrance in upset loss

Chris Chase
Busted Racquet

Somebody must not have watched last year's US Open women's final.

American Mardy Fish was called for hindrance on a crucial point during a straight-set loss to Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden on Monday.

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Serving at deuce at 4-4 in the second set, Fish hit a crosscourt volley that appeared to catch Ebden out of position. The speedy Aussie managed to get to the ball, but before he put his racquet on it, Fish yelled out a self-encouraging "come on!"

Ebden's return hit the bottom of the net, but he was awarded the point when the chair umpire called hindrance on the American.

Fish never debated the interference. His argument was that the point should have been replayed. "I'm the reason he hit the ball into the net?" Fish asked rhetorically during a two-minute conversation with the chair.

He was. The hindrance rule gives the umpire the power to award points to players who are interfered with during a point. Though Fish had no intention of disrupting Ebden's shot, his shout had that effect. The proper call was made.

Fish seemed to understand this. He never lost his temper, even while arguing on the changeover after getting broken on the next point. Rather, the American seemed to understand he was in the wrong but felt compelled to continue the discussion out of obligation.

"First off, it was totally my fault," he told reporters after the match  "I made a mistake, and I would have been totally fine with playing a let on it. I was just trying to fire myself up, to be honest with you."

Fish dropped to 5-4 in 2012. He has lost to three players ranked below No. 70.

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