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By Akshay Kohli
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World No.20 Fish is on a comeback spree as injury has played a spoil sport this season. But he has given some good performances in his recent tournaments, sighting form he had last year. With a semi-final stint at the Citi Open along with the fourth round appearance at The Championships, Fish has compiled an average 17-10 win-loss record as he looks to crack the Top-10 again this year. Hard courts being a fast surface and Fish being an aggressive player, the two complement each other very well. Defending the points he accumulated last year would be on his mind along with maintaining his ranking. He would want to get some vital match practice before heading into the US Open.
His opponent, Stepanek has loads of experience. But, the thirty three years old Czech, who turned pro in 1996 has only won five titles so far. He has an ordinary 20-19 win-loss record for the season so far, indicating that he has struggled to reach deep into a tournament. His previous round victory over Juan Monaco of Argentina proves that his unorthodox way of playing is still effective and can test some good players. Stepanek is ranked at No.37 on the ATP charts.
Their head-to-head count stands in favor of the Czech all way as he has won all matches against the American and leads him 4-0. Their last meeting came last year in Brisbane where Stepanek humbled Fish in straight sets.
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