Fish advances in LA

August 5, 2008 12:13 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) - American Zack Fleishman, a surprise quarterfinalist at last year's Countrywide Classic, bowed out in the first round Monday, losing to Marc Gicquel of France 6-3, 6-0 in a 50-minute match Fleishman said felt like a 12-round fight.

"I was absolutely exhausted," Fleishman said after his first ATP Tour match of the year. "I felt like I would after a five-set match when it was 3-all in the first set. I'm not quite in playing shape right now."

In other first-round play, No. 6 Mardy Fish of America cruised past Colombia's Alejandro Falla 6-2, 6-2 in the night match, while Denis Gremelmayr of Germany beat Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-4, 6-2 and Florent Serra of France defeated Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-1.

Fleishman had been sidelined all season after seriously injuring his left shoulder in a mountain biking accident Feb. 1. He said that he and a fellow tour player went for what he thought was a normal bike ride when he suddenly found himself going down a hill.

"I actually walked the bike about three-quarters of the way down. Then I jumped on the bike and hit a rock," he said. "The tire popped and I went over the handlebars and absolutely shredded my shoulder."

The injury couldn't have come at a worse time in his career.

His quarterfinal showing here last year had helped him climb to a career-high No. 127 and he was starting to make good money. But instead of building on his results, he underwent surgery in March and "couldn't hit a backhand until 14 days ago. It was incredibly frustrating," he said.

Fleishman, who still has six screws in the shoulder, played well enough in two matches to win a wild card entry into the tournament. But he said after losing to Gicquel that getting the wild card "may have given me false confidence.

"I was a little rustier than I hoped I would be."

 

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