Fish withdraws; Querrey, Haas advance in LA

August 1, 2009 08:29 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Leonardo Mayer advanced to the semifinals of the LA Tennis Open when No. 2 seed Mardy Fish withdrew due to an abdominal strain on Friday.

Mayer will face Carsten Bell, who beat John Isner 6-4, 6-4. Isner played with a brace on the left ankle that he twisted late in a tiebreaker win over Marcos Baghdatis on Wednesday.

The other semifinal will feature Sam Querrey and top seed Tommy Haas, who beat No. 8 seed Marat Safin 7-6 (3), 6-2 Friday night.

Haas, who captured this event in 2004 and 2006, has won 17 of 20 of his past matches overall—losing to Roger Federer twice and Andy Roddick. Haas is 15-4 in his career playing in the UCLA event.

Querrey, the No. 6 seed, beat fourth-seeded Dudi Sela 6-3, 7-5 on Friday afternoon to advance to his third straight semifinal.

Fish, who had beaten Chris Guccione in a long three-set match Thursday night, said that when he served he still was bothered by an oblique muscle he had strained while playing Davis Cup against Croatia in early July. He decided it was wiser to withdraw than risk further injury and possibly miss the bulk of the hardcourt season and the US Open.

Fish said he also had to consider that this is a lower-level ATP 250 tournament, which means a maximum of 250 ranking points are available. Upcoming events offer more reward or more penalty should he be unable to defend the points he earned by reaching the finals at New Haven and the quarterfinals of the US Open last year.

“(It’s) the way the ranking system is set up now for us and for the guys that finished in the top 30 last year,” said Fish, who is No. 21 this week. “It puts a lot of weight on the 500 (point) tournaments and the (1,000-point) Masters Series events and obviously the Grand Slams (with a maximum of 2,000 points). Those are the big ones for somebody like me and I need to be healthy for those. Sometimes you’ve got to be selfish and that’s unfortunate.”