Fish advances to Farmers Classic quarters

July 29, 2011 08:06 AM
Mardy Fish in action against Gilles Muller.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Top-seeded Mardy Fish shook off a sluggish start and beat Gilles Muller of Luxembourg 7-6 (1), 6-1 on Thursday night to advance to the quarterfinals at the Farmers Classic.

The No. 1-ranked American is in search of consecutive titles, having won in Atlanta last week. He has won six tournament in his career.

Muller made it to the semifinals in Atlanta before losing to John Isner. He has five wins against top 10 players during his career and quickly put Fish in an 0-2 hole in the opening set.

Fish overcame set point, won the tiebreak and found his form in the second set.

"Getting up a set, I knew he was going to be pretty frustrated knowing all the work he put in during the first set went for nothing," Fish said.

Fish’s steady climb has resulted in a No. 9 world ranking. The new resident of nearby Beverly Hills is trying to keep the momentum rolling in front of his family and friends.

"I’m playing as good as I’ve played," he said.

Eighth-seeded Igor Kunitsyn of Russia won two tiebreaks to defeat Ryan Sweeting 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6) and advance to a match against Fish.

Another quarterfinal will have Alex Bogomolov Jr., who upset No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday, meeting fourth-seeded Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil, who eliminated Columbia’s Alejandro Falla 6-0, 6-1.