The Norman Transcript

Sports

July 10, 2013

Fish ready to return

NORMAN — Mardy Fish watched from afar as one side of the Wimbledon draw opened up. He couldn’t help but wonder if he would have taken advantage to make a deep run.

Still, the American knew he made the right decision by delaying his return until he could enter a tournament at home in the United States and take the court in front of familiar faces.

Fish has played just one ATP Tour event since pulling out of the U.S. Open before his fourth-round match last September. Apologizing for his ongoing vagueness about the reasons, Fish again hinted Tuesday that many of his obstacles have been mental.

He missed about 21⁄2 months earlier in 2012 because of an accelerated heartbeat, but Fish said the procedure he underwent in May of that year “gave us peace of mind that everything was OK.”

“I’m trying to make sure mentally I’m where I want to be,” he said on a conference call to promote this month’s Citi Open in Washington, which he plans to make his second tournament back.

The 31-year-old Fish said he has worked closely with Jim Loehr, a performance psychologist who has counseled Jim Courier among other pro athletes.

“Some days are better than others,” Fish said. “Some weeks are better than others.”

The night after he lost at Key Biscayne in March 2012, Fish’s heart started racing uncontrollably. That May, doctors induced extreme palpitations to try to pinpoint the problem. He returned for last year’s Wimbledon.

His third-round victory in the U.S. Open went five sets, lasting more than 3 hours and ending after 1 a.m. Afterward, Fish did not attend the news conference, and tournament officials said he was receiving unspecified medical treatment.

The next day, he withdrew before his match against Roger Federer, saying it was for “precautionary measures” on doctor’s advice. At the time, Fish expected to return to the tour quickly.

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