Tennis: Fish avenges Roddick's defeat

Nicolas Massu beat Taylor Dent of the United States 7-6 (5), 6-1 Friday in the men's tennis semifinals to move within one victory of giving Chile its first Olympic gold medal in any sport.

In the other Olympic semifinal, Mardy Fish, an unseeded American, beat another Chilean, No.16 Fernando Gonzalez, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Gonzalez had pulled off a third-round upset of Fish's teammate and buddy, Andy Roddick, who was in the stands rooting.

Fish and Massu will meet Sunday in the gold medal match.

"I didn't expect to be here, so I don't have anything to lose," Fish said, "and I'm sure Nicolas would say the same thing.

There's no pressure on either of us.

" It's by far the best showing by Fish or Massu at any big tournament: Neither has ever been past the third round at a Grand Slam.

Massu's four career titles have all come on clay, while Fish's lone triumph came at Stockholm last year.

That makes for a fitting finish to an Olympic tournament in which No.1 Roger Federer, No. 2 Roddick, and No. 4 Tim Henman were all eliminated by the third round.

Chile's total tennis medal count before the Athens Games was zero.

The nation is assured of at least two now, because Massu and Gonzalez reached Saturday's doubles final against Nicolas Kiefer and Rainer Schuettler of Germany.

Fish and Dent, meanwhile, were the U.S. tennis team's last chances for a medal.

And it's the first time no U.S. woman will leave an Olympic tennis tournament with a prize.

The women's singles semifinals later Friday were No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium vs. No.3 Anastasia Myskina of Russia, and No.2 Amelie Mauresmo of France vs. Alicia Molik of Australia.

In the doubles semifinals, No.8 Li Ting and Sun Tian Tian of China beat No. 7 Paola Suarez and Patricia Tarabini of Argentina 6-2, 2-6, 9-7, guaranteeing China its first tennis medal at an Olympics.

Li and Sun, who beat Venus Williams and Chanda Rubin in the first round, will face No.2 Conchita Martinez and Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain or No.5 Shinobu Asagoe and Ai Sugiyama of Japan for the gold Sunday.

Fish looked lost midway through the first set, dropping four straight games and showing his frustration by smashing his racket to the court or using it to bonk himself on the head or knee.

But on the first point at 2-2 in the second set, Gonzalez turned his right ankle while chasing a ball.

He needed a medical timeout while a trainer wrapped the injury.

Fish finally gained control in the ninth game, breaking Gonzalez for a 5-4 lead.

The American, who's ranked 22nd, then served it out.

After the last point, he sank to his knees and bowed on court, then rose and flashed a thumb's up in Roddick's direction.

"I've been waiting for this sort of performance from him at a huge event," U.S. coach Patrick McEnroe said.

"I've been waiting for him to do this at a Slam, and it's just as big here.

" Massu and Dent looked like teammates up at the net for the prematch coin toss, both wearing red shirts and dark shorts with white racing stripes.

The only thing to distinguish Massu was his white baseball cap and long ponytail.

Little separated them at the start of play, either.

There were no breaks of serve in the first set, and Massu took the tiebreaker by finally getting the measure on his passing shots.

The Chilean converted his second set point with a fantastic return at Dent's feet, drawing an awkward volley that sailed long.

Massu then rolled through the second set, opening a 5-0 lead.

News
people

Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando

Sport
Kim Sears is reported to have directed abuse at Berdych
tennis
News
news

Rap music mogul accused of running two men over in his truck

News
Gywneth Paltrow proposed that women seek out a special herbal steam-treatment service
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Arts and Entertainment
tv

First full-length look is finally here

Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
Tax now accounts for ‘nearly 80%’ of the price of a bottle of whisky
news

Arts and Entertainment
Peppa Pig wearing her golden boots
film

"Oink! Oink! Hee hee hee!" First interview with the big-screen star

Life and Style
tech

Biohacking group hopes technology will lead people to think about even more dystopian uses

Arts and Entertainment
film
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Film director Martin Scorsese
film
News
news

The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee