Fish expecting tough Murray test

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The Independent Online

American Mardy Fish admits he will have to be at the top of his game if he is to complete a double success over Andy Murray by ending the Briton's hopes of retaining his AEGON Championship title at Queen's today.

Fish and partner Mark Knowles knocked Andy and Jamie Murray out of the doubles with a 6-3 6-3 win in the second round yesterday.

And now Fish is looking to send Murray packing in the third round of the men's singles.

The pair have met five times, Murray leading the head-to-head 3-2, but Fish was triumphant in their most recent meeting in Miami this April.

Fish, who was defeated by the Scot last year on his way to the Queen's title, said: "He was playing some spectacular tennis last year and pretty much kicked my butt from the start.

"I remember I had to serve really well just to get to five-all in the first set. He served great. Hopefully I can get a few more chances on his service games, but if he serves well, he's extremely tough because his return is one of the best in the world."

But while Fish is boosted by his victory over Murray in Miami, he expects the Scot to shrug off the pressure of trying to retain the title at Queen's.

"In Miami, it was a good day for me that day and not so good for him," added Fish.

"I played a great match. I don't think he played as well as he usually does. I got the best of him that day. He's got me most of the time.

"I don't think he worries necessarily about how he did the year before. I think he obviously feels comfortable at different spots on tour, as we all do.

"I think he thrives in the heat. He plays really well in the heat. He's in great shape. Most guys can't last as long as he can."

Meanwhile, world number one Rafael Nadal's bid to reclaim the title he last won two years ago got off to a flying start with a straight-sets win against Marcos Daniel yesterday.

Nadal defeated his Brazilian opponent 6-2 6-2 in the second round and will now face Denis Istomin.

Nadal had gone two years without playing on grass and admitted he had to readjust to the surface.

"It is difficult to adapt but I am happy to be back on grass, it is one of the surfaces I enjoy playing on," said Nadal.

"I practised very badly on Tuesday. During the morning I did a little bit better but still bad. And I really would love to have the doubles before the singles, but anyway, during the match in the singles I felt well."

Nadal had to pull out of Wimbledon last year through a knee injury but, having regained his number one world ranking, the Spaniard is looking forward to playing this time around.

But he insists being ranked number one in the world is "nothing special" to him.

"One year ago I was injured and now I am not injured," said Nadal. "That's the big difference. I wasn't ready to play. I wasn't ready to play Wimbledon and to try to have a good result there.

"I'm very happy to be number one because I did things well for probably the last year. But it is nothing special to me.

"I think I am a better player because I am a more complete player."