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Florida Tennis Briefs(3): Fish, Moya, IW, UF News

February 28, 2013 05:11 PM
Fish to Return to Tour Next Week at Indian Wells
 
Fish09Floridian Mardy Fish, who hasn't competed on tour since last September due to a heart condition, announced he will return next week at the ATP Indian Wells event in California, which begins on Thursday, March 7, 2013.
 
"For those of you wondering when I'm going to play again...Indian Wells will be my first one back," said the 31-year-old Fish on Twitter. "Thanks for all the love."
 
His agent says he plans on playing a full schedule for the remainder of 2013.
 
Fish looked to be ready to return earlier this month when he practiced with the U.S. Davis Cup team in Jacksonville, Fla., earlier this month, but he ended up withdrawing from the ATP event the following week in San Jose, Calif.
 
It was almost one year ago that Fish experienced a racing heart condition during the ATP stop in Key Biscayne, withdrawing from participation in a Davis Cup tie the following week. Last September he withdrew from the US Open in the fourth round prior to taking the court against Roger Federer, and has not played a tour match since.
 
"It's definitely been a long road back for him. He's had his ups and downs. But he's beginning to really get his confidence back," his agent John Tobias told the Associated Press. "It's all a process. He's working out every day, for three to four hours a day. He's excited to get back on the court and be on the tour and be back with his buddies."
 
 
UF's Embree Take No. 1; Cercone SEC Player of the Week
 
embree lauren-2010
Lauren Embree
Alex Cercone web.jpg
Alex Cercone
University of Florida senior Lauren Embree (Marco Island, Fla.) is the No. 1-ranked singles player in the country, according to the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings released Tuesday.
 
This is the first time in her career she has sat atop the national singles rankings, having been ranked as high as No. 4 in the Feb. 12, 2013 listing and in the Fall of 2010 chart. Embree joins current teammate Sofie Oyen (Belgium) as Gators who have achieved the No. 1 singles rankings.
 
Embree is the 11th different Gator since the 1988 season to earn the No. 1 singles ranking, joining Halle Cioffe, Nicole Arendt, Lisa Raymond, Jill Craybas, Jessica Lehnhoff, Alexis Gordon, Jennifer Magley, Sofie Oyen, Diana Srebrovic and Allie Will.
 
Florida's Alexandra Cercone (Seminole, Fla.) was honored as the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week, against Stanford last week upsetting No. 10-ranked Krista Hardebeck 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
 
Last Friday Cercone also provided the clinching dual match singles win against Clemson, defeating No. 57-ranked Beatrice Gumulya 7-6 (4), 6-4. In doubles Cercone and teammate Brianna Morgan of California, named SEC Freshman of the Week, earned the clinching doubles point against Clemson.
 
 
Floridians Receive Indian Wells Wildcards
 
Florida residents James Blake and Madison Keys were announced this week as wildcards into the main draw for the 2013 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, which begins next week.
 
Blake was a first-round casualty this week at the ATP event in Delray Beach where he faced former tournament winner Ernests Gulbis in the first round.
 
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Madison Keys
"The motivation is still there, otherwise, I wouldn't be as upset as I am right now," Blake said after losing to Gulbis. "I still definitely want to win and still feel there are opportunities out there for me to do well, especially on hardcourts...I'm probably not going to best my ranking of No. 4 in the world, but I feel like there's still matches I can win and that's the fun of it for me. I'm still competing with these guys."
 
Other men receiving wildcards were David Nalbandian of Argentina, Tommy Robredo of Spain, and Americans Steve Johnson and Tim Smyczek.
 
Other women receiving main draw wildcards were Taylor Townsend, Melanie Oudin, Kristina Mladenovic of France, Maria Sanchez, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Shahar Peer of Israel, and Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan.
 
"This year's main draw wildcards span from seasoned veterans to rising American and international stars to those returning from injury," said Tournament Director Steve Simon. "Awarding wildcards to players like David Nalbandian, James Blake, Madison Keys and Taylor Townsend add to the allure of early-round matches for fans and provide the potential for these deserving athletes to break through and make a move up their respective tour's rankings."
 
 
Moya Beats McEnroe for Delray Beach Champions Title
 
Former No. 1 Carlos Moya leveraged his strength from the baseline and an 18-year advantage in age, topping John McEnroe 6-4, 6-2 in the final of the ATP Champions Tour event at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships over the weekend.
 
"John was my idol. I watched him when I was a kid," Moya said.
 
McEnroe was not so happy after failing to take advantage of a 4-2 break lead in the opening set.
 
"It was a beautiful day for the beach, not the court," McEnroe said. "Carlos was too good."
 
At 2-2 in the second set Moya took change, winning the final four games and raising the trophy after converting on his fourth match point.
 
It was the second consecutive Delray Beach ATP Champions Tour title for Moya.
 
 
 
 

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