Dubai He replaced Andy Roddick as the No 1 American player more than a year back and now Mardy Fish is also hoping to emulate him by winning the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. He knows it is easier said than done given the strength of the field but the world No 8 tells XPRESS in an exclusive interview that he is really looking forward to making his debut at the February 27 to March 3 men's week and proving that, even at 30, he belongs right up there.
"I am very excited to be able to come to Dubai and see the city. I have heard great things about it and my family and I are very excited," he said.
Fish, who had a great 2011, believes the Dubai tournament will be a great indicator as to where his game is at the moment.
"It's great to be playing in such a prestigious event. The field is great and if you do well in the tournament then you know you are playing great tennis." he said, adding: "My 2011 was the best of my career and I hope to continue to play well throughout 2012."
The American, who won the US Open series in 2011, has his sights set on trying to match the top four in the men's game right now. "There are great players at the top of the men's game right now. I hope to be one of them in the end and to win a big event," he said, having led the US to a 5-0 whitewash of the Roger Federer-led Swiss.
Fish, who has won six tournaments on the ATP World Tour so far, cherishes the silver medal he won at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and hopes to bring more glory to his country in London.
"I will always remember my silver medal in Athens. The Olympics are always a special event as they are only played every four years, so it means a lot to be able to do well and to represent your country at such a prestigious event," he said.
Fish's best results at Grand Slams have been quarter-finals at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open
Besides six titles on the ATP World Tour, he has also reached 14 other finals
He led Nicola Massu two-sets-to-one in the gold medal match at the Athens Olympics in 2004, but eventually had to settle for silver