Mardy Fish has withdrawn from the Atlanta Open after he lost his footing near the next post during an attempted return of a drop shot. His ankle looked to have buckled a bit and he is thankful that he was not seriously hurt and is still on track to represent the United States at the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games in London.
"I did everything I could just to bring my head back," said Fish. "That brought my right leg out, sort of sliding and jarring it back and (turned) the inside of the right ankle. It was going to be either my knee, my ankle or my head. Thankfully it was my ankle."
Fish had already won the first set 6-4 and was leading in the second 3-2 against Gilles Muller from Luxembourg when he pulled out of play. The injury was yet to be diagnosed with a MRI planned at a later time. He dropped his racquet and fell to the ground where he remained for about a minute before limping over to the sidelines to take a break. He did return to play just two points where he won both before he waved his opponent off the court in sharp pain.
"There was some sharp pain when I was walking after getting up from the chair for the changeover," Fish said. "I knew it was a little bit worse than I thought initially."
Muller now goes onto play Matthew Ebden, who defeated American James Blake, in the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Fish hasn't had an easy year as the world's number-13 ranked player. He went through a heart procedure to correct a arrhythmia in May and lost at Wimbledon in the fourth-round.
"This is a comfortable place for me, so naturally I enjoy playing here," Fish said. "It's a bummer. What can you do? I've been in this position before. It happens."