Mardy Fish Leading the Empire
  | By Brian Coleman

 

 

The New York Empire return this summer, bringing World TeamTennis action back to the New York area for a second consecutive year. Leading the charge for the NY Empire will be American Mardy Fish, who will be competing in Mylan World TeamTennis for the seventh time.

“Personally, I love it,” Fish said of the WTT format. “For me, especially right now in my life, five-game sets with no ad-scoring sounds pretty good. I love the fast-paced nature of it with the music playing in between. I looked forward to playing it every year during my career, whether it worked out or not.”

Fish was on the Washington Kastles roster last year, but injured his foot in the second game of his opening match and was forced to miss the remainder of the season.

“I was super bummed about that, so I wanted to come back this year,” said Fish. “I’m really excited to be a part of the New York Empire this season.”

Fish enjoyed an excellent career on the ATP Tour, winning six career titles and reaching a career-high ranking of seventh in the world, which included a stint as the highest-ranked American male.

He represented the United States in both Davis Cup play and in the Olympics, including bringing home the Silver Medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

“Playing Davis Cups was always a blast, and bringing home the Silver Medal at the Olympics was amazing,” said Fish. “I got to play tennis in places like Dubai, Rome, Paris, London, Australia and many more … you could never dream about that kind of stuff. I played a lot of good matches over the years, but none more special than Davis Cup and the Olympics.”

This summer, the NY Empire will play its matches at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, a venue that Fish is very familiar with.

“I played my first Grand Slam match there and my last match ever there,” said Fish. “I played some really fun night matches there at the U.S. Open. There is just a lot of tennis history for me there. It’s a place where we, as Americans, always got the best crowd support. I always requested to play on Louie Armstrong or the Grandstand because the fans are right on top of you. They were always so loud while rooting for you … those were the most fun matches.”

Fish played his final pro match during the 2015 U.S. Open, where he lost a thrilling five-set match to Spain’s Feliciano Lopez, but received a ceremonious sendoff from the crowd.

Since retiring, Fish does extensive work with his charity, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, which provides after-school programs to kids near where he grew up in Vero Beach, Fla.

“It’s something that’s near and dear to me and my family,” said Fish. “We’re just trying to give back to the community that gave me so much to me when I grew up. We’ve been doing it for about 10 years now. It’s a great thing, the people love it. We’re trying to go as big and far as we can with it.”

The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation has its namesake on a Futures Tournament in Vero Beach, with the proceeds of the tournament going to the Foundation.

A father of two, Fish also spends some time with the USTA at its new National Campus in Orlando, working with some of the young players, and is looking forward to his return to Queens this summer as he hopes to lead the NY Empire to a successful second season.

“I’m excited about the team and the roster we have with the NY Empire,” said Fish. “I’m going to train hard and see if I can get back into shape and do my part. It can get pretty hectic at home with the young ones, so sometimes it’s nice to get on the road and get back to doing something I’m used to doing, and that’s playing tennis. This will be no different.”

New York Empire 2017 Home Schedule
Marquee players are subject to change. All home matches will be played on Court 17 of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Date Time Home  Visitor
Sunday, July 16 5:00 p.m.

(featuring John Isner) 

 

(featuring Sloane Stephens and Donald Young)

Wednesday, July 19 7:00 p.m. 

(featuring Mardy Fish)

(featuring Sloane Stephens and Donald Young)

Thursday, July 20 7:00 p.m.

(featuring Mardy Fish)

Thursday, July 27 7:00 p.m.

(featuring Mardy Fish and Eugenie Bouchard)

Friday, July 28 7:00 p.m. 

(featuring Mardy Fish and Eugenie Bouchard)

Sunday, July 30 5:00 p.m.

(featuring Mardy Fish)

Monday, July 31 7:00 p.m.

(featuring Mardy Fish)

 

For more information on the New York Empire, visit NYEmpireTennis.com.

 

Brian Coleman

Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at brianc@usptennis.com