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Courier backs Fish in Olympics dodge

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Originally published on: 02/05/12 00:00

Jim Courier, the captain of the United States’ Davis Cup team, has backed Mardy Fish’s decision to miss the Olympics and concentrate on the American hard court season. Having taken a break from the game after a doctor diagnosed fatigue two months ago, Fish has decided to play in a hard-court tournament in Washington in preference to the Olympics at Wimbledon.

“I think Mardy has probably come to the realisation that the silver medal he won in Athens is about as good as he’s probably going to do in the Olympics,” Courier said. “Looking realistically at his chances against the current field, I think he would be hard pressed to do better than that. I think he is focused on keeping his ranking up there near the top 10, giving himself a great chance of winning the US Open Series, preparing well for the US Open.”

Courier, who was speaking via a video link from New York at the London launch of ITV’s forthcoming coverage of the French Open, described this summer’s schedule for the top players, beginning with next week’s Madrid Masters and ending at the US Open, as “brutal”.

He added: “The reality is that the Olympics is a real wrench for American players because of the travel. It’s different for Europeans, where it’s an easy move. You don’t have to adjust your body clock. But for an American to go over and play the clay-court swing, go back home, play the Wimbledon swing, go home, and then go back again [for the Olympics] it’s a pretty big ask. Most of our guys are going to do that, but Mardy has made that calculated decision that it’s better for him to stay put, play in Washington DC and look to the hard courts for his summer.”

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