Fish becomes top-ranked U.S player with win

MIAMI,  (Reuters) – Mardy Fish replaced Andy Roddick  as the top-ranked American after beating Spain’s David Ferrer  7-5 6-2 yesterday to move into the semi-finals of the Sony  Ericsson Open.

Fish, currently ranked 15th, will formally overtake his  friend and world number eight Roddick when the ATP world  rankings are updated next week.

Roddick, struggling with a bronchial infection, made a shock  early exit in the defence of his Miami title in his first game,  losing to Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas on Saturday.

“I don’t think I will ever feel I am the top-ranked  American, Andy has had a pretty good career and he has always  been top dog in my generation,” Fish said of his former high  school team mate.

“I’ve never been in this position before.  Obviously it’s  very humbling.  This is a pretty big country and has a lot of  people playing tennis. So I’ll try to put it into perspective,  and I Will.”

Fish said his goal has nothing to do with bettering Roddick  and is purely personal.

“Top ten is something that I am aiming for and I will be  working my butt off to get there,” he said.

Fish had a surprisingly easy passage to the last four, with  the normally solid Ferrer fading fast in the second set in the  Florida heat.

The Spaniard lost the first set after double faulting on  break point to allow Fish to go ahead 6-5.

After the game, Ferrer said he had not felt well.

“I had stomach problems all the match. “I went to the court,  and I when I ran to rallies I had a lot of pain in my stomach.   In the second set, I couldn’t run anymore,” he told reporters.

Fish will face the winner of yesterday’s other quarter-final  between Novak Djokovic, unbeaten in 21 successive games this  year, and South African Kevin Anderson.

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