Washington, DC – Americans James Blake and Mardy Fish each needed to mount comebacks in the first round at the $1.3 million Citi Open tennis event. One did just that, but the other couldn't finish the job.
Fish rallied past Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 on Monday. He is currently two victories shy of the 300-match wins milestone and next faces 12th-seeded Frenchman Julien Benneteau.
Blake bowed out in his opening match against Australian Marinko Matosevic 6-2, 7-6 (8-6). Blake captured the title here in 2002 and was the runner-up in 2005.
Czech Radek Stepanek, who titled here in 2011, defeated American wild card Steve Johnson, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.
Indian qualifier Somdev Devvarman set up a meeting with defending champion Alexandr Dolgopolov after beating American Rhyne Williams 7-5, 6-1.
Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan posted a 6-3, 6-4 win over Santiago Giraldo of Colombia and Tobias Kamke of Germany claimed a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania.
Other winners Monday were German's David Goffin and Slovakia's Lukas Lacko. Goffin toppled Taiwan's Yen-Hsun Lu in straight sets, while Lacko rallied past Colombian Alejando Falla, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.
In addition, Australian Samuel Groth dropped American Denis Judla 7-6 (7-2), 6-2. Belgian Xavier Malisse outlasted American Rajeev Ram, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The 2013 Citi Open champ will collect $292,200.