Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Mardy Fish will make his debut at the ATP World Tour Finals as the lone American, having taken over as the No. 1 ranked US player; a title that has been held by Andy Roddick over the last decade. Fish is well deserving of qualifying for the year end championship, and it has been an amazing two years in the making for the late blooming veteran.

Mardy Fish started the year in Brisbane ranked No. 17. He had a very disappointing appearance at the 2011 Australian Open, losing in the second round to Tommy Robredo. However, Fish would attack the North-American hard court swing with consistent performances, with the lone blemish being an early round loss at Indian Wells. He would make three semifinal appearances, including the Miami Masters 1000, which in turn reflected in his rise up the rankings. On April 4th, 2011 he became the No. 1 ranked American player for the first time.

Typical of American tennis players, clay proves to be Fish’s least favorite surface, and it showed. He would make a quarterfinal appearance in Houston losing to Kei Nishikori, and at Roland Garros, Fish would lose in the Round of 32 to Gilles Simon. Despite the poor clay season, he would rise to a career high ranking No. 9.

Having lost early at the first two slams of the year, it was imperative for Fish to have a successful two weeks at Wimbledon. He would reach the quarterfinal of Wimbledon for the first time in nine appearances, losing to then No. 1, defending champion, Rafael Nadal in a tight four set match.

As the ATP Tour returned to the North-American summer hard court swing, Fish would win his sixth ATP Tour title in Atlanta,  successfully defending his 2010 title in a rematch against John Isner. He would then reach consecutive finals in Los Angeles and the Montreal Masters 1000, where he would fall to Novak Djokovic in a tough three set match. In Cincinnati, Fish would defeat Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, before losing to Andy Murray.

At the 2011 US Open, Fish would hold the American hopes for the first time in his career, but the expectations would see him lose to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, in a thrilling five set match in the fourth round.

A healthy Mardy Fish would normally be a tricky opponent for the other World Tour Finals qualifiers, however Fish comes in after having to retire from consecutive tournaments with a hamstring/groin injury. It would be exciting to see whether Fish can raise his game to match the high level and standards set by the others.

Qualifying for this tournament was a long time coming for Mardy, and he has proven he can compete with the best players in the world.

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