Mardy Fish's professional career came to a close Wednesday after his 2-6, 6-3, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3 loss against Feliciano Lopez. Here are 10 of the best moments from his 15-year run.
"Conquering" this summer's US Open
Fish will finish his career at Flushing Meadows, a place he hopes to "conquer," though that doesn't mean he has ambitions of winning the title. What he hopes to accomplish is much more important. This will be his first appearance at the tournament since 2012, when he made it to the fourth round and was due to play Roger Federer, but he withdrew because of an anxiety attack. It was in the spring of that year, after losing in the quarterfinals in Miami, that Fish's heart began to race, and he was eventually diagnosed with a severe disorder that required surgery. Unfortunately for Fish, that wasn't the last of his health problems. There was a stage that season in which he was experiencing panic attacks brought on by extreme anxiety every 15 to 30 minutes. "Obviously, it's no secret," Fish has said. "I'd love to go back to the US Open, where it sort of all came crashing down for me in 2012, and sort of conquer that place. And by conquer, I mean just get back out on the court there. I have a lot of demons from that place."
"Walking people through what he has overcome"
As Fish told ESPN earlier this year: "I was at the bottom, man. I was in a deep, deep place. It wasn't like I needed a little bit of medication and a couple of therapy sessions, and then we're back." Andy Roddick has spoken this summer of his admiration for how his friend has openly discussed his physical and mental health: "That was so hard to watch when he went through without people fully understanding what he was going through. I love the fact that he is comfortable walking people through what he has overcome. Mardy has been a new person since his baby boy came into this world. He can still play. Since he made his announcement and he can see the finish line, he has taken the monkey off his shoulders a little bit."
Winning an Olympic silver medal
Only Nicolas Massu of Chile came between Fish and what he described as "the biggest prize in sports" in reference to an Olympic medal. Although Fish led two sets to one, it was the South American who ended up winning the 2004 Olympic tournament played on hard courts in Athens. "I would have loved to have had the American flag in the middle of the flagpoles, and I wanted to hear the national anthem playing. That was what was keeping me going," Fish said. "Instead they ended up playing a song I had never heard of."
The change in diet
For all the attention given to Novak Djokovic's cutting gluten from his plate -- and his liking for Manuka honey and cups of licorice tea -- no change in eating habits has transformed a player the way the Fish Diet did. Soda, burgers and pizzas were banned, as was eating after 7 p.m., and the result was Fish lost 30 pounds and gained new enthusiasm for his tennis. Suddenly, at an advanced stage in his tennis life, Fish felt like a new player. "You see a lot of guys going downhill as they get older, but I'm going the other way, and that's because of diet," Fish said at the time. "I don't get tired anymore because I'm no longer carrying 30 pounds on me. It was about a lifestyle change. It was about what I ate and when I ate, and now I'm able to train harder. As far as affecting my mobility, it's meant everything. I feel like a completely different player."
The late surge up the rankings
It was in 2011 that Fish achieved a career-high ranking of No. 7. That same year, he qualified for the season-ending tournament in London, the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, which is restricted to the best eight players in the world. Although he didn't win a match in his group, FIsh gave a good account of himself, including taking a set off Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.
Going deep into the Grand Slams
The first time Fish made the quarterfinals of a major came at the 2007 Australian Open, in which he was stopped by his friend, Roddick. The following year, Fish put together a run at the US Open, beating James Blake and Gael Monfils along the way, but he went no further than the quarterfinals after running into Nadal. Fish's third Grand Slam quarterfinal was on the Wimbledon grass in the summer of 2011, and again it was Nadal who prevented him from appearing in what would have been a first career semifinal at a major. On the clay of Roland Garros, Fish never went beyond the third round.
Playing in a Davis Cup final
This was no ordinary experience for Fish and his American teammates, though they had been warned about the noise. On each day of the 2004 final between Spain and the United States, some 23,000 locals gathered inside the Stadio Olimpico de Sevilla. Unfortunately, it didn't work out for the Americans, including Fish, who lost a live singles rubber match on the opening day. There was no shame in that on the clay court, given his opponent was Carlos Moya, a former French Open champion.
You sometimes hear Fish described as a hard-court specialist, and it's certainly true that he has tended to look more at home on cement than anywhere else. But that doesn't mean Fish hasn't had success on other surfaces -- indeed, over the course of his career, he won titles on all surfaces, with four hard-court tournament victories and one each on clay and grass. What you could say is Fish, from Minnesota, was often at his best when competing at home, with five of six titles coming in the United States. The only title he won outside America was his first, which came on an indoor hard-court in 2003 in Stockholm in 2003.
So close to victory at the Masters-level events
Fish played in the final of a Masters-level tournament four times. Victory in any one of those matches would have given him the biggest title of his career. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be, and he was beaten four times.
A local legend in the English provinces
Throughout his career, Fish has become accustomed to the silly headlines ('Fish battered,' 'Fish fried'), but one summer, while playing a pre-Wimbledon tournament in Nottingham, he was informed by a local radio station that he was "a legend of the east Midlands." The reason for that? Fish's first name, which to the locals is an adjective meaning "to be in a sulk or a bit of a grump."