Qureshi reels in top seed Fish in first round

Updated: July 10, 2007, 7:49 PM ET
Associated Press

NEWPORT, R.I. -- Aisam-UI-Haq Qureshi relied on his strong serve and consistent play to upset No. 1 seed Mardy Fish 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in another year of misfortune for the tourney's top seeds.

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Qureshi, a qualifier, repeatedly left Fish struggling on service returns. The upset assured that the No. 1 seed has not won in the tournament's 31-year history on Newport's grass courts.

"I really like the courts. I like low bounces," Qureshi said. "For the top guys, the conditions were a little tough. He's not a serve-and-volleyer."

The 27-year-old Qureshi, ranked 214 coming into the event, may have been an unknown to the majority of fans cheering for Fish. But he wasn't a secret to the tournament's top seed.

"I spoke to Andy Roddick last night and told him who I was playing. He said, 'He's real good on grass,'" Fish said.

The 25-year-old Fish, who made a strong comeback last season to finish in the Top 50 after two left wrist operations in 2005, had his serve broken in the fifth game of the opening set.

In the second set, Fish appeared to be gaining momentum, breaking Qureshi in the eighth game to even it at 4-all. But Qureshi broke right back, as Fish failed to win a point in the ninth game.

Qureshi had an ace to go up 40-love before Fish hit a backhand long one point later, ending the match.

"Coming into the tournament I haven't won too many matches in a while. Right from the get-go I was a little fragile in confidence," Fish said. "Maybe I put a little too much pressure on myself. It's not many tournaments I'm a No. 1 seed."

In other opening-round play, Mischa Zverev defeated No. 7 seed Igor Kunitsyn 6-1, 2-6, 6-1; Danai Udomchoke defeated Alex Bogdanovic 6-3, 3-6, 6-0; Dick Norman defeated John Isner 7-6 (3), 6-3; wild card Scoville Jenkins defeated Daniele Bracciali, 6-2, 6-1; qualifier Prakash Amritraj defeated Ilia Bozoljac 3-6, 6-3, 6-3; Paul Capdeville defeated Nicolas Kiefer 7-6 (3), 4-6, 7-5.

Nathan Healey defeated Jesse Levine 6-1, 6-0; qualifier Antony Dupuis defeated Konstantinos Economidis 6-4, 6-3; and No. 5 seed Nicolas Mahut defeated Adrian Garcia, 7-6 (6), 6-1.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press