Top seed Roger Federer is into the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open, but he didn't get there the way we were expecting.
The fourth-round match between top-seeded Federer and 23rd-seeded Mardy Fish was called off just a few hours before it was scheduled to take place, as Fish withdrew from the U.S. Open.
The result is a big break for the 31-year-old Swiss as he seeks his 18th Grand Slam title, but one's thoughts must be with his would-be opponent.
Fish was one of two Americans left in the men's draw of this Grand Slam, the other being the retiring Andy Roddick.
Just a year ago, Fish reached the highest ranking of his career, No. 7, at the age of 29.
However, Mardy has had trouble with his health over the past year, which has led to his present ranking of No. 24. At the Sony Ericsson tournament in Miami in March, Fish was rushed to the hospital with severe heart arrhythmia after losing to Juan Monaco in the quarters. Soon after, he was forced to undergo heart surgery.
Mardy has previously commented on the condition, saying that it makes it tough for him to sleep and that it feels like his heart is about to burst out of his chest.
Through his first three rounds, Fish had already been pushed to five sets by Nikolay Davydenko and four by Gilles Simon.
We can only hope that the condition that has forced Fish to withdraw from the U.S. Open is nothing serious.
Meanwhile, this turn of events leaves the home nation with one hope at the men's title while providing the five-time champion Federer with an even clearer route to his sixth.
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