Not that you need to find an excuse when you lose a doubles match to Bob and Mike Bryan, the greatest doubles team of all time, but Mardy Fish had one.
Traveling from his home in Los Angeles to Florida to not only play a tennis exhibition, but to play in his charity golf fundraise and the Hilton Vacations Tournament of Champions Celebrity Golf Event, Fish brought his tennis racket, but just forgot to bring it to the court, leaving it at his parents’ house.
“My racket made it all the way from Los Angeles and then it didn’t make it from my parents’ house to here,” said Fish. “I brought my shoes and everything and I forgot my racket.”
Fish borrowed one of the Solinco rackets that belonged to the Bryans, but it wasn’t able to propel he and his good friend, sometime caddy and former Harvard All-American Thomas Blake to victory over Bob and Mike Bryan, who won 16 major doubles titles together and 119 ATP doubles titles as a pair.
The sold-out intimate exhibition was played on one of the feature courts at Windsor’s eight Har-Tru courts, surrounded by lush hedges, that was designed by former Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion Stan Smith and where Fish’s father Tom has been the Director of Tennis since 1991. Half of the proceeds for the event were also donated to the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation. Also in attendance was Windsor co-founder, the Hon. Hilary M. Weston, her son Galen G. Weston and his wife Alexandra and their two sons Graydon and Griffin.
“It’s great to come here,” said Bob Bryan. “Windsor is such a beautiful place and is so special.”
“I’ve put a lot of hours on these courts over the years and all up and down A1A and Riverside Park,” said Fish, a honorary Windsor member. “It’s nostalgic coming back. I played golf down in Jupiter yesterday and drove back and took the long way back down A1A, and called my wife had said, ‘I’m taking a long way home’ and going past Riomar, and our old house on Honeysuckle Lane and Beachland Elementary School and all that. It’s really fun to get back, and certainly, to get back here to Windsor.”
The Bryans announced in late 2019 that their 2020 season would be their last on tour, but due to the global pandemic, they were not able to have their career send-off in front of appreciative fans at the 2020 U.S. Open, which was one of the first events to resume but was played in front of no fans. Instead, the final official match for the brothers came in the USA vs. Uzbekistan Davis Cup match in Hawaii in early March 2020 where they played for Fish, who was into his second year as the U.S. Davis Cup captain.
“We’ve been on the road for so many years, 23 years on tour and before that it was crazy in the juniors,” said Bob Bryan. “We are now spending more time at home with the family. Just them pick up, taking them to tennis, they’re playing lots of music. We still have our band. We’re jamming a little bit. Playing chess. But we’re traveling a little. We’re doing some appearances like this, and do a couple of weeks (commentating) with the Tennis Channel. But it was a great time on tour, but this is a special time in life as well.”
Said Mike Bryan of his retirement, “I had a baby so, I’m changing diapers. We’ve been enjoying retirement for a few years and just see where the next part of our lives takes us but we’re still going to be in tennis. We love doing these type of things and giving back to the kids. We have a foundation too, so, we are working hard at that too.”
Following their 6-2, 6-4 win, the Bryans announced they would donate $10,000 to the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation. To watch the post-match interviews, click this link to watch on YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tA8hAcIwqmI&t=352s