John Isner battles to reach quarter-finals in Los Cabos - UBITENNIS
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John Isner battles to reach quarter-finals in Los Cabos

The American was pushed to the limits by his Russian opponent beating him in three tight sets.

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John Isner (image via https://twitter.com/AbiertoLosCabos)

John Isner was made to work in his first match at the Los Cabos Open in Mexico.

The second seed battled his way to a marathon 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, win over world No.157 Evgeny Donskoy in two hours and 12 minutes on Grandstand Caliente. Isner was impressive behind his serve as he fired 25 aces and won 91% of his first service points.

 

“Sometimes those ugly wins feel the best and that was certainly the case tonight and it was very difficult the whole match but I was able to get the win in the end”. Said Isner.

Both players did a good job holding serve in the first set and neither cracked until 5-5 when Isner American had one look at a breakpoint. He managed to take it and that break was enough for him to serve out the first set.

The second frame wasn’t as straightforward as the first and it was the Russian who earned his first three breakpoints of the match with the American able to save two before double-faulting on the third giving him the break. Again that one break was good enough for Donskoy to serve out the second set a force a third and deciding set.

Isner went searching for the early break in the third set and had three chances but failed to convert. Eventually it would be a tiebreaker which decided the winner.

In a nail-biting tiebreaker it was Donskoy who got the first break but the American responded the very next point with a cross-court forehand winner to go back on serve at 3-3. Isner then got the crucial break of serve at 5-4 and served out the match to book his spot in the quarterfinals on Thursday where he will face Alex Bolt.

After the match in his post-match press conference, he explained how tough it was to win that match.

“It was a very difficult match, it wasn’t easy and it was a struggle the whole match. I knew it was going to be tough and I didn’t have a lot of confidence going into the match and sometimes it’s hard to find that confidence on the court but I was able to win a close contest and sometimes that can be a springboard for success so I am hoping for that”. He said.

Other results

In the other matches of the day, Ernesto Escobedo beat Denis Kudla 6-4, 7-6, Alex Bolt beat Emilio Gomez 6-3, 6-1, Cameron Norrie the number one seed beat the Swede Elias Ymer 7-6 (4), 6-3, Jordan Thompson beat Sebastien Ofner in three sets 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Steve Johnson beat Yasutaka Uchiyama 7-6, 6-3, and in the upset of the day Sam Querrey, the number four seed was sent packing by fellow American Brandon Nakashima 6-3, 6-4.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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Brandon Nakashima shocks John Isner to reach first ATP final in Los Cabos

Brandon Nakashima stunned John Isner to reach the final in Los Cabos.

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Brandon Nakashima (@AbiertoLosCabos - Twitter)

The American became the youngest American to reach a final outside the US since Andy Roddick back in 2001.

 

Brandon Nakashima booked his spot in the final beating an out of sorts John Isner 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 28 minutes firing 12 aces and winning 82% points with his first serve.

“It’s always going to be tough playing against him, It’s always so hard to return his serve and try to get into the rallies with him but I tried to get back as many returns as I could and there was blocking or chipping the return or hitting over it and just try to mix it up a lot while getting different looks and I knew when I had the opportunities and when I got close in games I knew I had to take advantage of that as much as possible so luckily I was able to do it and of course taking care of my service games was important as well”.

For the first six games of the opening set, neither player had an issue holding serve but at 3-3, it was the San Diego native with the first chance to break but was denied by the world number 39’s big serve.

At 5-4, the world number 134 had two more chances to break and he got the crucial break and served out the first set.

Winning the first set seemed to invigorate the 19-year-old and he earned an early chance to break in the first game of the second set and broke to take a 1-0 lead. Once again that one break was enough to serve out the match and seal the victory.

After the match, Nakashima spoke about becoming the first American player to reach a final outside the US since Andy Roddick back in 2001.

“It feels great and it’s a big accomplishment for me and of course all the Americans, we like to play in the US but it’s nice to see that I am playing well outside the US and luckily it’s not too far from my home here so I have been enjoying it here a lot both on and off the court and really looking forward to playing tomorrow again”.

Nakashima will face the number one seed Cameron Norrie in the final and can feel confident as the last time these two players met, the American beat him.

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