WINSTON-SALEM OPEN 2011
Isner Powers Past Nieminen; Dolgopolov Saves M.P.
by ATP Staff|
Fourth seed and home favourite John Isner powered into the quarter-finals of the Winston-Salem Open on Wednesday with a 7-6(4), 6-2 victory over Finnish No. 13 seed Jarkko Nieminen at the inaugural edition of the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tournament.
The American lost only seven points on serve as he fired 10 aces, and broke Nieminen’s serve twice in the second set to claim victory in 64 minutes. He is through to his sixth ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season and fourth of the summer after winning the Newport title, reaching the final in Atlanta, and making a semi-final showing in Washington.
"It was pretty solid, same score as yesterday," remarked Isner. "It took me a while to get used to how he was playing. From 4-4 in the tie-break, that’s when I really kicked up. I was kind of on my way from there. I held serve comfortably today and that just puts so much pressure on my opponents. I’m very fortunate to have my serve."
For a place in the semi-finals Isner will face eighth seed Marcos Baghdatis, whom he defeated two weeks ago in the Montreal first round. The Cypriot won 10 straight games from 3-5 down in the first set to dismiss Belgium’s Steve Darcis 7-5, 6-0 in 73 minutes. It is just the second time he has won back-to-back matches during the Olympus US Open Series, also reaching the quarter-finals in Washington (l. to Young).
In a contest between two of the ATP World Tour’s rising stars, third seed Alexandr Dolgopolov saved one match point as he edged Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(7). The Ukrainian won six points fewer in total than his Bulgarian opponent and trailed in the tie-break - saving match point on his second serve - before prevailing in two hours and 12 minutes.
The No. 22-ranked Dolgopolov improved to a 29-20 match record on his breakthrough season, highlighted by winning his first ATP World Tour title last month in Umag (d. Cilic) and reaching the Australian Open quarter-finals (l. to Murray).
Next up for the 22-year-old Dolgopolov is 10th-seeded Dutchman Robin Haase, who ended Canadian lucky loser Pierre-Ludovic Duclos’ campaign with a 6-4, 7-5 win in one hour and 53 minutes. The 24-year-old Haase, a career-high No. 42 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, is playing his first tournament since winning his first title in Kitzbuhel (d. Montanes) at the start of August.