AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2012
Isner Wins Epic; Dolgopolov Saves 1 M.P. To Meet Tomic In Third Round
by ATP Staff|
John Isner came through another epic encounter at a Grand Slam championship on Wednesday, when the American No. 16 seed beat David Nalbandian of Argentina 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(5), 10-8 at the Australian Open.
Isner hit 43 aces and 88 winners past World No. 87 Nalbandian for victory in four hours and 41 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.
"It was a lot of fun, first off," said Isner. "Very similar to my match here last year where I lost 9-7 in the fifth [against Marin Cilic] on that same court. I told myself I didn't want to repeat that effort. I wanted to actually win that one. It felt really, really good to win it.
"[The] only thing that was keeping me in [it] was my serve. From the back of the court [he] was just not missing much and playing aggressively and playing really well. I knew he was capable of that. I mean, I was hoping he wasn't going to pull it out today. I felt like he played well, but I just hung in there. Eventually it paid off."
Isner will next play No. 18 seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain in the third round.
"It was a great match," said Nalbandian. "But I think I lost another one like that, as well - [the 2003] US Open semi-finals with Andy Roddick. [That was] more important [than] this second round today."
A little later on day three, Ukrainian No. 13 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov also overcame a five-set battle, saving one match point at 5-6, 30/40 in the fifth set, to beat Tobias Kamke of Germany 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, 3-6, 8-6 in three hours and 18 minutes.
Despite committing 73 unforced errors, Dolgopolov converted nine of his 20 break point opportunities and hit 61 winners.
"Physically I feel fine," said Dolgopolov, who beat Australian Greg Jones in five sets on Monday. "I was pretty concerned from the first match. I wasn't feeling good a bit health wise. I think I played a pretty good game. It was up and down a bit, but he played also some unbelievable shots. He was playing very well."
"It very, very difficult to really serve," said Tomic. "It was tough because he was hitting his forehand well. I think I was guessing the wrong way in the first set, and second set I started guessing the right way and he started missing a lot more first serves."