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Isner Reaches San Jose QFs; Johnson Saves 2 M.P.

San Jose, U.S.A.

Russell© Alex Smith/SAP OpenMichael Russell improved to 4-1 vs. Donald Young.

World No. 16 John Isner advanced to the SAP Open quarter-finals on Wednesday evening in San Jose with a 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-3 victory over Vasek Pospisil. Isner, the top-ranked American in the Emirates ATP Rankings, broke Pospisil twice in the third set to beat the Canadian in one hour and 48 minutes.  

“It was pretty ugly there for two sets but in the third set, I thought I played very well and it just turned around like that," Isner said. "That’s how I should play. I played aggressive, I was hitting my returns deep, I was coming in, I was making him win points with good shots. I wasn’t beating myself out there," added the tournament's second seed.

Wild card Steve Johnson saved two match points to squeak past Ivo Karlovic 6-7(2), 6-4, 7-6(6) in first-round action. Johnson trailed 4-6 in the decisive third set tie-break, but won four points in a row to clinch the win in two hours and 19 minutes. Johnson plays compatriot Tim Smyczek in the second round.

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Michael Russell won an all-American encounter, defeating qualifier Donald Young 6-3, 7-5 to set a second-round clash with two-time defending champion and top seed Milos Raonic. Russell capitalised on five of his six break points to improve to 4-1 against Young in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

Alejandro Falla edged Flavio Cipolla 7-6(1), 7-6(10) to win his opener. Both players converted four breaks in the match, but Falla prevailed to take the hard-fought meeting in two hours and 35 minutes. The Colombian clinched the victory on his 10th match point after saving six set points in the second set. The 66th-ranked Falla faces seventh seed Marinko Matosevic next.

Australia's Matthew Ebden secured his first tournament match win of 2013 as he dismissed qualifier Rik de Voest 6-2, 7-5. He meets eighth seed Xavier Malisse for a place in the quarter-finals. 

Fourth seed Tommy Haas cruised past Canada's Jesse Levine 6-3, 6-1 in 55 minutes. The German fired seven aces and saved the only break point he faced, en route to lifting his FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Levine to 4-0.

In the quarter-finals, Haas will face the winner of an all-American encounter between Johnson and Smyczek.

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