SONY OPEN TENNIS
Isner Aces His Way Out Of Trouble
World No. 23 John Isner found himself down a set and a break to Ivan Dodig before rallying to edge the Croat 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(5) in the second round of the Sony Open Tennis on Saturday in Miami.
Dodig served for the match at 6-5 in the third set, but Isner fought back to squeak out the victory in two hours and eight minutes. The 6’ 9’’ American fired 24 aces in the pair’s first meeting.
The 20th-seeded Isner was plagued by a bone bruise on his right knee at the start of the season, which forced him out of the Australian Open. He reached the semi-finals in San Jose and Delray Beach, but lost his opening-round match to Lleyton Hewitt in Indian Wells as the defending finalist, causing him to drop outside the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings.
In the third round, Isner will face off against another Croatian, Marin Cilic. The No. 9 seed defeated Santiago Giraldo 6-2, 7-6(6), erasing seven of the eight break points he faced. Cilic has won both of his previous clashes with Isner.
Tenth seed Nicolas Almagro cruised in his opener, brushing aside wild card Guido Pella 6-0, 6-3 in just 48 minutes. Almagro won 80 percent of his points on serve and broke the Argentine four times.
Fourth seed Tomas Berdych overcame Daniel Gimeno-Traver 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-2 in two hours and 14 minutes. Berdych has reached the quarterfinals or better in his five previous tournaments this season. The Czech was the runner-up to Andy Roddick in the 2010 Miami title match.
Milos Raonic set a third-round showdown with top-ranked American Sam Querrey after defeating qualifier Guillaume Rufin 6-2, 6-4. Raonic won all 22 of his first serve points to advance past the Frenchman in 64 minutes.
In the final match of the day, Alejandro Falla knocked out 25th seed Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-6(6). Falla dug out of a 0-5 hole in the second set tie-break to beat the Spaniard in one hour and 44 minutes.