US OPEN 2013
Kohlschreiber Ousts Isner To Set Nadal Duel
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
For the second consecutive year Philipp Kohlschreiber denied John Isner a return to the Round of 16 of the US Open, prevailing 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(5) in two hours and 47 minutes. Kohlschreiber defeated Isner in a memorable five-setter a year ago, ending at 2:26 a.m. and resulting in the German’s first fourth round appearance in New York.
Behind a boisterous crowd on Louis Armstrong Stadium that Kohlschreiber claimed was the loudest he’d ever played in front of, the World No. 25 recovered from a late fourth set deficit to oust the top American. After dropping a tight third set 7-5, double faulting on set point, Isner rebounded in the fourth and would eventually secure the break for 6-5 on a sitter forehand winner ripped down-the-line.
The 6’10” Georgia native was uncharacteristically broken in the next game, however, and would proceed to fall in the tie-break. Kohlschreiber got a mini-break midway through the ‘breaker after an ill-advised approach from Isner led to a forehand pass. An overhead smash would seal the victory on the German’s third match point.
Isner’s movement appeared to be hampered in the latter stages and he would claim fatigue was a significant factor. “(It was) more of a fatigue thing, which was my own fault. I felt like I wore myself out getting charged up out there. It’s hard to explain, but I used too much energy doing that… I was pretty gassed there. Had I kept calm, I think I could still be out there right now.
"That said, he played a smart match,” Isner added. “He was better than me, simple as that.”
Isner was victimised by 40 unforced errors, compared to Kohlschreiber’s 17. Kohlschreiber dominated the baseline battles as well, winning 62% of rallies of five shots or more.
With the win, the former World No. 16 books a date with World No. 2 Rafael Nadal for a berth in his second Grand Slam quarter-final. Nadal owns the FedEx ATP Head2Head 9-1, with the most recent meeting coming in Monte-Carlo earlier this year, won by the Spaniard 6-2, 6-4.
Considering Nadal’s stellar form and history of dominance against players with one-handed backhands, it will be a challenge for Kohlschreiber, but one the German is ready for.
"I'm really looking forward to it," Kohlschreiber said. "I've had some good matches against him, especially on hard courts. Basically I know a little bit how I have to play. We don't have to say he's in pretty good shape winning almost every match on hard court. So it's going to be really tough, but I'm really looking forward to playing on Ashe. And I'm happy with my performance today. I think I also will play a really good match against him."