Isner Saves One Match Point In Auckland
Two-time champion John Isner fended off a match point to keep his hopes for a third Auckland title alive on Wednesday. The second seed outlasted No. 56 Malek Jaziri of Tunisia 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(6) at the ASB Classic.
Jaziri had a match point at 6/5 on Isner's serve in the third-set tie-break, but Isner erased it with a stiff backhand volley. The 6'10” right-hander then charged the net during the next two points as well, finishing the match with a backhand volley down the line.
Isner will meet countryman Steve Johnson in the second round. Johnson, the seventh seed, lost only two points on his first serve (31/33) to dismiss Yen-Hsun Lu 6-4, 7-6(4).
Robin Haase opened up the top half of the draw, upsetting four-time champion and third seed David Ferrer 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) in two hours. The 29-year-old Haase struck 11 aces and saved six of nine break points against the Spaniard, who won Auckland crowns in 2007 and 2011-'13. The Dutchman will next meet Portugal's Joao Sousa, who beat British qualifier Brydan Klein 6-3, 6-4 in 73 minutes.
Fourth seed Jack Sock progressed at the expense of his American compatriot, qualifier Ryan Harrison, 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-1 in two hours and six minutes. In their first meeting for almost five years (2012 Memphis), Sock hit 11 aces to Harrison’s 17 aces. Sock goes on to play Jeremy Chardy, who received a walkover after sixth seed Feliciano Lopez withdrew prior to their match.
Eighth seed Marcos Baghdatis will challenge 2015 champion Jiri Vesely after he struck 12 aces to beat wild card Dustin Brown 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4 in two hours and six minutes. Vesely saved all five break points he faced and hit 15 aces to overcome lucky loser Jose Statham, a replacement for top seed Roberto Bautista Agut, 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-3.
Top Seeds Beaten In Doubles Opener
Max Mirnyi will have to wait another week in his bid to clinch the 50th doubles title of his career after Leander Paes and Andre Sa denied the Belarusian and Treat Huey, the top seeds, 7-6(3), 6-3 in the first round. Paes won the 2015 title with Raven Klaasen. Elsewhere, second seeds Dominic Inglot and Florin Mergea saved 10 of 12 break points in a 7-5, 7-5 win over local wild cards Statham and Finn Tearney.