Isner Pushed In Memphis Opener
Former finalist John Isner had to dig deep to overcome #NextGenATP player Yoshihito Nishioka to get his Memphis Open campaign off to a winning start on Wednesday. The second-seeded American ground out a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory against the 21-year-old lefty to land a quarter-final match against his countryman Donald Young.
“So tough, I knew it would be,” Isner said. “Getting a bye is a bit of a double-edged sword – you’re playing someone who’s already played a match, feeling confident.
“Whereas myself, I didn’t quite have that coming into this match. The main thing is I held my composure pretty good and got an early break in the second and was able to ride that out. The third set was very tough.”
Earlier, 2015 semi-finalist Young saw off #NextGenATP countryman Reilly Opelka 7-6(3), 6-3. Opelka defeated Young in the Atlanta quarter-finals last season in their only prior FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.
“Maybe it’s a good thing I just played a lefty,” Isner said of facing Young. “I know he’s going to use his slider serve out wide, and play aggressive tennis, which is what he does. He’s a shot-maker, lightning fast.”
In the final all-American battle of the night, unseeded Ryan Harrison easily dispatched of No. 3 seed Sam Querrey. Harrison, coming off a Challenger title in Dallas earlier this month, advanced 6-3, 6-1.
The win sets up a quarter-final showdown with Damir Dzumhur. The unseeded Bosnian earlier defeated Belgium’s Steve Dacris 7-6(2), 6-4.
“I played really well,” Harrison said. “Sam’s a great player for a long time and I know what he’s capable of.
“Basically if there was any hesitation from me, he’d go after me. I felt like early on I got some momentum going and then once I felt like I had momentum I was just trying to focus on swinging at my shots. I’ve always played great defence so I was able to grind out some gritty points too.”