Isner Fights Hard; Sock Falls In Paris
Zopp battles back to beat No. 14 seed Sock
Isner was made to work hard in beating fellow American Noah Rubin in straight sets in a two-day encounter.
Ninth seed Isner led 6-3, 7-6(7), having saved two set points at 5/6 and 6/7 in the second set tie-break, when rained suspended play on Monday night. But upon the resumption of play on Tuesday, World No. 173 Rubin fought just as hard.
Rubin saved a total of four match points at 4-5 (three) and 5-6 (one) in the third set, before missing out on a set point opportunity when serving at 6/5 in the tie-break. Isner completed a 7-6(7) set with one of his 63 first-service points won, for his 15th match win at the clay-court Grand Slam championship.
“It was a tough, tough match,” admitted Isner. “I knew it would be, because I know Noah is a very good competitor. I would say, among everything, that's probably the best thing he does, which is a very fine attribute.
“But I went to bed last night up two sets. It's a little bit nicer than one-set all. And today, I thought I played well. In the third set, I had so many chances. I just couldn't break through. I had countless chances to certainly have won that third set a bit easier, but it wasn't to be.”
Isner, who reached the fourth round in 2014 (l. to Berdych) and 2016 (l. to Murray), will next face Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos, victor over Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-2. The match had begun with Zeballos leading 6-4, 6-6 (0/0).
The World No. 136 knocked out No. 14 seed Sock of the United States 6-7(4), 6-2, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-3 in three hours and 45 minutes. Sock, who had led Zopp 4-1 lead in the fourth set (and had a 4/1 advantage in the tie-break), has now lost in the first round of three straight majors. Estonian Zopp will next play Belgian lucky loser Ruben Bemelmans, who beat Yuki Bhambri of India 6-4, 6-4, 6-1.
Johnson needed four set points to clinch the opener of his 7-6(1), 6-2, 6-2 victory over No. 25 seed Adrian Mannarino of France in two hours and three minutes. Johnson will next face Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff, who swept past Evgeny Donskoy of Russia 6-1, 6-3, 6-0.