Isner Battles Past Countryman Harrison In Madrid
American to meet 2017 semi-finalist Cuevas
Miami Open presented by Itaú champion John Isner advanced to the Mutua Madrid Open third round on Wednesday, defeating fellow American Ryan Harrison 7-6(1), 7-6(7).
Isner, currently ranked at a career-high No. 9 in the ATP Rankings, hit 22 aces in the one-hour, 31-minute encounter en route to victory. Isner improves to 7-3 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Harrison, levelling their 2018 series at 1-1 after Harrison’s success in Acapulco three months ago.
In a match which featured no breaks of serve, Isner required two tie-breaks to secure his 10th victory in Madrid. The 33-year-old dominated the opening set decider, firing his 11th ace of the match to clinch a one-set advantage. The second tie-break proved far more competitive, with both men failing to convert set points before Isner unleashed a powerful forehand into the corner to move into the next round.
Isner will next face Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas. The 2017 semi-finalist (l. to Thiem) took just short of two hours to overcome Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 6-7(2), 6-2. Cuevas hit 15 aces throughout the second-round clash and dropped just nine points on serve to book a third-round meeting with World No. 9 Isner.
Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer cruised past Fernando Verdasco, who recorded his 500th career singles match win on Tuesday, 6-2, 6-1. The World No. 45 saved all three break points he faced against the Spaniard and clinched victory after 70 minutes with his third ace of the match. Mayer will face Evgeny Donskoy of Russia or second seed Alexander Zverev for a place in the quarter-finals.
Did You Know?
John Isner has now won 10 matches at the Mutua Madrid Open (10-6). The American most notably reached the quarter-finals on his last appearance in the Spanish capital, defeating Adrian Mannarino, Thomaz Bellucci and Nick Kyrgios before falling to Tomas Berdych in a final-set tie-break.