Tennis - ATP World Tour
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John Isner did not lose a set during two of his three Newport title runs. And although he dropped a set in his second-round match on Wednesday, the American advanced to the quarter-finals of the Hall of Fame Open with a 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3 victory against Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak.
“It wasn’t easy, I played a long match, two hours and eight minutes. The conditions were brutal. It’s windy and like 90 per cent humidity, so it was tough conditions out there,” Isner said. “But I’m happy to claw through there because it wasn’t pretty at times, that’s for sure.”
Isner, competing in his second tournament since breaking his left foot in the Miami Open presented by Itau final against Roger Federer, is pursuing his first ATP Tour trophy of the season. The 34-year-old has claimed at least two titles in six of the past eight years, and he is looking to build his way into form after reaching the second round at Wimbledon, where he made his return to action.
Although the wind and humidity did not make it easy for Isner, he struck 25 aces and saved all five break points he faced. The World No. 15 also was happy to spend all the time he did on court, to continue to get match play as he recovers from his foot injury.
“I think it’s very good for me. I don’t play tomorrow, so to play two hours in conditions like that and humidity like that, it’s good for sure,” Isner said.
Isner will next face Aussie Matthew Ebden in a rematch of the 2017 Newport final, won by the American. Isner leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against the World No. 110 4-1. Ebden defeated Denis Kudla 6-2, 6-2 in the second round.
Although Isner moved on, the second and third seeds were ousted in Rhode Island. American Tennys Sandgren dismissed second seed Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-1 in just 73 minutes, and Spaniard Marcel Granollers beat third seed Jordan Thompson 6-2, 7-6(6) in 88 minutes.
Photo Credit: Dino E. Garcia
In the quarter-finals, Sandgren, who made the fourth round at Wimbledon, will face seventh seed Alexander Bublik in a rematch of a first-round match in Miami from earlier this year, won by the Kazakh. Bublik defeated qualifier Viktor Troicki 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Granollers will play German Mischa Zverev, who moved past Argentine Guido Andreozzi 6-4, 6-4. Zverev was 1-11 at tour-level on the season entering this week.
In other action, fourth seed Ugo Humbert, a #NextGenATP Frenchman, beat 2018 finalist Ramkumar Ramanathan 7-6 (5), 6-0. He will next play Ilya Ivashka of Belarus, who advanced past American Christopher Eubanks 6-4, 6-3.
Third seed Laslo Djere beat 2017 finalist Paolo Lorenzi 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 to begin his Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag on Wednesday.
The Serbian is on the hunt for his second clay-court title of the season after triumphing for the first time in his seven-year career in February, when he beat #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime to win the Rio Open presented by Claro, an ATP 500 event.
Djere trailed 0-2 in the third set, but won five games in a row to take a commanding lead and put himself in position to close. The 37-year-old Lorenzi, who won an ATP Tour title on clay in 2016, did not go away though, getting back on serve when the Serbian served for the match. Djere bounced right back though, breaking the Italian for the fifth time in the match to triumph after two hours and 43 minutes.
The 24-year-old Djere will next face eighth seed Leonardo Mayer of Argentina. Mayer saved six of eight break points to fight past Czech Jiri Vesely 3-6, 6-4, 6-4. Hungarian qualifier Attila Balazs, 30, squeaked past sixth seed Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-7(1), 7-6(5) to make his second tour-level quarter-final.
The 30-year-old qualified and reached the Hungarian Open quarter-finals (l. to Herbert) in April. Balazs retired in August 2014 and started coaching tennis, but felt bored and came back to professional tennis.
He will next meet Italian Stefano Travaglia, who advanced 6-1, 2-1 when top seed Fabio Fognini retired from their second-round match.
Did You Know?
In his victory against Lorenzi, Djere saved 16 of the 20 break points he faced, including nine of 10 in the second set, which he lost.
Leonardo Mayer/Andres Molteni def. Fabricio Neis/Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 6-4, 6-1
Tomislav Brkic/Ante Pavic def. Hans Podlipnik-Castillo/Tristan-Samuel Weissborn 6-2, 6-2
Denys Molchanov/Igor Zelenay def. Pablo Andujar/Gerard Granollers 6-2, 6-2
Robin Haase/Philipp Oswald def. Andrey Rublev/Andrei Vasilevski 4-6, 7-5, 16-14
Get your first serve in.
It’s an age-old tennis adage that forms the engine room for career-best performances from several players on Tour so far in 2019. An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of first-serve percentage and career-best ATP Rankings uncovers a striking correlation between the two.
Dusan Lajovic leads the Tour in first-serve percentage in 2019, coming into Wimbledon, making 68.01 per cent of his first serves in 26 matches. The 29-year-old Serbian achieved a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 23 in April on the back of reaching his first ATP Masters 1000 final at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.
Guido Pella is second on the list for first serves made in 2019, making 67.16 per cent. The Argentine reached a career-high ranking of No. 21 in May. Pella won the Brasil Open that month, making an impressive 69 per cent (166/241) of first serves to take the title. He also reached the final of the inaugural Cordoba Open in February.
Aussie Jordan Thompson is ranked fifth in first-serve percentage so far in 2019, making 67.01 per cent of first serves through 34 matches. He reached a career-high of No. 43 this month after reaching the final of the Libema Open on grass in June.
Felix Auger-Aliassime, the 18-year-old Canadian sensation, is 10th on the list of first serves made at 65.66 per cent from 38 matches. He boasts a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 21.
In May and June, the #NextGenATP star reached the final in Lyon on clay, the final in Stuttgart on grass and the semi-finals of the Fever Tree Championships in London leading into Wimbledon.
Auger-Aliassime: First Serves Made
Lyon = 69% (201/306)
Stuttgart = 65% (203/310)
Fever-Tree Championships = 64% (208/327)
The Top 10 list of first serves made also features other in-form and highly-ranked players:
Top 10: First Serves Made (January to Wimbledon)
Dusan Lajovic = 68.01%
Guido Pella = 67.16%
Dominic Thiem = 67.16%
Rafael Nadal = 67.13%
Jordan Thompson = 67.01%
Novak Djokovic = 66.42%
Alexander Zverev = 66.04%
Roberto Bautista Agut = 65.95%
Diego Schwartzman = 65.88%
Felix Auger-Aliassime = 65.66%
Four players from the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings appear in the Top 10 list of first serves made in 2019, including No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 2 Rafael Nadal, No. 4 Dominic Thiem and No. 5 Alexander Zverev.
The Top 10 list for first serves made is heavily populated with players from the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings and others enjoying the best seasons of their careers. It remains a statistical category that directly correlates to success in our sport.