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ATP Atlanta Tennis @ BB&T Open • John Isner Beats de Minaur To Reach Quarterfinals

John Isner of the USA in action against Alex de Minaur of Australia during a second round match of the BB&T Atlanta Open men’s tennis tournament at Atlantic Station in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 25 July 2018. EPA-EFE/ERIK S. LESSER



By Ricky Dimon


How good is John Isner at the BB&T Atlanta Open? So good that he often beats quality opponents without requiring any drama or tiebreakers–things that he frequently needs a lot of at other events.


Isner was up to his usual Atlanta tricks on Wednesday night, defeating Alex de Minaur 6-3, 6-2 in just one hour and three minutes. With the convincing victory, Isner improved to 28-4 lifetime in Atlanta–a record that includes four titles, three runner-ups, and no losses prior to the semifinals. Wednesday’s result marked fourth-most lopsided win in 32 career matches in Atlanta, as he dropped only five games the entire way.


“I’m happy to be in Atlanta,” Isner commented. “Of course everyone knows how much I love this tournament. I have a lot of support…. It’s good to be back home (in the United States).”


The 6’10” American is back home after battling Kevin Anderson for more than six hours in a memorable Wimbledon semifinal marathon, won by Anderson 26-24 in the fifth. It’s safe to say this one was a little bit more routine.


Isner seized control right away against de Minaur, breaking for a 4-2 advantage in the opening set. The world No. 9 had two more break points to wrap up the set at 5-2 but the Aussie held, leading to a simple service game for Inser at 5-3.


It was all but over for the Aussie immediately in the second, when he dropped serve in the first game and again in the fifth game. Isner had no trouble rolling to the finish line from there, as he surrendered just five points in his last four service games.


“It was a pretty comprehensive win, so I’m happy about that,” Isner assessed. “I’m very happy; I’m extremely happy…. The court bounces very high, so very good conditions for me; very tough conditions for him…. It was good, for sure–six hours shorter than my Wimbledon match.”


Next up for Isner is Mischa Zverev, a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Mikhail Youzhny. Zverev owns a 3-2 record at Isner’s expense after winning all three of their matchups in 2018.


But this one could be different for one very obvious reason.


“I’ve never played him in Atlanta,” Isner said. “That might help.”


Isner and Zverev are joined in the quarterfinals by Hyeon Chung and Ryan Harrison. Chung won in his comeback match from more than two months off due to an ankle injury, beating Taylor Fritz 6-4, 7-6(5).


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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