Isner Strikes 35 Aces, Leaves It Late For Win

Former finalist John Isner left it late, but advanced at the Western & Southern Open in a 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(5) win over John Millman that could have gone either way on Monday afternoon.

Millman, who wasn’t broken throughout the encounter over two hours and 48 minutes, recovered from 15/40 at 3-3 in the deciding set and later led 4/2 in the tie-break, but Isner’s consistency and weight of shot reaped dividends.

Isner fired down 35 aces and won 80 per cent of his first-service points — compared to Millman’s 85 per cent — to extend his ATP Head2Head record to 4-0 against the Australian, who’d been looking to reach an ATP Masters 1000 third round for the first time. Isner, the No. 16 seed and 2013 runner-up, completed victory with a powerful forehand winner and next faces fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

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Earlier in the day, another American, Reilly Opelka, knocked out ninth seed Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 7-6(4) in one hour and 42 minutes to reach a Masters 1000 third round for the second time (also 2019 Miami Open presented by Itau).

Opelka, who won his second ATP Tour title at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com in February, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the five-month ATP Tour suspension, hit 13 aces and won 33 of his 41 first service points against World No. 13.

Jan-Lennard Struff dug deep to record his fourth straight win over Denis Shapovalov, the No. 12 seed, 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and 19 minutes. Shapovalov led 5-3 in the first set.

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