John Isner powered his way into the SAP Open quarterfinals by pounding 14 aces in a 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-3 victory over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil on Wednesday.
The hard-serving American overcame a shaky second set, held off two break points in the third set with aces and finished off the pesky Pospisil behind some pretty passing shots. Isner will play either Xavier Malisse or Matthew Ebden on Friday.
”Very, very glad to be sitting here a winner and not a loser thinking about my economy seat to Memphis tomorrow,” Isner said, smirking.
Isner was forced to travel to San Jose this week by the window, unable to get any extra-leg space for his 2.06-meter (6-foot-9) frame.
”Sure enough there was some like 5-foot-1 person with their feet dangling on the exit row,” Isner said.
After dropping out of the Australian Open and losing his last Davis Cup match in the United States’ win over Brazil last weekend, Isner enjoyed only his third win in 10 matches since the U.S. Open last September.
Two-time defending SAP Open champion Milos Raonic was the top seed, setting up the possibility of a power-packed final should both advance. The 13th-ranked Raonic also had an opening-round bye. The Canadian will play in the second round on Thursday against Michael Russell, who won an all-American matchup over qualifier Donald Young 6-3, 7-5.
Also, Alejandro Falla of Colombia outlasted Flavio Cipolla of Italy 7-6 (1), 7-6 (10); Australia’s Ebden beat qualifier Rik de Voest 6-2, 7-5; wild-card Steve Johnson upset Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic 6-7 (2), 6-4, 7-6 (6); and fourth-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany beat Canada’s Jesse Levine 6-3, 6-1 in the late match.