World No. 39 John Isner admitted he didn't feel very confident going into his Los Cabos opener against 157th-ranked Evgeny Donskoy. Isner, seeded at No. 2, had a first round bye in Los Cabos before he met Donskoy in the round-of-16.
Isner struggled against Donskoy but he managed to edge out the Russian 7-5 3-6 7-6 (5). “It was a very difficult match, a struggle out there,” Isner said, as quoted on the ATP website. “I knew it was going to be tough.
I didn’t have a lot of confidence coming into the match. “[At 36 years of age] I just try to stay in shape and take care of my body. It’s not about time on the practice court, but time in the gym and stretching to feel good.
I think I do a good job of that”.
Isner survived a tough opener
Isner converted the first break point of the match in the 11th game and then served out for the opener in the 12th game. After losing the first set, Donskoy bounced back as he claimed his first break of the match in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead.
The Russian then served out for the second set in the ninth game. After losing the second set, Isner had a chance to go up by an early break but Donskoy saved three break points in the second game. As not a single break point was seen in the rest of the match, the set had to be resolved in a tie-break.
Donskoy led 4-3 in the tie-break but then dropped three consecutive points as Isner took a 6-4 lead. Donskoy saved the first match point but Isner realized his second match point to claim a win in over two hours of action.
Isner, a former world No. 8, plays next against Australian Alex Bolt. Bolt beat Emilio Gomez to set up a quarterfinal meeting against Isner.