Big-serving American John Isner admitted that Andrey Rublev was the better player but he was happy that he managed to find a way to beat the Russian. Isner, ranked at No. 39 in the world, beat world No. 7 Rublev 7-6 (4) 3-6 7-6 (4) in the Madrid Masters round-of-16.
Rublev did not face a single break point during the match but still ended up losing in three sets. “I’m very happy,” Isner said, per the ATP website. “I wasn’t the better player out there today; I did win the match.
My serve kept me in it. There’s a reason he’s won so many matches this year. "It's a nice feather in my cap right now with my ranking being a little bit lower," Isner said. "I haven't played much since the tour stopped last year.
I think this is my only seventh event. I haven't had many matches. But to beat a guy like that, maybe being a little bit undercooked, is a very special moment for me." Isner enjoys playing on the clay of Madrid "It is my favorite clay court probably," Isner said.
"It has an indoor feel even though it's not fully indoors. It's got a great sound to it. The court is fast. To me it doesn't seem like there's too much clay on the court so, of all the clay courts I play on, it plays closest to a hard court of any of them.
The altitude in Madrid just really helps my serve. The ball goes through the air very fast. You put all those things together, it's a good recipe for me to do some damage on serve." Also, Isner admitted he was surprised to make the Madrid quarterfinal.
"I'm actually pretty surprised right now to be in the quarterfinals," Isner said. "I probably played two tournaments in three years on clay. I'm happy to be in the quarterfinals. I've been in this spot before; I guess I'm no stranger to making it this far at this event."