Two Aces Come To Isner's Rescue
American now looks to reach Last 16 for the first time
John Isner knows a thing or two about striking aces. At The Championships eight years ago, he struck a record 113 aces in a 70-68 fifth set victory over Nicolas Mahut in the first round.
On Thursday, in a match carried over from the previous night, the American fired 64 aces — the second-most of his career and the third-most in Wimbledon history — with two of those cannonballs saving two match points at 4-5, 15/40 in the deciding set en route to victory over qualifier Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium.
Isner completed a 6-1, 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-7(3), 7-5 second-round win in three hours and 46 minutes, having resumed the clash at 3-4 in the fifth set. Isner, who also saved one break point when serving for the match at 6-5, won 80 per cent of his first-service points for a place in the Wimbledon third round for the fourth time.
TOP 6 MOST ACES PER MATCH
|John Isner (USA)||Nicolas Mahut (FRA)||2010 Wimbledon, 1R||113|
|Nicolas Mahut (FRA)||John Isner (USA)||2010 Wimbledon, 1R||103|
|Ivo Karlovic (CRO)||Horacio Zeballos (ARG)||2017 Australian Open, 1R||76|
|John Isner (USA)||Ruben Bemelmans (BEL)||2018 Wimbledon, 2R||64|
|Ivo Karlovic (CRO)||Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE)||2016 US Open, 1R||61|
|Ivo Karlovic (CRO)||Jan-Lennard Struff (GER)||2018 Wimbledon, 2R||61|
“It was tough match,” said Isner. “I have of course been in this situation before where the match has not finished, and I'm not just talking about 2010. It's been other times, as well, at this event… [I] certainly didn't sleep like a baby last night. You know, when you're up two sets and 4-0 in the third set tie-break and you let that slip through, it's tough. A lot of stuff goes through your head.
“But I was able to get the win today and didn't win like 24-22 or anything crazy. It was somewhat of a normal score… I've gotten involved in long matches here. A few of them have gone my way and a lot have not gone my way. I think today was very relieving — sort of a monkey off my back — because I have lost a lot of five-set matches since that one in 2010.”
The 33-year-old, competing at the All England Club for the 10th time, now faces Radu Albot on Friday.