Del Potro Ends Isner's Match-Win Streak
Juan Martin del Potro needed two breaks of serve, and that's exactly what he made happen against John Isner at the Coupe Rogers in Montreal on Monday. The Argentine broke at 5-5 in both sets and overcame 24 aces from the 14th-seeded American to advance 7-5, 7-5 at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Canada.
Del Potro, a 2009 finalist in Montreal (l. to Murray), improves to 11-0 in opening-round matches this season. He never faced a break point and converted just enough of them against Isner (2/7). The Argentine was glad to be back in Montreal after missing the 2015 edition.
“It's amazing for me. I missed this tournament a lot. I couldn't play the last editions because of my wrist. But now I'm in good shape. I have the chance to play after many years, and I started by winning a good match against Isner,” he said.
Del Potro had to stay patient against the big-serving American all match, but especially at 5-5 in the second set, when Isner erased two break points before del Potro smashed a forehand that Isner couldn't handle, ending the eight-minute game.
The Argentine is coming off a third-round showing (l. to Nishikori) last week at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. Isner hadn't dropped a set since 6 July when he lost to Israel's Dudi Sela in the second round of Wimbledon.
The American had strung together 16 consecutive sets and eight match wins in a row during back-to-back title runs at the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open in Newport and the BB&T Atlanta Open. The titles were the 11th and 12th of his career.
“He has a great serve. His movements from the baseline are getting better. It's, of course, a tough first round for both of us. It could be a quarter-final, could be a semi-final of any tournament,” del Potro said. “But we play today, and I got lucky to win tonight. Hopefully I can get another draw in the next tournament because nobody wants to play against John in the first round.”
In other action, Canadian Peter Polansky will face Roger Federer in the second round after beating compatriot Vasek Pospisil 7-5, 6-2. Polansky faced Federer three years ago at the Masters 1000 tournament in Canada and lost 6-2, 6-0.
Asked what he remembers from that match, Polansky, No. 116 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, smiled at the memory. “I remember it went really, really quick,” he said. “I wish I was out there longer last time. Nonetheless, I remember I actually did play a pretty decent match against him. I looked at some of the highlights after the match, and there were a lot of good points. I just lost every single one of them.”
Spaniard David Ferrer battled Brit Kyle Edmund for two hours and 26 minutes before coming out on top, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3. The 35 year old, a 2014 quarter-finalist, will next face 15th seed Jack Sock of the U.S. or French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
Argentine Diego Schwartzman setup a second-round meeting with third seed Dominic Thiem after beating #NextGenATP American Reilly Opelka 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-4. Opelka hit 21 aces but Schwartzman won 87 per cent of his first-serve points and broke the 6'11” American three times to advance.