Isner 'Excellent' In Atlanta Win As Sinner Falls
It is rare that John Isner hits fewer aces than his opponent, but that did not cost the American a win on Thursday evening.
The American continued his pursuit of a sixth Truist Atlanta Open title with a 7-6(6), 6-4 win against countryman Jack Sock to reach the quarter-finals.
"We all know Jack's an incredible talent. Much like my last opponent in the first round, he's had a lot of back luck with injuries, so he's working his way back up," Isner said in an on-court interview. "Everyone knows he's way better than his current ranking. It's good to have him back, because of course the fans love watching him play. It's just a shame that him and I had to play here in the Round of 16.
"But for me, I'm very, very happy with how I played tonight. I thought I played excellent. Hopefully I can keep it going."
For most of the match, play was dominated by the serve. Sock hit 15 aces to Isner's 13 and there were only three break points throughout the one hour and 38 minutes of play. But sixth-seeded Isner was just slightly better in the biggest moments to improve to 33-5 in Atlanta.
Next up for the home favourite will be Australian Christopher O’Connell, who earned the biggest win of his career by stunning second seed Jannik Sinner 7-6(7), 6-4 to reach his first ATP Tour quarter-final.
“I got here last Wednesday, so I’ve been acclimatising for the past week or so. I felt pretty comfortable out there,” O’Connell said in his on-court interview. “Maybe I was a little off early on, but as I got into the swing of the match I felt pretty comfortable.”
Sinner, the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion who made his first ATP Masters 1000 final this year in Miami, earned three set points in the first-set tie-break. But O’Connell showed no fear of the stage or his opponent, hitting critical passing shots under pressure to rally.
“I struggled a little bit with that when I was a bit younger,” O’Connell said of facing higher-ranked opponents. “But I’m 27 now, so I need to start making some inroads. I feel confident at the moment.”
World No. 132 O’Connell, who qualified at this ATP 250, converted the only break point of the match early in the second set and he never looked back. The Aussie triumphed in one hour and 38 minutes.