John Isner prevailed over sixth seed Andrey Rublev 7-6, 3-6, 7-6 at the Mutua Madrid Open on Thursday. This will be the second quarterfinal appearance of the season for the World No. 39. He will next play Dominic Thiem for a place in the semifinals. “I’m very happy. 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,” Isner said.
This marks Isner’s first Top 10 win since beating Alexander Zverev at the Laver Cup in 2019. “It’s perfect serving conditions out here, especially on this court,” the 36-year-old added. “It’s got a nice sound, kind of like an indoor court. I can’t ask for anything better.”
Isner had struck 28 aces inside Arantxa Sanchez Stadium. His total for the week across three matches is at a staggering 88. It’s the second match in a row he won the deciding set tie-breaker after beating Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-7, 7-6 on Wednesday.
The neck-to-neck opening set went to a tie-breaker with Isner taking early control of the tie-break to go 4/0 up before bagging the set. Momentum changed in the second set as Rublev capitalised on his first break point for 2-1. From that point on there was no stopping him as the Russian player bagged the set in style.
Just like the opening set, the third was a tight battle. With nothing to separate them, the match went into a tie-breaker. Isner took a 5/3 lead which was enough for him to win the contest.
What a great win for 🇨🇱 @Garin_Cris!
— ATP Tour (@atptour) May 6, 2021
In another upset, Cristian Garin stunned World No. 3 Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-7, 6-1 in Madrid. The Chilean reached the quarterfinals after surviving the 2 hours and 30 minutes battle.
Garin got an early break following a less than impressive service game from Medvedev at 1-1. He maintained the lead to bag the set 6-4. The second set was a closely fought affair. With both unable to break the other player’s serve, Medvedev prevailed in the tie-breaker.
With momentum on his side, Medvedev was expected to dominate the decider, but it was the opposite. It was all Garin all the way in the third set. He broke the Russian twice and won the set quite comfortably in the end.
Garin will next face Matteo Berrettini or Federico Delbonis for a spot in the semifinal.