John Isner and Nicolas Almagro will meet in the third round of the Sony Open on Monday afternoon, for what will mark their fourth encounter on the professional circuit. Almagro leads the head-to-head series 2-1, yet this will be their first ever meeting on a hard court.
Having recently returned to the Top 10, John Isner, who is coming off a run to the semi-finals at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells last week, began his week in Miami by rallying past fellow American Donald Young 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4. While the world No. 10 dropped the opening set and was down a break early in the second, he recovered to hit 15 aces and 45 winners to secure the victory in three sets. He will now look to reach the final 16 in Miami for the second time in his career.
“I thought I played pretty well,” Isner said. “A lot of times it comes down to a one-set situation for the match and having my serve on my side, it helps. I had a lot of adrenaline going through me, especially when I was up a break. It was one of those things where I go out there and serve my hardest, serve my biggest and win the match.”
Almagro defeated America’s Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-4 in 67 minutes to reach the third round in Miami. It was a strong showing from the Spaniard, who did not face a single break point in first match in three weeks, having withdrawn from Indian Wells with a shoulder injury. The win also brings him to 6-4 this season and snaps a four-match losing streak. The world No. 19 will look to string back-to-back victories for the first time since February, when he faces Isner in the third round.
This marks the fourth time that Isner and Almagro will meet on the ATP tour, with the 6’10” Isner prevailing in their most recent encounter in last year’s Houston final. While the Spaniard leads the series 2-1, this will be their first ever meeting on a hard court, which is a surface that favours the towering American.
Prediction: John Isner in Three Sets