A finalist in Cincinnati in 2013, John Isner has always been a big threat beyond his ranking in the states in the best of three, final set tiebreak format. He will begin his run at the Western & Southern Open against an unpredictable opponent in Fabio Fognini. Check out their Head to Head results here.
Isner chose not to compete in the Olympic Games due to scheduling conflicts, most notably the Atlanta Open which ended the same day the Olympics tennis event began. It’s a a favourite tournament of Isner’s and one he has always competed well at with six finals to his name at the tournament. He couldn’t build on his threepeat but still had a great tournament, losing to Nick Kyrgios in the final. He was broken just twice all week and not at all in the final, just failing in both tie break sets against his Australian opponent.
Unlike Isner, Fognini did take part in the Olympics losing in the third round to the eventual Gold medallist Andy Murray. It’s not unfair to say that Fognini blew a great chance of victory after leading 3-0 in the deciding set before Murray took charge. Fognini also competed in the doubles, losing in the quarter finals with Andreas Seppi.
Fognini has never really excelled on hard courts and was last seen losing to Jared Donaldson in Toronto prior to the Olympics. It should be fairly comfortable for Isner who can meet his match on serve in the next round as fourth seed Milos Raonic awaits the winner.
John Isner in straight sets
To see the Cincy draw preview and analysis, go here.