Ninth seed John Isner will meet Teymuraz Gabashvili in what will likely be a fantastic first round encounter on Monday afternoon at the Mutua Madrid Masters. This is only the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Gabashvili leading the series 1-0 after defeating the top ranked American back in 2011.
After making a run to the semi-finals at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells, John Isner began his clay court season with a second round loss to Dustin Brown in Houston, where he was defending the title he won in 2013. The world No. 11 is 11-7 so far this season and looking to regain his Top 10 spot with a strong showing in Madrid. Isner is 4-4 at this event and has never been past the third round. Last year, he lost in the second round to Pablo Andujar.
World No. 52 Teymuraz Gabashvili is coming off a quarter-final showing in Barcelona, where he defeated Michal Przysiezny, David Ferrer and Inigo Cervantes before losing to Ernests Gulbis. It was his best performance on clay so far this season and gives him some momentum heading into this intriguing match-up against Isner. Having already beaten him once before, Gabashvili will be looking to produce similar results once again.
This is the second time that Isner and Gabashvili will meet on the ATP World Tour, having clashed once before at Delray Beach. It was thrilling encounter that ended 6-4 5-7 7-6(13) in Gabashvili’s favour. That match-up took place in 2011, and while much has changed since then, it is not hard to believe the possibility of the Russian producing the upset once again. It will likely be another tough three set battle.
Prediction: Teymuraz Gabashvili in Three Sets