World No. 12 John Isner is through to the semi-final round of the BT&T Atlanta Open, where he will meet fellow American Jack Sock for the second time in as many weeks. His younger counterpart upset him in the quarter-final round of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Championships and Isner will be out for revenge at this tournament. He still leads the head-to-head series 3-1.
Isner furthered his campaign this week in Atlanta with a 7-6(8), 6-4 win over Marinko Matosevic on Friday afternoon. The defending champion had a rough start to the match, as he was broken at the very start of the contest and fended off a set point as well. He ultimately overcame the resilient Australian and fired 17 aces and winning 84% of his first service points in the process.
“I knew he was struggling out there a little bit and he knew I was struggling out there a little bit,” said Isner. “A lot of times those situations are a big advantage for me because I can muster up enough energy to pop some big serves in. The beginning of the second set it felt like someone put us in the oven. It was rough. There’s only one option for me there: play big and play aggressive. A lot of times it works out.”
Jack Sock also rallied against a tough opponent in Lukas Lacko, whom he defeated 7-6(6), 6-2 to secure his spot in the semi-final round of the tournament. The Wimbledon doubles champion came back from a 1-4 setback early on to close out the contest in 81 minutes.
“I had a pretty rough start,” Sock said. “He came out keeping the ball really deep, keeping me off the baselineSock and out of my forehand. I broke back for 5-4 and the momentum shifted in my favour.”
This is the fifth time that these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Isner leading the series with a recently blemished 3-1 record. Sock is riding some incredible momentum since winning the Wimbledon doubles title with Vasek Pospisil and will be swelling with confidence following his win over Isner last week in Newport. He will have his work cut out for him in Atlanta, as Isner thrives on the hard court surface, while Sock is yet to find his footing.
Prediction: John Isner in Three Sets