[CR5] Kei Nishikori (JPN) vs. [CR24] John Isner (USA)
Serve won the battle today as Isner blasted thirteen aces by Nishikori and faced zero break points. Surprisingly, Isner also had the better return statistics. When you watch Isner play this well, you wonder, why does he not play this well consistently. He has the serve, which has never been in question; however, he lacks mobility and gets into trouble during extended rallies if he plays too passive. Today, the difference was Isner’s confidence and it was reflected in his serve as well as in the pace of his groundstrokes. He sent winners by Nishikori who looked completely stunned by the speed of Isner’s shots. It’s good to see Isner win a match this convincingly (6-4, 6-3) and to do so against a quality player like Nishikori has to be a positive boost going into the next round. He has beaten two top ten players in succession; can he make it three in the semifinals?
If he serves as well or better than he did today, plays aggressively and avoid long rallies, he can make it to the final; however, his opponent also plays a significant role in the outcome of the match and may derail Isner’s plans.