Isner and Verdasco Advance By a Whisker

Legg Mason Tennis Classic
By Hiland Doolittle, August 4th, 2010
John Isner of America

John Isner of America

On Tuesday, Spain’s Fernando Verdasco and American John Isner played key points well to overcome surprisingly tough resistance and move into the round of 16 in the $1.1 million Legg Mason Tennis Classic. The prestigious ATP World Tour 500 tournament is the second leg of the U.S. Open Series.

Against German Michael Berrer, Verdasco faced two match points at 3-5 in the second set before the 3rd seed made a strong move to claim four straight games and take charge of the second set and the match in the 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (6) second round match. The two hour 41 minute contest had a little of everything and emotional swings galore as the tempestuous Verdasco showed his competitive fire to gut this one out.

Verdasco will face American upstart Ryan Sweeting in the third round. Sweeting followed his win over fellow countryman James Blake with a convincing 6-4, 6-2 win over 14th seeded Michael Llorda of France. Sweeting will be a deep underdog against the Spaniard but the American is well conditioned to deal with the steamy temperatures in Washington.

Second seed Andy Roddick, a three time winner here, was impressive against Slovakia’s Grega Zemla and moved into the third round with his 6-4, 6-4 win. Roddick, a finalist against Juan Martin De Potro last year, is pursuing his 30th hard court title and will next face France’s Gilles Simon. Roddick enjoys a 2-0-career edge over the Frenchman.

4th seed Marin Cilic, who already has two hard court championships to his credit this year, did not lose serve against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin in a 6-4, 6-2 win. Cilic won all five of the break points he faced against the improving Istomin.

American Mardy Fish will face Cilic in the round of sixteen. Fish continued his personal best 11 straight wins against experienced Serb Viktor Troicki with a straight sets 6-3, 6-3 win. Fish did lose his serve in each of the sets but attacked Troicki’s serve with confidence and out-dueled Troicki in key points.

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5th seeded John Isner overcame stubborn Tomas DeBakker 7-6 (6), 7-6 (8) in an unusual match where neither player lost serve. Isner was far from sharp in the win and will need ground game improvement to move forward. In a match of power hitters, Isner will next face Belgian giant killer Xavier Malisse in the third round. Malisse advanced via a solid performance in his 7-5, 6-4 win over France’s Julien Benneteau, the 12th seed.

Top seeded Tomas Berdych, 6th seeded Sam Querrey, a winner over Andy Murray last week, 8th seeded Marcos Baghdatis and 7th seeded Stanislas Wawrinka will all be in action today. Attendance has been very strong in the early rounds and looks to be on a record pace for the Legg Mason Classic.


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