Isner and Johnson Reach Delray Semifinals
Playing in his first tournament back after an injury cut his Australian Open appearance short, two-time Winston-Salem Open champion John Isner made it to the semifinals of the Delray Beach Open before bowing out to eventual winner Marin Cilic.
Isner survived three 3-setters to make the semis, an indication that he is well on his way back to full health.
Isner wasn’t the only American to reach the semifinals in Delray as qualifier Steve Johnson made a run on the other on the other half of the draw to reach the first ATP World Tour semifinal of his career. Winston-Salem Open fans may remember Johnson from last year’s tournament where the former USC star qualified for the main draw and upset No. 2 seed Andreas Seppi on his way to a third round appearance.
ATP Action Heating Up
The final week before the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event of the year in Indian Wells sees the tour head to three warm climates – Acapulco, Dubai and Sao Paulo.
Traditionally a clay court event, the Mexican Open in Acapulco made the switch to hard courts this year, drawing in a number of players who would normally have stayed away. Amongst those is John Isner, who is the third seed in the tournament behind David Ferrer and Andy Murray and is making only his second trip to Mexico.
Also playing in Acapulco is Sam Querrey, who if names were all that mattered would have the most intriguing first round matchup. His opponent is unknown Mexican wild card Tigre Hank.
Dubai boasts the most star-studded field of the three tournaments this week with five of the Top 10 in the world, including Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. The lone American to make the journey to the Middle East is Michael Russell, who traveled more than 7,500 miles for the tournament after competing in Delray last week.
The worldwide diaspora will reunite next week for the two-week BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells followed by the Sony Open in Miami.