Date: 17 March 2021
Tournament: Abierto Mexicano Telcel 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Acapulco, Mexico
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $1,053,560
Match timing: Not before 10 pm local time, 9.30 am IST (18th morning)
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs John Isner preview
Stefanos Tsitsipas will square off against John Isner in the second round of the 2021 Abierto Mexicano Telcel on Wednesday.
Tsitsipas and Isner came through their first-round fixtures with consummate ease, both prevailing in straight sets. While Tsitsipas ousted the mercurial Benoit Paire, Isner outplayed tricky customer Salvatore Caruso.
The 2021 Mexican Open is Isner's first tournament since the Delray Beach Open, which took place in January. Many would have expected the 35-year-old to show some signs of rust, particularly against a player of Caruso's caliber. But Isner stepped on the gas right from the start, blowing his opponent off the court with a serving masterclass.
Given the American's reputation as one of the biggest servers in tennis history, it is hardly a surprise that he racked up 17 aces in 10 service games against Caruso.
Perhaps more importantly though, Isner did not concede a break point throughout the match. His second serve was just as lethal as his first against Caruso; the Italian managed to win just five points on each.
Such serving form bodes well for Isner ahead of his match against a shotmaker of Tsitsipas' quality.
The Greek, on his part, put up a solid all-round display to stave off Paire's challenge. Tsitsipas struck 13 winners to Paire's 15, but coughed up only 16 unforced errors while the Frenchman committed 24.
The 22-year-old won 84% of his first serve points and didn't get broken a single time during the match.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs John Isner head-to-head
The head-to-head between Stefanos Tsitsipas and John Isner is currently tied at 2-2. Significantly though, Tsitsipas has won the last two encounters between the duo.
Seven of the nine sets contested by Tsitsipas and Isner have ended up in a tiebreaker, highlighting the rivalry's incredible closeness.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs John Isner prediction
Against Salvatore Caruso, John Isner showed that his serve is still an irresistibly destructive weapon. But given that Stefanos Tsitsipas has a strong serve of his own, this match will likely witness a tiebreaker or two.
Tsitsipas has a 50% win rate in tiebreakers in 2021, winning three out of the six he has played. Meanwhile, Isner has won five of the last six tiebreakers that have come his way.
The last time the American lost more than one tiebreaker in a match was, incidentally, against none other than Tsitsipas - when the duo squared off at the Cincinnati Masters in 2020.
Isner will likely push Tsitsipas to his limit, but the Greek has a much better range and accuracy on his groundstrokes and that should help him clinch him the win.
Prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas to win in three sets.