Date: 11 January 2021
Tournament: Delray Beach Open 2021
Venue: Delray Beach, Florida, United States
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $349,530
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
John Isner vs Sebastian Korda preview
In his first event since last year's French Open, big-serving American John Isner is through to the quarterfinals at Delray Beach. A four-time semifinalist in the Florida city, Isner scored a 6-4, 7-6 win over Brazil's Thiago Monteiro in the second round after a first-round bye.
A blister that forced him to withdraw from the doubles event did not seem to bother Isner too much during his match against Monteiro. The American smacked 22 aces and won 85% of his first-serve points, allowing the Brazilian very little time to react.
Isner's quarterfinal opponent is the 20-year-old Sebastian Korda, who has started his 2021 season the same way he ended the previous year.
After his breakthrough run to reach the fourth round of the French Open in September, Korda played back-to-back Challenger events in Germany. The self-confessed Rafael Nadal fan reached the quarterfinals in the first one and won the second, which helped improve his ranking to No. 119.
At Delray Beach this week, Korda has scored a straight-sets win against Kwon Soon-woo and a gritty three-set upset over No. 5 seed Tommy Paul. The 20-year-old is now into his first ATP level quarterfinal, and he would be hoping to make the most of it.
John Isner vs Sebastian Korda head-to-head
Sebastian Korda leads John Isner 1-0 in head-to-head meetings. The younger American upset the 21st-seeded Isner in the second round of the French Open last year.
John Isner vs Sebastian Korda prediction
Sebastian Korda will come into this match with a great deal of confidence. He has been in great form recently, and also has a win over John Isner previously. Those things, together with the fact that he has Andre Agassi in his corner, make him a very exciting prospect in the months to come.
To add to that, Korda feels very comfortable at Delray Beach.
"It’s special [to make the quarter-finals]," Korda said on Saturday. "The last time I played here I won the [Boys] 18s Clay Courts, so I have some good memories from here. It’s a special place and the crowd."
That said, the 20-year-old will need to be extremely patient on Monday, and return well on the few chances that he gets against one of the biggest servers in the history of the sport. If Isner's serve is on fire - like it was in his second round match - he should be able to exact revenge for the Roland Garros loss.
Prediction: John Isner to win in two tight sets.