Monte Carlo Masters: John Isner coasts to second round; Borna Coric disappoints
- John Isner cruised to a straight sets win in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters against fellow American Steve Johnson.
John Isner sailed to a facile win in an all-American contest in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters. Isner beat compatriot Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-4 to register his first win at the event. Isner made short work of Johnson in a match that lasted a mere 70 minutes.
Despite recording a resounding win, Isner made no bones about his vulnerabilities on clay. "I'm not the best mover on the clay, so I think serve-and-volley can be a good tactic when an opponent is far back on the baseline," said Isner, who made it to the semi-final at the Miami Open two weeks ago.
Isner did his reputation as one of the biggest servers on the current circuit no harm, as he wrapped up the match with two consecutive aces. If Isner plays his cards well, he could well turn his serve into a formidable weapon on clay.
“I don't mind playing on clay. I’ve had some good results on it before. It does some things for my game that I think maybe people don't realise… I'm glad I made the trip over here, now that I’ve won. If I had lost, probably not. This place is beautiful, so I'm happy”, added Isner.
Meanwhile, a jaded Ernests Gulbis was trounced 1-6, 0-6 by Austria’s Andreas Haider-Maurer.
Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky, best known for upsetting Roger Federer in the second round in Wimbledon 2013, prevailed over Pablo Carreno Busta in a closely fought match that stretched out to three sets. Stakhovsky beat Busta 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-4 to book a second round berth in the tournament. Stakhovsky will face sixth seed Tomas Berdych, who received a bye, in the second round.
Milos Raonic will be up against Joao Sausa, who defeated Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-1, 3-6, 6-0, in the second round.
In the doubles event, Philipp Kohlscreiber and Florian Mayer defeated Bernard Tomic and Victor Troicki 7-6 (7), 6-0.
Borna Coric goes down fighting
In a match that stretched out to two hours and twelve minutes, Alexandr Dolgopolov was severely tested by young Borna Coric, before the former held his nerves to close out the match, 7-5, 5-7, 6-2.
In a nail-biting contest, Dolgopolov won the first set with a little difficulty as a determined Coric pushed him to the corner. After having lost a tensely fought first set, Coric fought back with a vehemence, taking the second set by the same scoreline.
But Dolgopolv broke early in the deciding set and then broke again, to take a daunting lead of 4-1. From that point on, it would have taken an extraordinary feat to wrest the momentum back. Dolgopolov, however, was in a hurry to close out the match and gave Coric no opportunities to come back into the match, as he wrapped up the third set 6-2.
Philipp Kohlscreiber beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-4;
Benoit Pare beat Denis Kudla 6-3, 7-6 (3);
David Goffin beat Norbort Gombos 6-1, 6-4;
Fabio Fognini beat Jerzy Janowicz 6-3, 6-1.Published 14 Apr 2015, 11:53 IST