Fixture: John Isner vs Miomir Kecmanovic
Date: 3 May 2021
Tournament: Mutua Madrid Open 2021
Round: First round (Round of 64)
Venue: Madrid, Spain
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €2,614,465
Match timing: 11 am local time, 2.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
John Isner vs Miomir Kecmanovic preview
John Isner will begin his 2021 claycourt campaign at the Mutua Madrid Open, where he will lock horns with Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round.
While Isner will be playing his first tournament since the Miami Open, for the Serb this is the fifth clay event of the year. Kecmanovic has played the Cordoba Open, the Argentina Open, the Monte Carlo Masters and the Serbia Open already, with his best result coming at the Argentina Open - where he made the semis.
The 21-year-old hasn't done too well in recent weeks; he lost his opening match at the Monte Carlo Masters to Fabio Fognini. At the Serbia Open, Kecmanovic progressed to the quarterfinals, where he was ousted by Novak Djokovic.
The World No. 47 will be making his main draw debut at the Madrid Masters this year. John Isner, on the other hand, is a veteran at the event, having participated in it seven times.
Isner's best result in the Spanish capital came in 2015 and 2018; he reached the quarterfinals in both editions. But unlike Kecmanovic, the American hasn't played a single tournament on clay this year.
Isner last set foot on the surface at the 2020 French Open, where he was ousted in the second round.
In fact, the 36-year-old has played a mere seven matches so far in 2021, winning four of them. Isner lost in the quarterfinals of the Delray Beach Open, and then fell in the Round of 16 at Acapulco.
But Isner's form seemed to be on the mend at Miami. He ousted Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets there, before almost upsetting Roberto Bautista Agut too.
John Isner vs Miomir Kecmanovic head-to-head
John Isner and Miomir Kecmanovic have never faced each other on tour before, which is why their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
John Isner vs Miomir Kecmanovic prediction
Despite being on tour for less than a quarter of the time that John Isner has, Miomir Kecmanovic already has the same number of claycourt titles as the American. While Isner won his lone trophy on dirt way back in 2013 (US Claycourt Championships), the Serb won his more recently (Kitzbuhel 2020).
Kecmanovic is, by any measure, a superior claycourter to Isner right now. But you can never count the American out, especially if his serve is in fine working order.
Isner will also enjoy the conditions in Madrid, where the ball bounces high and moves quickly through the air. The 6'10" giant will not have much difficulty finding winners off his flat groundstrokes, especially if the ball lands in his strike zone.
Kecmanovic, however, is a lot quicker than his American counterpart, and will likely dominate the longer rallies.
All things considered, John Isner's serve gives him a slight edge in this matchup. If he manages to get the best out of his forehand as well, he would have a good chance of reaching the second round.
Prediction: John Isner to win in three sets.