Fixture: John Isner vs Steve Johnson
Date: 31 August 2020
Tournament: US Open 2020
Round: First round (Round of 128)
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York, USA
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $39,024,000
Match timing: Not before 4:30 pm EDT, 2 am IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel / ESPN | India - Star Sports / Hotstar
John Isner vs Steve Johnson Preview
The US Open will be treated to two home favorites taking each other on in its opening round, as American No. 1 John Isner takes on his compatriot Steve Johnson on Monday.
John Isner made the tennis headlines on Saturday morning, along with Novak Djokovic, for his decision to break away from the ATP and form a new council. But once the 2.08-metre-tall American takes the court at the US Open, his focus will solely be on tennis.
Isner hasn't had the best of years so far and has struggled to produce his best tennis at Slams since 2019. He was won only 5 matches in the 4 Slams that he has played since reaching the quarter-finals of the 2018 US Open.
Despite the new courts at the Flushing Meadows this year being quicker and more favorable to big servers, the World No. 21 didn't have a great week. He had to struggle to a win over John Millman, and then lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in two tiebreaks.
Steve Johnson has been on an even more drastic decline than his countryman. Almost breaking into Top 20 in the rankings in 2016, the 30-year-old Californian has seen his ranking slip over 60 places in the last two years.
But the good news for Johnson is that he has been on a good recovery run this year, and won a couple of Challengers that helped climb back to No. 63.
However, Johnson failed to qualify for the main draw of the Western & Southern Open this week after losing his first match in the qualifying round to Pedro Martinez.
John Isner vs Steve Johnson head-to-head
John Isner and Steve Johnson have met a total of nine times on the tour so far, with the head-to-head in their rivalry currently standing 5-4 in favor of Johnson.
Steve Johnson has got the better of his compatriot in all of the previous four meetings between the pair, with Isner winning their four clashes before that. Johnson won the earliest match between the American duo in 2014 at Washington, giving him the edge in the rivalry going into their match on Monday.
Also check out: The complete US Open Schedule 2020
John Isner vs Steve Johnson Prediction
Neither of the two Americans can be said to be playing their best tennis right now. And it is becoming more and more evident with every passing match that their best years on tour are well behind them.
John Isner, who turns 36 next year, would be willing to give everything he has to do well at his home Slam. With a clash against Novak Djokovic in the Round of 16 on the cards, the big-serving American would need his biggest weapon to be at its very best.
Meanwhile, Steve Johnson, who has been past the 2nd round of his home Slam only once before, would be hoping to get his fifth straight win over his compatriot.
Prediction: John Isner to win in five sets.
Published 30 Aug 2020, 12:24 IST