Match report

Gilles Muller ©
2nd round
7/19/12 1 2 Tot
lu  Gilles Muller Mardy Fish Retired
us  Mardy Fish 6 3 0
Mardy Fish ©
John Isner ©
2nd round
7/20/12 1 2 3 Tot
us  John Isner 4 6 6 2
be  Ruben Bemelmans 6 3 4 1
Ruben Bemelmans ©
  • Isner wins Atlanta opener, Fish retires

    7/20/12 4:33 AM | Ricky Dimon
    John Isner wins his opening match in Atlanta on Thursday, taking out Ruben Bemelmans in three sets. Fellow two-time finalist Mardy Fish not as fortunate, as he retires against Gilles Muller.

    (1) John Isner d. (Q) Ruben Bemelmans 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

    Isner booked a place in the quarterfinals of the BB&T Atlanta Open by overcoming Bemelmans in one hour and 54 minutes on Thursday night. The top-seeded American served at just 59 percent, but he struck 16 aces and held throughout the second and third sets. After dropping the opener, Isner broke right away for a 2-0 lead in the second and never looked back.

    A 30-minute light outage delayed the start of set three, and Bemelmans came out slow upon resumption of play. The 125th-ranked Belgian, who qualified for the main draw, dropped serve at love to fall into a quick hole. Isner served it out from there without facing a break point in the decider. The world No. 11 will go up against wild card Jack Sock in an all-American quarterfinal on Friday night.

    Gilles Muller d. (2) Mardy Fish 4-6, 2-3, retired

    There will be a new winner in Atlanta, as Fish was forced to retire against Muller after crashing into the net post midway through the second set. The two-time defending champion had done well to take control of the match, battling back from a break down in the first set to win three consecutive games and steal it 6-4. Both players then held comfortably to a 2-2 deadlock in the second.

    That's when it suddenly went south for Fish. With the No. 2 seed serving at 30-30 in the fifth game, Muller crafted a perfect drop-volley that resulted in his opponent collapsing to the ground. Following an injury timeout, Fish actually won three straight points to hold but he retired after Muller hit one serve in the next game. The Luxembourgian, a semifinalist in 2011, will go up against Matthew Ebden in an all-unseeded quarterfinal.

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