Match report

Mardy Fish ©
2nd round
4/12/12 1 2 Tot
us  Mardy Fish 3 1 0
us  Michael Russell 6 6 2
Michael Russell ©
Horacio Zeballos ©
2nd round
4/13/12 1 2 3 Tot
ar  Horacio Zeballos 7 4 2 1
us  John Isner 6 6 6 2
John Isner ©
  • Isner advances in Houston, Russell rolls Fish

    4/13/12 4:21 AM | Ricky Dimon
    John Isner battles past Horacio Zeballos in three sets on Thursday in Houston. Isner is joined in the quarterfinals by Michael Russell, who eased past top seed Mardy Fish.

    (2) John Isner d. (Q) Horacio Zeballos 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-2

    Isner cracked 16 aces and never dropped serve as he won his opener at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships on Thursday night. Zeballos put up a good fight, especially in the first set, but he eventually succumbed to his second-seeded opponent after two hours and 13 minutes.

    Both players had chances in the opening frame of play, with Isner saving one break point and Zeballos fighting off four. The Argentine, who qualified for the main draw then beat Adrian Ungur, raced through the tiebreaker seven points to three. Isner, however, earned breaks at 2-2 in both the second and third sets. The 10th-ranked American added another break at 4-2 in the third before closing it out on serve one game later. Next up for Isner is defending champion Ryan Sweeting.

    (Q) Michael Russell d. (1) Mardy Fish vs. 6-3, 6-1

    Fish, who is in the midst of a disappointing season, missed last weekend's Davis Cup tie between the United States and France due to fatigue and he clearly was not 100 percent for his Houston opener. The top-seeded American, ranked ninth in the world, won only four total games against Russell, going down in one hour and 14 minutes.

    Russell dropped serve once in the first set, but he made up for it with two breaks of his own before serving it out at 5-3. The 33-year-old American completely dominated the second, losing a mere three points in three service games. For Russell, this is his first career victory over a Top 10 opponent in 13 tries. He will go up against countryman Ryan Harrison for a spot in the semifinals.

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