9/1/12 6:34 AM | Ricky Dimon
John Isner, the highest-ranked American, is through to the U.S. Open third round after getting past Jarkko Nieminen in four sets on Friday. Next up for Isner is Philipp Kohlschreiber.
John Isner scored a 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3 win over Jakko Nieminen in the second round of the U.S. Open on Friday evening. Isner served at 72 percent and cracked 23 aces to prevail in two hours and 30 minutes.
The first two sets were somewhat bizarre for an Isner match. The 6'9'' American broke right away in the second game to seize a 3-0 lead in the opener. He gave it back in surprising fashion only to break again for 5-3 thanks to powerful baseline play. This time Isner made no mistake with the lead in hand, as he closed it out in the ninth game.
Both players held easily throughout the second before things got crazy again. Isner gave back mini-breaks not once, not twice, but three times in the ensuing tiebreaker. He lost another service point at 5-5 by netting a forehand and Nieminen finished the job on serve one point later.
Nieminen had a real chance to get the upper hand in this one, but the underdog Finn missed three break-point opportunities in the third. Isner held en route to 5-4 then out of almost nowhere broke to steal the set.
In set four, the world No. 10 was not about to throw away his momentum. He broke at 2-1 and at that point it was just about all over for Nieminen. Isner held easily the entire way, dropping a mere four points in his last five service games. He will face familiar foe Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday.
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