• Isner overcomes Dodig in Miami thriller

    3/24/13 5:19 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Isner overcomes Dodig in Miami thriller John Isner comes back from a set down and a break down in both the second and the third to beat Ivan Dodig on Saturday in Miami. Next up for Isner is Marin Cilic.

    Just when it looked like John Isner could not go any lower, he pulled out a victory that he needed in the worst way.

    Mired in a dreadful slump ever since the end of last summer, Isner outlasted Ivan Dodig 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(5) in the second round of the Sony Open on Saturday afternoon. The 6'9'' American fired 24 aces without double-faulting to advance in two hours and eight minutes.

    Fresh off an opening loss in Indian Wells to Lleyton Hewitt, Isner continued to struggle by donating serve at 1-1 in the first set against Dodig. That turned out to be the only break--and even the only break point--in the first, so Dodig had little trouble cruising to an early advantage.

    It appeared to be all but over for Isner when Dodig broke again midway through the second and found himself within two service holds of an upset win. At 4-3, however, the 54th-ranked Croat suddenly got tight. He dropped serve in the eighth game and again in the 12th game, allowing Isner to steal the set and force what turned out to be a dramatic third.

    Roles were almost reversed in the decider, with Isner blowing a huge advantage and Dodig recovering from the depths of despair. Not only did the underdog battle back from a break down, but he even broke again--his fourth of the day--for 6-5. But the momentum swings were not quite over, and a questionable call at 30-40 helped Isner force a tiebreaker in improbable fashion. Miami's No. 20 seed led most of the way in the 'breaker and finally capitalized on his third match point at 6-5 with a crushing service winner.

    "I needed it for sure," Isner said of the win. "I just tried to stay positive. I told myself it really can't get worse than it was up to a certain point. I as able to turn it around once I got back even in that second set."

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great win for the tall Dawg, but Dodig really battled, and could have won, and he did have a terrible call go against him at 5-4 in the 3rd.

scoot , 3/24/13 1:11 PM

I was at work and couldn't see the match. What was the bad call?

ts38 , 3/24/13 2:07 PM

An unreturnable serve was called out. When hawkeye revealed the error, the umpire ruled replay, instead of giving Dodig the point. Dodig then lost the point, which was a breaker. Did anyone catch the name of the umpire? I was infuriated with him.

jmk , 3/24/13 2:58 PM

I wonder how some of the umpires sleep at night after they have ballsed up like that. You have to ask yourself if some of them have ever read the rules regarding hawkeye and bad calls.

ed251137 , 3/24/13 4:29 PM

Aly Neely(not sure of spelling) was the chair umpire who made the bad call. Dodig was cool considering. Safin or Mac would have let him have it big time.

chr18 , 3/24/13 5:20 PM

Umpires are but human. So by the law of probability everybody gets bad calls now and then.
Incidentally even hawkeye is not 100% though close to it.

holdserve , 3/24/13 5:48 PM

There should be more clay courts. On clay courts we can see the entire range of a player's arsenal. Clay courts do less damage to a player's body. And on clay courts less scope for bad umpiring as the ball leaves a mark! Better even than hawk eye which makes a probabilistic guess about where the ball landed!

holdserve , 3/24/13 6:59 PM

The issue was with a judgement call by the umpire. Dodig hit a non-returnable serve which Isner bounced about 12 inches in front of him. The lines person called it out late then Dodig correctly won the hawkeye challenge. Neely insisted that Isner could have returned the ball had there been no out call and made Dodig serve again rather than give him the point to get to deuce. Dodig went on to lose the point and the match in the tie-break.

chr18 , 3/24/13 8:43 PM

Marks on clay courts are not indisputable. There have been increasing suggestions that hawkeye should be used for clay tournaments.

jmk , 3/24/13 10:33 PM

ATP should give the umpires a cheat sheet on how to call a questionable shot which hawkeye shows to be in. Some of the better umpires use their judgment as to whehter the shot should be replayed or overruled, and most times give it to the returner, others, who are in la la land, and are afraid to make a judgment call, usually say replay the point. It's unfair to both players IMO.

scoretracker , 3/24/13 10:36 PM

jmk, nothing is indisputable. Hawkeye can also be wrong as it only shows you where it thinks the ball landed. On clay if like Fed you point to the wrong mark, then of course Hawkeye maybe better.

holdserve , 3/25/13 12:13 AM

Hawkeye is measured by the trajectory of the shot and where the ball lands it leaves a shadow. It's the shaow that's picked up. One of the reasons it has taken so long for them to use it on clay due to the european clay season having so many overcast days. Even on HC when there are shadows, HE is turned off.

scoretracker , 3/25/13 4:00 AM

No that's inaccurate, while there have been problems when shade crosses the court, hawkeye technology is not based on detecting shadows.

Conspirator , 3/25/13 5:09 AM

*sigh* Oh, Johnny. 24 aces doth not a tennis player make.

Meanwhile, how are those knees?

mara002 , 3/25/13 5:37 AM

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