• Isner takes on Monaco in Indian Wells third round

    3/12/12 3:36 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Isner takes on Monaco in Indian Wells third round John Isner will continue his Indian Wells campaign on Monday against Juan Monaco. A place in the round of 16 is at stake.

    John Isner and Juan Monaco will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they clash in round three of the BNP Paribas Open on Monday. Isner won their only previous encounter 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 two years ago in Auckland.

    Showing fine form ever since the start of last summer, Isner is up to a career-high ranking of No. 11 in the world. The 6'9'' American has been relatively up and down in 2012, with the highlight being a shocking Davis Cup upset of Roger Federer on the road in Switzerland. Isner, coming off a semifinal finish in Delray Beach, dismissed Frederico Gil 7-5, 6-3 on Saturday.

    Monaco is a solid 7-3 for the year, although he has not done much aside from a clay-court title in Vina del Mar. The 22nd-ranked Argentine battled for a tough 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 victory over Nicolas Mahut in his Indian Wells opener on Saturday.

    The relatively slow conditions suit both players--obviously for Monaco since he is at his best on clay and also for Isner, who has time to set up for his big groundstrokes. Monaco is rock solid in the return game so he will make life difficult on the big man, but Isner in three sets is the pick.

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