• Isner collides with Kohlschreiber in U.S. Open third round

    9/2/12 3:04 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Isner collides with Kohlschreiber in U.S. Open third round John Isner continues his U.S. Open quest as the highest-ranked American on Sunday. Standing in his way of a place in the fourth round is Philipp Kohlschreiber.

    John Isner and Philipp Kohlschreiber will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers and for the third time this season when they clash in round three of the U.S. Open on Sunday night.

    Isner is sweeping the head-to-head series 3-0, but all three matches have gone the distance. After prevailing two years ago in Beijing, the American scored a 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-2 victory at the 2012 Rome Masters and pulled off a 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4 win last month on the hard courts of Toronto.

    Both players were forced to work hard en route to this showdown. Isner held off Xavier Malisse 6-3, 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(9) in his opener before getting past Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3 on Friday. Kohlschreiber dismissed Michael Llodra 7-6(2), 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-1 then came back from a break down in the 12th game of the fifth set to beat Benoit Paire 6-7(4), 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(4).

    The wins improve what were already outstanding seasons for the two competitors. Isner, a title winner in Winston Salem last weekend, is 43-15 for the year and up to No. 10 in the world. Kohlschreiber, a solid 20th in the rankings, boasts a 39-19 record.

    A considerable underdog, Kohlschreiber should be able to make this one competitive like he has in the past. But the German played with fire against Paire and he won't be able to get away with it against a huge server like Isner. Look for the No. 9 seed to advance in four sets.

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I must be the only one watching this match! It's just before 11:00 pm on the west coast of the US and this thing is still going on! I thought that Isner would close it out after he won the third set, but pesky Kohls came back and won the fourth set. Now it's a fifth set and it's almost 2:00 in the morning in NY!

Isner looked like he was exhausted about a set ago. Kohls has really played well. I was surprised that he could hang with Isner.

So this went further than the prediction. It's going the distance.

Nativenewyorker , 9/3/12 7:54 AM

I was watching but went away for a short while. What happened that Kohl was awarded a point penalty?

I'm not surprised that Kohl can hang around with Isner; he may even outlast Isner. Kohl is such a tough opponent, remember him going to tiebreaks against Delpo and almost beat him at Rotterdam last year? He took sets off against Rafa and Fed at the slams; he's playing his best tennis this year so it's possible that he ends up beating Isner here.

luckystar , 9/3/12 8:17 AM

Just caught the tail end of this match. Yesterday I'd pencilled in a win for Isner but Kolbi had other ideas.

ed251137 , 9/3/12 8:33 AM

Well congrats to Kohl for the win! Commies to Isner, after getting to two sets to one up, I thought he would win. The commentator is right, Kohl is a thinking player, using different strategies for different players. I remember Kohl saying he employed the right strategy against Rosol at Wimbledon and beat him there, after watching the Rafa/Rosol match.

I think with this win, Kohl should move up further in the rankings, good for him. He has a nice game and a solid SHBH.

luckystar , 9/3/12 8:34 AM

Really like Kohl's game too and good to see how guile and craft can bring down a massive server.
Hope Andy was watching..;),

deuce , 9/3/12 8:45 AM


I was watching but was also on the computer. I didn't see the controversy, but afterward the commentators said that Isner was called for a foot fault and there was an argument with the umpire. I am really not sure how it all happened. That must have been when he lost a point. I did hear them saying that if there another incident, he would default the match.

Isner looked exhausted in the latter stages of this match. I would have thought for sure he was going to win it, but Kohls played some outstanding tennis. He served extremely well, went for the body and his groundstrokes were accurate and powerful. He has a really nice single handed backhand as you said, which for some reason I never noticed before.

I was sure that Isner would win when he won that third set, so I stopped watching for a bit, but then I checked the score and saw that Kohls won the fourth set. You are absolutely right and so was the commentator about Kohls being a thinking player. That's exactly what I was thinking as I watched him in this match. He came in with a game plan and executed it well.

You are correct about the strategy because that's exactly what Kohls said in the post-match interview on court. He stayed really tough in the end as he fought through two final service games. This is his best result at the USO and you could see how happy he was about it.

Next up is Tipsy. Kohls said the most important thing is to recover. He was by far the fitter player in the end.

It's very disappointing for Isner.

Nativenewyorker , 9/3/12 8:49 AM


You said it so much better than I did! I love how you worded it - guile and craft! Yes! That is exactly what it was and he earned this win. He was really thinking out there and trying to implement his game plan. He didn't panic or lose heart when he was down two sets to one.

Well this should reassure you. There is a way to neutralize the big serving guys! Are you going to be hiding behind that sofa tomorrow?

Nativenewyorker , 9/3/12 8:52 AM

NNY, cheers for nice compliment. But lol "behind that sofa!" If I'm up, I shall be in the shed at the bottom of the garden....;)
Middle of the night match though, very good for Andy, not so good for his fans.

deuce , 9/3/12 10:50 AM

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