• Isner back in action, Sock battles Berankis

    2/28/13 3:31 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Isner back in action, Sock battles Berankis Americans John Isner and Jack Sock are bidding for quarterfinal spots on Thursday in Delray Beach. Isner is facing Go Soeda and Sock is going up against Ricardas Berankis.

    (1) John Isner vs. Go Soeda

    Isner's first-round win over Jesse Levine at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships was by no means spectacular, but it was much-needed. The top-seeded American's beginning of 2013 has been an absolute disaster, in part because of a knee issue that sidelined him from the Australian Open. Isner, who lost his Memphis opener last week to Denis Istomin, leveled his season record at 4-4 after outlasting Levine 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-4 on Tuesday night.

    Up next for the world No. 15 is a first-ever meeting with Soeda, who also won a tense three-setter in his opener. In fact, Japan's No. 2 player saved four match points against 2012 runner-up Marinko Matosevic and recovered from 6-3 down in the final-set tiebreaker to prevail 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(6). Soeda is an even 5-5 at the ATP level for the year. An upset is not out of the question, but Isner in three sets is the pick.

    (WC) Jack Sock vs. (LL) Ricardas Berankis

    Sock and Berankis will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when the two up-and-comers collide during second-round action on Thursday. Both players are in stellar form at the start of 2013. Sock upset Milos Raonic en route to the Memphis quarterfinals and he took care of Matthew Ebden 6-3, 6-3 on Tuesday. The 20-year-old American owns three of his nine career ATP match victories this season.

    Berankis actually lost at the final stage of qualifying to Bobby Reynolds, but he got in when Feliciano Lopez withdrew and he now has an outstanding draw. In fact, there is not a single seed left in the second quarter of the bracket. Berankis, who reached the third round of the Australian Open, cruised past Bjorn Phau 6-1, 7-6(4) in his main-draw opener. Look for the 87th-ranked Lithuanian to withstand Sock's power with too much defense in three entertaining sets.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
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