• Tsonga, Isner kick off Miami campaigns

    3/23/13 8:02 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Tsonga, Isner kick off Miami campaigns Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will begin his fortnight in Miami on Saturday against Viktor Troicki. John Isner and Ivan Dodig are also in action.

    (6) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Viktor Troicki

    Tsonga and Troicki will be meeting for the sixth time in their careers when they do battle in round two of the Sony Open on Saturday afternoon. Troicki leads the head-to-head series 3-2, including a perfect 3-0 on hard courts. Both of Tsonga's victories came on the clay courts of Rome, where he prevailed in 2010 and 2012.

    Tsonga is a considerable favorite to turn the tide in this one, especially based on current form. The eighth-ranked Frenchman owns a title this season in Marseille to go along with quarterfinal finishes at the Australian Open and Indian Wells Masters. Troicki is a disappointing 4-6 for the year, but he at least managed to get past Pablo Andujar in his Miami opener. Count on Tsonga advancing in straight sets.

    (20) John Isner vs. Ivan Dodig

    Isner will be hoping to emerge from a massive slump when he goes up against Dodig for the first time on Friday. The 6'9'' American is an even 6-6 for the season and he is coming off an immediate exit at the hands of Lleyton Hewitt in Indian Wells, whee he finished runner-up last year.

    Dodig overcame Lukas Lacko 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 in his opener on Thursday. The Croat, who is a respectable 9-8 for his 2013 campaign, is looking to win two matches at each of his last three events (also in Delray Beach and Indian Wells). Relatively slow courts in Miami and a lack of confidence on his opponent's part should help Dodig pull off a slight upset in three sets.

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OMG John Isner won a match. Welcome back 2013 RG champion.

ts38 , 3/23/13 11:40 PM

I thought he would lose as his serve was not effective against Dodig, especially in the first set. It appears to me, that when his opponent is also a big server, it causes him to to be unduly stressed, as the realization comes to mind that his opponent is on par with him, and he has to play a better ground game to secure the win. Then he makes a lot more UEs than normal. It's like an anything you can do I can do better situation. Hopefully, he'll improve on his groundies and his fears will be alleviated ... I'm hoping this will be so for the Big guy.

scoretracker , 3/24/13 1:18 AM

Isner relies too much on his serve.

holdserve , 3/24/13 1:43 AM

That's why he gets nervous when he's facing another big server, and ends up playing tie-breaks.

scoretracker , 3/24/13 1:53 AM

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