• Isner, Cilic clash in Miami third round

    3/25/13 12:23 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Isner, Cilic clash in Miami third round John Isner escaped another early defeat when he outlasted Ivan Dodig for a much-needed win in his Miami opener. Next up for Isner on Monday is Marin Cilic.

    John Isner and Marin Cilic will be squaring off for the third time in their careers when they do battle in round three of the Sony Open on Monday night. Cilic has won both of their previous encounters; 4-6, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-6(2), 9-7 at the 2011 Australian Open and 7-6(4), 7-6(3) last spring in Madrid.

    Isner mounted a near-miracle comeback just to be in this position, as he overcame Ivan Dodig in a third-set tiebreaker on Saturday after trailing by a set and by breaks in both the second and third. Just how bad did Isner need the victory? The 6'9'' American is still a disappointing 7-6 for the season, which includes far more dreadful losses than inspiring wins.

    Cilic has been known to start his years in fine form, and this one is no different. The 11th-ranked Croat captured the Zagreb title and he won a pair of crucial Davis Cup singles rubbers against Italy. Cilic is 13-4 for his 2013 campaign after taking care of Santiago Giraldo in straight sets on Saturday.

    Miami's No. 9 seed has a clear edge in current level of play, but Isner should finally be playing with confidence after his clutch performance against Dodig. Furthermore, the world No. 23 generally thrives on the big stages--such as a night-session match on Stadium Court. Isner in three tight sets is the pick.

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lucky, where are you? Cilic beat Isner to get into the fourth round! I wasn't able to see the match, just the very end. Nice win!

Nativenewyorker , 3/26/13 2:07 AM

isner looking better, but not back to 2012 form. Berdych had an amazing win out on grandstand vs falla!

scoot , 3/26/13 3:20 AM

Scoot - are you at the tournament?
Do you have some pictures for us?

mara002 , 3/26/13 3:48 AM

Hi NNY, I watched the match and was very pleased with the way Marin played. His ROS and his serves were very good today. I think the slow court here at Miami did help him when he was returning Isner's serves. I'm happy for Marin, that he's able to serve for the match without hiccups. His next opponent is Tsonga, a tough one as I think Tsonga played well against Nimenen. If Marin can beat Tsonga, then Murray will most likely be his next opponent, hopefully Marin can at least go that far, ie the QF.

After Rafa, my next favorite is Marin. I'm getting myself to support Gasquet these days. Gasquet seems more determined these days, probably realizing he's no longer that young and better starts do something to his career before its too late. I'm hoping for Rafa to reach the top again, Richard to reach top eight and Marin to reach top ten this year if possible.

luckystar , 3/26/13 4:01 AM

I didn't expect Isner to go far. He's got severe knee problems. dunno how he'll play Davis cup with those knees. what a pity US does not have another player to pick up the slack. harrison is too inexperienced and fish has heart ailments. DC is Serbia's win.

Cilic should do well against Tsonga who injured his knee before IW, thus playing a very bad match against Djokovic.I think cilic for the win.

scoretracker , 3/26/13 5:59 AM

luckystar, 3/26/13 4:01 AM,

I am glad that you saw the match. The tennis channel didn't show it. I did see the Tsonga/Neiminen match, at least as much of it as they covered before switching to another match. From what I saw, Tsonga looked to be playing well. I think that will be a tough match for Marin.

I know you like him, that's why I wondered if you happened to see him today.

Nativenewyorker , 3/26/13 6:47 AM

It was a good match especially for two tall guys. Some pretty heavy hitting and Cilic was very impressive. Izzy had way too many UEs and only eight winners not including the 20 aces.

Cilic is really beginning to make progress. I think he will beat Tsonga if he can keep his head straight.


Conspirator , 3/26/13 2:17 PM

Particularly if Tsonga has one or two of his frequent mental lapses.

ed251137 , 3/26/13 5:44 PM

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