ISTOMIN UPSETS ISNER
The first major upset of the 2013 U.S. National Indoor Championships occurred tonight on Stadium Court as Denis Istomin took out #3 seed and top-ranked American John Isner 6-4, 6-3 in just 59 minutes.
The normally reliable serve of Isner was nowhere to be found tonight with the big man hitting eight aces. Even more alarming for Isner was the six double faults and the overall serve percentage of only 65 percent, numbers that make it difficult to get the job done against this level of competition.
The pair held to 3-3 before Isner surrendered the first service break. With the American unable to get anything on the Istomin serve, the Uzbek quickly took the first set in just 26 minutes.
Despite overwhelming crowd support, Isner continued to struggle on serve but was able to win his first two service games of the second set, saving a break point in the third game. But Isner’s serve unraveled in the fifth game, giving Istomin a lead he wouldn’t relinquish.
Istomin would serve to 5-3 before breaking Isner one last time to seal the match in front of a stunned Stadium Court crowd.
With the elimination of Isner and the withdrawal of Fernando Verdasco, the top side of the bottom half of the draw is now wide open. Lleyton Hewitt becomes the prohibitive favorite but the player smiling the most may be No. 2 seed Milos Raonic. With his top competition in the bottom half of the draw gone, Raonic has to like his chances to get to the National Indoor final for a third straight year.