John Isner racked up 20 aces while posting a 7-5, 7-6 (5) upset of No. 4 seed Andrey Rublev on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the National Bank Open in Toronto.
The 6-foot-10 American had 29 winners while winning his eighth consecutive match. He saved all four break points he faced while beating Rublev for the second time in the past three months.
Rublev of Russia had 10 aces but committed four double faults. Isner had just one.
“He was a little bit off kilter from the very get-go, I think,” Isner said of Rublev. “I could tell he was exhibiting some frustration out there. When I knew that he was a bit rattled early on, I just told myself I had to be the one to keep a cooler head. I think that helped me prevail in the end.”
Isner’s quarterfinal opponent will be the 11th-seeded Frenchman Gael Monfils, who had 10 aces while dispatching American Frances Tiafoe 6-1, 7-6 (2).
Third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrated his 23rd birthday with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Karen Khachanov of Russia.
The Greek converted 92.6 percent of his first-serve points while winning in 79 minutes.
Tsitsipas will next face sixth-seeded Casper Ruud after the Norwegian recorded a 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic.
Ruud won three straight titles in July and is one of the tour’s hottest players. He also beat Tsitsipas in their lone meeting earlier this year in Madrid.
“Casper is a player that has been developing very good recently. He had an amazing clay-court season,” Tsitsipas said. “He’s someone that serves very well, has a very good serve-and-first-ball pattern that works really well for him. I think he’s probably one of the best players out there to have the serve and first ball inside the three first shots that he hits.
“It’s definitely something that I’m going to have to pay attention to, and apply more pressure towards that.”
No. 10 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain registered a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 win over eighth-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina. Bautista Agut will face American Reilly Opelka, who notched a 4-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4) victory over South Africa’s Lloyd Harris.
Both Opelka and Harris has 21 aces in their match that took two hours, 45 minutes.
–Field Level Media
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