Wednesday, July 31, 2013

John Isner is a Tiebreaker-Winning Machine Right Now

Hell hath no fury like John Isner in a tiebreak.

(July 31, 2013)--Watch out ATP: World No. 20 John Isner is very dangerous when he starts winning tiebreakers like he is right now. On Wednesday the big man won his fifth straight match, against Alex Kuznetsov, 7-6(2), 7-6(4), at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. The match was won in typical Isner cliff-hanger fashion, and that is a recurring theme for the 6'10" serving dynamo.

Isner has now played a tiebreaker in each of his last six sets, winning five during the streak. He's also won eight of his last nine breakers, and his record in the ATP's version of sudden-death tennis stands at a remarkable 28-7 on the season. That's 13 more tiebreak wins than the second-best on the ATP tour this season (Novak Djokovic, Kevin Anderson and Philipp Kohlschreiber each have 15).

Isner's 80 percent winning percentage in breakers this year is impressive (and a good deal higher than his lofty career numbers), but it's not all that surprising giving the atomic nature of Isner's serve, his uncanny ability to deal with pressure and his past results on tour. Isner also holds the best career tiebreak record among all current ATP players, at 189-98. His 66.7% winning percentage edges out Roger Federer's 65.3% (337-179) and Novak Djokovic's 64.4% (152-84) by a whisker.

Bernard Tomic, Andy Murray, Jerzy Janowicz and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are the only four other players with tiebreaker winning percentages above .600.

Isner will next face India's Somdev Devvarman in the third round in D.C.

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