American John Isner, currently ranked 16th in the world, advanced to the SAP Open quarterfinals at the HP Pavilion in San Jose after a 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-3 win over Vasek Pospisil. Isner, the top-ranked American in the Emirates ATP Rankings, broke Pospisil twice in the third set to beat the Canadian in one hour and 48 minutes. Isner awaits the winner of the match betwen Xavier Malisse and Matthew Ebden to determine his opponent in the quarterfinals.
“It was pretty ugly there for two sets but in the third set, I thought I played very well and it just turned around like that," Isner said. "That’s how I should play. I played aggressive, I was hitting my returns deep, I was coming in, I was making him win points with good shots. I wasn’t beating myself out there."
Wild card entry Steve Johnson saved two match points to squeak past Ivo Karlovic 6-7(2), 6-4, 7-6(6) in first-round action. Johnson trailed 4-6 in the decisive third set tie-break, but won four points in a row to clinch the win in two hours and 19 minutes. Johnson plays compatriot Tim Smyczek in the second round.
Michael Russell won an all-American encounter, defeating qualifier Donald Young 6-3, 7-5 to set a second-round clash with two-time defending champion and top seed Milos Raonic. Russell capitalized on five of his six break points to improve to 4-1 against Young in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
Alejandro Falla edged Flavio Cipolla 7-6(1), 7-6(10) to win his opener. Both players converted four breaks in the match, but Falla prevailed to take the hard-fought meeting in two hours and 35 minutes. The Colombian clinched the victory on his 10th match point after saving six set points in the second set. The 66th-ranked Falla faces seventh seed Marinko Matosevic next.
Fourth seeded Tommy Haas defeated Canada's Jesse Levine 6-3, 6-1, firing seven aces and saved the only break point he faced, while lifting his FedEx ATP Head2Head record over Levine to 4-0.