You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

No.2 seed Isner crashes out of Classic

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/01/2017 Ben Leahy

The upsets have continued at Auckland's ASB Classic as No.2 seed John Isner crashed out to US compatriot Steve Johnson in three sets.

Isner had said he was playing with house money after coming within a whisker of bowing out on Wednesday and No.7 seed Johnson collected, winning 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7-3) on Thursday.

While 208cm Isner's powerful first serve remained a weapon, it was when he was forced into second serves that Johnson pounced.

The twenty-seven-year-old Johnson consistently pushed inside the baseline during returns and rallies to put the pressure on world no.19 ranked Isner under a sunny Auckland sky.

Johnson forced Isner to save nine of 10 break points as he broke in the first set to win it and after losing the second, threatened to break again early in the third.

He eventually got his chance to claim the match in the tie break when his forehand nicked the net and pulled up too short for Isner.

Johnson admitted facing Isner's booming serve as it helped the giant American escape numerous break points was testing.

"On his serve a lot of it is out of your control," he said.

"It is frustrating, but you can't get frustrated because you never know when the opportunity is and you have got to be clear headed and really take your chances."

Isner's exit adds to the loss of other big names, who earlier tumbled out of the tournament like tenpins on Wednesday.

It started with defending champ and top seed Roberto Bautista Agut pulling out with a stomach bug, while sixth seed Feliciano Lopez also withdrew and No.3 seed David Ferrer crashed out.

While disappointed to lose, Isner, who had taken two months off, said he was gaining valuable match practice ahead of the Australian Open.

"Last year at this tournament I lost at the quarter finals in three sets as well but I went on and played a very good Australian Open," he said.

"So I got some matches in that I desperately needed."

Johnson now meets the winner of the clash between US No.4 seed Jack Sock and Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the semi-finals.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon