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Isner, Querrey Fight Back to Win in Miami

Sam Querrey and John Isner both came back from a set down to advance in their opening round matches at the Sony Open Tennis event.

By Erik Gudris

Sam Querrey (March 23rd, 2013) -- America's No. 1 and No. 2 men's players came back from losing the opening set in their second round matches to advance at the Sony Open Tennis in Miami.

New U.S. No. 1 Sam Querrey got off to a lethargic start in his meeting against Poland's Lukasz Kubot earlier in the morning. While Kubot seized the initiative in attacking Querrey's second serve, the lanky Californian didn't look ready early on to deal with the Pole's aggressive game plan.

Kubot secured an early break of serve and went on to close out the first set with an ace 6-4.

But Querrey perked up in the second set and began to step into his groundstrokes especially on his favored forehand wing. Querrey even things at one set all and then kept his momentum going in the decider as he got a critical break of serve.

Querrey went on to close out the 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 win and with it booked a place in the third round of Miami for only the second time in his career.

"I started out a little slow," said Querrey afterwards. "Broke me the first game, but then he served really rest of the set. But after that I felt pretty good second and third sets. Served big, hit my forehand well. I was pretty happy."

Querrey will next face Milos Raonic who dismissed Guillaume Rufin 6-2, 6-4.

Things weren't quite as straightforward for Querrey's friend and often doubles partner John Isner. Taking on the always tough Ivan Dodig, Isner also got off to a slow start and soon found himself down a break of serve in the first set.

Dodig served out the first set and after breaking Isner again was only a few games away in the second set from closing out the match. But Isner upped his energy and broke Dodig once and then twice to claim the set 7-5 and force a decider.

Isner went up an early break in the final set but a mishit forehand volley from the tall American allowed Dodig back into the set at 3-4. Dodig broke Isner later and served for the match at 6-5, but in the next game Dodig hit an unreturnable serve that was called out. Dodig challenged and the replay showed his serve actually hit the service line, but the umpire said he should get a first serve and not the point outright.

That ruling upset Dodig and allowed Isner to go on to break Dodig to force a final set tiebreak. Isner managed to earn three match points and finally on his third one squeaked out the 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(5) victory.

When asked later if he needed the win mentally after what has been a tough season so far, Isner said, "I needed it for sure. You know, I tried to stay positive. I have been working hard. You know, I know that winning matches out here is not easy. You know, the highs, when you're playing well, feel amazing; the lows, when you're not playing so well, don't feel so good. So you have just got to take it as it is, and there will be times when I'm playing well and winning a lot of matches.  There will be times ‑ ‑  like this year so far I haven't played my best and lost, you know, lost matches I feel like I could have won. But just trying to stick with it, and, you know, just keep doing what I need to do outside of tournaments to try to give myself the best opportunity."

Isner will next face Marin Cilic in the third round.

Other winners on the day included Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet.

(Photo Credit: Davis Cup)

 

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