By Erik Gudris | Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Steve Johnson won an all-American battle over John Isner in D.C. Top seed Tomas Berdych cruised in his opening round match.
Photo Credit: AP
While some established American stars exited early on Wednesday at the Citi Open in Washington D.C., others found opportunity. Meanwhile, top seed Tomas Berdych made a strong start against yet another home player.
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Berdych faced off against qualifier Robby Ginepri in the scheduled night match. Berdych made sure it was a quick night as he raced through the opening set 6-1.
The Czech No. 1 fought off a break point serving for the match up 5-4 in the second set. That allowed him to create a match point of his own that he soon converted. Berdych sealed the 6-1, 6-4 win in just 68 minutes.
American Steve Johnson pulled off one of the day's big upsets against last year's finalist and recent Atlanta winner John Isner. Despite Isner winning a first set tiebreak, Johnson rallied to take the second set.
Isner, who fired off 29 aces in total, never created a break opportunity all night against the No. 68 ranked Johnson. That would haunt the fifth-seeded Isner late as each man entered a final set tiebreak. Isner saved one match point against him, but a double fault that followed set up yet another match point for Johnson on his serve.
Johnson would not hesitate and soon closed out the 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(6) victory.
Isner, despite being a former finalist, later complained about having to choose due to international television demands either to play on the main stadium late at night or an outer court at an earlier time. Johnson himself believed the top American should have been showcased on the main stadium.
That result continued the trend of mixed results for American players in the nation's capitol.
Jack Sock held leads in both tiebreaks against No. 2 seed Milos Raonic. Yet Raonic proved the better player as he advanced 7-6(3), 7-6(3).
No. 4 seed Kei Nishikori, who had lost three out of four previous meetings versus Sam Querrey, won a three set battle 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. Donald Young pulled off an upset win of his own over No. 17 seed Julien Benneteau 6-4, 6-3.