Isner wins first match of 2019, Fognini bundled out in Buenos Aires

By Sacha Pisani 14 February 2019 261
Isner wins first match of 2019, Fognini bundled out in Buenos Aires

John Isner ended his winless start to the year at the New York Open, while Fabio Fognini was a casualty at the Argentina Open.

Isner was 0-2 in 2019 following defeats at the Auckland Open and Australian Open last month but the big-serving American celebrated victory in New York on Wednesday.

The top seed at the ATP 250 tournament, Isner defeated Bernard Tomic 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 en route to the quarter-finals midweek.

"I had a long time to stew over again not doing well Down Under. It was very tough... I certainly wasn't feeling too great about my game after that," said Isner, who hit 33 aces in the one hour, 14-minute win.

"But the only thing you can do is just continue to keep working hard. For me, keep working on my body. And I used that time to really get stronger. You have to look at it as a blessing in disguise. It really just gave me a bunch of time to keep working hard in the gym, but most importantly just enjoying time with my family."

Next up for Isner in the last eight is another Australian – seventh seed Jordan Thompson, who beat Christopher Eubanks 4-6 6-1 6-4.

American third seed Steve Johnson was stunned 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-4) by qualifier Brayden Schnur, Paolo Lorenzi ousted Ryan Harrison 4-6 6-4 6-4, Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic lost out to Radu Albot 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) in the round of 32 and Denis Istomin topped Mackenzie McDonald 4-6 6-2 6-3.

At the Argentina Open, second seed Fognini crashed to a 4-6 6-4 7-5 loss against Jaume Munar in Buenos Aires.

Countryman and third seed Marco Cecchinato saw off Christian Garin 7-6 (7-4) 6-4, while Roberto Carballes Baena and Guido Pella were also victorious in the last 16.

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Sacha Pisani