Sergiy Stakhovsky strains pass John Isner in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open
Surprise struck the tennis fans at Madrid, Spain as the world number 33, John Isner of the United States crashed out of the Mutua Madrid Open in the second round by the lower ranked Ukrainian, Sergiy Stakhovsky on Tuesday afternoon.
The 25-year-old battled it out to bag the three-set thriller 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(3), in two hours and sixteen minutes to eject Isner from the $4,500,000 ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) World Tour 1000 tournament.
Ranked at number 38 in the world, Stakhovsky had to toil hard to overcome the American for booking a berth in the third round at Madrid. He suffered a straight sets defeat last year in Miami at the hands of Isner but proved to
be a more accomplished player this time round to take him down. It was the 12th victory for the Ukrainian in the running ATP season, getting one step closer to the quarter-final draws of the tournament.
The back-and-forth affair provided excellent entertainment to the local crowd at Madrid, with the two contestants putting up a great display of pro tennis. Only two serve breaks were witnessed in the entire contest, with five aces
from Stakhovsky and seven struck by Isner. The two competitors won one set a piece before the decisive third set was dragged into an exciting tie breaker round. The Ukrainian held his nerve and cruised through the tie breaker to register a convincing win over
The opener took off with aggression from both men and none of them dropped serve to tie the scores at 5-5. It seemed for a while that the set is well on its way to a tie breaker but a dramatic turnaround took place. Stakhovsky
was trailing 15-40 while serving in the 11th game but amazingly denied two break points to Isner to held serve. He then stung a vital serve break in the next game to close the set at 7-5.
The furious American broke immediately in the second set to lead 1-0 and kept consolidating his position in the contest by his aggressive moves. Stakhovsky never recovered from the loss he suffered in the first game of the set
and submitted at 4-6 to let Isner back in the game.
Intense tennis was observed in the decisive set, as none of the contestants was prepared to drop his serve. Eventually, a tie breaker was enforced at 6-6, with Isner seizing a quick mini-break early at 1-0. Stakhovsky shifted his
gears from then onwards and finished the contest at 7-6(3) to move on to the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open.
Up next for Stakhovsky is the world number six, David Ferrer in the third round clash. The Spaniard defeated the French qualifier Adrian Mannarino in the second round to meet Stakhovsky.