Top Seed Isner Loses at New York Open, Last Year’s Champ Opelka Survives
By Brent Shearer
(February 14, 2020) UNIONDALE, New York – Top-seeded John Isner was bounced out of the New York Open at the NYCB Live Nassau Memorial Coliseum on Thursday. The highest ranked American player lost to Australia’s Jordan Thompson 7-6 (2), 6-7 (3), 6-3.
Isner was playing his first match since he had to retire in the Australian Open with a foot injury.
Thompson’s win makes him the giant killer of the tournament since his defeat of the 6’11’’ Isner followed his win against another near-seven footer, Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic.
“Maybe playing Karlovic helped me out when I played John,” he said.
Thompson will play Andreas Seppi in Friday’s quarterfinals. He said he expects to play more long rallies against the Italian and will be seeing fewer aces whizzing past him than in his first two matches on the New York Open’s black courts.
In part because the New York Open is for many of its players their first event since last month’s Australian Open, upsets have shrunk the list of seeds.
Second-seed Milos Raonic of Canada was also ousted in his first match played Wednesday. Raonic lost to Soonwoo Kwon of Korea 7-6 (4) 6-7(4) 6-4.
Having lost Isner and Raonic and with Nick Kyrgios pulling out with an injury before the tournament started, GF Sports, the event’s organizers, must have breathed a sigh of relief when last year’s winner, Reilly Opelka, won his first match on Thursday.
He beat Yoshihito Nishioka 6-4, 6-4 in an afternoon matchup. Although his Japanese opponent nearly broke his serve in the match’s first game, Opelka was able to break in both sets when Nishioka was serving at 4-5.