John Isner reflects on stunning Andrey Rublev at Madrid Masters



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John Isner reflects on stunning Andrey Rublev at Madrid Masters

American tennis star John Isner admitted Andrey Rublev was the better player during their Miami Masters round-of-16 clash. World No. 39 Isner didn't have a single break point against Rublev but still he beat the Russian 7-6 (4) 3-6 7-6 (4) to advance to the Madrid quarterfinal.

As not a single break point was seen in the first set -- the set went into a tie-break -- in which Isner realized his first set point to win a tight opener. Rublev claimed the first break of the match in the third game of the second set and also broke Isner in the ninth game to win the set and force a decider.

Isner saved the lone break point of the third set in the fourth game, before converting his first match point in the tie-break. “I’m very happy,” Isner said, per the ATP website. “I wasn’t the better player out there today; I did win the match.

My serve kept me in it. There’s a reason he’s won so many matches this year. "It's a nice feather in my cap right now with my ranking being a little bit lower. I haven't played much since the tour stopped last year.

I think this is my only seventh event. I haven't had many matches. But to beat a guy like that, maybe being a little bit undercooked, is a very special moment for me."

Isner loves playing on the Madrid clay

"It is my favorite clay court probably," Isner said.

"It has an indoor feel even though it's not fully indoors. It's got a great sound to it. The court is fast. To me it doesn't seem like there's too much clay on the court so, of all the clay courts I play on, it plays closest to a hard court of any of them.

The altitude in Madrid just really helps my serve. The ball goes through the air very fast. You put all those things together, it's a good recipe for me to do some damage on serve." Isner admitted he was surprised to make it this far in Madrid.

"I'm actually pretty surprised right now to be in the quarterfinals," Isner said. "I probably played two tournaments in three years on clay. I'm happy to be in the quarterfinals. I've been in this spot before; I guess I'm no stranger to making it this far at this event."