With his victory on Friday, John Isner reached the second week of the French Open for the first time in his career.
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By McCarton Ackerman, USOpen.org
The U.S. has its first player into the second week of the French Open, with No. 10 seed John Isner reaching the fourth round at Roland Garros for the first time in his career.
The American achieved that milestone on Friday in a typical tiebreak-filled match against No. 17 seed Tommy Robredo of Spain, needing more than three hours before advancing, 7-6 (13), 7-6 (3), 6-7 (5), 7-5.
Isner fought off set points in a marathon opening-set tiebreak, and it didn't get any easier for him from there. The packed crowd on Court 1 were treated to plenty of entertaining rallies and impressive displays of defense from Robredo, a five-time French Open quarterfinlaist and the nominal favorite entering the encounter, and Isner.
In a match dominated by the serve from both players, only one break of serve was recorded. Fittingly, it came in the final stages, with Isner finally breaking to up 6-5 in the fourth set and then comfortably holding at love to close things out.
Isner was the aggresor throughout the match, hammering 17 aces and a staggering 77 winners (to seven aces and 41 winners from Robredo). The 6-foot-9 American also stepped up in the crucial moments, saving 13 break points in total.
Isner had reached the third round at Roland Garros for the last two years and has shown this season that he's capable of producing solid results on clay, reaching the quarterfinals last week at the ATP event in Nice, France. The 29-year-old will play No. 6 seed Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic next for a place in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, USTA wild card Taylor Townsend had her dream run at the French Open come to an end on Friday, losing to No. 14 seed Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, 6-2, 6-2. However, the teenager ranked No. 205 will jump more than 50 spots in the rankings as a result of her third-round showing.
No. 15 seed Sloane Stephens, Jack Sock and Donald Young will all take the court for their third-round matches on Saturday.