Atlanta Open 2019: Tournament top seed John Isner falls to taller nemesis Reilly Opelka in battle of giants

Top-seeded Isner fell to fellow American Reilly Opelka who happens to be the tallest man in the sport, in a tight three-set match in the second round

Agence France-Presse July 25, 2019 13:05:47 IST
Atlanta Open 2019: Tournament top seed John Isner falls to taller nemesis Reilly Opelka in battle of giants
  • The loss of the tournament's top seed Isner is his earliest exit at this event in 10 appearances

  • The 21-year-old Opelka saved three break points while serving at 4-5 in the third set as he served his way out of trouble

  • The unseeded Opelka had also defeated Isner at the Australian Open and at the New York Open in February

Washington: American Reilly Opelka upset John Isner with a 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5) victory in the second round of the Atlanta Open on Wednesday.

Atlanta Open 2019 Tournament top seed John Isner falls to taller nemesis Reilly Opelka in battle of giants

File photo Reilly Opelka. AFP

The loss of the tournament's top seed Isner is his earliest exit at this event in 10 appearances. The 21-year-old Opelka saved three break points while serving at 4-5 in the third set, including two consecutively from 15/40 as he served his way out of trouble.

The unseeded Opelka had also defeated Isner at the Australian Open and at the New York Open in February, where he went on to win his first ATP title.

"I was holding onto the big moments in the match. First-set tie-break I played unbelievable, pretty much flawless, hit some great shots," Opelka said. "It's so hard to play three tie-breaks with him because there's just so much pressure, there's so much stress for three hours straight. It's tough. I'm thrilled to get through."

Isner was the two-time defending champion and had reached the Atlanta final in nine of his 10 appearances. "It's his tournament. It always will be. Definitely, a tough guy to beat in Atlanta," Opelka said.

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