John Isner of Greensboro, North Carolina advanced to the quarterfinals of the ATP World Tour Masters Series Rome event on Thursday. Isner not only advanced to the quarterfinals, but had a very impressive third round victory where he delivered an upset.
Isner, who is ranked 24th in the world, upset world ranked number three Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland 7-6, 6-4. Wawrinka, the three-time major champion (winner of the 2014 Australian Open, 2015 French Open and 2016 U.S. Open), has had a respectable season on the ATP Tour in 2017. Even though Wawrinka has not won a tournament, he reached the semi-finals of the Brisbane International (lost to Kei Nishikori of Japan), the semi-finals of the Australian Open (lost to Roger Federer of Switzerland) and the finals of Indian Wells (lost to Federer again).
For Isner, this will be his fourth quarterfinal of the year and he will be pleased he will be facing Marin Cilic of Croatia and not an American next. At the ASB Classic in Auckland in January, Isner lost 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 to Steve Johnson of Orange, California. At the Memphis Open in February, Isner lost 7-6, 3-6, 7-6 to Donald Young of Atlanta. Then at the US Men's Clay Court Championship in Houston this past April, Isner lost to Ernesto Escobedo of Los Angeles 7-6, 6-7, 7-6.