John Isner powered his way into the quarterfinals of the SAP Open on Wednesday night, pounding 14 aces in a 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-3 victory over Canada's Vasek Pospisil.
The hard-serving American overcame a shaky second set, held off two break points in the third set with aces and finished off the pesky Pospisil behind some pretty passing shots.
Isner on Friday will play the winner of the match between Xavier Malisse and Matthew Ebden.
After dropping out of the Australian Open because of a nagging right knee and losing his final Davis Cup match in the United States' win over Brazil last weekend, the 16th-ranked Isner hardly showed the poise and polish of his past. He still hit 77 percent of his first serves, which topped out at 137 mph, making up for most of the misses.
Earlier in the day, Alejandro Falla overcame a slow start and then almost blew a big lead before outlasting Flavio Cipolla 7-6 (1), 7-6 (10) in a first-round match.
After falling into a 4-1 deficit in the first set, the Colombian rolled off four straight games and blew away Cipolla in the tiebreaker. Falla took a 5-2 lead in the second set and held off the Italian in a topsy-turvy tiebreaker.
Falla will face Marinko Matosevic in the second round.
Cal beats UCD in softball
Visiting Cal (3-2) romped to a 7-0 softball win over UC Davis (3-3), UCD reported. JJ Wagnoner had two hits for the Aggies.
Associated Press, Bee Sports staff