LONG ISLAND, February 15, 2018
Radu Albot knocked out No. 3 seed John Isner from the United States in Wednesday’s night session at the New York Open. The 28-year-old from Moldova secured a 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 second round win in two hours and five minutes.
“Tonight was a very good match. John was serving very good as usual. It’s the first time I played against him and I was very happy that I was able to win,” Albot was pleased afterwards.
“I never beat someone higher than John is ranked.”
The World No. 91 withstood 28 aces from Isner. “Everybody knows that John has the best serve on tour. It is very difficult to return his serve. You have to be able to somehow put the ball in the court. Out there, you just don’t know, you just react and if you put the ball in the court, then you’re in the game. Then you try to create something. It’s very difficult to return. It was a good experience for the future,” Albot explained and added:
“You just have to be very healthy and you have to keep practicing. Everybody is improving their game; everybody finds out how you play. I think the most important thing is to stay healthy. If you’re healthy than you can compete, if not, then you’re out and you miss a lot of opportunities, other tournaments.”
Upcoming Challenge: Nishikori
Next up for Albot will be Kei Nishikori. The No. 5 seed from Japan eased past Evgeny Donskoy of Russia 6-2, 6-4. Nishikori didn’t face a break point, converting three of his own to advance in 68 minutes.
“I served really well, especially (in the) second set I started getting my rhythm back. Also, everything else was pretty solid today. Playing aggressive, everything was working well,” Nishikori said.
“Every match is improving so, so far so good. I think today was one of the best. I played good tennis today and improved my serve and my forehand. I played a little bit more aggressive than in my first match.”
On his upcoming match with Albot he commented: “We never played before so I need to check how he plays. He’s a very good grinder player and he doesn’t miss much. I’ve got to really focus against him.”
Spanish qualifier Adrian Menéndez-Maceiras also advanced to the quarterfinals. The 32-year-old Marbella native ousted Jeremy Chardy of France 7-5, 7-6 in one hour and 48 minutes.
“This is the first time I got a win against Chardy, so for me this is very important. Also, this is (will be) my first quarterfinal round on an ATP tour so I’m happy and I’m feeling very comfortable with my game here on Long Island,” Menéndez-Maceiras told.
“I’m playing great here in the States; I should come here more often (laughs). Last year, also I was close to reaching the quarterfinals in Rhode Island. I also qualified in the Miami Masters. So I’m enjoying the States; I’m playing good here now. We have a lot of tournaments coming in the next weeks also so (the schedule will be) pretty heavy.”
Menéndez-Maceiras will next challenge No. 4 seed Adrian Mannarino of France, who benefited from the retirement of Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk, leading 6-7, 7-5, 4-1.