Winston-Salem Open 2017: John Isner Upset, Roberto Bautista Agut Advances

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2017

WINSTON-SALEM, NC - AUGUST 23:  John Isner reacts after a point against Borna Coric of Croatia during the fifth day of the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University on August 23, 2017 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The quarterfinals of the 2017 Winston-Salem Open took shape following Wednesday's eight clashes in the third round.

Two-time tournament champion John Isner was among the headliners. Isner needed three sets to advance past Andrey Kuznetsov in the second round, and he was bound to have his hands full again with Borna Coric on Wednesday.

Top-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut also took the court at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The 2016 runner-up knocked out Dusan Lajovic in straight sets Tuesday, and he had a third-round date with 2006 Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis.

Below are the full results from Wednesday and a brief recap of the biggest matches.

       

Wednesday Results

Center Court

No. 6 Steve Johnson def. Carlos Berlocq; 7-6 (1), 6-4

No. 1 Roberto Bautista Agut def. Marcos Baghdatis; 6-3, 6-4

No. 14 Borna Coric def. No. 3 John Isner; 7-5, 6-2

     

Court 2

Kyle Edmund def. Marton Fucsovics; 6-2, 6-1

Taylor Fritz def. No. 7 Paolo Lorenzi; 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5)

No. 13 Hyeon Chung def. Julien Benneteau; 6-4, 1-1 (ret.)

     

Court 3

Damir Dzumhur def. Horacio Zeballos; 7-5, 6-3

Jan-Lennard Struff def. Andreas Seppi; 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3)

     

Notable Matches

John Isner Falls to Borna Coric

WINSTON-SALEM, NC - AUGUST 23:  Borna Coric of Croatia returns a shot to John Isner during the fifth day of the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University on August 23, 2017 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Isner won't be adding a third Winston-Salem Open title to his resume after he lost in straight sets to Coric.

The 32-year-old American relies heavily on his serve, and that spelled doom Wednesday. He won 71 percent of his first-service points, which is generally a healthy number but not enough for Isner, who dropped 60 percent of his second-service points.

After dropping a hard-fought first set 5-7, Isner dug himself into a hole after losing serve in the third game of the second set to go down 1-2. Coric broke his serve again in the fifth game, which was the beginning of the end for Isner.

The U.S. Open's official Twitter account shared a replay of match point, which Coric won with his second ace of the night:

     

Americans Steve Johnson, Taylor Fritz Move On

WINSTON-SALEM, NC - AUGUST 23:  Taylor Fritz returns a shot to Paolo Lorenzi of Italy during the fifth day of the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University on August 23, 2017 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

While Isner exited in the third round, Steve Johnson and Taylor Fritz ensured the United States will be represented in the quarterfinals. Johnson beat Carlos Berlocq, while Fritz toppled seventh-seeded Paolo Lorenzi. 

The Winston-Salem Open tweeted how it was a big result for Fritz:

The 19-year-old credited coach Mardy Fish with helping him get in the right frame of mind during the tournament.

"It's a big help because just because he's been here," he said of Fish, who won six ATP World Tour events and reached three Grand Slam quarterfinals, per the Winston-Salem Journal's Jay Spivey. "And he can understand a lot of things professionalism-wise—how I should prepare for my match, what things I should do after the match, try to get ready for the next match."

Johnson used his serve to overpower Berlocq. The 27-year-old picked up nine aces and won 48 of his 59 points on serve. He also failed to allow Berlocq a single break-point opportunity over the course of the match.

     

Roberto Bautista Agut Dispatches Marcos Baghdatis

WINSTON-SALEM, NC - AUGUST 23:  Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain reacts after defeating Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus during the fifth day of the Winston-Salem Open at Wake Forest University on August 23, 2017 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  (Photo by Jared
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Bautista Agut remains on track to reach his second straight final after beating Baghdatis in straight sets.

The 29-year-old Spaniard was far from dominant despite not needing a third set to pick up the victory. He allowed five break-point opportunities to Baghdatis but mustered up enough magic to surrender only one service break throughout the match.

The turning point of the first set came when Bautista Agut broke Baghdatis' serve in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead—he won the next game to take the set.

Then, in the second, Bautista Agut collected two service breaks in the first five games to take a commanding 4-1 lead. Baghdatis broke back in the sixth game, but it wasn't enough to reverse the tide completely.

      

Thursday Schedule

No. 6 Steve Johnson vs. Kyle Edmund

Damir Dzumhur vs. No. 13 Hyeon Chung

No. 1 Roberto Bautista Agut vs. Taylor Fritz

No. 14 Borna Coric vs. Jan-Lennard Struff