John Isner wins two tiebreakers to advance at Miami Open

John Isner won a match that had no break points, sweeping two tiebreakers to edge No. 11-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime in the third round of the Miami Open

MIAMI — John Isner won a match that had no break points Sunday, hitting 16 aces as he edged No. 11-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) in the third round of the Miami Open.

That made it four consecutive sets Isner has won by tiebreaker against Auger-Aliassime in Miami. The score when they met in the 2019 semifinal was 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4).

On the women’s side, Naomi Osaka advanced to the fourth round for the first time in her career when qualifier Nina Stojanovic withdrew from their match shortly before the scheduled start because of a right thigh injury.

Osaka, ranked No. 2, has won 22 consecutive matches since her most recent defeat in February 2020, and she earned her fourth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open last month. But in Miami, where she is making her fifth appearance, she has previously made early exits.

No. 29 Jessica Pegula defeated No. 6 Karolina Pliskova for the third time this year, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

In other men’s play, No. 7 Roberto Bautista Agut rallied past No. 31 Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Isner, who won the biggest title of his career in Miami in 2018, was at his best at crunch time against Auger-Aliassime.

In the second tiebreaker, the 6-foot-10 American bent down to hit a deft drop volley for a winner to make it 5-all. With Auger-Aliassime serving at 5-6, Isner prevailed in a 13-shot rally — a rarity in the serve-dominated match — when the Canadian sailed a forehand long.

Only five other points lasted 10 shots or more.

Isner, 35, is seeded 18th and the lone Miami Open champion in the men’s field. He improved his career record in the tournament to 26-11.

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