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Isner ‘lucky to advance’ in Delray

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Originally published on: 29/02/12 10:15

Marathon man John Isner played the long game again on Tuesday, eventually coming through the longest tie-break of his career to beat local wildcard Jesse Levine in straight sets at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships.

The 26-year-old top seed prevailed in a 32-point second set tie-break, saving five set points along the way, and admitted he was fortunate to move through to a second round clash with another fellow American, Ryan Sweeting, after his 6-4 7-6(15) opening round win.

“I was very lucky to advance,” said Isner. “The humidity was really starting to get to me, and I am not sure I would have made it through a third set.

“I’ve come from Switzerland where it was five degrees. I played indoors last week. You come down here and it’s brutally humid. It saps the energy out of me. I should be stronger tomorrow.”

Edging closer to his goal of reaching the top 10, Isner is currently at a career-high No.11 in the ATP ladder after rising two places on Monday, despite losing in the Memphis quarter-finals last week. Regardless of his steady rankings rise, Isner believes he should have put in a better display in Memphis after what should have been a confidence-rousing triumph over Roger Federer on Davis Cup duty the weekend before.

“I haven’t kicked on from there and used the confidence it should have given me,” conceded Isner. “I lost early in Memphis and really need to start concentrating on stringing some wins together.”

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