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Isner vs Evans ATP Delray Beach Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Isner and Evans meet for the first time with a place in the Delray Beach final on the line

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 23 Feb 2019
  • John Isner vs Daniel Evans is live from Delray Beach on Saturday, 23 February from 3:00pm local time/ 8:00pm GMT
  • Isner and Evans meet for the first time on Saturday
John Isner. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

World No. 9, John Isner attempts to reach the final of the Delray Beach Open for the first time when he takes on British qualifier, Daniel Evans on Saturday.

Isner is competing in his fourth Delray Beach semi-final, but he is yet to progress into the championship match having lost to Kevin Anderson, Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Marin Cilic in last four ties between 2012 and 2014. 

The American is also seeking his first final since he won the Atlanta title last July. Atlanta was one of two titles Isner won last season, the other being the big one in Miami, where he stopped Alexander Zverev in the final to claim his maiden Masters 1000 crowns. There were quite a few firsts for Isner last season, as he also reached his first Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon, where he fell just short of the final in that epic six-and-a-half-hour contest against Kevin Anderson., and also qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time in his career (although he went 0-3 in round-robin matches in London!).

The 33-year-old was slow off the blocks at the start of 2019, losing tournament openers in Auckland and the Australian Open, but he has picked up the pace in North America, reaching the semi-finals at the New York Open (lost to Reilly Opelka), and backing it up with another semi-final at Delray Beach. Typically, Isner’s serve has been the fulcrum of his run, as he is yet to drop serve in straight-sets victories against Peter Polansky, Lukas Lacko and Adrian Mannarino. He powered down 23 aces against Polansky, 18 over Lacko and another 24 beyond French lefthander, Mannarino.

“I thought Adrian was playing well today. Those three break points I saved in the first set felt like set points,” said Isner. “I was able to get the one break in the second set and sometimes that’s all you need.”

Mannarino was actually the first to reach break point against Isner in Friday’s quarter final, but he could not convert any of three chances in the seventh game, and he would not get another opportunity after that. Isner went on to take the set on a dominant tie break, and after failing to convert break points in Mannarino’s first two service games of the second set, he finally had his breakthrough at the third time of asking, breaking for the 3-2 lead and not looking back after that.

He next faces Great Britain’s Daniel Evans, who is looking to reach his second tour-level, his first since Sydney at the start of 2017.


The Brit is still attempting to rebuild his career after serving a 12-month doping ban between April 2017 and April 2018. 

Daniel Evans. (Photo credit should read DAVID GRAY/AFP/Getty Images)
Evans had reached a career-high ranking of 41st at the start of 2017, when he contested a maiden tour final in Sydney and got to the fourth round of the Australian Open, but he was soon to cascade down the ranking following his period of inactivity.
He was free to return to the tour in April 2018 and he worked his way back into the top 200, on the back of some strong Challenger results, including a title run in Vancouver and a runner-up finish in Nottingham. 

Evans has been winning plenty of matches this year- he began the new season at the Playford Challenger where he was beaten in the first round by Kamil Majchrzak, but he then came through three rounds of qualifying at the Australian Open, defeated Tatsumo Ito in the first round of the main draw, before losing to Roger Federer in the second round. It was an encouraging display against Federer, but he ultimately fell 7-6 7-6 6-3 to the great Swiss. He dropped down into the Challengers post-Melbourne, reaching final in Quimper, and he has brought that good form into Delray Beach, where he again had to qualify, before opening his main draw account with a terrific come-from-behind 3-6 7-6 7-5 victory over last year’s champion, Frances Tiafoe, who has served for the match at 6-5 in the second set.

Evans eased through his subsequent matches- relatively. He beat Lloyd Harris 6-0 6-2, and was a 6-4 6-4 victor over Italian, Andreas Seppi in the quarter finals. It is bound to be more difficult for the Brit when he crashes into American No. 1, Isner for the first time in the semi-finals.

"I played pretty well today and thought it was a clean match. My game style matches up well to his," said Evans. "Playing in the qualifying this week definitely helped me. I'm not there yet, though, and there's still plenty of work to do."

Evans has definitely got a very good shot at victory, but Isner possesses one of the most potent weapons in the history of the sport. That weapon- the serve- has been on song all week, and if the giant American continues banging them down, and backing them up with his forehand, he will be tough to break, and tough to beat.

John Isner vs Daniel Evans is live from Delray Beach on Saturday, 23 February from 3:00pm local time/ 8:00pm GMT

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Isner vs Evans ATP Delray Beach Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Isner and Evans meet for the first time with a place in the Delray Beach final on the line

Isner vs Evans ATP Delray Beach Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming | Isner and Evans meet for the first time with a place in the Delray Beach final on the line

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