ATP Vienna Day Three Recap: Ernests Gulbis Knocks Out John Isner
Ernests Gulbis/EPA

ATP Vienna Day Three Recap: Ernests Gulbis Knocks Out John Isner

Third seeded John Isner's poor indoor run continued as he fell in a three set battle to Ernests Gulbis. Isner has now lost six of his last eight matches on indoor hard courts.

chris-spiech
Chris Spiech

Several seeds struggled to advance through their matches on Wednesday. John Isner fell victim to an upset from Ernest Gulbis, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Fabio Fognini both had to go the distance to secure their spots in the second round.

Isner Ousted

Ernests Gulbis has already had quite the week as he scored his first win since August in the opening round against qualifier Lucas Miedler. On Wednesday, Gulbis bettered that with a grinding three set win over third seed John Isner 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. Gulbis showed great pop on his first serve, winning 87 percent of the points as he clubbed 22 aces in the match. Isner did not have his best serve going, winning a mundane 69 percent of his first serve points. He had 16 aces in the match. In the end, there was little to distinguish the two players as Gulbis won 97 points to 93 for Isner. Gulbis simply one upped Isner in the category where it counted in Wednesday's second round match as he saved six of seven break points, while Isner saved six of eight.

Other Seeds In Action Wednesday

Second seed Kevin Anderson was stout in his opener against Andreas Haider-Maurer. The two seed was nearly impossible to beat on serve. Not only did he avoid doling out any break points, he won nearly every point played on his first serve in beating Haider-Maurer 6-4, 7-5. Anderson won 36 of his 38 first serve points in the match. He smashed 19 aces in booking his spot in the second round. Seventh seed Ivo Karlovic also moved on to round two with a straight forward 6-4, 7-5 win over Sergiy Stakhovsky. Karlovic only had ten aces Wednesday, but won 44 of 53 points on serve. He scored one timely break of the Ukrainian in each set to wrap up the victory.

Fourth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was back on court for the first time since losing last Sunday's Shanghai Masters final to Novak Djokovic. Tsonga survived a game effort from a still error prone Tommy Haas 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-4. The Frenchman was strong on serve throughout, but had issues landing his first serve consistently. Tsonga was getting in his  first serve only 55 percent of the time which left Haas plenty of second serve opportunities. That showed most in the second set when Haas took 10 of 17 points off Tsonga's second serve. Tsonga recovered from losing the second with a steady effort in the third as he scored the decisive break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Tsonga's second serve was a key to completing the match as the fourth seed won half of his service points for the set on second serve. Tsonga finished with 15 aces for the match and broke Haas five times.

Fabio Fognini made his Vienna debut and had to scratch and claw his way to a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Paul-Henri Mathieu. The eighth seeded Italian started off hot with six aces in the opening set as he scored the one break to take the set. In the second, Fognini really struggled with the few second serves he had to put in play. He was forced to make just nine second serves, but won just a single point from those. In part, that allowed Mathieu to break him twice and even the match at a set each. In the third, Mathieu actually took a short-lived lead after breaking Fognini to edge out to a 3-2 margin. That lasted all of one game as the Italian broke back and then reeled off three more games to reach the finish line a winner.

Day Four Schedule

Top seed David Ferrer will star on Centre Court on Thursday. Ferrer plays Guillermo Garcia-Lopez with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line. Kevin Anderson will follow against Jiri Vesely. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga battles Lukas Rosol and Centre Court play finishes for the day with sixth seed Gael Monfils paired against Paolo Lorenzi. On Court B, Radek Stepanek starts the day against Fabio Fognini with Jerzy Janowicz and Steve Johnson scheduled after the completion of that match.

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