John Isner is set for an all-American quarterfinal affair with Donald Young on Friday in Memphis. Ryan Harrison and Damir Dzumhur are also aiming for a place in the semis in what will be an all-unseeded battle.
Donald Young vs. (2) John Isner
Isner and Young will be going head-to-head for the fifth time in their careers when they collide in the quarterfinals of the Memphis Open on Friday. All four of their previous encounters have gone the way of Isner, who is 3-0 against Young at the ATP level to go along with one Challenger victory. The 6’10” American prevailed nine years ago in Washington, D.C., one season later in the Tallahassee Challenger title match, at this same Memphis event in 2012, and at the 2014 Miami Masters. Young at least managed to take a set against Isner for the first time ever in Miami, but he ended up going down 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4.
It has already been a stellar week for Young, who punched his ticket to the last eight with a three-set win over Adrian Mannarino and a 7-6(3), 6-3 defeat of fellow American Reilly Opelka on Wednesday. The world No. 81 is contesting just his second tournament of 2017, having previously turned in a second-round performance at the Australian Open. Following a first-round bye, Isner also dropped his opening set this week but recovered to beat Yoshihito Nishioka 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. The No. 2 seed is a former runner-up in Memphis (2010) and he should take another step toward that destination by maintaining his mastery of Young.
Pick: Isner in 2
Damir Dzumhur vs. Ryan Harrison
Harrison’s year was always going to be a good one because he is getting married in a few weeks, but things are also going great for him on the tennis court. The resurgent American is back up to No. 62 in the rankings thanks in part to a recent Challenger title on the indoor hard courts of Dallas. So far in Memphis he has rolled over Konstantin Kravchuk and Sam Querrey in straight sets.
Up next for Harrison on Thursday is a first-ever meeting with Dzumhur. The world No. 86 from Bosnia-Herzegovina had been just 1-3 on the season with his only victory having come in the lower levels of Davis Cup competition. Suddenly, though, Dzumhur is on the winning track with defeats this week of Kevin Anderson and Steve Darcis. The oft-injured Anderson is rusty and Darcis has been overworked of late, but Harrison is having no such issues.
Pick: Harrison in 2