The top seeds led the Match Tie-break, 6-4, before a pair of three-point bursts from Isner/Sock brought an early end to their desert campaign. Despite converting on one of seven break points in the match, the Americans were at their best at the crucial moments to take both tie-breaks.
Last time out in Indian Wells, Isner stood up his partner less than an hour before they were due on court for a second-round match when he got the call that his wife was going into labour. Five months later, the duo is plotting a long stay in the desert, where they had their home crowd rocking with some highlight-reel points in a packed Stadium 2. Both men are also in the Indian Wells singles draw, with Sock starting his campaign with a first-round win over Juan Manuel Cerundolo on Thursday.
The Americans recently teamed up at the Dallas Open, where they reached the semi-finals in the city of Isner’s residence. In Indian Wells, they could next face Australian Open champions Thanasi Kokkinakis and Nick Kyrgios, if the wild card Aussies get past Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo later on Friday.
Feliciano Lopez helped Stefanos Tsitsipas earn his first ATP Tour doubles title last month in Acapulco, and the duo stretched its win streak to five matches with a 7-6 (5), 6-4 win over Raven Klaasen and Ben McLachlan. The pair has dropped just one set in those five wins.
Lopez/Tsitsipas Win Acapulco Doubles Title, First Of Greek’s Career
Karatsev/Rublev missed out on two set points on the return at 5-3 in the first, then twice failed to serve out the set. In set two, their opponents had a chance to serve out the match at 5-4 and created two match points at 6-4 in the tie-break, but could not close it out.
After taking the last four points of the second-set tie-break, Karatsev/Rublev won the first six of the Match Tie-break to all but seal the win.
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