Notebook: Vasek Pospisil upsets No. 5 Tomas Berdych at Citi Open

Tomas Berdych, the Citi Open’s top seed and world No. 5, was upset Thursday night by Vasek Pospisil, 6-2, 6-4. The win is Pospisil’s third over a top-10 player, two of which have come against Berdych.

“His game is there, so he just needs to find it also in other matches,” Berdych said. “It’s not the case when he plays me.”

Pospisil got an early break in the first set, getting out to a 3-0 lead. Berdych was again broken early in the second set but came back to tie the 24-year-old Canadian.

Pospisil won the match on a double fault by Berdych.

“That was definitely not one of my best tonight,” Berdych said. “It’s something where I just need to go on.”

Pospisil advanced to the quarterfinals in Atlanta and in Bogota since winning Wimbledon men’s doubles with American Jack Sock. He said earlier in the week that the doubles Grand Slam helped his confidence in singles.

With Berdych out, Pospisil’s countryman, Milos Raonic, is the top seed left in the men’s draw. He defeated Lleyton Hewitt earlier, 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-3).

Johnson knocks off Karlovic

American Steve Johnson has capitalized on key mistakes at crucial times to take down big servers in each of his previous two matches to reach the tournament’s quarterfinals.

Johnson advanced to his first ATP Tour 500-level quarterfinal Thursday with a win against Ivo Karlovic, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (9-7).

It’s the second match he’s won on a third set tiebreaker in two days, upsetting top American John Isner last night.

“You put in a lot of hard work on the practice courts and a lot of hard work throughout the year to see it kind of pay off and to see the results happening now,” said Johnson, No. 68 on the ATP Tour. “Hopefully if I can go strong the second half of the year, that’d be great.”

The 6-foot-11 Karlovic double faulted with the third-set tiebreak tied at 7, giving Johnson match point on his serve. Johnson served out wide and countered Karlovic’s backhand return with a forehand winner down the line.

Johnson had match point after Isner double faulted the previous night and also took advantage. Isner, ranked No. 12, and Karlovic, No. 31, lead the ATP in aces.

“I wouldn’t say that’s normal, but I’m not going to complain about that,” Johnson said. “It happens, and I’m fortunate enough to get the breaks yesterday and today and hopefully I can go out tomorrow and do the same thing.” . . .

The top remaining seed in the women’s field, Ekaterina Makarova, advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-4 win over American Lauren Davis.

The Russian, who advanced the Wimbledon quarterfinals earlier this summer, will play countrywoman Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Friday.

by Isabelle Khurshudyan

Tomas Berdych, the Citi Open’s top seed and World No. 5, was upset Thursday night by Vasek Pospisil, 6-2, 6-4. The win is Pospisil’s third over a top-10 player, two of which have come against Berdych.

“His game is there, so he just needs to find it also in other matches,” Berdych said. “It’s not the case when he plays me.”

Pospisil got an early break in the first set, getting out to a 3-0 lead. Berdych was broken early again in the second set, but then came back to tie the 24-year-old Canadian.

Pospisil won the match on a double fault by Berdych.

“That was definitely not one of my best tonight,” Berdych said. “It’s something where I just need to go on.”

Pospisil advanced to the quarterfinals in Atlanta and in Bogata since winning Wimbledon men’s doubles with American Jack Sock. He said earlier in the week that the doubles Grand Slam helped his confidence in singles.

With Berdych out, Pospisil’s countryman, Milos Raonic, is the top seed left in the men’s draw. He defeated Lleyton Hewitt earlier, 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-3).

Johnson knocks off Karlovic to reach quarters

American Steve Johnson has capitalized on key mistakes at crucial times to take down big servers in each of his previous two matches to advance to the Citi Open quarterfinals.

Johnson advanced to his first ATP Tour 500-level quarterfinal Thursday with a win against Ivo Karlovic, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (9-7).

It’s the second match he’s won on a third set tiebreaker in two days, upsetting top American John Isner last night.

“You put in a lot of hard work on the practice courts and a lot of hard work throughout the year to see it kind of pay off and to see the results happening now,” said Johnson, No. 68 on the ATP Tour. “Hopefully if I can go strong the second half of the year, that’d be great.”

The 6-foot-11 Karlovic double faulted with the third-set tiebreak tied at 7, giving Johnson match point on his serve. Johnson served out wide and countered Karlovic’s backhand return with a forehand winner down the line.

Johnson had match point after Isner double faulted the previous night and also took advantage. Isner, ranked No. 12, and Karlovic, No. 31, lead the ATP in aces.

“I wouldn’t say that’s normal, but I’m not going to complain about that,” Johnson said. “It happens, and I’m fortunate enough to get the breaks yesterday and today and hopefully I can go out tomorrow and do the same thing.” . . .

The top remaining seed in the women’s field, Ekaterina Makarova, advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-4 win over American Lauren Davis.

The Russian, who advanced the Wimbledon quarterfinals earlier this summer, will play countrywoman Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Friday.

Isabelle Khurshudyan covers high school sports for The Washington Post.
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