Seeds fall by the wayside in Sydney International
Big guns John Isner and Gilles Simon tumbled out of the Sydney International as Jarkko Nieminen stayed on course to defend his title
Towering No 1 seed Isner crashed out 6-4, 6-4 to fellow American Ryan Harrison in the second round and raised doubts about whether he will play in next week’s Australian Open with a bruised right knee.
French second seed Simon bowed out of the tournament without hitting a ball, succumbing to a recurring neck injury and giving an opportunity to lucky loser Ivo Klec to face Nieminen.
Finland’s Nieminen polished off the Slovakian world ranked 416th player 6-3, 6-1 in just 46 minutes to set up a quarter-final showdown with in-form Australian Bernard Tomic.
Big-serving Isner, who withdrew from last week’s mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth with the injured knee, said he had a decision to make about playing in the year-opening Grand Slam in Melbourne.
“It’s better. Definitely better than I thought, but it’s not 100 per cent,” Isner said. “I don’t know. I’ve got a decision to make shortly. It needs rest. That’s what I’ve done. That’s the only thing I’ve done ever since I felt it last week, “ he added.
Simon also has injury concerns ahead of the Australian Open but is more confident than Isner of playing in Melbourne.
Nieminen will face a tough test against Tomic, who knocked out German fifth seed Florian Mayer, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2.
Italian third seed Andreas Seppi ended Australian wild card John Millman's run with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 win and will next play Spanish eighth seed Marcel Granollers, a straight sets winner over Italian Fabio Fognini.