John Isner fell at the fourth round hurdle of the Sony Open on Monday, decisively beaten 6-3, 7-6 by Marin Cilic of Croatia, but US No. 1 Sam Querrey got a free pass into the quarterfinals when Milos Raonic withdrew with a strep throat.
Isner, who has yet to find his best form in 2013, pin-pointed technical deficiencies on the forehand as the reason he could not deal with Cilic's more solid ground game.
"It felt like every ball he made, I would then miss with my forehand," said Isner. "I'm not physically tired, I'm not mentally tired. I'm healthy. It's just technical things I need to work on. I'm a big guy. Missing that many shots, it's probably from getting too high up and not staying in the saddle."
As usual Isner hit more winners than his opponent but it was the unforced error count that worked against him and nullified the fact that he hit 20 aces to Cilic's two. And the most revealing stat was on points won on the second serve. Isner could only win 35 percent off his own del...