American Steve Johnson advanced to the second round of the Mexican Open with a surprisingly easy 6-4, 6-4 win over countryman John Isner on Monday night.
The 27 year-old Johnson, who is ranked 24th in the world, needed only 65 minutes to take care of Isner, who was seeded eighth in Acapulco and No. 22 in the ATP rankings.
It was Johnson’s third straight win over Isner. He also beat him earlier this year in the Auckland quarterfinals and last year in the same round in Washington.
Johnson, who lost in the first round in previous two trips to Acapulco, extended his stay this time and will play against the winner of Tuesday’s match between Americans Ernest Escobedo and Stefan Kozlov.
Also on Monday, the 20 year-old Croatian Borna Córic, breezed past Mexican Lucas Gomez by 6-1, 6-1 in just 57 minutes to move on to the next round where he will play against the winner of the match between Ukrainian Alexadr Dolgopolov and Marin Cilic.
Fifth-seeded David Goffin of Belgium also advanced to the second round with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Stephane Robert. Goffin, the first Belgian to reach the top-10 in the ATP rankings, got his first career win against Robert and will play the winner of the match between American Sam Querrey and British Kyle Edmund.
Goffin, who*s coming off a loss against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in Rotterdam final, is one of the favorites to win in Acapulco along with Serbian Novak Djokovic, the tournament*s top seed and Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic, who skipped Dubai and accepted a wild card to play in Mexico, will make his debut in Acapulco on Tuesday against Martin Klizan, from Slovakia. The Serbian star is nursing an aching right shoulder injury and has not played since a four-set Davis Cup win over Russia’s Daniil Medvedev on Feb. 3.
Nadal, a two-time champion in Acapulco, is also set to make his first round appearance in Mexico on Tuesday, when he takes on Mischa Zverev, from Germany.