Happily surprised match as he 1) won on straight sets, by 2) not letting down in the second and going to third, and especially 3) winning a tie-break. When was the last time this happened?
Last fall in Stockholm. He lost all of his tiebreakers this year. Which makes beating Isner in a tiebreaker all the more impressive, clay or not.
As far as John, pretty successful start to the clay season for him, beating Zeballos, and being a break up in the second and coming close in the first. Hopefully takes some confidence with him towards future tournaments on clay.