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He's never been a great player but he's been a solid top 50 player for a while.

I've just had a look at his record this year and he's 5/11 for the year:

Doha: Lost R1 Berdych
Sydney: Lost R1 Kukushkin
AO Open: Lost R1 Seppi
Montepellier: Won R1 Jaziri 3-6 ret, Won R2 Sela, Lost R3 Gasquet
Rotterdam: Lost R1 Garcia-Lopez
Marseille: Lost R1 Coric
Dubai: Won R1 Gulbis, Lost R2 Stakhovsky
Indian Wells: Won R1 Krajicek, Lost R2 RBA
Miami: Lost R1 Krajicek
Monte Carlos: Won QR1 Morcara, Lost QR2 Gombos ret
Bucharest: Lost R1 Mektic

He's got Paire in Istanbul tomorrow.

He's still only 28 so there shouldn't be any age concerns, thoughts?
 

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Just looks like he has been losing to quality opponents, especially early on. For instance, Berdych made the Doha final in sparkling form, Kukushkin made the Sydney final, Seppi was in near career-best form during that AO (and we know how that match-up goes), losses to decent players like Gasquet, GGL, RBA, etc. A few upsets as with any top 50er, particularly one feeling the pressure of not accumulating points. Clay has also generally been his least successful surface on tour, he has never got past R2 of a major clay event, nor made a clay final.

Reasonable thread, might be worth checking back on in a few more months, but too early, a lot of players end up having an unsuccessful start to the season. Istomin is also the sort of level where he may be vulnerable to local in form WCs and the like.
 

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Didn't he have an injury not too long ago?
 

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From what I've seen of him, he's moving even slower than usual. It's very easy to get him into an uncomfortable position, and he doesn't have enough pop on his shots to compensate for that. Consistency on his strokes took a huge downwards turn with his poor positioning.
 

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He was never consistent anyway.

He even has a losing record on ATP tour, no?
 

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It's not a bad list you put up. There's really no embarrassing losses there other than the loss to Mektic, but when you see it's his first match back after retiring, that at least has an explanation.

Some of it is bad luck with draws. for example drawing a top 10 player in the first round. Drawing other players while they are in a good form.
 

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Istomin at his best. "The perfect game".
Ace, running FH winner, BH winner, around the post BH winner.
And all that against the best player in the world:

 
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He won! Congratulations, Denis! He's not done yet! Bellucci is next. Go, Denis! I hope he has a good run at Istanbul. He has overcome too much in his life to give up now.
 
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