With a thrilling passion, screaming cleanly at every hit, Bernabé Zapata Miralles made history for Spanish tennis this Friday by beating John Isner 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (5) and 6- 3 in three hours and 28 minutes of intense match. After the point that gave him the victory, the Valencian threw himself onto the dirt of court 7, full of spectators who he was winning over and who cheered him on with chants (“Berni, Berni, Berni”), and instantly cried because He had just achieved the greatest success of a hard-fought professional career that began in 2015, when he was 18 years old. At 25, he became the first tennis player in the Navy to reach the round of 16 of a Grand Slam, in his case, Roland Garros.
On Sunday he will face, with nothing to lose, the German Alexander Zverev or another American, Brandon Nakashima. Surely he would like to continue his streak against tennis players from this country, because to go further than ever in a major, he has eliminated three in one stroke (Mmoh, Fritz (14th in the world) and Isner (37 years old and 26th)) . Against the giant (2.08) from Greensboro, he stoically withstood a barrage of winners: 67, 21 of them direct serve. And he built his success on consistency. Isner, winner of 17 titles and finalist another 15 times, committed 73 unforced errors, Zapata, 23. That was one of the keys to the match.
YOU ARE SO BIG @bernabezapata1! 🇪🇸🇪🇸
The Spaniard, 131 in the world, knocks down Isner and continues to live a dream in #Roland Garros
Will play the round of 16 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/cXDsQrcUs1
— Eurosport.es (@Eurosport_ES) May 27, 2022
Bernabé was able to close it before, when up to five match points escaped him, three at 5-3 and two at 5-4 of a fourth set that the American took in the tiebreak. But it was his day and he didn’t fall apart. He hit the ball with his soul and found a way to break Isner for the fourth time, to hold the lead and even increase it bravely. Now he wants more. At the moment, after ascending 36 positions, she is already in the top-100 for the first time (virtually 95th).
Roland Garros ATP Draw Results