July 28, 2018 / 11:44 PM / 2 months ago

ATP roundup: Isner reaches final in Atlanta

Top-seeded American John Isner reached the final of the BB&T Atlanta Open with a 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-1 victory over fourth-seeded Matthew Ebden of Australia on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: Jul 13, 2018; London, United Kingdom; John Isner (USA) reacts during his match against Kevin Anderson (RSA) on day 11 at All England Lawn and Croquet Club. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Isner, who is ranked No. 9 in the world, will seek his second title of the season and the 14th of his career. The Georgia native has won four titles in Atlanta and will seek his fifth title in his home state Sunday.

“It was tough,” Isner said to ATP’s official website after beating Ebden. “Just like (Friday), I was able to get out early in the third set and that definitely took some pressure off. I’m very happy to be back in the final here. I need to get in the air conditioning and just rest so I could be ready for tomorrow.”

Eight-seeded Ryan Harrison will face Isner in the final after holding off England’s Cameron Norrie by a margin of 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 in a semifinal that lasted one hour, 44 minutes. Harrison is ranked No. 53 in the world and has one career title under his belt.

Isner edged Ebden for the fourth time in five career meetings. He prevailed in 1 hour, 59 minutes, thanks in large part to a dominant 26-8 advantage in aces. Ebden made 15 double faults, compared with six for Isner.

If Isner is able to lock up a fifth career title at the BB&T Atlanta Open, he would join an exclusive club. The only other Americans to win five-plus titles at a single tournament are Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras.

J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad

Unseeded Italian Matteo Berrettini defeated qualifier Jurgen Zopp of Estonia 6-4, 7-6 (6) to reach the first tournament final of his career. He will face second-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain on the clay Sunday for the championship.

Bautista Agut, ranked 17th in the world, topped Serbian Laslo Djere 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-4 in the other semifinal.

“I’m extremely happy,” Berrettini told the media after the match. “The conditions were different today after the rain. I managed to raise my level and was fighting hard during the whole match. I’ve been playing a lot of important matches lately - winning a round in Rome, my first match at a Slam and more. I’m feeling well and excited about the final tomorrow.”

In a contrast of dominance, Berrettini needed only one hour, 19 minutes to win his match, while Bautista Agut, a two-time tournament winner this season, needed more than twice as long — two hours, 41 minutes.

German Tennis Championships 2018

Someone will get their first tournament title of 2018 in Hamburg, as Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili and Leonardo Mayer of Argentina advanced to the clay event’s final.

Basilashvili, a tournament qualifier looking for the first tournament win of his career, topped Chilean Nicolas Jarry in the semifinals 7-5, 0-6, 6-1. Basilashvili entered the tournament ranked No. 81 in the world.

Mayer, a two-time titlist in his career, edged qualifier Jozef Kovalik of Slovakia, 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (7). Mayer is ranked No. 36 in the world.

—Field Level Media

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