DELRAY BEACH INTERNATIONAL TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS 2013
Roger-Vasselin Stuns Isner To Reach First Final; Gulbis Edges Haas In Delray Beach
Delray Beach, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
World No. 105 Edouard Roger-Vasselin stunned No. 1 seed John Isner 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the semi-finals of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships Saturday evening to reach his first ATP World Tour final.
After blowing a set and a break lead, Roger-Vasselin held his nerve in the third set, erasing five break points against his serve to pull off the upset in two hours and eight minutes. The Frenchman withstood 19 aces from Isner to beat the two tallest players on the ATP World Tour en route to Sunday’s title match, having defeated Ivo Karlovic in the second round.
Roger-Vasselin is aiming to become this season’s third maiden winner, following triumphs by Bernard Tomic at the Apia International Sydney (d. Anderson) and Horacio Zeballos at the VTR Open in Vina del Mar (d. Nadal). Prior to this week, Roger-Vasselin had not made it past the quarter-final hurdle at a tour-level event.
For the trophy, the 29 year old will play 109th-ranked qualifier Ernests Gulbis in the first final featuring two players ranked outside the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings since 2007, when World No. 108 Ivo Karlovic beat 156th-ranked Mariano Zabaleta to win the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court event in Houston.
Gulbis, the 2010 titlist, edged 2006 champion and second seed Tommy Haas 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(2). In the final set, Gulbis saved five break points, including three at 5-5, before surging ahead in the decisive tie-break to prevail in two hours and 14 minutes.
The Latvian improved to 2-1 against Haas, adding to his first-round victory over the German at the US Open in 2012. Gulbis is through to his third ATP World Tour final. He triumphed on his previous two appearances, in Delray Beach three years ago (d. Karlovic) and Los Angeles in 2011 (d. Fish).
In doubles, No. 1 seeds Max Mirnyi and Horia Tecau advanced to their second final of the season with a 7-6(4), 6-3 victory over fourth-seeded Johan Brunstrom and Raven Klaasen. Mirnyi and Tecau will aim to win their first team title when they face wild card duo James Blake and Jack Sock. Last week's Memphis finalists beat Germans Dustin Brown and Christopher Kas 6-2, 7-5.