CITI OPEN 2013
Isner Clinches Washington Final Berth With Win Over Tursunov
Washington D.C., U.S.A.
by Josh Meiseles|
For the second consecutive match, John Isner was forced to rally after dropping an opening-set tie-break, powering into the Citi Open final with a 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-4 victory over Dmitry Tursunov. Isner extended his winning streak to eight matches, having won the BB&T Atlanta Open title last week, and remains firmly on top of the Emirates Airline US Open Series.
The match was halted for more than an hour due to rain, with Tursunov facing a break point down 1-2 30/40 in the second set. The 6' 10" American broke immediately out of the delay and cruised from there, grabbing the early break in the third set to seal the victory. Isner improved to 11-1 since retiring from the second round at Wimbledon with a left-knee injury.
"I think without the rain delay I was going to be fine. I always look a lot more tired than I am out there, but I think I did probably come out a lot fresher, and getting that first point gave me all sorts of momentum," said Isner, who fired 29 aces, including six straight in his last two service games to close out the match.
Isner has not faced a break point since the second round, when he relinquished his lone break of the tournament to fellow American Alex Kuznetsov. The eighth seed faces the winner of two-time champion and top seed Juan Martin del Potro and 2012 finalist Tommy Haas in Sunday’s final. The last time an American reached the final here was in 2009 when Andy Roddick fell to del Potro.
Watch Saturday's Hot Shot
For Tursunov, it was his second semi-final defeat of 2013. The 30-year-old Russian, who was looking to become the 17th different player over the age of 30 to reach an ATP final this year, was unable to rediscover his match rhythm following the stoppage. He passed the 200-match-victory milestone with his third-round win over Radek Stepanek on Thursday.
"It is hard to be upset. The only thing I can do is try to get some patterns out of this match. Hopefully the next time I play him I can use those patterns a little bit better," said Tursunov.
Isner will be competing in his 15th career final on the ATP World Tour, with 10 of those coming on hard courts. The North Carolina native was the runner-up in Washington 2007 (l. to Roddick), in his first tour-level final. It will be Isner’s 11th consecutive final on U.S. soil and third of 2013. He won the title in Houston on clay, in April, in addition to last week’s triumph in Atlanta.
Should Isner meet del Potro in the final, it will be their fourth encounter, with the Argentine winning all six sets played. Level at three wins apiece, however, the FedEx ATP Head2Head against Haas isn’t as one-sided. Their last meeting was a five-set thriller at Roland Garros, won by the German veteran 10-8 in the final set.
If Isner wins the Washington title, he will return to the Top 15 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
Doubles Final Set
Julien Benneteau and Nenad Zimonjic booked a berth in Sunday's final with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot. The French/Serbian team will be hoping to capture their second ATP World Tour title of the season, following success at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in April.