Isner Through to Finals
By: Brittany Stewart/Natalie Bunch for BB&T Atlanta Open
John Isner is on a roll. In a matchup of the highest two seeds still remaining in the main draw, Isner defeated No. 3 seed Gilles Muller on the Stadium Court in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. The win today gave Isner his seventh straight win and advanced him to his seventh finals appearance in Atlanta.
Isner, who won an ATP World Tour title last Sunday at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, looks to claim his second title in the matter of two weeks in tomorrow’s finals. No stranger to holding the Atlanta trophy, as he claimed the title from 2013-2015. However, he fell to Australian Nick Kyrgios last year in the finals.
A battle of big serves from the toss of the first ball, it was clear the difference in the match was going to come down to breaking the other. Isner broke first at 1-1 in the first set, hit a series of strong backhands and overcame a powerful service game by Müller. Able to hold serve for the rest of the set, the former Georgia Bulldog took an early lead.
Breaking early again in the second set, Isner gave himself an opportunity—and he took advantage. A strong return game in the second and several strategically-placed volleys by Isner caused problems Müller throughout the set. Finishing out the final game on four straight strong first serves, fan-favorite Isner served his way to another final.
Isner says he is fresh and confident heading into the finals.
“I do feel pretty fresh, especially coming off a tournament last week. It is not easy to play back to back finals. But, I have been playing the right way. I have not played a three set match yet. I do not know what my longest match has been. It certainly doesn’t feel like I have been out there longer than an hour and a half I do not think. That helps a lot. I feel great physically, maybe the best I have felt in quite sometime. More importantly than that I am pretty confident as well.”
The doubles duo of Koolhof and Sitak will advance to the pair’s first tour-level final playing as a team. Sitak, and Australian, and Koolhof from the Netherlands knocked out No. 4 seed Purav Raja and Divij Sharan of India in straight sets 7-6(3), 6-4.