7/22/12 5:14 AM | Ricky Dimon
Andy Roddick breaks serve in the final game of the match to down Isner in three sets in Saturday's Atlanta semifinal nightcap. Roddick, who won his first ATP title 11 years ago in Atlanta, will go up against Gilles Muller on Sunday.
Andy Roddick is back in an Atlanta title match after outlasting Olympic doubles partner John Isner 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4 in the semifinals of the BB&T Atlanta Open on Saturday night. Roddick withstood 26 Isner aces to prevail in two hours and 27 minutes.
After a rain delay midway through the first set, Isner came back out slow and donated serve at 3-3. Not surprisingly, that was enough to decide the opening frame of play. Roddick, who saved two break points in his initial service game, had no trouble closing things out at 5-4.
Isner picked up the pace in set two, blasting 13 aces while surrendering only six points in six service games. Roddick held serve in even more routine fashion and a tiebreaker came quickly. Just as in their 2009 U.S. Open five-setter (won by Isner in a tiebreaker), one mini-break was the difference. Isner stuck right away against the Roddick serve and consolidated his lead from start to finish.
Roddick continued to have the upper hand in baseline rallies and he had Isner on the ropes throughout set three. The 29-year-old American earned four break points at 4-3 but Isner erased all four to stay level. Isner's forehand again faltered at 4-5, bringing up two more break points--this time match points--for Roddick. The top seed fought off one, but Roddick finally clinched victory when a long rally ended with Isner missing a backhand volley.
"I took care of my serve," said the former world No. 1, who struck seven aces and double-faulted once while winning 88 percent of his first-serve points. "I did what I had to do."
"It's disappointing," noted Isner, who did not double-fault a single time amidst his flurry of aces. "I really want to win this tournament. But there's no shame in losing to Andy. He's back on the right track. He was just a little bit better than me today."
Roddick will contest another Atlanta final after capturing his first ATP title at a clay-court event way back in 2001. Standing in his way on Sunday is Gilles Muller, who is 1-3 lifetime in the head-to-head series. Roddick has won three straight since losing to Muller 7-6(4), 7-6(8), 7-6(1) in a first-round stunner at the 2005 U.S. Open.
Find the latest tennis odds at Unibet.com
|1. Djokovic||12 500 pts|
|2. Murray||8 750 pts|
|3. Federer||8 670 pts|
|4. Ferrer||6 970 pts|
|5. Nadal||6 385 pts|
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