• Lopez defeats Istomin, into Memphis title match

    2/24/13 12:16 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Lopez defeats Istomin, into Memphis title match Feliciano Lopez gets the best of Denis Istomin in three sets on Saturday in Memphis. Next up for Lopez is a 500-point final against Kei Nishikori.

    Feliciano Lopez booked a spot in his eighth career ATP final by beating Denis Istomin 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the second semifinal of the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships on Saturday. Lopez fired eight aces and held 12 of 13 service games to advance in one hour and 49 minutes.

    The Spaniard dominated on serve the entire time--even in the opening set when he put in a mere 35 percent of his first deliveries. Two breaks were more than enough for him to close things out on his racket at 5-2.

    Istomin's lone scalp of the Lopez serve came early in the second and it had nothing to do with any kind of improved return game. Instead, Lopez double-faulted the entire game away--ultimately the reason why this match went three. Istomin saved one break point to consolidate his advantage before finishing it off at 5-4.

    One break also decided the third set, although it was the most competitive of the three. Lopez fought off three break chances early to stay on serve and that gave him some momentum, which he used to break midway through the set. It was not quite over, however, as the 31-year-old had to save a break point at 5-3. It came following match points at 40-15 and 40-30, the first of which appeared to be converted with an ace before a let was called. Lopez finally capitalized on his third opportunity.

    Next up for Lopez is Kei Nishikori in the final, in which both men will be seeking their third career title.

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Current ATP-rankings

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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