• Isner, Monaco collide in Houston title match

    4/15/12 3:48 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Isner, Monaco collide in Houston title match The Houston title comes down to John Isner and Juan Monaco on Sunday. They will be facing each other for the second time this season and for the first time on clay.

    John Isner and Juan Monaco will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers and for the second time this season when they do battle in the final of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships on Sunday afternoon.

    They squared off last month in the Indian Wells third round, with Isner prevailing 7-5, 7-5. Their lone prior encounter came two years ago on the hard courts of Auckland, where Isner scored a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 victory.

    The third Isner-Monaco installment could be even better than the first two, because both men are playing the best tennis of their careers. Isner finished runner-up in Indian Wells, led the United States to a Davis Cup win over France last weekend in Monte Carlo, and so far this week he has dismissed Horacio Zeballos, Ryan Sweeting, and Feliciano Lopez. The 10th-ranked American, set to become his country's top-ranked player on Monday, is 20-6 for the season.

    Monaco has kept up his momentum from a surprising run to the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson Open. The 16th-ranked Argentine dismissed both Tatsuma Ito and Kevin Anderson in straight sets before battling past Michael Russell 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 on Saturday. Monaco is now an outstanding 15-5 for his 2012 campaign.

    Isner is an obvious favorite on paper, but he is clearly fatigued as he nears the end of a long stretch of tennis. Despite his new-found prowess on slow clay, the faster surface in Houston may actually help him in this one. Still, Monaco in three competitive sets is the pick.

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RickyDimon , 4/15/12 4:11 AM

I know Isner is the obvious favourite but I hope Monaco wins the title as he has been playing good tennis lately.

Let's hope your pick comes to pass Ricky.

schatz , 4/15/12 5:10 PM

Isner in 3

tennis2011 , 4/15/12 8:19 PM

Nostradimon has spoken

RickyDimon , 4/15/12 9:44 PM

Congrats to Monaco for the win. Difficult conditions out there and Monaco had wasted so many break point chances, good that he came through in the end. So both players will go up in the rankings, well done!

luckystar , 4/15/12 10:02 PM

wow, I can't believe Ricky got it right again...amazing...I must salute the best in business...:) Although, today I was watching a football match Manchester United vs. Aston Villa and predicted the exact score (United beat Villa 4:0)...and I am not even a huge football fan...I wish I could be this exact when it comes to Rafa's matches...:)

natashao , 4/15/12 11:51 PM

Oh my goodness! Nostradimon? Well, I guess Ricky has a right to crow a little.

I am with schatz in that I just wanted Monaco to win this in three. I didn't make a specific prediction but in my heart I did want him to get the win.

He did hang in there and get the job done and the look on his face was wonderful!

Congratulations Juan Monaco!

Nativenewyorker , 4/16/12 7:57 AM

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