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Isner beats Tsonga in Winston-Salem semifinal

 John Isner waves to the crowd after winning his semifinal match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Winston-Salem Open tennis tournament in Winston-Sal...
 John Isner, of the United States, prepares to serve during his semifinal against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, of France, in the Winston-Salem Open tennis tour...
 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, of France, reacts during a changeover in his semifinal match against John Isner at the Winston-Salem Open tennis tournament in Wi...
 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, of France, returns a shot during his semifinal match against John Isner at the Winston-Salem Open tennis tournament in Winston-Sa...

Winston Salem Tennis

John Isner waves to the crowd after winning his semifinal match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Winston-Salem Open tennis tournament in Winston-Sal...

Winston Salem Tennis

John Isner, of the United States, prepares to serve during his semifinal against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, of France, in the Winston-Salem Open tennis tour...

Winston Salem Tennis

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, of France, reacts during a changeover in his semifinal match against John Isner at the Winston-Salem Open tennis tournament in Wi...

Winston Salem Tennis

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, of France, returns a shot during his semifinal match against John Isner at the Winston-Salem Open tennis tournament in Winston-Sa...

Defending champion John Isner advanced to the Winston-Salem Open final Friday, beating France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 3-6, 7-6 (7-3).
Isner, ranked 10th and seeded third in the final tournament before the U.S. Open, will face the winner of the second semifinal between second-seeded Tomas Berdych and seventh-seeded Sam Querrey.
Isner had 24 aces against the top-seeded Tsonga to reach his fourth final of the season. The American won the grass-court event last month in Newport, Rhode Island.
"I'm playing in the final match, and I'm very, very happy to be able to do that," said Isner, 9-0 in Winston-Salem matches. "I made it a little more stressful on myself with all the break points, but in the end I'm happy to get through it. It could've been easier, but it never is when we play each other."
Isner also improved to 3-1 against Tsonga, including two wins this year.
While Isner broke Tsonga's serve once in winning the first set, the American lost out on nine other break-point opportunities, including a 40-15 game in the second set and a 40-love game in the third set.
"I converted my first one, and missed nine in a row," Isner said. "But he hit two or three outright winners, and that made it a little bit more stressful on myself."
However, Isner bounced back with three mini-breaks in the third-set tiebreaker, closing out the match with an overhead winner.
"I had the momentum when I broke him (in the second set)," Tsonga said. "But when you play a player like John, you know that if he can break you, it's going to get hard (to win)."
The Winston-Salem final berth continued Isner's strong run leading up to the U.S. Open, where he is the ninth seed. Beginning with his win at Newport last month, Isner has advanced to the quarterfinals or better in his past four events.
"I didn't play that well in the clay court season," Isner said. "I had to turn it around and get back to work, and playing in the U.S. has always seemed to do me well. Winning at Newport took some of the pressure off me, and allowed me to relax the rest of the summer."


Updated : 2021-07-30 19:56 GMT+08:00