John Isner of the USA in action against Spain's Feliciano Lopez during their third round match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, 20 January 2012. EPA/MARTIN PHILBEY AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT |
Isner denied the Spaniard eight break point opportunities, and converted the lone break of serve in the sixth game of the third set to advance in two hours and 37 minutes, improving to 2-1 versus Lopez.
The World No. 10 is aiming to win his fourth title and first on clay. Isner is through to his second clay-court court final, having finished runner-up in Belgrade two years ago (l. to Querrey).
In the final, Isner will take on Argentine Juan Monaco. The 26-year-old American holds a 2-0 record against Monaco, winning their third-round encounter at the BNP Paribas Open en route to reaching his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in Indian Wells (l. to Federer).
World No. 16 Juan Monaco advanced to his second title match of the season, overcoming American qualifier Michael Russell 5-7, 6-1, 6-4. The fourth-seeded Monaco capitalised on six of his 11 break point opportunities, including the final game of the match to secure the semi-final win in two hours and 25 minutes.
“It wasn’t easy to play. It was very windy and he played great tennis,” Monaco said. “It was difficult to get a rhythm. They were tough conditions, but I’m happy to win the match and be in the final.”
Monaco is looking to add to his triumph at the VTR Open in Vina Del Mar (d. Berlocq) and will contest his 13th final (4-8 record).
Russell was appearing in his first tour-level semi-final, having knocked out ninth-ranked Mardy Fish in the second round and 19-year-old Ryan Harrisonin the quarter-finals.
“I’m disappointed. I played a really good first set,” said Russell. “I was a little tired in the second set and he kind of upped his game. In the third set, I played good and bad. He came up with some good shots. Unfortunately the last game was tough.
“But I feel like I’m playing well again for the first time in a year and a half… I did my best two results in one tournament, [reaching] the semi-finals and beating a Top 10 guy, in Houston. It doesn’t get much better than that. Hopefully I’ll stay healthy and keep it rolling from here.”
The ATP has announced the Tournaments of the Year in the 2014 ATP World Tour Awards presented by Moët & Chandon, with the BNP Paribas Open joining repeat winners the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and the Aegon Championships as the most favoured ATP World Tour events in their respective tournament categories.
I saw Baryshnikov a few decades back, the light landing of his shoes upon the boards, the way his fourth finger always pointed down such that his entire being intimated relaxation, the position of his head always held straight - as though balancing a glass of water upon it, - the inhuman amount of time he spent in the mid-jump air, as if he and gravity had an agreement.
When I lived in Richmond, Virginia I found it difficult driving past Arthur Ashe’s statue without getting a lump in my throat. Compared with the huge, preposterously imposing statues of Confederate Generals that adorn long stretches of Monument Avenue, Arthur’s statue is relatively small but no less emotive.