US MEN’S CLAY COURT
John Isner outlasts Lopen
US second seed John Isner outlasted Spanish third seed Feliciano Lopez 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 on Saturday to reach the final of the ATP US Men’s Clay Court Championship. As a result, the power-serving American ensured he will rise from 10th to ninth in the ATP rankings today, passing Mardy Fish to become the top-rated US player in the world. “That has been one of my goals for a long, long time,” Isner said. “I’m so happy to accomplish it.” Isner, who sparked a US semi-final Davis Cup triumph on French clay to book a semi-final date with Spain in September, was to seek his fourth career title in yesterday’s final against Argentina’s fourth-seeded Juan Monaco, who beat US qualifier Michael Russell 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 in the other semi-final. “It’s going to be difficult for me,” Monaco said. “I will have to be ready with my returns.” Isner has held serve in 44 consecutive games at the only ATP clay-court event in his homeland, although he was pressed for the first two sets by the Spaniard. “I knew going into this match it was going to be tough,” Isner said. “I always find myself playing my best when my back is against the wall and tonight was no different.” Isner, a runner-up last month at Indian Wells, seeks his first clay-court ATP crown against Monaco. “It’s most likely his best surface,” Isner said. “I’m going to have to play well. He’s having a great year.”
GP HASSAN II
Andujar to meet Ramos
Pablo Andujar will defend his Grand Prix Hassan II title against Albert Ramos in an all-Spanish final after they won their semi-finals in straight sets in Casablanca, Morocco, on Saturday. The third-seeded Andujar beat Flavio Cipolla 6-3, 7-5, while the seventh-seeded Ramos downed Igor Andreev 6-3, 7-6 (9/7). Andujar, who played two matches on Friday, served for the match at 5-4, but the Italian broke him to level. It was a brief respite as Andujar broke Cipolla for the fifth time and then held to win in a little under two hours. Ramos faced constant pressure, saving eight of the nine break points he faced against Andreev, who had five aces. He improved to 3-0 against the Russian, and was to go for his first career title yesterday. “It was a difficult and very close match today. I had to run a lot and he was hitting the ball so hard,” said Ramos, who is 0-2 against Andujar. “It’s my first final. I’m very happy and excited about the match tomorrow.”
Wozniacki beats Martic
Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki beat Petra Martic 6-3, 6-2 in Copenhagen on Saturday to set up an e-Boks final against Angelique Kerber of Germany. Wozniacki is looking for her third straight title in her home tournament in Copenhagen and broke the Croatian’s serve twice in each set to wrap up the win in 1 hour, 8 minutes. She lost her serve once in the first set, but didn’t face a break point the rest of the way. “We played tennis on a high level today. Petra played a good match, she served well and put pressure [on me] the whole time,” Wozniacki said. Kerber beat third-seeded Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 6-1 in the other semi-final, breaking the former top-ranked Serb five times, while never dropping the serve herself.
Cibulkova to meet Errani
Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia set up a Barcelona Open final against Sara Errani of Italy at the Vall d’Hebron Municipal Tennis Center on Saturday after third seed Cibulkova defeated Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-1, 6-1 in their semi-final, while seventh seed Errani beat Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-1, 6-2.