Sun, Nov 05, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Isner beats Del Potro to reach ATP Paris semis; Goerges slams Sevastova in WTA

AP, PARIS

John Isner returns to Juan Martin del Potro in their Paris Masters quarter-final match at AccorHotels Arena in France on Friday.

Photo: AP

John Isner on Friday stayed on track for the last spot at the ATP Finals by beating Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4 in the Paris Masters quarter-finals.

The American was the runner-up last year and needs to win the tournament to reach the finals in London this month.

“I’ve given myself a pretty good shot to qualify,” Isner said. “But it’s going to be very tough.”

The loss ended Del Potro’s hopes of reaching London. The Argentine needed to win to guarantee his place.

“I’m exhausted, but I did all my effort, I don’t have anything to [reproach] myself [for],” Del Potro said. “I’ve been playing three sets today without legs, without energy. Now it’s time to get home and enjoy the vacation.”

The eighth and last berth for London is between Isner and Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, who is ahead of Isner in the race.

Isner, who played with strapping above his left knee, broke for 2-1 in the third set. With an unreturnable serve on his first match point, Isner topped Del Potro for only the third time in nine matches.

Isner is to face Serbian qualifier Filip Krajinovic, who advanced when Nadal withdrew due to injury.

“This week he’s played with a lot of energy,” said Isner, who has been refueling with a rare treat. “After a match like this, any calories are pretty good. I actually had a cheeseburger. I had one yesterday, too. And they cook a good one here.”

Krajinovic, a qualifier ranked 77, is through to his first Masters semi-final, and the first qualifier to reach the semis since Jerzy Janowicz in 2012.

“My goal this year was to play challengers to pick up points for next year,” he said. “I was already top 100 two or three years ago; then I had bad luck with injuries.”

Krajinovic said his progress was stalled by “an extra bone in the wrist” that needed to be treated.

Unseeded Julien Benneteau continued his unexpected march by knocking out third-seeded Marin Cilic 7-6 (5), 7-5.

Benneteau lost their three previous matches, but edged a first set where both dropped serve twice.

He sealed victory on his first match point on Cilic’s serve with a cross-court forehand winner and became emotional, dropping his racket, blowing kisses and tearing up.

“I was looking at my brother, who is my coach, and at my wife. I am so happy to make her proud,” he said. “It’s an indescribable joy.”

In his last Paris Masters before retiring, the Frenchman has a shot at a first career title on home court.

Next up is Jack Sock, who defeated Fernando Verdasco of Spain 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-3.

Verdasco, who got a code violation after the seventh game of the deciding set, saved four match points.

However, Sock clinched the match on serve to reach the semis for the first time since Washington in August. He has two titles this year.

WTA Elite Trophy

AFP, ZHUHAI, China

Germany’s Julia Goerges yesterday hammered Anastasija Sevastova at the WTA Elite Trophy to book her spot in the final.

Goerges, seventh seed, took down the Latvian in straight sets 6-3, 6-3 in the semi-finals at the Hengqin International Tennis Center in Zhuhai, China.

The 29-year-old, making her debut in the tournament, is set to finish the year in the top 20 of the WTA rankings for the first time since 2012.

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