Atlanta SF previews and predictions: Isner vs. Muller, Harrison vs. Edmund

John Isner and Gilles Muller bring big serves and plenty of confidence with them into an intriguing semifinal contest in Atlanta on Saturday. Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison are also aiming for a place in the title match.

(3) Gilles Muller vs. (2) John Isner

Isner and Muller will be facing each other for the sixth time in their careers and for the third time in Atlanta when they clash in the semifinals on Saturday afternoon. The head-to-head series stands at 3-2 in favor of Isner, who–not surprisingly–has taken each of their previous encounters at this event. Count Muller among the many who have tried and failed to take down the 6’10” American in Atlanta, although he snagged sets on both occasions. The Luxembourgian lost 4-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(7) in 2010 and 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-1 in the 2011 semifinals. Another three-setter between the two big-serving veterans came last summer on the grass courts of Queen’s Club, where Muller prevailed 3-6, 7-6(16), 7-6(7) while saving an incredible 10 match points.

Isner endured another final set when he lost to Dudi Sela in the Wimbledon second round, but he has been surprisingly drama free of late. The world No. 20 lifted the trophy last week in Newport without losing a set or facing a break point and he has not yet been extended to a tiebreaker through two rounds in Atlanta. Isner improved to 25-4 lifetime at this tournament with routine defeats of Vasek Pospisil (6-3, 6-4) and Lukas Lacko (7-5, 6-4). Muller, who is coming off a run to the Wimbledon quarterfinals that featured an upset of Rafael Nadal, has advanced with wins over Quentin Halys (6-4, 6-7(1), 6-3) and Tommy Paul (6-1, 6-3). The 22nd-ranked Luxembourgian is 13-4 lifetime in Atlanta with four consecutive semifinal appearances–including a runner-up finish to Andy Roddick in 2012. That is good, but it’s not at Isner’s level. And Muller has been good this week, but–again–not at Isner’s level.

Pick: Isner in 2

(4) Ryan Harrison vs. (5) Kyle Edmund

Harrison has also played some of his best tennis in Atlanta, and it is no surprise that he is finding success again at this tournament in 2017. Included in the 42nd-ranked American’s 13 ATP-level match victories this year is his first career title in Memphis. Harrison, who also won the doubles title at the French Open with Michael Venus, trailed John Millman by a set and a break on Thursday before storming back to prevail 6-7(2), 7-6(4), 7-5 and he crushed wild card Christopher Eubanks 6-1, 6-2 in the quarters.

Up next for the No. 4 seed on Saturday is a first-ever showdown against Edmund, who prevented the semifinal lineup from featuring the top four seeds when he ousted No. 1 Jack Sock 6-4, 6-1 on Friday night. The 45th-ranked Brit, who previously beat Marcos Baghdatis in straight sets and Peter Gojowyczk in three, is still just 17-19 for his 2017 campaign. Edmund produced stellar tennis in a somewhat bizarre match against Sock, but both players took medical timeouts (Edmund for an arm issue). That could turn out to be a factor against an opponent who is sure to put far more balls in play than Sock did.

Pick: Harrison in 3

18 Comments on Atlanta SF previews and predictions: Isner vs. Muller, Harrison vs. Edmund

    • Big Ben, what are the reasons why Harrison and Muller will win and not Edward and Isner!

      This could be a wrong decision just like you pick of Gulbis, Khachanov, Sousa and Vesely yesterday to win! Maybe not if you have the right reasons!lol

      • All four of those were sensible picks. I think Ricky had all those four picks as well. They were very 50/50 matches for me though especially Khachanov v Delbonis Gulbis v Fognini and Vesely v Mayer. The hanfmann over Sousa result was truly surprising for me though.

      • They are both basically 50/50 matches tomorrow. Isner is probably the favorite because the match is in Atlanta but I pick Muller because in the recent past Muller seems to have Isner’s number in breakers. But that is a very tough call and a match I wouldn’t bet on. Same with Edmund and Harrison. I think Harrison wins because he is playing very solid tennis and is confident and most importantly has crowd advantage.

  1. I will pick Muller (2.20 are good odds at the moment).
    Isner is on one of his favorite tournaments, but Muller is in great form and wants to get everything out of his career now that he has found his youth again.
    I give the advantage to Harrison in 3, but will be close.

  2. Yup, both matches could be tight. But it could also turn out to one big predator finishing the other big predator easily as it happens in the wild!LOL

    In this case, i have a very strong hunch that Edmunds will beat harrison! Maybe easily also. Because 1) Harrison is flakey (will never trust him, unless playing lower level opponents like Chris Eubanks!lol)) still not in top form! When there was a small step up in competition (millman), harrison nearly lost in 3 sets!

    On the other hand, Edmund (whom I was suspicious b4 the start of the Atlanta Open), is playing really, really well and with confidence and getting big wins against, Marcos Baghdatis, Peter Gojowyczk and like eating the cherry on top of a cake, Kyle destroyed the NO.20 in the World and the No.2 seed Jack Sock in straight sets that too with a injury issue! Nobody does that to Jack Sock. Only somebody higher ranked than sock(no.20) can beat him like that or with skills greater than the No.20 can do that! Edmunds technically should be ranked far higher than the No.48 currently…say like No.30 or so. Edmunds is playing like a far higher ranked player(like No.30) and Harrison is playing like a No.75(not No. 42) ranked player, unsteadily as he is not still in top form!

    These 3 solid wins shoots the stock of Kyle Edmunds thru the roof of Atlanta! These 3 wins are far, far…tougher draws than that of Harrison’s!

    I consider Millman a lesser opponent than Marcos Baghdatis, Peter Gojowyczk & Jack Sock. Either one of them…man-to-man!lol

    Besides Harrison was taken to the tiebreakers twice (2x) by Millman, showing that Harrision is weak! But NO one dared to take Edmunds to even 1 single TB! Shows Edmondo is a far, far stronger opponent than harrison and will win today!

    Besides Edmund genuinely likes the hard Surfaces. His life time win % is like 63% while that of Harrison is 58% something! Harrison’s W/L rec on Hard in 2017 is 7/6 while that of Edmunds is 9/7 which I will lap it up!

    Besides, Edmunds has the size and power advantage, which will factor into every stroke especially in the 3rd set or TB’s…if it hits!

    In the (3) Gilles Muller vs. (2) John Isner, match…

    It will be close as both are in top shape!

    But my gut says that Muller will pull of a win. Besides, Muller has the better stats and many strengths over BIG John Isner except for his height and reach!lol. Will post the stats later, if time permits! Short of time. Need to run now!

    BB=Over should hit! Leaning on a Muller ML win!

    • Sock is a shell of his former self though remember that. He will probably be back to playing well by end of the year because his former self is basically just himself from the start of the season. Now he has really been poor in his last couple of tournaments. Horrible Wimbledon and as I expected a pretty early exit at this tournament. Now I will say Edmund was awesome against Jack.

  3. Sock really disappointing even in his home tourneys where ‘Edmunds’ has no business beating him.But he did.

  4. Changing all your gear midmatch is not really the best and I think Sock cooled himself off a bit too much during the break … it’s good to get dry but you want to stay warm and loose during a break like that … Sock’s conditioning is not at the level of Edmund’s and that was the difference in performance after the extended timeout for the sick person in the crowd … Edmund was able to hold his level while Sock got stiff … the frustration after that led to a blowout that really wouldn’t have been if not for the fan taking ill … Sock looked to be the better player at 4-3 and already had a break against a Kyle Edmund who though I’ve long been a fan has been mundane lately and suffered some losses that a “rising star” would not want to take … I think Harrison is a good hard worker but he’s another American who will never have big success on the international stage and Edmund is a player who has begun to experience that and belongs just under the top level of the tour … Edmund in straights with maybe 1 TB … both players should feel confident going in but Edmund’s top level is just a gear more battle tested than Harrison’s

    • That’s the first time i’ve really seen Edmund’s court coverage really just give out on him. Maybe this has been an issue for him in the past but Harrison really exposed his inability to move side to side. For the second half of the match he put every forehand into the net when he was forced to the right side of the court.

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