Isner continues hot streak, into seventh Atlanta final

John Isner’s current form combined with his illustrious history at the BB&T Atlanta Open is making for a scary combination.

Isner won his third straight match of the week without playing a single tiebreaker when he crushed Gilles Muller 6-4, 6-2 during semifinal action on Saturday afternoon. The 6’10” American fought off all four of the break points he faced and broke Muller an impressive three times to prevail in one hour and 15 minutes.

En route to the Newport title last week, Isner won all four of his matches in straight sets and was pushed to a tiebreaker only once–by Matthew Ebden in the final. The world No. 20 became the second player since records began being kept in 1991 to win an ATP title without facing a single break point in the entire tournament.

“Even though I’ve played opponents much lower-ranked than me, I also knew I was playing extremely well,” Isner assessed. “It wasn’t in my opinion a case of playing someone ranked No. 120. It was more of me playing well, and I kept that up today. It was a very good match; absolutely nothing to complain about.”

Isner has at least been forced to save five break points this week; one against Lukas Lacko in the quarters prior to his meeting with Muller. Nonetheless, he has managed to extend his streak of holds to 72 in a row dating back to Wimbledon.

In his 2010 Wimbledon marathon match against Nicolas Mahut, Isner held 84 consecutive service games.

Speaking of records, no one in the history of this Atlanta tournament has been better than the former University of Georgia standout. In fact, no one has been anywhere close to as good. Isner is through to his seventh final in the eight-year era of the event and he is 26-4 overall. He has never lost prior to the semis.

He hasn’t come close to losing this week–not even against Muller, who has lifted two ATP winners’ trophies this season and is coming off a quarterfinal run at Wimbledon.

“He made it very tough for me today,” the 22nd-ranked Luxembourgian commented. “I don’t feel like I played a bad match. Maybe I didn’t serve well enough, but that’s also because of him. He put a lot of pressure (on me); as soon as I had to hit a second serve, I felt big pressure coming. It was very tough out there today. All credit to him; he played a great match.”

That’s nothing new for Isner in Atlanta, where can win for the fourth time when he faces either Ryan Harrison or Kyle Edmund on Sunday. He hopes it’s an all-American affair with Harrison.

“I am going to be pulling for Ryan,” Isner admitted. “I always pull for Americans. To play an American in an ATP final would be very cool. With that being said, Ryan definitely has his handful today. So does Kyle. It should be a very good match, but for sure I will be pulling for Ryan a little bit.”

3 Comments on Isner continues hot streak, into seventh Atlanta final

  1. Isner is amazing right now. Playing like a top ten player and I say that with a lot of confidence. Not only his serve amazing as expected but he is returning so well and hitting both forehand and backhand solid but still with good aggression. And coming to net at the right times therefore good success rate at net. If he keeps this up John can have a totally massive hard court summer swing. But we will see in DC. I hope fatigue doesn’t become a huge factor for him in NYC or something. I hope he at least skips one of the upcoming weeks but he probably won’t because it’s the hard court US swing.

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