With John Isner and Steve Johnson having set up an all-American semifinal clash, this year’s Citi Open final will feature one American on Sunday. Whoever he is; the American will have to beat either Japan’s Kei Nishikori or Croatia’s Marin Cilic to etch his name on the 2015 trophy. Isner was meeting Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis for the second time in a week after beating him in straight-sets at quarterfinals of the BB&T Atlanta Open. On Friday, Isner had to work harder as the match went to three sets. In another quarterfinal, Isner’s compatriot Steve Johnson faced another American Jack Sock but he beat Sock 7-6, 6-1 to enter the semifinals. In men’s doubles at Citi Open, Bob and Mike Bryan entered the semifinals to set up a clash with India’ Rohan Bopanna and his Romanian mate Florin Mergea. In Kitzbuhel, no.6 seed Philipp Kohlshcreiber stopped the 10-match long winning streak of top-seed Dominic Thiem to enter the final. For winning the title on Sunday, no.6 seed Philipp Kohlshcreiber will have to beat Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, who became the first qualifier to reach the final in the history of Generali Open. Mathieu came through after beating Spain’s Nicolas Almagro.
Atlanta winner John Isner continued his march at Citi Open with a victory over Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis for the second time in a week. Isner had easily beaten Berankis in the quarterfinals of the BB&T Atlanta Open, but on Friday, the American needed three sets and one hour 52 minutes before overpowering the Lithuanian. After winning the first set 6-3, Isner countered a charged up opponent, who took the second set from him 7-5. But Isner made a comeback in the decider and clinched the 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 victory. In the semifinal, Isner will face compatriot Steve Johnson, who defeated another American Jack Sock in the quarterfinal. Johnson and Sock fought hard in the first set, which was decided on tiebreak but Sock lost his shots and made too many errors to allow Johnson to wrest the match at 7-6, 6-1.
In another quarterfinal, Japan’s no.2 seed Kei Nishkori withstood 15 booming aces from Australia’s Sam Groth, whose service speed touched 147 mph at times. But the Japanese focused on the return of service and saved all four break points against him. Nishikori found a break in the seventh game of the first set and fifth of the second to win at 6-4, 6-4. For a place in the final, the Japanese will have to contend with third-seeded Croat Marin Cilic, who ended an impressive run of German teenager Alexander Zverev. Cilic had a one hour 48 minutes duel with the 18-year-old German before emerging a 7-5, 7-6 winner.
In doubles, second seeds and 2015 French Open winners, Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo reached the semifinals at Washington DC with a 6-4, 6-7, 10-7 win over Feliciano Lopez and Max Mirnyi. They next face no.4 seeds Marcin Matkowski and Nenad Zimonjic. In the other semifinal on Saturday, top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan will take on the Indo-Romanian pair of Rohan Bopanna/Florin Mayer. The Bryans came through after defeating Treat Conrad Huey/Scott Lipsky 6-3, 3-6, 10-6 while Bopanna/Mayer had a walk over against Grigor Dimitrov/Mardy Fish.
At Kitzbuhel, Dominic Thiem was a disappointed man in losing his chance of winning three consecutive ATP titles. He had won at Umag and followed that up at Gstaad. On Friday, however, Thiem fell against Germany’s no.6 seed Philipp Kohlshcreiber. The German has his home in Kitzbuhel and despite Thiem being an Austrian, Kohlshcreiber found enough fan support in the stadium. In a powerful performance, Kohlshcreiber began with a beagle and took the second set on tiebreak to march into the final with a 6-0, 7-6 victory. Kohlshcreiber had also reached the 2012 final but lost to Dutchman Robin Haase in the title game. This year the German faces Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, who made a history of his own. Mathieu became the first qualifier to reach the final in tournament’s history. The 33-year old Mathieu, who has slipped to 109 in world rankings, defeated Spain’s Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-3 in 75 minutes.
In doubles, Nicolas Almagro/Carlos Berlocq beat no.3 seeds Mariusz Fyrstenberg/Santiago Gonzalez 7-6, 6-7, 10-4 to reach the final, where they will face unseeded Robin Haase/Henri Kontinen, who upset second seeds Lukasz Kubot/Andre Begemann 6-3, 7-6, in 87 minutes.
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