Almagro, Isner into Houston final

Share This Story



Andy Murray and Kim Sears


Want to know who supports the best players in the game? Check out these tennis wives and girlfriends.

John Isner and Nicolas Almagro, two of the biggest servers in tennis, aced their way into the final of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship.

Top-seeded Almagro of Spain, the ATP Tour leader with 261 aces, needed only 58 minutes to beat American wild-card Rhyne Williams 6-2, 6-1.

Isner, second in tour aces with 251, recovered from a slow start to top defending champion Juan Monaco of Spain 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the other semifinal to set up the booming showdown Sunday.

Andy Murray and Kim Sears


Want to know who supports the best players in the game? Check out these tennis wives and girlfriends.

''Even though I got creamed in that first set, I felt like I was playing pretty good,'' Isner said. ''I felt it was the best I'd played all week. My serve wasn't working in the first set and he was making a lot of returns. It got away from me.

''After that first set, I thought I served smart,'' Isner said. ''I got myself out of several jams the rest of the match so it was very encouraging.''

The 6-foot-9 American finished with nine aces against Monaco and has 57 going into the finals, three short of tournament record set by Pete Sampras in 2002.

Isner used his power to good advantage in the final game of the match with serves clocked at 142, 144 and a fault that hit 147 mph at match point. Monaco returned Isner's second serve but Isner sealed the match with a backhand volley.

Almagro added seven aces to his total against Williams.

''I played better today than I did the first two days,'' Almagro said. ''I feel good today. I think he was a little bit tired. I'm happy with my game. I tried to be focused all the time and I moved really good. That's important for me.''

Isner lost to Monaco 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in last year's clay court and he appeared headed for another loss after Monaco broke his serve three times in the opening set.

Isner rallied from 15-40 in the fifth game to deuce but double faulted and hit a backhand into the net at break point. Isner went down at the first set point in the seventh game.

Isner got more aggressive at the start of the second set. He broke Monaco in the fifth game of the second set and in the first game of the third set to fuel his rally.

''He played better than me at the end,'' Monaco said. ''You can play so good one set but that's not enough. He gets confidence when he starts serving well. He played better than me, that's for sure.''

Almagro became the first top-seeded player to reach the clay court final since James Blake in 2008.

Roger Federer


What happens when a rising golf superstar and a top tennis player start dating? A romance that spans the globe.

Almagro, ranked No. 12 in the world, never allowed his 22-year-old foe to get into the match. He broke Williams in the second game of the match that ended with a crowd-pleasing volley exchange.

The first set ended with three straight breaks. Williams was broken in the sixth game on the third break point when Williams hit a forehand beyond the baseline.

Almagro played a poor seventh game and was broken when his backhand sailed wide. Williams was broken with a love eighth game.

Almagro won the first five games of the second set before Williams held in the sixth game but it was over quickly in the seventh game that included at 129 mph ace by Almagro. The Spaniard won at the first match point with a blazing backhand that was unchallenged by Williams.

''I have to give him a lot of credit because he moved the ball around the court really well,'' Williams said. ''He's tops in the world and one of the best clay-courters in the world right now.

''It was fun to see what it was like facing a top guy like that. It was a great experience for me and I enjoyed it even though the result didn't go my way today.''

Jamie Murray of Britain and John Peers of Australia upset top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States 1-6 7-6 (3) 12-10 in the doubles final. The Bryan brothers had won 19 straight matches in the event.

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

Tennis Videos

Djokovic tops Federer in five-set Wimbledon final Posted: Jul 06, 2014
Novak Djokovic captures his second Wimbledon title while denying Roger Federer a...

Dramatic Moments of the Week: 6/2-6/8 Posted: Jun 09, 2014
We count down the most dramatic moments from the week in sports, including the K...

Williams sisters bounced at Roland Garros Posted: May 28, 2014
Andy Roddick on Venus and Serena losing on the same day at the French Open.

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store