Defending champion Isner beats Tsonga in Winston-Salem SFs

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Defending champion and no.3 seed John Isner advanced into the Winston-Salem final after overcoming Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a three set battle with a 6-4  3-6  7-6 (3) end scoreline.

Isner was going into today’s match with a 3-1 head to head record against the Frenchman, having won their last encounter in this year’s Davis Cup quarterfinal.

Top seed Tsonga, who reached a ranking high of 5 in February 2012, was bidding to win his second title of the year (after prevailing in Doha). On the other side of the net, Isner also managed to bag himself one title in 2012 (he beat Hewitt in the Newport final).

The American got off to a better start in today’s SF, taking Tsonga’s serve in the fifth game and never looked back as he closed out the set with his serve. Despite this not being the best ever performances from the Frenchman, he managed to stage a comeback and one break of serve in the second set was sufficient for him to level the score at one set apiece. Both players held their serves with a bit more confidence in the decider. Isner earned himself two matchpoints when Tsonga serving at 5-6 down, but the Frenchman held his nerve and averted both of them, taking the set into a tiebreak. The world no.10 American kept his composure in the ‘breaker’ and finally managed to convert his fourth matchpoint after Tsonga’s failed drop shot effort.

Isner will play the winner of the match between Tomas Berdych and Sam Querrey in the final.


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