Isner saves match points in victory over Del Potro in Cincinnati semis

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John Isner saved match point on his way to a 6-7 7-6 6-3 victory over Juan Martin Del Potro to move into the final of the Western and Southern Open. The win makes it his second Masters 1000 final in as many years.

There wasn’t much in terms of action for the majority of the first set as serve remained dominant with Isner saving the only break point of the set at 3-3. The eventual tiebreak went the same way as the first 11 points of the breaker were won by the server before a Del Potro passing shot saw him win it 7-5.

The first break of the match would come at 4-3* as Isner finally buckled under the pressure but Del Potro would feel the pressure of serving it out. On match point, he would double fault to give the American a lease of life in the match. Isner held from 15-30 in the next game as another tiebreak edged closer. Despite having three chances to break once more in the next game, he would be unable to and would have to settle for another tiebreak.

This time round, it was much more nervy as Isner had five minibreaks throughout the lengthy tiebreak, only to hand each and every one right back to the Argentinian. At 10-9*, Del Potro put a forehand wide to settle it on Isner’s sixth set point.

The third was surprisingly straight forward – Isner held from 15-40 in the opening game but Del Potro could not repeat the feat as he fell 2-0 down. Isner continued to remain solid on serve and would hold his nerve until the end. He had a chance for the insurance break but it would matter little in the end as the American served it out to defeat his third top 10 opponent of the week.

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