Isner v Nishikori in ATP Washington Final
by Staff | August 8th, 2015, 11:58 pm
  • 74 Comments

Kei Nishikori and John Isner both advanced into the Citi Open final in Washington, D.C. on Saturday with extra effort on both parts.


Nishikori got revenge for his loss to Marin Cilic in last year’s US Open final, winning 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

“It was really tough, because he was playing really good tennis in the beginning,” said Nishikori. “It’s a good to win against a Top 10 player and especially after our battle at the US Open. I hope I can keep going tomorrow.”

Isner weathered three match points to defeat Steve Johnson 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(9), looking to claim a first Washington title after going 0-2 in career finals.

Isner dropped 30 aces and won 85 percent of first serve points. He finished runner-up in Washington, D.C. in 2007 (l. to Andy Roddick) and 2013 (l. to Juan Martin Del Potro).

“I was playing from behind for the most part, but I didn’t get too rattled and believed in myself,” Isner said. “I had the wins coming into this match and it goes a long way. It’s not a tangible thing, but confidence is huge.”

Isner is 1-0 career against Nishikori.

The women’s final will be unseeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who upset top seed Ekaterina Makarova 4-6, 6-3, ret., against unseeded American Sloane Stephens who upset No. 2 seed Samantha Stosur 7-6(4), 6-0.

 


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74 Comments for Isner v Nishikori in ATP Washington Final

sienna Says:

nishikori the second greatest poser.

He will get another ass wooping when he reaches another slamfinal.


Gypsy Gal Says:

^Feeling bitter i suppose because Kei beat Cilic,you know the player that rubs noses with neo nazis,good bloody riddance,im glad Kei beat Cilic,just like ill be glad to see any other player do exactly the same,people like him make my skin crawl^….


Margot Says:

Go Kei! Save tennis!


Gypsy Gal Says:

I think Kei will struggle as he does with big servers….


jalep Says:

Anyone watching this match?


jane Says:

yep, jalep…


Margot Says:

I am kind of….but dislike Isner’s style of play as much as I like Kei’s, so finding it difficult.


Gypsy Gal Says:

I agree Margot….


Mary Says:

GG why do you dislike Cilic?


jalep Says:

Thanks guys, I can’t watch it. I’m recording it in case Kei wins.

Hyeong Chung waxed another qualie in under an hour and earned himself a spot in main draw Montreal. That kid is on fire, I tell ya. His victim this time was Alejandro Gonzalez (COL).


Margot Says:

Take away Isner’s serve, would he be in the top 100?
Discuss.
@GG
Every time Isner serves I start to watch something more interesting, like paint drying or a snail race.


jalep Says:

John does seem like a super nice guy, Margot, but I can’t watch his tennis unless someone is beating him.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Mary,Jalep asked me the same question yesterday,rubbing noses with neo nazi pop stars with the headline#proud after his win at last years USO, i did used to like Cilic,but after that i lost all respect for him….


Margot Says:

Sorry meant top 500…;)


Gypsy Gal Says:

Margot yeah true,nice guy,same as Karlovic,Janowicz,Raonic,all have games that leave me feeling quite cold….


jane Says:

jalep, not sure if you saw this piece on chung during wimbledon? he said he “looks up to” novak and also that when he was younger, he and his bro would “pretend” to be rafa and roger. lol.

http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/news/articles/2015-06-11/rising_star_hyeon_chung_putting_south_korean_tennis_on_the_map.html


jane Says:

isner beat kei in miami this year and now has the first set. but so did cilic yesterday. too early to count him out!


Jock-KatH Says:

Isner is who he is – a very nice guy.
Given the lack of US dominant players, he is asked to do what Andy is asked to do for G.B – win every match.


Margot Says:

@ja;ep
He’s got a really sweet face and I’m sure he’s a really lovely bloke but……and he takes the first set thanks to a very poor service game from Kei. Bummer :(
@GG
I used to really, really like Cilic too, seemed such a nice self-effacing bloke, but that incident plus the ? re the drug taking have made me too like him less.


Margot Says:

And Kei re-groups! Come on!


jalep Says:

Thanks for the link, jane.

I’ll congratulate Isner on the win but I don’t have to watch a trebuchet. Same with Karlovic – super nice, actually said hello to me when he almost walked right over me at Indian Wells; but another trebuchet.

I like Jerzy and Milos. Have to draw the line somewhere. Maybe no one over 6’8″ for me. I dunno. It’s an arbitrary opinion.


Jock-KatH Says:

Kei in the ascendancy – he is the better player. Sorri John.


jalep Says:

Appreciate the updates – you are doing the heavy lifting for me here!


jane Says:

it’s not a very exciting match imo… having a hard time staying interested.


Georgy Gal Says:

Poor Isner, nobody seems to like watching him play. When he first came on the scene he was sure his unbreakable ( almost) serve would make him a top player and seemed upset when people called him the Marathon Man. He wanted to be remembered for something more significant.
Raonic too thought his great serve would make him Sampras.

In fact Federer has a fantastic serve but nobody thinks of him as the “serve” man because he has so many weapons.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Jane true….


Margot Says:

2nd set Kei.
Agree gals :(


jalep Says:

Well??

You could be staring at Flashscore.com like I am and surfing the interwebs. Read what jane posted – nice backstory about Chung.

lol…

Gulbis has worked his way through qualifiers after a 3 set struggle with Mahut and Dolgo is in a major dog fight with Alejandro Falla.


jane Says:

is kei a slow starter or does he like to force a longer match and deciding sets? i think he does have a great record in final sets and it brings to mind what his former coach/mentor or whatever said about kei being deliberate in that regard: “He can lull you into thinking he’s down and out – and then hit back and knock you out in the fifth set.” given this didnt come from kei himself it’s difficult to know how serious to take it, but it’s an interesting thought. maybe he needs to start more quickly in his matches so he doesn’t get caught in all these deciders, especially given that he’s also been injury-prone.


jalep Says:

As a connoisseur of Kei tennis what I’ve noticed jane, is that when he is quite happy to go the distance and use patience as a tactic. Let the giant swing away and wear himself out, yes, lull him into thinking this is easy and pounce on him.

First noticed him doing it purposely v Berdych a couple years ago. Pretty clear he was doing that by 2012 AO, anyway. When he was working his way up the ranks, I suspected he’d lose first sets just to suss out his opponent.


jane Says:

when isner is broken the result of a set or even match feels foregone. he just doesn’t have the ability to break back.

congrats to kei for the title and reaching #4. it seems crazy he’s leapt over stan, who has a slam!


jane Says:

thanks for your thoughts jalep. interesintg about losing first set to suss out opponent. risky and confident move. i think baggy once said he doesn’t go into a match with a strategy but just “feels out” his opponent and works his way into a match.


jalep Says:

he is quite happy to go the distance…not when he is…

Come on Kei!!


jalep Says:

YAY! KEI!


Okiegal Says:

@Georgy Gal…..The new moniker made the cut!! Good for you……I love it!!


Margot Says:

Well done Kei! Two “giants slain!”
Does that make him 4?
Wonder if either will do well in the next tourney?


Gypsy Gal Says:

YAY Kei,not a great final though….


jalep Says:

My pleasure, jane. Thanks for reading me go on about Kei. He may not win a GS but sure have enjoyed and do enjoy watching him. He has to overcome the height deficit – makes me smile to see him compensate with brains and composure.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Georgy Gal love the monikor,Nadals Gals he he….


jalep Says:

jane, didn’t really mean he’d lose a first set on purpose. It’s more about finding the weakness in the opponent and/or a way to read them. Not on purpose…but he’s perfectly fine with taking his time. It’s 3 sets most tourny’s or 5 sets GS, after all. I’ll go look back at matches from 2012 and 2013 again to see if facts back up observation. ;) maybe I’m telling a mythical tale.


Daniel Says:

Kei wins and will be #4 tomorrow, probably #4 seed to US Open as well, unless Wawa has one great Masters. Key doesn’t defend any point in next two tourneys so he can gain in case he loses his finals points from USO (most likely).


Patson Says:

Congrats to Kei.

Isner should try to get his first serve percentage up to 99%. For him, that’s probably the easier thing to do than to improve his return of serve, or all-round play in general. May be wear shoes with a 6 inch sole, which then makes him 7 ft +. Why does he even bother to return serves ? Just hold your serve, play the tie-breaker, and wait for the other guy to double-fault. That was the lesson he should’ve taken away from his marathon with Mahut in Wimbledon.

John, why bother with frivolities of returning serves and hitting forehands/backhands ?


jalep Says:

Heard Brett Haber on Tennis Channel make a comment about Kei’s record. He made the comment to Kei in the post match interview about his record being the best ever in deciding set wins. The best — that’s best record in deciding sets 3rd set and 5th set wins. Better than Borg. He owns the record! Suspected he was good, suspected he willingly used time for assessing if necessary but wow, just wow. It really speaks to his mental calm and strength.

Feel like I need to look into it and try to fact check it somewhere — it was Brett Haber saying it, after all.

1st serve 91% for Kei this match too.


Markus Says:

Oooh, Patson, that’s a gem of a comment about Isner!


Margot Says:

Lol Patson! Now just push Gimmelgob out of the way and offer your services as John’s coach.
@jalep
Now that was interesting re Kei. Explains why he’s 4.


jane Says:

jalep, i think that commentator must’ve been referring to the ATP’s “performance zone stats.

in deciding sets just in the past “52 weeks” index novak and fed are ahead of kei

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/performance-zone/win-loss-index/roll/finalset/all/

but in the “career” index, yes, kei is in the lead percentage-wise. it’ll be interesting to see if he stays at the top when he’s played another 50-100 matches that go to deciders, which would be a more comparable index perhaps.

so far though, he’s definitely performing well later in his matches.


Patson Says:

@Margot

GIMMELGOB ? Gimelstob will not appreciate such gobbledegook ! :-p

Come to think of it, Gimmelgob is to Gimelstob what Murphy is to Murray Hehehe.


Giles Says:

If in fact Kei is adopting this line, namely, losing first set to suss out his opponent, he might be shooting himself in the foot with this tactic seeing as he is a bit injury prone. Does he really want to play 3 sets instead of 2? Does he really want to play 5 sets instead of 3 or 4? What if injury strikes after he has deliberately lost valuable set(s) and he can’t continue with his master plan? Very dangerous tactic indeed.


Okiegal Says:

Poor John…..born tall….loves tennis….what’s a guy to do?? To be liked, John, STOP SERVING SO MANY ACES!! Lol

Kei not going all out from the get go to psyche out his opponent, so to speak…….I can’t see any player doing that……


Georgy Gal Says:

Kei maybe a slow starter. Slow starters take some time to read the opponents game or to move their own game into top gear. My Dad tells me Boris Becker was a slow starter.


jalep Says:

Okie Gal and Giles,

When he was lower ranked, I was watching him, following his progress. He didn’t employ the tactic when playing everyone — players he knew and could beat, he could be more efficient and get it over. It was the higher ranked ones he was unlikely to beat, like Berdych.

It became a little pattern I noticed over time. His record now verifies what I suspected. He’ll not intentionally lose a first set but he allows an opponent that’s on a roll to play himself out — it’s subtle. It’s defensive. He waits for an opening.

He can’t do that successfully vs a healthy Andy Murray or Nadal, Federer, Nole…but he has played them that way.

It shows respect, really; also yes, susses them out in the process, if possible. And if there’s a way, he finds it and is willing to go the distance. Holding the record in deciders – 3rd set and 5 sets is some evidence of his patience and strength of mind. He’s reached #4 in the world, which is huge for him. I don’t see him as a GS winner or a #1.

Seems counter-productive in terms of risking injury, especially in GS events. But what choices does he have? He’s at a physical disadvantage. It’s actually an old battle tactic.


Markus Says:

Hippy Chick, Gypsy Gal, Georgy Gal: You by any other name is just as sweet and steadfast as a Nadal Gal.


jalep Says:

jane, thanks for the links.

It’s interesting. I don’t think over time he will be able to sustain that best in decider record. But I don’t know.

I’ve thought it was more a feature of working his way up the ranking and increasing his chance of a title, but ultimately it is risky.

Notice where Federer is on that ‘career’ list!

You wouldn’t see Federer sussing out anyone in his prime.


Okiegal Says:

@Jalep…..Sounds like you have followed him closely during his career and picked up on this. I can’t argue the fact too much. I watch every match Nadal plays, especially since they are live streamed and if he happens to play Kei, well I watch him then. He’s a talented young man but seems to be injury prone, dang it!!! Another point I would have to make, not ever having played tennis I probably would never pick up on those “subtle” game ploys…..


jane Says:

definitely not jalep. fed’s always been more of a front runner. take the lead and run with it. here’s “after winning first set” career index:

http://www.atpworldtour.com/en/performance-zone/win-loss-index/career/after1stsetwin/all/

interestingly, kei is 12!


Gypsy Gal Says:

Markus thanks,but have to correct you though as Georgy Gal is another completely different poster called Mary, im Gypsy Gal real name Alison….


Markus Says:

Oops, then. Sorry to both Gypsy and Georgy Gals. Is Georgy Gal a Nadal Gal also?


Gypsy Gal Says:

Markus lol no apology needed,GG is also a Nadal Gal,shes a newbie poster,but a very fair one,that respects other posters and other players achievements too….


Markus Says:

Kei is proving to be the most accomplished in his group so far. Good job beating Isner. He does have the game to beat the big guys including the Big 4. He ought to have beaten Cilic at last year’s US Open if both played under similar circumstance but Cilic was touched by the tennis gods those 2 weeks.


Markus Says:

Gypsy Gal, the Nadal Gal league is growing.


Gypsy Gal Says:

Markus sure is lol,as there isnt many left here anymore sadly,probably tired with the negativity hes had to stomach this year,we did have a long time poster called Kimberly who was always very fair,whom i spoke to when we did the bracket challenge,she also plays the game alot,but i rather got the impression she couldnt stand the sight of this forum anymore,the sarcastic barbs about only been a fan of biceps and butts get tiresome at times,when dear got the mans an all time great….


Gypsy Gal Says:

People dont think Kei has the game to win a GS i hope they are wrong,discuss….


jalep Says:

jsne,

Nole’s numbers ;)

Wondering…Borg quit early. That could very well have something to do with his high %. The longer you play and the more you lose, as a front runner or decider set winner, can hurt the numbers, I would think. Unless you are Jimmy Conners…lol…

Not sure. I’m at work. Will look at it some more later, because I like the questions.


jalep Says:

jane… not jsne


Okiegal Says:

Regarding Kei…..He was going deep in Halle and had to retire against Seppi. Won a match or two at Wimby…..not sure which round, but had to withdraw. I just don’t know if he will ever stay injury free going deep in slams. He has his woes, for sure…….feel sorry for him


jalep Says:

Okiegal,

Yeah, I don’t follow one player. I follow as many as possible. ‘Course, there are the stand-outs of any time. But have followed enough to know they come and go.

Tennis is something I played in high school, college, then for fun. Love watching the pro’s. Not at all on the level of skeezer or Kimberly. My sport is skiing and now cycling. But I did hit a mean one handed backhand and forehand – that part came naturally. Too bad the rest of my game was not so good.
—————————–

Gypsy Gal,

What will I do? Now I can’t shorten your nickname to GG with Georgy Gal around!

While I doubt Kei doesn’t win a GS or get to #1, I am solidly on the side the entire country of Japan and his fans that hope he does!

He’s already made tennis history for his country and hope he can do more.


jalep Says:

gotta go…can’t type a sentence. Should say: While I doubt Kei wins a slam…


Gypsy Gal Says:

Jalep call me Gypsy lol….


jane Says:

jalep, definitely think that as you play longer and more matches percentages are likely to drop.


Georgy Gal Says:

Gypsy thanks for the kind words.
Re: Nishi, I do not subscribe to the view that he loses 1st set as a strategy. It is dangerous for anyone more so for somebody prone to injuries.
Here are some interesting rankings leaving out retired players and those in the “twilight zone” like Hewitt, Roddick and Delpo:
Career: Big 4 are top 4 in some order:
Overall performance: Nadal, Djok, Fed, Murray, Tsonga, Ferrer, Nishi
After winning 1st set: Djok, Nadal, Murray, Fed, Nishi ( don’t let Djok win 1st set!!!)
After losing 1st set: Nadal, Djoko, Fed, Murray, Nishi: ( All is not lost when Nadal loses 1st set unless of course it is against Djok!!!)

52 weeks: Nadal’s still in top 5 for overall performance:
overall: Djok, Fed, Murray, Nishi, Nadal
After winning 1st set: Gasquet, Fed, Murray, Dimitrov, Nishi
After losing 1st set: Nishi, Murray, Ferrer, Fed, Simon

I think it is the stats for 52 weeks which gave rise to the feeling that Nishi uses losing first set as a strategy?


Georgy Gal Says:

Correction,

52 weeks:
After winning 1st set:
Gasquet, Fed, Murray, Djok, Dimitrov, Nishi


Markus Says:

That’s a most interesting strategy, losing the first set deliberately. Genius!


jalep Says:

Markus, ‘deliberately’ is not what I said.

And I corrected ‘on purpose’ – not what it is.

If you haven’t followed Kei for years and don’t look at the links jane posted, don’t bother to look up a h2h with Tsonga at AO 2012, h2h with Berdych, h2h with Raonic, a collection of his scores from over his career, you wouldn’t notice how he plays. He also used the ‘style’ of play v Nole last US open.

It’s incredible that he’s at #4. I doubt he wins a GS – he’s too injury-prone. It’s not a big deal – just a gift he has to use patience and composure to win a match and make the most of an admirable strength, which is his mind.

The links jane posted show that he does lead in decider sets. Mock it if you will. It’s your opinion ;) cheers.

Topic has been talked into the ground far beyond what is remotely interesting. It’s just a statistic subject to change. Unless… you are Borg and retire early before you start diluting your winning % with losing matches.

Time for me to leave this thread to watch some scores! Much more interesting to just enjoy the tennis. Sorry I read here lol…

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