Tennis giant John Isner is into the finals in his home state of North Carolina at the Winston Salem Open. The American will face Tomas Berdych in the Saturday’s matinee title bout.
Isner, who won Winston Salem last year, topped Jo-Wilfried Tsonga yesterday in a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(3) thriller.
“I’m very, very happy to be back in the final,” said Isner. “I don’t like getting to Grand Slams early. If I’m playing the week before, I want to do as well as I can. I’m playing the final match, so I’m very satisfied with that. I’m looking to defend my title. I did it this year in Newport, so maybe I can pull it off again.”
Later, Berdych overcame an early break to roll past Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-3.
“I don’t think I necessarily needed to break him five times, but on the other hand, I lost my serve a couple of times. I was trying to get my chances,” Berdych said. “In the first set, I had more than 10 break points. Probably the one thing I was not happy with was my serve in the second set. I lost quite an easy game. I was playing better on the tough points and that was the decider today.”
Both finalists are seeking their second titles of 2012.
Further north, Petra Kvitova stayed hot reaching the championship match in New Haven where the Czech will meet Maria Kirilenko. Kvitova blasted through Sara Errani 6=1, 6-3 to reach her second final of the summer. She won Montreal and was a semifinalist last weekend in Cincinnati.
Meanwhile Kirilenko advanced when defending champion Caroline Wozniacki withdrew with a right knee injury after losing the first set 7-5. Wozniacki had never lost at the event (20-0) until Friday.
“I could feel it from the start, and it started to get a bit worse,” Wozniacki said of the knee. “I decided to stop because if you don’t feel 100%, you can’t compete at 100%. I wasn’t going to win this match anyway if I’m not 100% at a fit level.”
And in Dallas Roberta Vinci beat Jelena Jankovic 7-5, 6-3 for her seventh career title, first on outdoor hardcourts.
“I think we played a really good final,” Vinci said. “I was up a set and 3-0 and had a lot of chances to keep going, but she came back to 3-all. She’s such a good player – she was No.1 in the world a few years ago – so at the beginning of the match I was a little bit nervous. But I just tried to stay relaxed and keep going for my shots and although we were both very tired, I made it.”
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