AP

Isner throws tantrum but reaches semis at Paris Masters

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PARIS — John Isner won a hard-fought all-American contest against Jack Sock 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-4 after throwing a big tantrum in the Paris Masters quarterfinals on Friday.

Isner looked set for a straight-sets win when he served a break up at 4-3 in the second set but lost his cool after a foot-fault call.

Isner, who had not dropped his serve once since the start of the week, was unsettled by the decision. He shouted at umpire Damien Dumusois, hit a double fault, and was broken twice in a row, allowing Sock back in the match.

But the change in momentum did not last long. Isner, who hit 17 aces, capitalized on Sock’s mistakes to break him twice early in the decider.

The 27th-ranked Isner equaled his best result at the indoor tournament, making it to the last four for the first time in five years in the French capital. Isner will play in the semifinals of a Masters 1000 tournament for the first time since April 2015.

Given the pace of the court in Paris, there were only a few baseline rallies and most of the points ended very quickly.

Isner, the fastest server on the tour, was put under pressure by Sock, his occasional doubles partner, in the first-set tiebreaker. Sock earned a set point with a superb backhand lob down the line, but that was the final point he scored in the set: Isner hit an ace, followed that up with a serve and volley winner, and Sock hit a forehand wide.

Isner broke for 2-1 in the second with a low passing shot, but suddenly lost his grip on the match after the umpire’s call unsettled him.

Sock, who made it to the fourth round at the U.S. Open, struggled with his serve at the start of the decider, and could not come back despite a late surge from 4-0 down.

Two-time champ Azarenka gets Australian Open wild card

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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka has been awarded a wild card for the Australian Open.

Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, has been involved in a custody dispute involving her son Leo, who was born last Dec. 19.

She hasn’t competed anywhere since Wimbledon, where she lost to Simona Halep in the fourth round on July 10. The dispute with her former partner started shortly after Wimbledon ended.

Azarenka has played only six matches this year and is ranked 208th.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said on Wednesday that every assistance would be provided to the former No. 1, adding “Vika’s current situation is obviously very difficult for her and we have reached out to offer any support we can.”

The Australian Open starts on Jan. 15.

Nadal, Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards

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LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.

At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.

The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.

Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.

“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”