BARCELONA, Spain — Andy Murray came from behind to beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4) to reach the Barcelona Open semifinals on Friday.
Ramos-Vinolas had chances to beat Murray for the second straight time, but the top-ranked British player controlled the decisive points to close out the match in three hours.
The 19th-ranked Ramos-Vinolas eliminated Murray in the third round at the Monte Carlo Masters last week before eventually losing to Rafael Nadal in the final.
Murray will next face fourth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria, who defeated lucky loser Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-1, 6-2.
Murray comfortably won the final-set tiebreaker from a 4-0 lead, but he only got there after saving seven break points and converting all three he had against Ramos-Vinolas.
The Spaniard broke at 4-4 in the decisive set but failed to serve out the match. In the second set, Ramos-Vinolas squandered two break points at 3-3, and three at 4-4.
Losing to Ramos-Vinolas at Monte Carlo prompted Murray to enter Barcelona. He’s out to regain his form for the French Open following a right elbow injury.
Thiem was broken in the beginning of both sets but powered his way to victory against Sugita, who was coming off wins against Tommy Robredo, Richard Gasquet, and Pablo Carreno Busta.
“I knew he was in great shape after beating three great players before me,” Thiem said. “My game plan was to take him out of his comfort zone. I sliced a lot and tried to play with high spin.”
Thiem won the Rio de Janeiro title this year.
ATLANTA — Second-seeded John Isner beat Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday night in the 6-foot-10 former University of Georgia star’s opening match in the BB&T Atlanta Open.
Coming off a victory Sunday in the Hall of Fame Open in Newport, Rhode Island, Isner is seeking his fourth Atlanta title in five seasons. He lost to Nick Kyrgios in the final last year.
Isner set up a quarterfinal match at Atlantic Station against Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko, a 6-3, 6-1 winner over sixth-seeded Donald Young. The American has 11 career titles, all at the ATP World Tour 250 level.
Third-seeded Gilles Muller of Luxembourg and Tommy Paul also reached the quarterfinals. Muller beat France’s Quentin Halys 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-3, and Paul topped Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3.
In the top half of the draw, top-seeded Jack Sock will open play Thursday with a second-round match against Israel’s Dudi Sela.
NEWPORT, R.I. — Top-seeded John Isner beat Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden 6-3, 7-6 (4) on Sunday for his third Hall of Fame Open title.
The hard-serving American also won the grass-court event in 2011 and 2012. He has 11th career titles, all at the ATP World Tour 250 level.
“It’s hard to win a tournament,” Isner said. “It’s no small feat to come out here and be the last man standing. I’m very happy about that. It’s been two years since I won a tournament, so I had that weighing on my mind.”
Isner became the second player to win an ATP title without facing a break point since records began in 1991. Tommy Haas also accomplished the feat in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2007.
“I’m very happy with how I played all week,” Isner said. “It was a perfect week and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Ebden was playing his first tour-level final.
“It’s a lot of reward for a lot of hard work, a lot of years of sacrifice,” Ebden said. “It’s disappointing, but at the same time I have to be happy with my week.”