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Doubles’ win by Sock, Harrison puts US in Davis Cup semis

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Jack Sock and Ryan Harrison put the United States in the Davis Cup semifinals for the first time since 2012 by beating Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen 5-7, 7-6 (1), 7-6 (3), 6-4 Saturday to finish off an American sweep.

The United States now will play either Croatia or Kazakhstan in the semifinals Sept. 14-16.

John Isner and Sam Querrey set up the doubles match for the clincher by winning both their singles matches Friday at the Curb Events Center at Belmont University. Sock, who came in ranked 26th in doubles, and Harrison, 17th in the world, put the U.S. into the semifinals after taking three hours to finish off the Belgians.

The U.S. now is 5-0 all-time in the Davis Cup against Belgium.

For Gille and Vliegen, this was their Davis Cup debut coming only a few hours away from where both played in college. Gille went to East Tennessee State, while Vliegen played at East Carolina. The Belgians broke Sock and Harrison in Game 11 and took the first set 7-5 showing no signs of nerves as they scored on 80 percent of their first serves.

The Americans took the second set by fighting off two break points in Game 11, then they dominated by taking the final six points.

In the third set, Vliegen started struggling with cramps and had a foot fault when serving in Game 11. The Americans had three break points, but the Belgians fought them off to go up 6-5.

Sock and Harrison finished off the set again in a tiebreaker, and they avoided a third tiebreaker by breaking the Belgians to finish off the quarterfinals and start the American celebration before the raucous crowd.

France took a 2-1 lead over Italy with Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut beating Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-3, 6-1. Germany leads Spain 2-1 after Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff downed Marc Lopez and Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (4), 7-5.

Croatia took a 2-1 lead over Kazakhstan with Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic beat Timur Khabibulin and Aleksandr Nedovyesov 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4, 6-2.

More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

Isner beats Harrison to win fourth Atlanta Open title

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ATLANTA — John Isner rode an overpowering service game to his fourth Atlanta Open title and second consecutive ATP tournament, beating fellow American Ryan Harrison 7-6 (6), 7-6 (7) on Sunday before a friendly crowd at Atlantic Station.

Having won eight straight matches all in straight sets since bowing out in the second round at Wimbledon earlier this month, the second-seeded former University of Georgia star said he thoroughly enjoys playing in Atlanta, where’s he’s made the finals in seven of the eight tournaments.

He also won titles here in 2013-’15, and is 27-4 on the courts near his alma mater. The 32-year-old Isner won the Hall of Fame Open last week on grass in Newport, Rhode Island.

“This is always going to be my favorite time of year,” he said about the hard-court season. “I couldn’t ask for a better start, obviously . . . I landed on Monday, had a practice on Monday night and things felt good right away. I was on a good roll.”

The match followed service in the first set to force a tiebreaker.

Harrison, the fourth seed, rallied from a 2-4 deficit to level the breaker at 6-6 only to see Isner win with a sizzling forehand to the deep right corner.

Isner fired 23 aces to Harrison’s 10, but after 75 straight service games without being broken he was passed on the forehand side early in the second set to trail 2-0. That ball, at 40-30 Harrison, was originally called out but, after Harrison challenged a replay revealed that it just caught the line.

Isner broke back in the next game when Harrison sent what looked like an easy forehand long.

From there, the friendly foes remained on serve to reach another tiebreaker upon Isner’s 18th ace.

He attributed his winning streak partly to his loss at Wimbledon, where in the second round he fell 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-7 (5), 3-6 to Dudi Sela of Israel.

“The match I lost to Dudi Sela was a blessing. I had a sit-down with my staff and hashed things out,” Isner said. “I was playing tentative and scared, not to win.

“I told myself that’s not the way to play . . . you have to learn from your losses, and I did that.”

Trailing 6-7 in the second tiebreaker, Isner whistled consecutive 137 mph aces, and then took the title when Harrison couldn’t get to a quick corner shot to his backhand.

After winning the first stop on the U.S. Open Series, Isner sounded like he’s ready for the year’s last Grand Slam event, although he’ll have to wait a little more than a month before the pros gather in New York for the Open.

“This winning streak is more a product of me playing well, not my opponents,” he said after capturing his 12th career ATP Tour title. “In my opinion, I could’ve beaten a lot of top 10 opponents. I have a level of confidence that’s hard to get.”

American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan won the doubles title with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Wesley Koolhof of The Netherlands and Artem Sitak of New Zealand.

Qualifier King upsets Tomic in first round of Memphis Open

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Darian King, a qualifier from Barbados, knocked off No. 5 seed Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-4 on Tuesday in the first round of the Memphis Open.

King, ranked 140th in the world, dropped just 12 points in 10 service games and never faced a break-point situation against the 32nd-ranked Tomic.

Other first-round winners Tuesday included No. 7 seed Steve Darcis of Belgium, Ryan Harrison of the United States and Matthew Ebden of Australia.

Harrison won 6-3. 7-5 over Russia’s Konstantin Kravchuk to advance to a second-round matchup with No. 3 seed Sam Querrey. Darcis won 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 over Radu Albot of Moldova.

Ebden rallied from a break down in each of the last two sets to beat Canada’s Peter Polansky 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-1 in a matchup between two qualifiers. Ebden won the last six games of a match that featured a total of 14 service breaks.