Isner wins US opener vs. Belgium at Davis Cup quarterfinals

AP
0 Comments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) John Isner beat Joris De Loore

6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-4 Friday night giving the United States a 1-0 lead over Belgium in the Davis Cup quarterfinals.

Isner, who moved up to ninth in the world after winning the Miami Open last weekend, kicked off the quarterfinals at Belmont University with a victory taking 3 hours, 14 minutes.

“It’s big absolutely,” Isner said of his win. “The first match is critical. We’re in a battle to three points. We have the advantage right now. So I’m very happy I was able to do my part, so to say, to put our team up.”

Sam Querrey, ranked 14th in the world, plays Ruben Bemelmans in the other singles match as the United States looks for its first spot in the Davis Cup semifinals since 2012.

The U.S. came in 4-0 all-time against Belgium in the Davis Cup with Belgium playing without both David Goffin and Steve Darcis because of injuries. That left De Loore, ranked 319th, to take on Isner in a big mismatch on paper.

The American cruised through the first set in 26 minutes. De Loore held serve in the second and with the tiebreaker tied at 4-4, took advantage of consecutive mistakes by Isner.

The American hit a forehand long before putting a backhand into the net on his own serve. Then he missed on a 140-mph serve and hit a forehand into the corner long on set point.

De Loore opened the third set by breaking Isner, winning the game with a forehand winner after pushing the game to deuce.

The Belgian also had a chance to break Isner in the seventh game only to see Isner hold and then break back to even the set at 4-4. De Loore fought off a set point down 15-40 to force a second straight tiebreaker. Isner took the final three points to go up 2-1.

Isner converted his sixth match point with a backhand for the win.

“The crowd was crucial,” Isner said. “They were awesome out there.”

The winner will play either Croatia or Kazakhstan in the semifinals Sept. 14-16.

The other three quarterfinals all split Friday with Spain’s Rafael Nadal, the world’s top-ranked player, beating Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 after Alexander Zverev downed David Ferrer 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. Marin Cilic beat Dimitry Popko 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 for Croatia before Mikhail Kukushkin downed Bora Coric 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-2 tying it up for Kazakhstan.

Italy and France split after Fabio Fognini needed 3 hours, 31 minutes to beat Jeremy Chardy 6-7 (6), 6-2, 6-2, 6-3. France’s Lucas Pouille had the lone five-set match of the day, beating Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 3-6, 6-1.

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

Parma Ladies Open semifinals postponed to same day as final

parma ladies open
Valerio Origo/Getty Images
3 Comments

PARMA, Italy — The semifinals of the Parma Ladies Open have been postponed by a day and will be played shortly before Saturday’s final.

The decision was made because of persistent rain at the clay-court tournament on Friday.

Top-seeded Maria Sakkari will start on center court against Danka Kovinic at 10:30 a.m. local time (0830 GMT) on Saturday before sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan’s match against Mayar Sherif.

The final will be after 6 p.m. local time, shortly after the doubles final – with the doubles semifinals also being played earlier in the day on a different court.

Top-seeded Sakkari reaches semifinals at Parma Ladies Open

Maria Sakkari
Robert Prange/Getty Images
3 Comments

PARMA, Italy — Top-seeded Maria Sakkari rallied past 97th-ranked Maryna Zanevska 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday at the Parma Ladies Open to reach her first semifinal since the grass-court season.

Sakkari, who has gone three sets in all three of her matches this week, will face Danka Kovinic for a spot in the final of the clay-court event after Kovinic beat Jasmine Paolini 6-4, 6-4.

In her previous semifinal, Sakkari lost to Belinda Bencic in Berlin in June. The seventh-ranked Greek player was eliminated by Wang Xiyu in the second round of the U.S. Open on Aug. 31.

In the bottom half of the draw, Mayar Sherif of Egypt beat American opponent Lauren Davis 7-6 (2), 6-3 to reach her second career semifinal. Sherif next faces Ana Bogdan, who defeated fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2, 7-6 (6).