ATP Dallas Open semifinals will feature four Americans

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DALLAS – The semifinals of the inaugural ATP Dallas Open will feature four Americans.

Seventh-seeded Marcos Giron upended No. 1 seed Taylor Fritz – who is also his practice partner – 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(3) to advance. The rest of the semifinals field includes second-seeded Reilly Opelka, third-seeded John Isner and No. 4 Jenson Brooksby.

In Saturday’s semifinals, Giron will face Brooksby, while the 6-foot-11 Opelka and 6-10 Isner will take the game to great heights.

Dallas resident Isner made quick work of ending the run of qualifier Vasek Pospisil of Canada 6-4, 6-4. Isner will be playing in both the singles and doubles semifinals on Saturday.

Opelka didn’t waste time, either, beating fifth-seed Adrian Mannarino of France 6-3, 6-1. And Brooksby dispatched Australian Jordan Thompson 6-3, 6-0.

Having four Americans in the semis is rare; the last time it happened at an ATP event was in 2004 in San Jose, California.

Giron battled back after losing the second set and falling behind 4-2 in the third set.

“When I was down a break in the third, we got a change of balls, and I was able to kind of take advantage of that,” Giron said. “Once I was able to sneak out a break, my level improved.”

By defeating the 19th-ranked player in the world, No. 70 Giron scored his fifth career win in 18 chances against top 20 players to reach his second ATP semifinal.

Fritz was playing in his first tournament as the top seed.

“I’ve practiced with Fritz so much,” Giron said. “We’re both based in LA and we both train in Carson (California) so we know each other’s game well.”

Meanwhile, Isner put 81% of his first serves in play and had 19 aces with the stadium timer recording speeds up to 133 miles per hour.

“This is a good serving court,” Isner said. “It’s indoors. There’s no wind, no sun. It’s the same thing every single time no matter what time of the day you’re playing.”

He acknowledged that it had been important to win quickly to stay better rested for his doubleheader on Saturday.

“I know I’ll get to bed earlier tonight,” Isner said. “Things went my way pretty early. I did have a feeling that I was going to play better. I’m just feeling the ball better.”

If history repeats, the clash of the big men could be an epic battle. Opelka has won the last three of his four ATP meetings with Isner. In the four matches, 11 of the 13 sets went to tiebreaks.

After taking a 3-2 lead in the first set with a service break, Brooksby fell behind love-40 but rallied to win that game.

“I think that was a turning point,” Brooksby said. “I loosened up a little bit and got more confidence and belief after that.”

Thompson won only one more game in the match.

“It’s good for me to get a lead like that. You loosen up, you can play a little freer. Playing the right way heading into the (semifinal) match,” Brooksby said. “Also, a little less time on court just helps going into the next match.”

In quarterfinal doubles, Americans Sam Querrey and Jackson Withrow defeated American Nathaniel Lammons and Andre Goransson of Sweden 7-6(4), 7-6(3). Lloyd Glasspool of Great Britain and Harri Heliovaara of Finland held off Mexicans Hans Hach Verdugo and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela 6-1, 7-6(3).

Querrey and Withrow will take on top-seeded Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador and Jean-Juliern Rojer of the Netherlands, the only remaining seeded pair. Glasspool and Heliovaara will meet Isner and fellow American Jack Sock in Saturday’s semifinals.

Gael Monfils withdraws from French Open with wrist injury

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PARIS — A thrilling five-set victory took a toll on Gael Monfils, whose withdrawal from the French Open handed No. 6 Holger Rune a walkover to the third round.

The 36-year-old Frenchman said he has a strained left wrist and can’t continue.

He battled Sebastian Baez for nearly four hours on Court Philippe Chatrier before beating the Argentine 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 1-6, 7-5 in a first-round match that ended at 12:18 a.m. local time.

The victory was Monfils’ first at tour level this year, as the veteran was coming back from heel surgery.

“Actually, physically, I’m quite fine. But I had the problem with my wrist that I cannot solve,” he said. “The doctor say was not good to play with that type of injury. Yesterday was actually very risky, and then today definitely say I should stop.”

Monfils reached the semifinals at the French Open in 2008 and made it to the quarterfinals on three other occasions.

Mikael Ymer fined about $40K after default for hitting umpire stand with racket

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

PARIS — Swedish tennis player Mikael Ymer was docked about $40,000 after being disqualified for smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair at a tournament the week before he competed at the French Open.

An ATP Tour spokesman said Ymer forfeited about $10,500 in prize money and 20 rankings he earned for reaching the second round of the Lyon Open. Ymer also was handed an on-site fine of about $29,000.

The spokesman said the ATP Fines Committee will conduct a review of what happened to determine whether any additional penalties are warranted.

The 56th-ranked Ymer, who is 24 and owns a victory over current No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz, was defaulted in Lyon for an outburst late in the first set against French teenager Arthur Fils last week.

Ymer was upset that the chair umpire would not check a ball mark after a shot by Fils landed near a line. As the players went to the sideline for the ensuing changeover, Ymer smacked the base of the umpire’s stand with his racket twice – destroying his equipment and damaging the chair.

That led to Ymer’s disqualification, making Fils the winner of the match.

After his 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 loss to 17th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti in the first round at Roland Garros, Ymer was asked whether he wanted to explain why he reacted the way he did in Lyon.

“With all due respect, I think it’s pretty clear from the video what caused it and why I reacted the way I reacted. Not justifying it at all, of course,” Ymer replied. “But for me to sit here and to explain? I think it’s pretty clear what led me to that place. I think that’s pretty clear in the video.”