Opelka wins 46-point tiebreaker, beats Isner at Dallas Open

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DALLAS — John Isner has already been part of the two longest matches in Wimbledon history. Might as well add the longest tiebreaker on the ATP Tour, at his hometown event no less.

Reilly Opelka beat Isner 24-22 in a second-set tiebreaker to finish a victory that put him in the final of the inaugural Dallas Open.

The second-seeded Opelka sent a winner down the line to secure the 7-6 (7), 7-6 (22) win over Isner, the No. 3 seed who lives about a mile from the SMU tennis facility hosting the event.

Opelka will face No. 4 seed Jenson Brooksby, who saved four match points in a 6-4, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5) victory over seventh-seeded Marcos Giron. It was the first time since 2004 that all four semifinalists have been Americans.

At Wimbledon 12 years ago, Isner played an 11-hour, 5-minute match that covered three days, beating Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in a remarkable fifth set.

Eight years later, Kevin Anderson beat Isner in a Wimbledon semifinal that lasted 6 hours, 36 minutes, before Anderson lost to Novak Djokovic in the final.

Isner greeted the latest milestone with barely a shrug after he and Opelka combined for 60 aces and won 87 percent of their first-serve points.

“More history, I guess,” said Isner, who was seeded third. “If I win that second set, I think I have a good shot to win the match.”

The 24-year-old Opelka, a two-time winner on tour, now has four straight wins over Isner. All 10 of the sets he has won against the 16-time tour champion have gone to a tiebreaker. They’ve played 12 straight tiebreakers and have held 98 straight service games against each other.

“It was bizarre,” Opelka said. “It’s just next point, you know? Back to the guessing game. I have to take care of what I do and hopefully guess right. And I did.”

Isner and fellow American Jack Sock beat Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara 6-7 (4), 7-5, 10-8 in the doubles semifinals. They will play the top-seeded team of Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer in Sunday’s final.

Opelka is ranked No. 23 in the world and is 2-1 all-time in ATP Tour finals. He won New York in 2019 and Delray Beach in 2020.

Brooksby, ranked a career-best 54th, has reached his second final in his 10th event. The 21-year-old is seeking his first ATP Tour title.

Up a set and leading 4-1 in the second, Brooksby couldn’t keep Giron from forcing the deciding set. Brooksby faced the four match points down 6-5 on his serve, then closed out the nearly three-hour match by winning the final three points of the tiebreaker.

“I was up in the second set, I had built some good momentum from the first and I just got tight,” Brooksby said. “I didn’t lose focus, but I don’t know, I got tight.”

U.S. sweeps Uzbekistan, advances to group stage in Davis Cup

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The United States swept its way into the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals, getting the winning point in a 4-0 victory over Uzbekistan from the doubles team of Rajeev Ram and Austin Krajicek.

They beat Sergey Fomin and Sanjar Fayziev 6-2, 6-4, after Tommy Paul and Mackenzie McDonald had won singles matches in Tashkent.

Ram is No. 3 in the ATP Tour doubles rankings and partnered with Joe Salisbury to win the last two U.S. Open men’s doubles titles. But the Americans opted not to use Ram last year in the final round, when they dropped the doubles match in a 2-1 defeat against Italy in the quarterfinals.

Krajicek was making his Davis Cup debut, having reached No. 9 in the doubles rankings late last year.

“They had five great days of preparation, and as anticipated they came out really sharp and got the early break in the first set. And after that it was like two freight trains, there was no stopping them,” interim captain David Nainkin said.

Denis Kudla then beat Amir Milushev 6-4, 6-4.

The winners of the 12 qualifiers being held this weekend advance to the Davis Cup Finals group stage in September, along with reigning champion Canada, 2022 runner-up Australia and wild-card recipients Italy and Spain.

Eight teams will advance to the closing matches of the Davis Cup Finals scheduled for Nov. 21-26 in Malaga, Spain.

In other matches:

France 3, Hungary 2: On indoor hard courts in Tatabanya, Hungary, Ugo Humbert won it for the French with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Fabian Marozsan. Adrian Mannarino had forced the deciding match by beating Marton Fucsovics 7-6 (6), 6-2.

Serbia 4, Norway 0: On indoor hard courts in Oslo, the visitors, playing without top-ranked Novak Djokovic, put away the match when Filip Krajinovic and Nikola Cacic edged Viktor Durasovic and Herman Hoeyeraal 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Hamad Medjedovic then outlasted Durasovic 6-4, 6-7, 10-4.

Sweden 3, Bosnia 1: On indoor hard courts in Stockholm, Mikael Ymer sent the hosts through by beating Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.

Lesia Tsurenko to face Zhu Lin in Thailand Open final

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HUA HIN, Thailand — Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine reached her first final in four years after the top-seeded Bianca Andreescu retired with a shoulder injury during their semifinal match at the Thailand Open.

Tsurenko, in search of her fifth WTA title, was leading the 2019 U.S. Open champion 7-5, 4-0 when the Canadian stopped playing.

The former world No. 23 fought from 3-5 down to take the first set and reeled off eight straight games before Andreescu retired with a right shoulder problem.

“Bianca is such an amazing player. She is capable of hitting all kinds of shots and gave so much trouble today,” said the 33-year-old Tsurenko, now ranked 136th. “But I was just fighting and I told myself positive things that I can do it. Unfortunately, she had to retire.”

The Ukrainian last lifted a WTA trophy in Acapulco in 2018 and hasn’t been to a final since Brisbane in 2019.

She will face Zhu Lin of China in the final.

“She had some good wins in the Australian Open,” Tsurenko said. “She is one of the dangerous players in this tournament. She is going to give a good fight.”

In the all-Chinese semifinal earlier, Zhu benefited from a barrage of unforced errors from Wang Xinyu and prevailed 6-2, 6-4 for her first WTA final.

The world No. 54 player, who reached the last 16 at the Australian Open in January, relied on her solid baseline game to force errors.

“It was very windy, so I tried to be patient and keep my first serves in,” said the 29-year-old Zhu, who will team up with Wang in the doubles final against Hao-Ching Chan and Fang-Hsien Wu of Taiwan.