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.”

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.”