Isner hits Houston-record 38 aces to reach quarters on clay

john isner
CHANDAN KHANNA/Getty Images
1 Comment

HOUSTON — John Isner erased a match point and hit a tournament-record 38 aces during a 6-7 (1), 7-6 (4), 6-3 comeback victory over Steve Johnson at the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship.

Isner, who won the title in 2013, is one of five Americans in the quarterfinals, tying the most at the event since it moved to Houston in 2001.

He’s joined in that round by Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Reilly Opelka and Michael Mmoh.

Fritz, the highest-ranked American man at No. 13 and seeded No. 2 in Houston, advanced Thursday by beating Alejandro Tabilo 6-1, 6-4.

Fritz has won nine of his past 10 matches, including a title at Indian Wells, California last month.

Tiafoe defeated Pablo Cuevas 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (4).

Defending champion Cristian Garin eliminated Jordan Thompson 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to run his Houston winning streak to seven matches.

The event returned this year after a two-year hiatus because of the pandemic. Garin beat Casper Ruud to the 2019 final the last time the tournament was held.

Parma Ladies Open semifinals postponed to same day as final

parma ladies open
Valerio Origo/Getty Images
2 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).