Look for Isner to take Atlanta again

Here are our predictions for the BB&T Atlanta final.

It’s déjà all over again as John Isner faces Ryan Harrison in the Atlanta final, just like they did 52 weeks ago.

Isner won 7-6(6), 7-6(7) but the score doesn’t reflect the story; the tall American had a stunning 23/1 aces to double faults, while Harrison was only 10/4. Isner also won eight more points, not a huge number but significant in a match with two very close tiebreaks.

Both players needed three sets to take their semis. today While a bit hot, conditions here were quite pleasant compared to some of the scorchers that have plagued players before. That might have contributed to Isner’s occasional discomfort, as he banged a racquet when he dropped the second set to Matthew Ebden, one of a couple of rare outbursts. Harrison floundered in the first set, dropping it 6-2, but then made the most of numerous ill-timed double faults by Cameron Norrie to win in three sets.

While Isner has a better head-to-head record of 7-3, Harrison holds a notable edge on outdoor hard courts, winning three of their four matches. The last hard-court meeting was in Acapulco this year with a straight-set win for Harrison.

What does that mean for tomorrow’s Atlanta final? Not much. Why … because Isner is on a roll. He’s coming off his magnificent achievement of reaching his first Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon. He won Miami on hard courts. But, most importantly, this is Atlanta. Isner is not unbeatable here but he’s reached eight of the nine finals in the Georgia capital. He’s got four titles and his focusing on his fifth. We like Isner in two tight sets … just like a year ago. 

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