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Isner advances to Atlanta final, beating Hewitt

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The Canadian Press
7/27/2013 7:20:06 PM
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ATLANTA -- Top-seeded John Isner beat seventh-seeded Lleyton Hewitt 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5) on Saturday to reach the Atlanta Open final.

The 6-foot-9 American will play the winner of the night match between second-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa and 21-year-old American Ryan Harrison.

Isner improved his ATP-best tiebreaker record to 24-6 for the season.

In all three Isner-Hewitt meetings in 2013, Isner has won the first set. In the two previous matches, the Australian rallied to win the next two and, for a while Saturday, it looked as if the formula might repeat.

Isner's service game was impeccable in the first set, when he took the only break by passing Hewitt with a scorching forehand. Hewitt then began figuring out the serves and broke Isner twice in the second set.

In the third, the players stayed on serve until the tiebreaker. There, with Hewitt serving, Isner took a 6-5 lead when he played a backhand slice shot at the net that Hewitt could not reach. Moments later, Hewitt could not return an Isner serve.

Isner fell in the Atlanta Open finals to Mardy Fish in 2010 and '11.

Hewitt is 5-6 in tiebreakers.

John Isner (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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