ATP Tour

Almagro v Isner in Houston

2013-04-14 10:02
John Isner (AFP)

Houston - Top seed Nicolas Almagro, whose 12 previous ATP wins have all come on clay, reached the final of the US Clay Court Championships on Saturday by routing wildcard Rhyne Williams 6-2, 6-1.

Spain's Almagro squares off in Sunday's final against last year's runner-up John Isner, who won a re-match against defending champion Juan Monaco 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the other semi-final.

"I think I played better than yesterday," said Almagro. "I felt good today. I'm very happy with my game. I tried to be focussed all the time. That's important for me. I tried to play aggressive, and I did it."

World No 12 Almagro is also bidding to claim his first title on American soil and 13th on clay. Earlier this year he successfully defended his title at the ATP Nice event.

Almagro broke Williams five times, winning 61 percent of his return points in the 59 minute match at River Oaks Country Club.

American Isner, who took down Monaco in two hours and two minutes, now has three wins and one loss against the Argentine.

"Even though I got creamed in that first set, I felt I was playing pretty well," Isner said. "My serve wasn't really on, but I was making a lot of returns, and so I told myself I was in the match.

"I just had to try and find a way to break through on his serve. I served smart, got myself out of some jams the rest of the match. It was a tight one all the way to the end."

The world No 23 Isner has lost both previous matches to Almagro, including a five-set loss in the Davis Cup semi-finals in 2012.


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