Defending champion John Isner and rising star Jack Sock faced off in the semifinals of the BB&T Open in Atlanta; it wasn't just two Americans facing each other, it was also two friends going at it as these two train together in the sweltering heat of Florida. Coming into the match, Sock had been playing very well, not to mention he just defeated Isner in the quarterfinals of Newport Beach just last week, so one would imagine that Sock had to feel pretty upbeat and confident for the match.
Everyone knows the nature of Isner's game, it's basically lay down the law with his serve and win sets in tiebreaks, or hope for a break of serve, and he was fortunate enough to get two today. Throughout the first set, things went according to plan as both guys held serve with repeated ease until the 5-6 game. Sock was serving to send the first set into a tiebreaker when he inexplicably lost focused and threw in a double fault and a few unforced errors; just like that Isner was sitting pretty up a set, 7-5.
Now being up a set, Isner could relax and open up his shoulders on his return game, whereas Sock was uptight while being down a set. Both guys still held serve as usual until the seventh game where Sock had a few break points; he couldn't seem to get a lead in the rally and Isner swatted the break points away and held serve. In Socks' next service game, upset and annoyed that he didn't break in the previous game, he now found himself down break points. Having to take some time and regroup, Sock saved both break points, one with an impressive backhand pass down the line. Sock would hold serve and so would Isner, and now serving at 4-5, Sock found himself in yet another hole.
Trying to yet again dig hisself out of a hole, this time being down match points, was just too much for the young American to do as he fired a double fault on match point and hand Isner a spot in his fourth final in Atlanta at the BB&T Open, one would say this is a happy hunting ground for the big man who went to school not too far from this very tournament.