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Isner serves up big to make BB&T Atlanta Open Final

John Isner defeated Jack Sock in a sweltering Atlanta to make his second consecutive BB&T Atlanta Open final at Atlantic Station in Atlanta, Georgia. Isner overcame 95 degree temperatures and a spirited opponent in Sock to register a straight sets win 7-5, 6-4. Winning the semifinal sets up a final for Isner against either Dudi Sela of Israel or Benjamin Becker from Germany.

John Isner defeated Jack Sock 7-5, 6-4 in the BB&T Atlanta Open semifinal
Photography by Andrew Snook

Isner is the BB&T Atlanta Open tournament’s top seed and while Jack Sock was not seeded it was a very close match as the 2014 Wimbledon Men’s Doubles Champion gave Isner all he handle. Before the match Isner had played Jack Sock four previous times winning three of them. However in their most recent meeting, two weeks ago in Newport RI, Sock won in straight sets.

Both players started well. The first set lasted 48 minutes, despite going to 7-5 as few points created any long rallies as both players dominated with the placement and pace of their serve. At the pivotal game at 5-6 in the first Jack Sock was serving to save the set. In a long game characterized by nine deuces Sock eventually lost the set with an unforced error.

The second set was similar to the first, in that service games dominated. In the tenth game Sock was broken after three deuces to fall to lose the second set 4-6 and the match.

The key to the game was Isner’s ability to adapt to Sock’s serve in the second set while at the same time turning up his own first serve. For the match Jack Sock won 66% of his first serves but only 53% in the second set. By contrast Isner won91% overall but 94% in the second set.

The BB&T Atlanta Open is playing at Atlantic Station for the third consecutive year. The location is popular with patrons as there is a full set of retail services surrounding the tournament which is played on the site of a former parking lot.