John Isner follows through after a shot during at the BNP Paribas Masters last fall. Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo
Top-seeded John Isner recorded 15 aces to oust fellow American Bjorn Fratangelo 6-2, 6-4 on Saturday to advance to the final of the ATP Hall of Fame Open in Newport, R.I.
Isner will bid for his 11th career title and third in Newport on Sunday when he faces Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden, who posted a 6-3, 6-3 win over German Peter Gojowczyk.
The 32-year-old Isner, who won the Hall of Fame Open in 2011 and 2012, credited his hard serve for making short work throughout the tournament.
"It went well and was a pretty good match," the 21st-ranked Isner said. "I served well and started it off well. I was all over him from the get-go. I'm happy to get off the court in just over an hour. I was saying on the Tennis Channel set that now I know what it's like to be (Novak) Djokovic and (Andy) Murray and get off the court in an hour in all of my matches.
"I have great memories in Newport. Sometimes that helps when you know in the past that you've won a lot of matches here. I came into this tournament with a pretty good mindset."
Isner, who is vying for his first ATP title since winning Atlanta in 2015, advanced to his first final since the Paris Masters in November. He lost to Murray in that encounter.
Ebden broke Gojowczyk on five occasions and needed just 63 minutes to advance to his first ATP final.
"This is pretty cool," said Ebden, who is ranked 249th in the world. "First time for this. I'm very happy. I've been building up my game the last six months. I love it here on the grass. I couldn't be happier. Not only winning, but getting all these matches.
"I've had some good results here in the last six or seven years. Being out for six months last year allowed me to appreciate being on tour and let me turn the corner mentally."
The 29-year-old Ebden has lost both career matches to Isner without winning even a set. Isner prevailed against Ebden at the BNP Paribas Open in 2012 and in the second round at Wimbledon in 2015.
"I played (Ebden) at Wimbledon I think three years ago," Isner said. "He's won six matches here and is certainly match-tough. He's playing the best tennis in a long time. Grass is his best surface. Tomorrow could be my toughest match and his toughest match as well. We'll be in for a good fight."