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Another Heart-breaker for Andy

August 27, 2011 | 10:28 AM

Andy's still among the top 10 players in aces, 1st serve percent, and serve points won as a percent on both 1st and 2nd serves. But he is no longer the king of the tie-breaker as he was in his hey-day 2003, when he reached #1 in the world and had won 25 breakers by this point in the year (winning almost 70%). This year he's won 9 and lost 7, including a heart-breaker yesterday in the first set against Isner in the semis of Winston-Salem: at 7-7, on serve throughout the first 14 points, Andy earned a defensive lob, which he smashed down the middle on his way to net. Good strategy, maybe, except his smash hit the net and popped over for a set-up that John was easily able to make a FH passing shot. After Isner hit an unreturnable 2nd serve to take the set, the momentum and the match were his, 6-4 in the second set.

Isner faces #113 Benneteau in today's final in NC, where - miraculously - Irene isn't even projected to cause rain. The Frenchman is having a a bit of late career Renaissance as he reaches 30, having reached a career high #32 ranking about a year ago. Yesterday it took two tie-breakers for him to beat Robin Haase, 3-6, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (6). His 4-5 record in breakers this year doesn't compare to Isner's 24-19 TB record, and odds are this match may hinge on a breaker, which would favor the big man.

ESPN2 has this final covered at 12:30, the women at 5 (both EST).

In New Haven where the rain may hold off for their early final this morning, #40 Petra Cetkovska has her first chance to win a WTA title. After her biggest win yesterday in the semis, 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (9) over Na Li, she faces #1 Wozniacki, a straight set winner over Schiavone. For the Czech player, Li was her 5th win over a top 10 player in a 10 year career spent largely playing challenger type events. Her ranking this year rose on the strength of 5 match wins in 3 majors, including one over Radwanska and Ivanovic.



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