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Isner reaches sixth BB&T Atlanta Open final

August 6, 2016 10:14 PM

By McCarton Ackerman, USTA.com

In a battle between an established veteran and a rising star of American tennis, top seed John Isner reached the final of the BB&T Atlanta Open on Saturday by ending the inspired run of teenage wild card Reilly Opelka, 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-2.

In what was officially billed as the tallest match in ATP World Tour history, the 6-foot-11 Opelka saved a set point against the 6-10 Isner at 5-6 in the opening set and rallied from 3-5 down in the tiebreak to take a one-set lead. Isner grabbed the lone break of serve in the second set to lead 2-1 and eventually force a deciding set.

With both players on serve, three-time defending Atlanta champion Isner found another gear and reeled off the final five games to take the match. He finished the day with 22 aces.

Opelka, No. 837 in the world entering the week, was playing in just his third ATP World Tour event. The 18-year-old, best known for winning the boys’ singles title last year at Wimbledon, will move up about 450 spots when the newest rankings are released on Monday.

Isner has now won 15 straight matches at the BB&T Atlanta Open and reached the final six of the last seven years. His last tour title came a year ago in Atlanta.

The American will look for his 11th career singles title when he faces No. 2 seed Nick Kyrgios in Sunday’s championship match. Isner leads their head-to-head by 2-0.