After reaching his second ATP 250 level semifinal for 2018, Australia’s Matt Ebden has fallen to four-time Atlanta champion John Isner. The big American is defending champion and advanced to his eighth Atlanta final with a 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-1 victory over the world no. 55. Ebden earned $US $34,020 and 90 ranking points.
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Photo: ATLANTA, GA – JULY 28: Matthew Ebden of Australia serves to John Isner during the BB&T Atlanta Open at Atlantic Station on July 28, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
For Isner this tournament is pretty much his as he has, apart from a semifinal loss to Andy Roddick in 2012, been in the final every year since 2010, winning four of the last five finals.
Playing in energy-sapping weather where it was around 33C along with around 50% humidity, it was Isner that powered away in the deciding set.
“It was tough,” Isner said on court after the win. “Just like yesterday, I was able to get out early in the third set and that definitely took some pressure off. I’m very happy to be back in the final here. I need to get in the air conditioning and just rest so I could be ready for tomorrow.”
Isner had lost his opening round match at this year’s Australia Open when he faced Ebden on home soil. The win over Ebden in Atlanta took Isner’s head-to-head advantage to 4-1.
USA’s Ryan Harrison defeated Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the other semi to set up a repeat of last year’s final.
Thompson into the ATP Challenger final at Binghamton
Australia’s Jordan Thompson has returned to the final at the $75K Binghamton event. Last year he lost the final to Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie who at the time was ranked at 275 but has gone on to a ranking of 73 and reached the semifinals at the ATP 250 World Tour event in Atlanta. Thompson was ranked at 79 a year ago and now sits at 98 as he battles to hold onto a top 100 ranking.
Thompson cruised to victory in straight sets over Lithuania’s Laurynas Grigelis 6-4, 6-3 and he is yet to lose a set in the four matches en-route to the final. The top-seeded Australian will again play a Brit in the final, this time the no. 8 seed Jay Clarke who is ranked at 225. Clarke reached the final with an identical scoreline in his semi, defeating the no. 2 seed from Spain Marcel Granollers who has a career-high ranking of 19 back in 2012.
Thompson and Clarke are meeting for the first time. Below is the road to the final for Thompson. The winner collects 80 ranking points and USD $10,800 with 48 points and $6,360 to the runner-up.
Jordan Thompson  d James Ward GBR 7-5, 6-2 d Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera CHI in R2 6-1, 6-3. Beat Dominik Koepfer GER in QF 6-4, 6-1. Beat Laurynas Grigelis LTU in SF 6-4, 6-3.
Rodionova into the Granby ITF $60k final
Australia’s Arina Rodionova is into her second singles ITF event final for 2018 after having won the $25k event at Obidos Portugal in late April. The no. 1 seed and world no. 144 Rodionova has also reached the doubles final with fellow Australian Ellen Perez. Rodionova won her singles semifinal in convincing fashion as she defeated Canada’s world no. ranked Katherine Sebov 6-2, 6-0.
Perez lost a tight quarterfinal match against Canada’s Bianca Andreescu. In a disappointing twist for Perez, Julia Glushko from Israel then got a walkover victory over Andreescu to reach the singles final against Rodionova.
Glushko and Rodionova know each other well after having been doubles partners in the past and competed at many of the same ITF tournaments.
The Ukrainian born Israeli holds a 3-1 head-to-head advantage over the Russian born Australian. Their last meeting coming at the 2018 Auckland WTA International event when Rodionova won a first-round qualifying match, the meeting before that coming at the Marbella clay court event in 2011 when Glushko won a qualifying match. Both players are 28-years-old with Glushko ranked at 196.
Road to the final for Rodionova
Arina Rodionova  R1 d Haruka Kaji JPN 6-4, 7-6(4) d Astra Sharma 6-4, 6-1 in R2. Defeated Rebecca Marino CAN in QF 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-5. Beat Katherine Sebov  CAN in SF 6-2-6-0.
The tournament winner will earn 80 WTA ranking points with 48 for the runner-up. The prize money in USD is $9,119 for the winner and $4,863 to the runner-up. In the doubles the winners share $4,460 and $2,230 as runners-up.