Robredo Tops in Casablanca, Isner Wins Houston
30 year old Tommy Robredo won his first title in 2 years and his 11th career ATP title in Casablanca, coming out of nowhere to defeat Kevin Anderson 7-6 4-6 6-3. Robredo had previously beaten Guillaume Rufin, Tobias Kamke, Benoit Paire in 3 sets and Stanislas Wawrinka in 3 sets after recovering from a first set breadstick.
Anderson improved his clay court record with wins over Pablo Carreno-Busta, a 20 year old Spanish qualifier who won an astounding 39 matches in a row (mostly on the futures circuit) until the loss. Carrena-Busta has only lost twice this year. Anderson then beat Grega Zemlja and Martin Klizan in 3 sets to make his 2nd ATP final of the year and his first ever on clay.
Julian Knowle and Filip Polasek won the doubles crown.
John Isner awoke from his slumber and took the title in Houston. A runner up last year, he did one better this year in beating Nicolas Almagro 6-3 7-5. Before that, he served past Ryan Harrison, Ricardas Berankis, who knocked off Tommy Haas in round 2, and Juan Monaco. Isner avenged his loss in the Houston final last year to Monaco by prevailing in a 3 set semifinal this year.
Almagro beat Gael Monfils, Paolo Lorenzi and surprise semifinalist Rhyne Williams, who continued the streak of Americans making surprise runs in Houston. Williams, who won the Dallas Challenger earlier this year sure seems to like playing in Texas.
John Peers, a former Baylor Bear, and Jamie Murray upset the Bryan Brothers to take the doubles title.
Isner defends Winston-Salem title, Djokovic claims Emirates US Open Series
John Isner needed his oft typical three sets and a tiebreak to defeat Winston-Salem Open 2 seed Tomas Berdych 3-6, 6-4, 7-6, finishing it off in a nail-biting tiebreaker 11-9 after saving multiple match points. With the victory, he claims his second straight Winston-Salem Open title and the North Carolina native is still the only man to have won the event.
It was a solid run to the final for the world number 7 Berdych, who appears to have broken out of a slump he had been in since Wimbledon. While Berdych seemed to play a cleaner match in the final than Isner, his play was not rewarded and it will be interesting to see the effect this match will have on both players as they head to New York and look to make runs at the US Open.
Berdych beat Alex Bogomolov, Jarkko Nieminen, Steve Darcis in three and Sam Querrey to reach the final, while Isner beat Martin Klizan, Jurgen Melzer, David Goffin and top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three and a tiebreak en route to the final, another steady tournament and heady performance from Big John.
Querrey’s loss in the semis gives Novak Djokovic the Emirates US Open Summer Series title. Still, it was a good summer for Sam and many other guys including tournament winners Andy Roddick (Atlanta: d. Gilles Muller), the forementioned Querrey (LA: d. Ricardas Berankis), Alexandr Dolgopolov (DC: d. Tommy Haas), Roger Federer (Cincy: d. Djokovic) and Isner.
–Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
Roddick wins a thriller against Isner, will face Gilles Muller in final
Andy Roddick won a thrilling victory against strong serving John Isner 6-4, 6-7, 6-4. Roddick took the first set after breaking Isner coming out of a short rain delay and serving it out the rest of the way. In the second set, Isner was firing on all cylinders with his serve and painted the lines the entire time, finally winning the tiebreak after going up a minibreak.
Early in the third, things continued as they had in the previous set with both guys using their serve to hold and Isner doing some damage on his forehand, while Roddick played plenty of slice backhands. The end of the match became incredibly intense with an electric crowd, which had urged both players on the whole match becoming even more vocal.
Roddick worked his tail off, hitting nice passers and good returns to earn three break points at 4-4 in the third, but a foot fault call on Isner derailed one of his chances to break, causing him to throw his racquet from the baseline into the net and complain to the chair. While Roddick was seriously frustrated, he was able to hold serve at 5-4, forcing Isner to serve to keep the match alive again. This time, he couldn’t do it and a couple of errors later, it was Roddick who would advance to win bragging rights over his higher ranked countryman and a spot in the final. Isner had his chances, but he just could not do enough to break Roddick and had too many errant groundstrokes. Roddick was tenacious tonight.
Gilles Muller also booked his spot in the Atlanta final with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Go Soeda. Muller served strong and got the two breaks of serve he needed to defeat Soeda, who, like Isner, couldn’t do much with his opponents serve. Muller has reached his first ATP final in seven years. While he will be an underdog against Roddick, if he keeps serving well and playing sharp at the net, he will have a genuine chance.
In doubles, the Flemchins were upset by Harrison/Ebden, who won 6-4, 6-4, and will face Malisse and Russell in the final.
Muller, Roddick reach Semis, Soeda upsets Nishikori
Gilles Muller wasted no time earning a spot in the semifinals, earning a 6-4, 6-4 win over Matt Ebden. It was all about the serve in this match. There were only 2 breaks of serve the whole match, both going to Muller and Ebden couldn’t find a way to get a break himself.
Muller will face Go Soeda, who upset his countryman, Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-1. Soeda played better than Nishikori, the higher ranked player, and Kei was really wilting in the heat by the start of the 2nd set. Nishikori was taking plenty of time to towel off and walk slowly around the baseline. Go’s win gives him bragging rights going into the Olympics where they will be doubles partners for Japan.
Andy Roddick didn’t have too hard of a time against fellow American Michael Russell. Like Muller, he got the two breaks he needed and took the match 6-3, 6-4. Both guys held serve with ease and played some great shots at the net. Russell came forward a lot, but he couldn’t handle Roddick’s serve.
John Isner beat Jack Sock in the late match 7-6, 6-4. Isner was up early but struggled at the end of the 1st set in a match that was delayed by thunderstorms. Sock had a ton of set points, but could not convert and while Isner was still shaky, he got a break in the second and served it out.
Today’s semi final match ups will be Muller against Soeda and Roddick against Isner. In doubles semis, Malisse/Russell will take on Klaasen/Young and Fleming/Hutchins will take on Ebden/Harrison. Klaasen/Young won a great match over Ebelthite/Matosevic and Ebden/Harrison won a tough match against Anderson/De Voest.
John Isner and Lleyton Hewitt to meet in Newport final
NEWPORT, R.I., July 14, 2012 – John Isner will set out to defend his title at the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships tomorrow, while Australian Lleyton Hewitt aims for his 29th ATP World Tour title from the other side of the net. The match will be the third meeting of the two players, with Lleyton having won all three past encounters.
To get to tomorrow’s final, Hewitt defeated Newport’s 2009 champion Rajeev Ram today, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2. He is 7-0 in grass-court finals, with his latest triumph coming in the 2010 Gerry Weber Open title match over Roger Federer in Halle.
In today’s second semifinal, John Isner served up 11 aces and overcame compatriot Ryan Harrison, 7-6(4), 6-3. Of his week in Newport, Isner commented, “It’s feeling very similar to last year. I wasn’t playing well and I was ranked in the 40s when I came here last year. I desperately needed some wins and confidence, and that’s exactly what I got. This year, it’s pretty much the same, although I’m ranked a lot higher than 46th. I didn’t play well in Europe. It’s as simple as that. I’m always most comfortable in the U.S., which is something I need to work on. This is where I play well the most.”
In doubles action, the British Olympic team of Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins defeated Treat Conrad Huey and Dominic Inglot, and will face Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky in tomorrow’s final.
Tomorrow’s tennis gets started at 10 a.m. with the Hall of Fame Classic Exhibition Match, featuring new Hall of Famer Guga Kuerten, former world top-10 player Todd Martin, and other tennis greats.
RESULTS - Saturday, July 14 2012
Singles – Semifinals  J Isner (USA) d  [WC] R Harrison (USA) 76(4) 63 [WC] L Hewitt (AUS) d R Ram (USA) 64 57 62
Doubles – Semifinals  C Fleming (GBR) / R Hutchins (GBR) d T Huey (PHI) / D Inglot (GBR) 76(4) 64
ORDER OF PLAY – Sunday, July 14, 2012
Starting at 2:00 PM
 J Isner (USA) vs [WC] L Hewitt (AUS)
 S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) vs  C Fleming (GBR) / R Hutchins (GBR)
–Anne Marie McLaughlin, Tennis Hall of Fame, Photos by S. Fogleman
Draw ceremonies. They separate the casual fans from the ”not criminally responsible” pro tennis addicts. Often, it’s even the highlight of the first weekend of a tournament, where you’ve hardly heard of some of the qualifiers on the courts outside. Inside, at the draw party, there’s the top seeds mingling with fans and drawing chips, all to give you a taste of what to expect from the big guns long after qualifying weekend is over.
Even though the players always tell you the party line that they only focus on one match at a time, they actually take a sizable interest in seeing who they would play should they make a run to the title.
The Newport draw will be held at the historic Horseshoe Piazza on the grounds of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and should begin shortly after 4:30 p.m. today. Follow us on twitter @TennisEastCoast and don’t forget to follow the proceedings @TennisHalloFame.
Newport Player Field to feature 17 Olympians from 10 Nations
With 17 Olympic tennis players in the field, the tournament offers unique opportunity for fans who can’t make it to London 2012 to still catch some of this summer’s most exciting pro tennis
NEWPORT, R.I., June 27, 2012- Just after Wimbledon and before the highly anticipated 2012 Olympic Games, some of the world’s best tennis players will head to Newport, Rhode Island for the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, the only ATP World Tour event played on grass courts in North America. The Newport tournament hosts a player field of 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams, and included in this summer’s very strong field will be 17 players who are bound for the Olympics, including 13 singles players and 2 doubles teams. In all, Olympic athletes from 10 nations are committed to play Newport, including more than half of Team USA. The top eight singles players in the draw are all ranked within the world top 60 on the South African Airways ATP World Tour rankings, and all eight have been selected to compete on behalf of their nation in the Olympic games.
The Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships will be played July 9 – 15, 2012 on the historic grass courts of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, located in Newport, R.I.
“Good news for tennis fans in the Northeast – not to worry if you can’t make it to London 2012, because many of the top tennis Olympians will be coming to Newport to offer up a great preview of the action,” said Tournament Director Mark Stenning. “We look forward to welcoming a large part of Team USA, with our defending champion John Isner, the Bryan brothers, and Donald Young committed to play. In addition to John, there are five other players in our field who are the No. 1 ranked players for their nations and are Olympic bound. The Newport player field is incredibly strong this year, and we anticipate sharing a great week of world-class tennis with the fans.”
Team USA is the largest contingent that will be represented at this year’s Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. John Isner, the No. 1 American and current world No. 11 ranked player, will return to defend his title at Newport. Isner has been selected to compete in both singles and doubles at the Olympics, where he’ll be paired with Andy Roddick for doubles. Also returning to Newport this year will be Donald Young, current world No. 51 and a member of Team USA. In doubles competition, the highly popular and successful pairing of Bob and Mike Bryan will make their first appearance in Newport since 2002, when they won the title. Together the identical twin brothers have won a record-breaking 78 titles, including 11 Grand Slam tournament titles.
Canada, Japan, and Belgium are also well represented in the Newport player field, with two Olympic athletes from each nation in the field.
Current world No. 20 Kei Nishikori and world No. 58 Go Soeda, the No. 1 and 2 Japanese players, respectively, will both compete in Newport.
Also committed to Newport are world No. 22 Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil, the No. 1 and 2 Canadian players. Raonic, a rising star in the tennis world, has captured three ATP World Tour titles in his brief career, and has notched wins against some of the biggest players in tennis, including Andy Murray and Mardy Fish. He’s also been known to take Roger Federer and Andy Roddick to fierce three-set battles on more than one occasion.
From the Belgian Olympic team, Olivier Rochus returns to Newport again this summer, where he was the runner-up in 2011 and 2010, and a semifinalist in 2009. Additionally, world No. 70 David Goffin, who made it to the Round of 16 at the French Open and upset world No. 28, Bernard Tomic at Wimbledon this week, will also play in Newport.
Australian tennis great Lleyton Hewitt is among the Olympians headlining Newport this summer. The former world No.1 and two-time Grand Slam champion will be making his third appearance as part of Australia’s Olympic team. Hewitt has been integral to the nation’s international competition for more than a decade. He was a part of the Australian team that won the Davis Cup in 1999 and 2003 and reached the final in 2000 and 2001.
Other Olympians scheduled to compete in Newport include Uzbekistan’s No. 1 and world No. 43 Denis Istomin, Alex Bogomolov, Jr. of Russia, Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, Lukas Lacko of Slovakia, and the British doubles pairing of Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins.
–A. McLaughlin, ITHOF
MORE THAN 20 OF THE TOP 100 PLAYERS IN THE WORLD