Isner outlasts Johnson in all-American thriller

The Grandstand

As Denis Kudla wrote on Twitter after the match, “American tennis should be proud of that one.”

Yes it should. John Isner and Steve Johnson battled for one hour and 55 minutes and traded match-point saves in a thrilling Citi Open semifinal on Saturday night that was finally won by Isner 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(9).

Each of the first two sets was decided by a single service break, setting the stage for a dramatic third. Neither man faced a break point on the way to a seemingly inevitable conclusion–the same conclusion, in fact, that was required when these two former college stars collided at this same event last summer: a final-set tiebreaker.
Johnson came out on top of that matchup 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(6) and for a while it looked like the underdog would survive once again. He twice led by a mini-break near the finish line, including at 6-4 with two…

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