Isner ends Del Potro's London bid as Nadal withdraws

Lawrence Cooper
November 5, 2017

Argentine tennis pro Juan Martin del Potro on Thursday defeated Robin Haase of the Netherlands 7-5, 6-4, to earn a place in the Paris Masters quarterfinals for the third time in his career. The Serb then knelt and kissed the court.

Americans have had little recent form at Bercy, with Andre Agassi the last to play a final at the indoor event in 1999 while Andy Roddick earned the last Masters trophy for the country seven years ago in Miami.

The 77th-ranked Krajinovic had won only 17 matches in his whole career - thwarted by injuries - before this tournament. At nearly 36 years of age, the veteran Frenchman will certainly never get a better chance to win that elusive title, and doing so in his home country in a massive tournament would be a magnificent achievement, regardless of the quality of the field this week. Sock can still qualify for London if he wins the tournament.

If he beats Krajinovic - playing in his first ATP Masters final - he will take the final qualifying spot for the Tour Finals from Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta.

Even allowing for the fact that Rafa Nadal's withdrawal had allowed him pass through to the semi-final unhindered - everyone needs their bit of luck - Krajinovic had produced some inspired, hard hitting tennis throughout the week while reserving his best for the unfortunate Isner.

The Argentine, playing in Bercy for the first time since 2013, needs to reach the semi-finals in Paris to book a ticket for the November 12-19 ATP Finals.

Serving for the first set, Krajinovic held to love when Isner sent a two-handed backhand into the net.

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As the result suggests, nearly nothing could separate the players, and it was Isner who won 6 points more in total, dropping just 17 points on serve in the entire match (he served at 80%), which wasn't enough to make the final for the second year in a row. She appeared fully conscious and had her eyes open.

Isner started strongly, forcing the Serb to save three break points in his opening service game, but Krajinovic broke Isner in the fifth game.

A powerful forehand gave Isner another chance on Krajinovic's serve at 30-40 in the ninth game, but Krajinovic saved that one, too.

In a tense decisive tiebreaker, Isner led 3-0 but Krajinovic went 5-4 up.

Isner went on to win the set on a tie-break to take it into a decider.

The second of those game when Krajinovic fired off a blistering victor from a return, before holding his own serve to trigger wild celebrations from his coach and fans in the crowd.

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