In Washington it is the battle of the big servers. Both Del Potro and Isner can both both fire down the aces better than most but Del Potro is the one with a return game to go with the bombs.
They have played just 3 times before but not since February 2011. All 3 matches were on hard courts and all were in America. The 6 sets were all close but they all went to the Argentinian.
Del Potro has won all his matches in straight sets including against Haas and Anderson. Isner needed 3 sets against Tursunov and Baghdatis losing the opening set in a tie break each time. Davvarman pushed Isner close in their 7-5, 7-5 third round match and Kuznetsov pushed him even closer at 7-6, 7-6.
The previous rounds demonstrate the difference in the return games of the 2 finalists.
Even if Isner gets to a tie break I would have to fancy Del Potro to take it.
Everything points to a Del Potro win.
Update: One bad service game was enough to give Isner the first set. He was serving extremely well. In the second set Del Potro started to read the serve a lot better and that was all he needed. isner wasn’t getting the cheap points on serve and it was all Del potro from there.
Del Potro won 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.
The two WTA finals kick off at roughly the same time. Azarenka has won all 8 previous matches with Sam Stosur and obviously starts as a strong favourite.
Azarenka won 4 of her last 5 finals with the loss coming to Serena in Rome. Stosur hasn’t had the same success at the business end of tournaments and has lost 7 of her last. her win coming over Serena in the US Open final in 2011.
Stosur has managed to take the second set in their last 2 meetings. Those were the only 2 sets she has taken in their 8 matches. That suggests that Stosur is getting closer to her first win and if it wasn’t in a final I might be tempted to go with her. With anyone other than Williams on the other side of the net Azarenka believes she can win finals.
Stosur has had a couple of tough matches with a 3 setter to beat Radwanska and 2 tight sets with the surprise of this week Razzano. Sometimes that can help to get a player ready for the big match. I think it will take more than that for the Aussie to take the title but another 3 setter doesn’t look that unlikely.
Update: Stosur got an early break ahead as both were struggling on serve. Azarenka was wasting break point after break point although Stosur was finding the big serve for most of them.
A similar story in the second set with Azarenka unable to take any of the 4 break points in the opening game. In all she took just 1 of 12 break points which proved to be the difference.
Stosur kept her head well though and won 6-2, 6-3.
The Washington women’s final is between defending champion Rybarikova and Petkovic.
Petkovic beat Cornet in the semi final but if the French player’s serve hadn’t been so bad she could have been in trouble. Cornet broke her twice in each set and served for the first set. If her second serve had been successful more than 30% it could quite easily have been Cornet in the final.
Rybarikova had 2 potentially difficult opponents en route the the final. Kerber was defeated in 3 sets. Makarova may have had an injury problem ( I didn’t watch the match) but went down limply 6-0, 6-2.
The stats for the last month favour Petkovic and she starts as a 1.70 favourite however Rybarikova lifts her game at this tournament and I think she has a great change of retaining the title.
Update: Petkovic took a 4-1 lead in the first set but Rybarikova won the next 5 games to take the set.
Rybarikova won 6-4, 7-6.