• ATP Western & Southern Open

Nadal to face Isner in Cincinnati final

ESPN staff
August 17, 2013
Rafael Nadal will be playing in his 11th final of 2013 © AP

Rafael Nadal is through to his maiden Western & Southern Open final in Cincinnati after beating Tomas Berdych 7-5 7-6(4).

The Spaniard is into an 11th final of 2013, and continues his career-best start to the campaign by collecting his 52nd win of the year and remains unbeaten on a hard court this season.

After winning the Rogers Cup in Montreal last week, Nadal defeated Roger Federer for the third time this year in the quarter-finals to take on Berdych, who conquered Andy Murray in the last-eight.

Berdych kept his composure throughout the early stages of the first set after suffering a slight wobble in the opening game when almost losing serve from 40-0 up.

Nadal though was dominant on his service and was hardly giving anything away, but Berdych continued to stay in front.

With no break points after 10 games, it was Nadal who converted the first opportunity for both players to go 6-5 up when Berdych put what seemed a simple backhand volley wide, and with it Nadal closed out the set on his serve.

A sloppy sixth game from Nadal in the second set gave Berdych his first break to make it 4-2, but immediately Nadal claimed it back and was quickly level at 4-4.

And it would be Nadal who would take the glory as he surrendered only three points in the tiebreak to reach another final.

In the other semi-final, John Isner saved a match point to knock out seventh seed Juan Martin del Potro with a stunning performance.

The big American - who defeated world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals - lost the first set 7-5 on a tiebreak, and appeared to be heading out of the tournament when 5-3 down in the second and facing match point on the serve of Del Potro.

However, Del Potro double faulted on the opportunity to move into the final, and Isner claimed the second set on a dramatic and tense tiebreak, winning it 11-9 to level the encounter.

And the intensity from Del Potro disappeared as the Argentinian was playing some of his poorer tennis of the week, enabling Isner to clinch the decider 6-3 and reach a second Masters 1000 final.

John Isner saved a match point to come from behind and topple Juan Martin del Potro © Getty Images
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