It is quite clear that when you talk to people about John Isner that he is still underrated. It’s back to back titles, making the transition from grass to hard and not dropping a set on either occasion. Wins over Pospisil, Muller and Harrison showed he is more than just a big serve! The forehand was purring and nobody could get close to him in Atlanta. Ryan Harrison gave it a right go in the final, having saved match points against John Millman in the second round, but couldn’t quite do enough. It has been a resurgent Harrison this season after claiming his first title earlier in the year in Memphis. Isner was quick to recognise this in his after match speech (his fourth in Atlanta)and it was another positive week for the pair of them. Top seed Jack Sock still doesn’t look there at the moment as he got ousted by Kyle Edmund in the quarters. Edmund lost a tight one to Harrison in the semis!
Fabio Fognini claimed the title in Gstaad, the likable Italian somehow survived his semi against Roberto Bautista-Agut, where he saved 12/13 break points. The second seed, Bautista actually posted a tweet (picture collage) of some of the abuse he received on twitter after his defeat. I was actually on the Spaniard this week and I still don’t understand how people can send messages calling him a “mother f***er” and worse! Disgraceful behaviour as they hide behind their phones or laptops! Dickheads! Fognini delighted the Swiss crowd though as he came through this one and beat qualifier and surprise package of the week Yannick Hanfmann to take the title, keeping his level for the match! This wasn’t always apparent against Gombos or Gulbis earlier in the week! Top seed David Goffin still doesn’t look right and it must be related to the ankle injury sustained at the French Open against Zeballos as he lost to Robin Haase.
Leonardo Mayer must have cited Andrey Rublev as his inspiration as he came through the field in Hamburg courtesy of a lucky loser spot(Rublev did the same last week). Leo benefited after Martin Klizan’s withdrawal. The Argentine beat top seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round and never really looked back from there. This being his second title in Hamburg (horses for courses again). He beat namesake Florian Mayer in the final. A good week for Florian, who ran out of steam in the final saying he felt a bit tired, the win over Schwartzman was particularly impressive! The only two seeded players to make the quarter-finals here were Diego Schwartzman and Karen Khachanov, in a week of surprises in Germany!
Katerina Siniakova took the title in Bastad, defeating top seed Caroline Wozniacki in the final. The Dane always looks susceptible on the red clay and so it proved again here as she struggled past Pauline Parmentier, Golubic and Elise Mertens on her way to the final. Though in her defence all three of those opponents can be very tricky, especially the latter. Her Czech opponent recorded good wins over Sevastova and Caroline Garcia en route, before seeing off Woz 3 and 4 in the final!
Last, but not least, Shuai Peng claimed the title over in Nanchang. On her day and when fully fit she is a class above this field that included Shuai Zhang, Qiang Wang and Jelena Jankovic. Especially as it stands with Jankovic looking all but done right now and her best days well behind her! After navigating herself past a tricky opener against Kurumi Nara, she eased past the remainder of the field beating Nao Hibino 6/3 6/2 in the decider! She has had a pretty steady year so far and will be looking to continue that in the US hard court swing, where she is an opponent everyone will want to avoid!
Andy Del Potro