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John Isner won Atlanta 2013 and is ready to take that result to the 2013 U.S. Open final.
John Isner is already a champion.
He has won seven titles in his career, with two of those coming in 2013. That is enough hardware to show he is ready to make a late run.
Coming into the U.S. Open, the 17th-ranked player reached the final in three of his last four tournaments, all of which were on hard courts.
He won the Atlanta event over No. 7 Juan Martin Del Potro 3-6, 6-1, 6-2. That is a particularly strong scoreline when considering Del Potro is a past champion of the U.S. Open. What better preparation could there be?
However, he remains a dark horse when it comes to Grand Slam events.
His only visit to the quarterfinals came in 2011 at the U.S. Open. Isner took a set off of Andy Murray in that match, but he noticeably struggled earlier in the tournament against lesser players. He is much stronger now.
According to Wade Rupard of NewsObserver.com, "John Isner thinks he’s ready to break through in a big way."
A first-round crushing defeat of Filippo Volandri 6-0, 6-2, 6-3 indicates that Isner is still riding this summer's momentum and is ready to pounce.
Second-round opponent Gael Monfils played a very good opening match. He won't have enough game to stop the American, though. Isner just has too much momentum coming into New York, and he will tilt the balance of their current 3-3 head-to-head record.
Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber would likely be next. Isner has dominated their meetings 3-1, and this one should be no different.
That's where things get tricky.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer stand in his way. The good news is that Isner, despite having never beaten Nadal, played him to a near stand-still recently in Cincinnati, Ohio. That should help him. Federer has also had his way with Isner.
Federer is not the same player he has been, though, if TennisWorld USA's report is to be believed. If Isner beats Nadal, that should be more than enough to convince him he can beat the Swiss player.
At that point, Isner is in the semifinal and should be ready to win one more match and spoil his half of the men's draws' expectations.