John Isner vs. Ernests Gulbis
|Date & Time||Saturday October 20, 2018, 8:30 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Ernests Gulbis and John Isner meet in the semifinals of the 2018 tennis Stockholm Open.
Ernests Gulbis is coming off a three sets win over Jack Sock that took 29 games to decide. In the victory, Gulbis won 74 percent of his first serve points and 54 percent of his second serve points. Gulbis won 65 percent of his total service points and saved five of his seven break points. Gulbis is enjoying some of his best success in quite some time, as he’s now won seven of his last nine matches when you include qualifying, and he’s really spraying some impressive winners in key situations. It’s been a while since Gulbis has had a real impact on the main tour, as consistency has been a major issue, but if his recent play is a sign of things to come, he’s capable of a real bounce back season come 2019. A title here could be a true turning point for the 30-year-old Gulbis. Gulbis has a chance to make his first final appearance since the 2014 Open de Nice and the seventh final appearance of his career. Gulbis has won seven of his last eight matches on indoor hard court.
John Isner is coming off a three sets win over Tennys Sandgren that took 39 games to decide. In the victory, Isner won 81 percent of his first serve points and 55 percent of his second serve points. Isner won 73 percent of his total service points and hit 19 aces in a victory that took almost three hours. Isner played better in his second match, but you have to question just how much he has left in the tank considering he’s played six sets and all six sets have gone to tiebreaks. Isner relies heavily on his legs and his power serve, and he’s going to have issues if fatigue starts to set in. Either way, Isner is serving out of his mind like usual and has to like his chances as long as that holds up. Isner hopes to make his third final appearance of the year and his 27th final appearance of his career. Isner has split his last four matches on indoor hard court.
These two have split the previous six meetings, with Isner winning the most recent match in Basel back in 2016. Isner has won three of the four matches against Gulbis on hard court. Three of the last five matches have been decided in straight sets.
Gulbis is coming off one of his better performances in quite some time and has a major rest advantage here. Isner has played six tiebreaks, and now he’s being asked to play again about 14 hours later. I wouldn’t be surprised if Isner breaks down physically and ends up losing this match. With that said, I’m still giving the American the edge here. A couple of wins don’t make me forget about Gulbis and his struggles over the years, and he has lost to Isner in three of their four matches on hard court.
I’m riding the power serve and backing Isner here.