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Filip Krajinovic and Jack Sock advance to the big final — ATP Paris

Filip Krajinovic and Jack Sock advance to the big final — ATP Paris

Isner had played one of the matches of his season to beat Juan Martin del Potro in the quarter-finals on Friday but any hopes he had of qualifying for the end-of-season ATP World Tour Finals are now over after his Paris exit.

"Very disappointing. I had the chance to do something I'd never done before", admitted Isner, after missing out on a second straight final in Paris.

Krajinovic slid onto his back and sobbed, his arms raised, after sealing victory on his first match point. Krajinovic then knelt and kissed the court. "I did it, and (it's the) best day in my life", said Krajinovic. "It was tough to control the emotions". Because I was a good junior and then all of a sudden when I needed to do something I didn't do anything.

In the other semifinal clash, Julien Benneteau's dream run finally culminated after Jack Sock defeated him 7-5 6-2 to advance to the final. At nearly 36 years of age, the veteran Frenchman will certainly never get a better chance to win that elusive title, and doing so in his home country in a massive tournament would be a magnificent achievement, regardless of the quality of the field this week. Sock will go for his third title of the year and fourth of his career. "I just need to play my game and see what happens".

"I was sort of thinking about what football games I'm going to watch back home when this tournament is over", he joked. "Everyone knows (Krajinovic) is a very talented player and he's showcasing that".

"I had an opportunity here to do some things I've never done before, finish in something like in the top 10".

It was all set up for two Americans to make Paris their own by reaching the final of the year's last ATP Masters 100 event.

Ranked 77th, Filip is the lowest-ranked player in the Masters 1000 final since Andrei Pavel in Paris 2003, and he is the 7th player since 1990 who advanced to his first ATP final at Masters, the first since Jerzy Janowicz here in Paris 5 years ago.

Nadal s withdrawal with a knee injury means that past year s runner-up Isner will face qualifier Filip Krajinovic in Saturday s semi-finals. Nadal has not said whether he will be fit enough to play in the Finals, starting on November 12.

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The Serbian then broke in the fifth game, with Isner struggling at the back of the court before going on to serve out for the set.

Isner was a set down but 40-30 up on his serve when the incident occurred.

"I missed the ball by a few inches, " Isner said.

In a tense decisive tiebreaker, Isner led 3-0 but Krajinovic went 5-4 up.

Krajinovic's opening service lasted 11 minutes but despite facing a break point he held firm to hold serve before both players dominated behind their serve - Isner won 23 out of 24 points at one stage.

"So it was hard for me, but my family stayed with me". I was next to him all the time, and even now when I'm doing well he's next to me.

"We are very close friends, " Krajinovic said.

Nor has he forgotten the sponsors who dropped him when he was down.

A whipped forehand victor into an open side of the court was enough, prompting wild celebrations from Krajinovic's coach, Petar Popovic, who was topless as he shook his fists in delight.


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