The semifinals are set at the ATP Atlanta Open, with three of the four remaining players from the host country. The three Americans are throughout the spectrum of their careers, with Brandon Nakashima an up-and-comer looking to break into the top-100 next week after his run here, Taylor Fritz who is still young with plenty of potential but is well established on the tour, and John Isner, seemingly near the end of his career but still the top ranked American.
Emil Ruusuvuori is the last non-American player left in the draw, with the exciting young Finn finally playing up to the potential he has shown he has. Both Nakashima and Ruusuvuori are in the hunt for the first title, while if Fritz can get past Isner he will be competing for his second. Isner has a whopping 15, and with a third of those career titles coming here, he will have plenty of confidence going into the weekend.
ATP Atlanta Open Semifinal Predictions
Brandon Nakashima vs Emil Ruusuvuori
Head-to-head: first meeting
The first semifinal showcases two young, unseeded talented players. Both are enjoying a great week in Atlanta with big upsets, Nakashima knocking out the top seed Milos Raonic in the second round, and Ruusuvuori playing excellent tennis to beat an in-form Cameron Norrie in straight sets last round. Nakashima has been hot since the tour returned to hard courts, his favorite surface. He is playing in his second career tour-level semifinal with his first being just last week in Los Cabos, where he went on to the final.
Ruusuvuori is also playing in his second career semifinal, his first being in Nur-Sultan last year. Both players play their best on hard courts, and Ruusuvuori took advantage of the fast court speeds with a dominant serving performance against Norrie. Nakashima will provide a challenge with his return and throw everything he has at him to wear him down. Ruusuvuori is talented but has struggled with consistency during his young career, and there may well be a regression to the mean in this match. Nakashima is a tough player to face, especially if he is not 100% locked in, and the American will make his second consecutive final.
Prediction: Nakashima in 3
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John Isner vs Taylor Fritz
Head-to-head: Isner 2-2 Fritz
The second semifinal sees two players comfortable here in Atlanta. Isner has won five of the last seven events here, while Fritz is looking to forge a legacy of his own after reaching the final last year. Fritz has won their last two meetings, both on hard courts, and Isner’s last win over Fritz came back in 2017 when Fritz was still relatively new to the tour. Fritz has looked good here in Atlanta and will have plenty of preparation coming into the match after facing big serves Reilly Opelka and Steve Johnson in his previous two matches.
Isner will be the favorite coming in with his history here but Fritz has a real opportunity. Isner has looked vulnerable this year, posting just 6-4 hard court record which is poor for his standards, and failing to make a final of any event. Fritz is also looking for his first final of the year, and though he has struggled to beat top players will have a chance against an Isner past his prime. Fritz will use his recent experience of beating big servers to trouble Isner just enough to get past him.
Prediction: Fritz in 2
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