Isner, Rochus in Hall of Fame final in Newport

Updated: 10 July 2011 14:40 IST

The second-tallest player on the ATP tour, the 6-foot-9 (2.06 meters) John Isner advanced to the final of the Hall of Fame Championship to play Olivier Rochus, who's the shortest at 5-6 (1.68).

Newport:

John Isner knows he'll come out on top of Olivier Rochus - when they're posing for pictures.

The second-tallest player on the ATP tour, the 6-foot-9 (2.06 meters) Isner advanced to the final of the Hall of Fame Championship to play Rochus, who's the shortest at 5-6 (1.68).

"It will be some good photo opps before and after the match," Isner said Saturday.

Isner beat Tobias Kamke a 7-5, 7-6 in one semifinal for a shot at becoming the first No. 1-seeded player to win the tournament since it joined the ATP Tour in 1977. Rochus beat qualifier Michael Yani 6-4, 6-2 in the other semifinal - the Belgian's third straight at the grass court tournament - to advance to the championship for the second year in a row.

"He's dirty - that's a compliment - on this surface," Isner said.

It's the sixth ATP final for Isner, who would be the third straight American to win in Newport.

Rochus believes he has what it takes to stop him.

Though Isner's height gives him a powerful serve, the Belgian could have an advantage playing bounces that stay low to the ground on the grass at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The two have never played in an ATP Tour match, but met in a qualifying round in Miami in 2009 with Isner winning 6-4, 7-5.

"I have nothing to lose," Rochus said. "He has some good hands for a very tall guy. When the ball is in play, I can play it low. I can play pretty good on this court. ... We play opposite games."

The matches capped a day in which the sellout crowd watched Andre Agassi and women's tennis pioneer Fern "Peachy" Kellmeyer get inducted into the Hall of Fame. Isner said he bumped into Agassi in the hotel, and was honored to receive words of encouragement.

Isner has not lost a set in the tournament. Rochus, who lost in last year's final to Mardy Fish, said he was lucky that the draw broke in a way to allow him to face a qualifier in the semis.

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Topics mentioned in this article John Isner Olivier Rochus Tennis
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