John Isner was all business in his 7-6 (5), 6-4, victory over Gael Monfils Friday night in Toronto. Unable to break the Isner serve, Monfils resorted to dancing around the baseline while returning. His movements were a bit excessive, but they were technically within the rules.


Chair umpire Mohammed Lohyani intervened anyway, putting an end to the distractive return antics.

Lohyani quickly put an end to these antics. 


The match was neck and neck until 7-6, 4-4, but Monfils played one of the worst service games of his career, double faulting twice, and committing two careless groundstroke errors. Isner will face Daniil Medvedev Saturday night in the semifinal. The last time they played, at the 2020 ATP Cup, Medvedev handed Isner one of the biggest beatdowns of his career, beating the American 6-3, 6-1, in just over an hour.

In the day’s first semifinal, Reilly Opelka had his way with Roberto Bautista Agut, dominating the Spaniard—at least for Opelka scoreline standards—6-3, 7-6 (1). After the match, the American had some fun with his “serve-bot” moniker.


But really, Opelka won this match with his strategy. Few players can redirect their forehand both crosscourt and down the line like Bautista Agut, so Opelka avoided going there entirely. Almost every single ball—except for the finisher—went straight to the RBA backhand. If the Spaniard came out blasting winners off his backhand, he would have likely won. But his backhand was nowhere to be found, as the American came out on top in several extremely lengthy rallies.

Opelka will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinal and had some very high praise for the Greek.

“Tsitsipas is the second best player in the world right now behind Djokovic,” Opelka said. “He has the best forehand in the world right now."