Almagro defeats Williams in Houston, reaches final
HOUSTON (AP) - Top-seeded Nicolas Almagro of Spain needed only 58 minutes to beat wild-card Rhyne Williams of the United States 6-2, 6-1 Saturday to advance to the finals of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship.
John Isner of the United States will play third-seeded Juan Monaco of Argentina for the other spot in Sunday's finals. Monaco, the defending champion, beat Isner 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in last year's finals.
Almagro, who leads the ATP Tour in aces, added seven more on Saturday. He won 62 percent of his first-serve points against Williams, who played in his first ATP semifinals.
Almagro became the first top-seeded player to reach the clay-court final since James Blake in 2008.
The 12th-ranked Almagro broke the 22-year-old Williams in the second game of the match and dominated from there. The first set ended with three straight breaks.
Almagro won the first five games of the second set before Williams held in the sixth game. But it was over quickly in the seventh game, which included at 129-mph ace by Almagro.
The Spaniard won the first match point with a brisk backhand that went unchallenged by Williams.