Wild card Ryan Sweeting gains first ATP final

April 9, 2011 05:27 PM
American Ryan Sweeting advances to his first ATP final by defeating Ivo Karlovic

HOUSTON, Tex. (AP) -- Wild card Ryan Sweeting of the United States has reached his first ATP final, defeating Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 7-6 (3) 6-3 at the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships.

Sweeting is the first wild card to reach the tournament finals since Mardy Fish won in 2006. Fish is now the highest-ranked American. He was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Karlovic, the 2007 U.S. Clay Court winner, wilted as Saturday's match progressed. On Friday, he needed more than three hours to beat John Isner.

In Sunday's title match, Sweeting will play the winner of Saturday's other semifinal between sixth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan and seventh-seeded Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay.