The 22-year-old Taylor Fritz is through to his fifth ATP final and the first since last August, ousting the top-ranked compatriot John Isner 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 41 minutes. Fritz claimed their previous duel in Auckland 2019 and had to work hard to maintain the winning streak, trailing 6-2, 4-2, 40-0 before performing an impressive comeback to cross the finish line first and set the title clash against Rafael Nadal or Grigor Dimitrov.
Both players scored three breaks and it was Taylor who grabbed those in the pivotal moments, surviving that challenging the second set and prevailing with a single break in the decider after rock-solid service games. John caught a break with a smash winner in the first game of the encounter, fending off a break chance in game two with an ace and landing a return winner in game three for a massive advantage and the best possible start.
Serving for the set at 5-2, Isner closed it with a hold at 15 in 28 minutes, gaining boost ahead of set number two. There, he barely lost a point in the first three service games, mounting the pressure on Taylor who got broken at love at 2-2 to fall further behind.
The seventh game could have been crucial, with Isner creating three break chances that could have sent him a game away from victory. With no room for any errors, Fritz repelled all three break chances, closing the game with an ace and breaking back at 15 following a terrible forehand from John who suddenly lost the advantage.
The younger American had the momentum on his side now, producing another break at 6-5 when Isner's volley landed long and sending the action into a decider. There, Taylor lost three points in five service games, earning a break in game two when Isner hit a double fault and sealing the deal with a hold at love at 5-3 to book the place in the final.