John Isner's 57 aces in the tournament is just three short of the record set by Pete Sampras in 2002
John Isner's 57 aces in the tournament is just three short of the record set by Pete Sampras in 2002
Pat Sullivan/AP

John Isner got his big serve working after a slow start to reach the final of the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship, beating defending champion Juan Monaco of Spain 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday.

The fifth-seeded American will face Nicolas Almagro, the top-seeded Spaniard who needed only 58 minutes to beat American wild-card Rhyne Williams 6-2, 6-1.

Isner finished with nine aces for a tournament total of 57, three short of the record set by Pete Sampras in 2002.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.