MIAMI, April 3, 2015
John Isner, who arrived at the Miami Open by Itaú off the back of a fourth round loss to Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells last week, will meet the world number one again in the semi-finals in Florida.
The 29-year-old US-American took out fourth seed Kei Nishikori in straight sets winning 6-4, 6-3 in only 70 minutes. Isner fired 13 aces and didn’t have to face a break point to gain a comfortable victory in their first ever meeting.
“It was a very good match,” Isner, who became the first US-American to reach the semi-finals in Miami since Mardy Fish in 2011, said. “A lot of times, just to get to a situation to play like that, you have to win a match that maybe I couldn’t, shouldn’t have won, which was my last match. I played extremely well. I have nothing to complain about, that’s for sure.”
Isner awaits Djokovic for a ninth clash between the two. His only two victories came both on home soil, in Cincinnati in 2013 and at Indian Wells in 2012. “Playing him is always a challenge,” the world number 24 told about the encounter on Friday with the world number one. “He’s the greatest player in the world right now, hands down. I played well against him last week in Indian Wells and he beat me in a tight two set match. I’m going to have to bring that level.”
Novak Djokovic defeated David Ferrer a fourteenth time out of nineteenth matches winning 7-5, 7-5. The top-seed, who enjoyed courtside support by countryman Janko Tipsarevic, capitalized on three out of his seven break points he gained and sealed victory in one hour and 53 minutes.
“I had to fight for everything that I got tonight on the court because he wasn’t going to give it to me,” Djokovic said. “I knew that coming into the court. I know that he’s a great competitor, that he grinds a lot, runs and makes you play an extra shot.”
Third seed Andy Murray, who joined the 500 wins club on Tuesday, came back from a set down to defeat Dominic Thiem in one hour and 44 minutes winning 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
“I expected a tough match,” Murray said. “He’s beaten some very good players this week already. When you let him dictate the points, he hits the ball as hard off each side as anyone. I think in the third set the difference was really my returning. I returned his first serve extremely well. I put him on the back foot. When I was returning the first serve well, I was able to dictate points.”
For the 21-year-old Austrian it was the best result this season after reaching the quarterfinal in Marseille in February and so he was pretty satisfied with his second appearance in Miami.
„It was a bitter end for me. In the first set I was able to make the important break, but then Andy brought up his world class tennis and I started to make too many unforced errors. I had a chance but gave it away. Nevertheless, I am looking back at a great tournament with some good matches and I am happy that I am over my mental low now, after my struggle at the beginning of the season. Now I am looking forward to the next tournament,” Thiem wrote on facebook.
Murray will meet Tomas Berdych in his 22nd semi-final on ATP Masters 1000 level. The eighth seeded Czech beat Juan Mónaco for a seventh time in a row winning 6-3, 6-4 in 92 minutes.
“He was playing really well,” said Berdych. “I managed to find situations, to create opportunities, and I executed them. I’m really pleased with that. There were a couple of long, tough rallies. The conditions were not easy. So there were a couple of challenges I needed to face, but I managed them all and went through,” the 29-year-old added.