ROME – American John Isner used his powerful serve on Friday to prevail against Croatian Marin Cilic 7-6 (3), 2-6, 7-6 (2), taking him through to the semifinals of the Rome Masters tournament for the first time in his career.
Isner got his second victory against Cilic, world No. 8, and now awaits his next rival, which is set to be the winner between German Alexander Zverev and Canadian Milos Raonic, world No. 6.
The American will now represent his country in the semifinals at the Foro Italico, something that has not happened since 2008, when Andy Roddick qualified for this round.
The duel on Thursday was between two physical giants, with Isner at 2.08 meters tall and Cilic 1.98, but the American was the best in decisive moments, winning both tiebreaks of the duel and closing the game in two hours and 38 minutes.