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  HOME | Sports (Click here for more)

Isner Wins Serving Battle against Raonic to Reach Wimbledon Semis

LONDON Ė American John Isner reached the final four of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time by recording a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-3 victory on Wednesday over Canadaís Milos Raonic in Wimbledon quarterfinal action.

In a contest pitting two of tennisí biggest servers, Isner was out-aced by a tally of 31-25 but did not get broken once during the two-hour, 42-minute match.

Neither player had a single break point through two sets, but the American took control down the stretch by earning one service break in the third set and two more in the fourth en route to the victory.

Raonic, the 2016 Wimbledon runner-up, was a point away from taking a commanding two-set lead.

But Isner saved a set point at 6-5 in the second-set tiebreaker and then got a crucial mini-break to go up 8-7 before winning the next point to even the match at a set apiece.

Raonic then began struggling on serve, winning just one of his seven second-serve points in the third set and a surprisingly low 54 percent of his overall service points in the fourth set as the match slipped away.

ďPure elation right now. Very, very happy to be in this position right now in the semifinals. With how Iím feeling physically and mentally, Iím in a very good spot. I think I can keep doing damage here,Ē the No. 9 seed was quoted as saying afterward on the ATP World Tourís Web site.

The Americanís serving stats were highly impressive, as he put 73 percent of his first serves in play and won 90 percent of those points. Even when he was forced to play a second serve, he had a 55 percent success rate.

Isner, who is having the best year of his career at age 33, won the Miami Open (his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title) in April with wins over top-10 players Juan Martin del Potro and Alexander Zverev in the semifinals and final, respectively.

With his victory over Raonic, he is now two wins away from becoming the first American menís tennis player to win a Grand Slam singles title since Andy Roddick at the 2003 US Open.

Next up for Isner in Fridayís semifinals will be South Africaís Kevin Anderson, who earlier Wednesday came from two sets down to stun Swiss defending champion and top seed Roger Federer 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11.

Fridayís other menís singles semifinal will be a blockbuster showdown pitting three-time champion Novak Djokovic against two-time champion and world No. 1 Rafael Nadal.


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