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Isner reaches Atlanta semis

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – American John Isner showed why he is playing some of the best tennis of his career on Friday, beating Mischa Zverev, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1, in the quarterfinals of the Atlanta Open.

Isner needed one hour and 37 minutes on Stadium Court to oust Zverev and reverse a run of defeats to the seventh seeded German.
Zverev had won all three of his matches against Isner last year. But the 33-year-old Isner has been rising up the rankings as he levelled their career head-to-head rivalry at 3-3.

The 6-foot-10 Isner is at No. 9 in the ATP world rankings. He reached a career-best No. 8 last week after making it to the semis of Wimbledon.

Isner will next face fourth seed Matthew Ebden, who breezed past Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 6-2 in one hour, 12 minutes.

The Aussie is into his second semi-final of the season, following a run to the final four at the Libema Open.

Isner is now two victories from winning his second title of the year.

The match shaped up to be a service battle as both players needed just a break each to split the first two sets.

Isner ended up losing just two points (38/40) on is first serve and this was the fourth straight contest they went to a deciding set.