Vienna - Andy Murray defeated injured John Isner for the
seventh time in seven meetings Friday to reach the Vienna semi-finals and take
another step closer to deposing Novak Djokovic as world number one.
Murray, the 2014 champion in the Austrian capital, cruised
to a 6-1, 6-3 win over the big American who required treatment on his blistered
right hand early in the second set.
World number two Murray, who now has 68 wins in 2016 and is
on a 14-match win streak, broke serve three times in a dominant opening set,
committing just one unforced error to Isner's 20.
By the end of the one-sided affair, Murray's error count was
just 10 to 35 to the outclassed American.
Murray needs to win the Vienna title on Sunday, as well as
next week's Paris Masters, to have a chance to knock Djokovic off the world top
On Saturday, the 29-year-old faces defending champion and
fifth seed David Ferrer who saved a match point and recovered from a break down
to beat Serbia's Viktor Troicki 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.
Ferrer, who is attempting to extend a streak which has seen
him reach at least one final in each of the past 11 years, will be up against
it facing Murray - he trails 6-14 with the Scot winning the last seven.
Big-serving Ivo Karlovic saved a match point and fired 29
aces to defeat Russia's Karen Khachanov 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 to reach the
Karlovic, 17 years older than his 20-year-old opponent,
saved the match point in the 12th game of the second set.
The Croatian veteran will next face sixth seed and 2011
champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France who defeated Spain's Albert Ramos-Vinolas
6-2, 7-6 (7/5).
Karlovic now has a season-leading 1 081 aces.