Isner wins US dress-rehearsal
Winston-Salem - Fourth seed John Isner reached the semi-finals of the Winston-Salem Open on Thursday with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Cyprus's Marcos Baghdatis, the player he'll meet in the US Open first round next week.
The North Carolina event, which is likely to avoid the full force of Hurricane Irene, saw Isner continue to make progress for the US Open after losing early at the recent Montreal and Cincinnati Masters.
The American, who grew up just 50kms away, fired a dozen aces and made a huge recovery after dropping the opening set in 22 minutes to Baghdatis, a former Australian Open finalist.
Isner has carried his ace total for the week to 39 as he awaits a Friday opponent from top seed Andy Roddick and Argentine number seven Juan Monaco, who are meeting for the first time in their eight years on the ATP.
Isner was blown away with two broken serves in the first set by Baghdatis, but dropped serve only one more time in the remainder of a contest which ended after just under two hours as the American won on his first match point.
In the other two quarter-finals, third seed Alexandr Dolgopolov plays Dutch 10th seed Robin Haase and Sergiy Stakhovsky, who won the event last year when it was played in New Haven, takes on Frenchman Julien Benneteau.