Match report

Yen-Hsun Lu ©
Quarter final
7/22/11 1 2 Tot
tw  Yen-Hsun Lu 1 2 0
us  John Isner 6 6 2
John Isner ©
Mardy Fish ©
Quarter final
7/23/11 1 2 Tot
us  Mardy Fish 6 6 2
in  Somdev Dev Varman 4 3 0
Somdev Dev Varman ©
Ryan Harrison ©
Quarter final
7/23/11 1 2 3 Tot
us  Ryan Harrison 4 6 7 2
us  Rajeev Ram 6 1 6 1
Rajeev Ram ©
  • Isner, Fish, Harrison lead American march into SFs

    7/23/11 6:03 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Defending finalists John Isner and Mardy Fish advance to the Atlanta semifinals on Friday. They are joined there by fellow American Ryan Harrison, who outlasted Rajeev Ram in a third-set tiebreaker.

    John Isner had much easier time of things in the quarterfinals of the Atlanta Tennis Championships on Friday afternoon.

    After needing two hours and 50 minutes to get past James Blake in a second-round thriller, Isner crushed Yen-Hsun Lu 6-1, 6-2 in a mere 56 minutes to book his spot in the semis. The 6'9'' American ran into a break point in the very first game of the match, but he erased it with a service winner and it was smooth sailing for him the rest of the way.

    Lu donated serve in the second game with a double-fault on break point and never came close to getting back on level terms. The world No. 85 won just a single return point throughout the remainder of the first set. Lu again double-faulted on break point in the opening game of the second, then Isner struck for his fourth break of the day with a clean backhand pass at 3-1. Atlanta's No. 3 seed, who dropped only five service points in set two, wrapped up the match with another routine hold at 5-2.

    Next up for Isner is Gilles Muller, whom he defeated 4-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(7) in second-round action last year.

    Joining Isner in the semis were countrymen Mardy Fish and Ryan Harrison. Fish took out eighth-seeded Somdev Devvarman 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 33 minutes. The world No. 9 battled back from a break down in the first set, then took complete control before almost squandering a 5-0 lead in the second. On his second chance to serve out the proceedings at 5-3, though, Fish got the job done.

    Atlanta saved Friday's most dramatic match for last, as Harrison took on fellow surprise quarterfinalist Rajeev Ram. Harrison mounted a comeback from a set down and saved a match point late in the third before prevailing 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(5) in two hours and 16 minutes.

    A tense third set saw Harrison seize an early break only to give it right back and eventually find himself one point away from defeat at 5-6. Down 30-40, however, the 19-year-old came up with a crucial ace and won the next to points to force a tiebreaker. After blowing all of 5-1 lead, Harrison took care of a service point for 6-5 then broke Ram's heart with a clinching forehand pass off the net cord.

    Ram fired 10 aces and won 72 percent of his first-serve points. Harrison, meanwhile, moves on to a first-ever matchup with Fish.

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