• Isner, Anderson on course for Atlanta rematch

    7/22/11 7:53 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Isner, Anderson on course for Atlanta rematch John Isner and Kevin Anderson will be in action during Friday's quarterfinals in Atlanta. They are set for respective meetings with Yen-Hsun Lu and Gilles Muller.

    Yen-Hsun Lu vs. (3) John Isner

    Isner will continue his quest for a return trip to the title match of the Atlanta Tennis Championships when he takes the court for quarterfinal action on Friday. The 6'9'' American just barely managed to stay alive on Wednesday night, as he fired 30 aces and fought off five break points in the third set to outlast James Blake 7-6(8), 6-7(3), 7-5 in two hours and 50 minutes. Coming off a triumph in Newport two weeks ago, Isner is rounding into form and owns a 17-14 record for the season.

    Up next for Isner is a first-ever meeting with Yen-Hsun Lu, who is already in the midst of a stellar week. Chinese Taipei's top-ranked player edged Matthias Bachinger 7-5, 7-6(4) in round one before overcoming Marinko Matosevic 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 on Wednesday. Lu, into his first ATP quarterfinal of the year, is 9-15 for his 2011 campaign and comes in at No. 85 in the world. As long as Isner recovers well from his grueling opener, the No. 3 seed should advance in straight sets.

    Gilles Muller vs. (2) Kevin Anderson

    Muller and Anderson will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they do battle in the Atlanta quarterfinals on Friday. Anderson won their only previous encounter 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-3 three years ago on the grass courts of Newport. The 6'7'' South African is favored to prevail this time around as well, because he is in the midst of a breakout season on tour with a 26-16 record. Anderson, who lost to Isner in last year's semifinals, registers one spot off his career-high at No. 34 in the world and is in prime contention for U.S. Open seeding. He earned a bye as Atlanta's No. 2 seed and kicked off his week on Wednesday with a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Michael Russell.

    Muller is playing his best tennis of the season right now. The 28-year-old Luxembourgian reached the Wimbledon third round before extending Rafael Nadal to a pair of tiebreakers and he has already scored two wins in Atlanta. After taking out seventh-seeded Alex Bogomolov 6-3, 7-6(6), Muller survived Atlanta's own Robby Ginepri in three sets. The world No. 82, who lost to Isner 4-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(7) last year in Atlanta, is 8-3 at the ATP level this season. In what should be a serve-dominated clash, look for Anderson to get the victory in three.

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