• Isner, Haas clash in SAP Open semifinals

    2/16/13 5:12 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Isner, Haas clash in SAP Open semifinals The two top seeds in the bottom half of the San Jose draw are through to the semifinals. Either John Isner or Tommy Haas will book a spot in the title match on Saturday.

    John Isner and Tommy Haas will be doing battle for the fifth time in their careers when they collide in the SAP Open semifinals on Saturday.

    Isner leads the head-to-head series 3-1, but all three of his wins have come in three sets--two in third-set tiebreakers. They have not faced each other since the 2009 Cincinnati Masters, where Isner prevailed 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(3). Haas' lone victory in the series, the entirety of which has been contested on hard courts, was a 6-3, 6-4 decision at the 2008 Indianapolis event.

    Current form is just about as close as their matches. Both men were on fire throughout the first half of last season before cooling off in a hurry starting with the U.S. Open. Prior to this week, Isner had a won a mere three matches since New York. Haas, ranked six spots behind his opponent at No. 22 in the world, headed into San Jose with a 1-2 record for this season--the same mark as Isner.

    Both men--especially Isner--have always played well on American hard courts and more of the same is continuing this week. The No. 2 seed booked his spot in the last four with relatively hard-fought victories over Vasek Pospisil and Xavier Malisse. Haas did not have any trouble whatsoever with either Jesse Levine or Steve Johnson.

    Isner's win over Malisse was probably his best since beating none other than Malisse in the first round of last summer's U.S. Open. His knee is still not 100 percent and this is a big step up in competition for the big man. Look for Haas to avenge some of his previous setbacks after three competitive sets.

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Johnny I had better watch out. Haasi really wants it.

mara002 , 2/16/13 6:06 AM

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