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Isner, Harrison To Face Off In Newport SFs

Newport, U.S.A.

Harrison© Kate Whitney LuceyRyan Harrison reached his third semi-final of the year Friday in Newport.

Reigning Newport champion John Isner booked his place in the Campbell’s Hall Of Fame Tennis Championships semi-finals on Friday, defeating qualifier Izak van der Merwe 6-4, 7-6(2).

The top-seeded Isner hit 12 aces, won 76 per cent of his service points and converted the only break of serve in the match to advance past the South African in 83 minutes.

“He mixed up the serve and volleys more than I anticipated. I thought he was going to do it every time, so that threw me off a little bit,” said Isner. “When good servers meet on a court like that, it’s not necessarily going to be so pretty. It was the sort of match I expected. I’m sure I could have played better, and more aggressive, but all in all I’m very happy with the result.”

Isner is looking to successfully defend a title for the first time in his career and is aiming to reach his third final in 2012, having finished runner-up at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells (l. to Federer) and the ATP World Tour 250 event in Houston (l to Monaco).

The 26 year old will clash with sixth seed Ryan Harrison in an all-American semi-final. Harrison led Benjamin Becker 6-4, 3-0 before the German retired from the match with a left hamstring injury.

“It was unfortunate that he had to retire. You never want to have anything bad like that happen to another guy,” Harrison said. “I felt I was playing and serving well and was in a good position there. I hope he has a speedy recovery.”

Harrison is through to his third semi-final of the season and is bidding to reach his first ATP World Tour final. Isner won their lone meeting two years ago in a first-round Memphis encounter.

“I know John really well. We've played Davis Cup together,” said Harrison. “I've watched him win some really big matches this year. I've been training with him a lot. He knows my game, and I know his game, so it's going to be a fun match tomorrow.”

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