John Isner is certainly on a roll after knocking out Milos Raonic yesterday, and he’s moving on to the semi-finals after doing the same to Kei Nishikori in two sets. This makes Isner the first American male to reach the semi-finals in the 2015 Miami Open Masters along with being his second Top 10 win of the tournament. Best of all for him, they were back to back giving him that confidence to take on either Novak Djokovic or David Ferrer.
The 22nd-seeded 6-foot-10 Isner vanquished the fourth-seeded U.S. Open runner- up Nishikori in 6-4, 6-3 fashion in 70 minutes at Crandon Park.
Isner won the final eight points of the first set, breaking Nishikori at love to close it out. He then ran out to a 3-0 lead in the second and was never threatened.
The 29-year-old Isner is now a perfect 6-0 in his career Masters quarterfinals after smacking 13 aces past Nishikori. The towering North Carolina native broke his Japanese counterpart two times, while Nishikori failed to enjoy even one break-point chance on Day 9 of the 12-day tournament.
Up next for Isner will be world No. 1 superstar Novak Djokovic or sixth-seeded David Ferrer, who will battle here Thursday evening.
Coming into Miami, the World No. 24 had lost 11 straight matches against Top 10 opponents since his run to the 2013 Cincinnati final, when he reeled off three consecutive wins over No. 10 Raonic, No. 1 Djokovic and No. 7 del Potro before falling to Nadal in the title match. Isner improved to a perfect 6-0 record in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-finals.
Commentating on ESPN, leading tennis analyst Brad Gilbert said: “It’s the best two sets of tennis from start to finish that I’ve ever seen from the big fella.”
Nishikori came into the quarter-final showdown having lost just 10 games and breaking serve in 15 of his 23 return games. Isner did not allow a single break opportunity on Thursday, clocking 13 aces in the 70-minute rout.
The Greensboro native has yet to have his serve broken in the tournament. He will look to continue that streak when he faces the winner of top seed Djokovic and David Ferrer for a spot in the championship match.
Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal in last year’s final to win his fourth Miami title. Ferrer was a runner-up in South Florida two years ago.
The other semifinal was set on Wednesday, when third-seeded two-time Miami champ Andy Murray topped Austrian Dominic Thiem in three sets and eighth- seeded 2010 finalist Tomas Berdych blitzed Argentine Juan Monaco in straights. The 2015 Australian Open runner-up Murray captured this event in 2009 and 2013 and was the Miami runner-up in 2012.
This week’s champ will earn $900,400.