SAN JOSE, Calif. — John Isner advanced to the SAP Open semifinals for the first time in his career Friday, rallying in a first-set tiebreaker before overpowering Xavier Malisse 7-6 (8), 6-2 behind his booming serve.
The highest-ranked American saved two break points in the lengthy tiebreaker, relied on his big-finish forehand for two breaks in the second set and never let his strong serve slip during a quick 68-minute match. He will play Saturday against fourth-seeded Tommy Haas, who beat wild-card Steve Johnson 6-4, 6-2.
Top seed and two-time defending tournament champion Milos Raonic of Canada had 14 aces in a 7-6 (0), 6-3 win over Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin in the night session. Third-seeded Sam Querrey faced Colombia's Alejandro Falla in the late match.