Second seed John Isner fired into his first ATP Tour semi-final for 18 months at the Mifel Open on Thursday night. The former World No. 8 struck 21 aces, and lost only 11 service points, in a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Alex Bolt of Australia in 67 minutes.
Isner won five straight games from 3-3 in the first set, winning 20 of 27 points. He later admitted that he felt more confident at the Cabo Sports Complex, than he did in his opening-round win over Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy on Wednesday.
“Yesterday’s match was a really struggle from start to finish and I could have easily lost that match,” said Isner, who is now 11-6 on the season. “After the win, I was very happy and because of that I played a bit better tonight. It was more straight forward, but that was because I felt more comfortable on court.
“I felt much better tonight on serve than I did last night. My first serve percentage was better and I didn’t hit any double faults. In the game I got broken last night [at 2-3 in the second set against Donskoy], I hit three doubles faults. It was just a better performance today.”
Isner will next challenge fellow American Brandon Nakashima, who will appear in his first tour-level semi-final. World No. 133 Nakashima saved three match points at 4-5, 0/40 in the third set of a hard-fought 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4) over fifth seed Jordan Thompson of Australia in two hours and 46 minutes.
It marks the first time that three Americans have reached an ATP Tour semi-final since the 2019 New York Open (Isner, Reilly Opelka and Sam Querrey). Third seed Taylor Fritz will play top-seeded Briton Cameron Norrie in the Los Cabos semi-finals on Friday.
Fritz Fights Through, Norrie Sails In Los Cabos
Fritz/Monroe Through To Doubles Semi-finals
Fritz and Nicholas Monroe knocked out second seeds Jonathan Erlich and Santiago Gonzalez 6-4, 4-6, 10-6 for a place in the semi-finals. Fritz and Monroe came through a stressful Match Tie-break, which they initially led 5-0, only to lost eight of the next 10 points and trail 7-8. They will next play Hans Hach Verdugo and Isner, who knocked out wild cards Ernesto Escobedo and Luis Patino 6-4, 2-6, 10-7.
Elsewhere, American wild cards Mackenzie McDonald and Sam Querrey overcame fourth-seeded Australians Matthew Ebden and John-Patrick Smith 7-5, 6-3. They will now prepare to face Hunter Reese and Sem Verbeek, who defeated Treat Huey and Steve Johnson 6-4, 7-6(3).