Isner fights back to reach first grand slam semi

By Sports Desk July 11, 2018

John Isner came from a set down to claim a place in his first grand slam semi-final by beating Milos Raonic at Wimbledon.

With defending champion Roger Federer tumbling out in five sets to Kevin Anderson earlier on

No.1 Court, both Isner and Raonic could afford to approach Wednesday's last-eight encounter with genuine hope of reaching the final.

Given the reputation both players have for big-serving displays, those in attendance could have been forgiven for anticipating another marathon affair.

In keeping with such expectations, there was not even a break point until the third set, when Isner struck as Raonic appeared to struggle with an injury having received strapping on his thigh towards the end of the first set.

Isner was ruthless in the key moments and did not waste his opportunities when they came to him in the fourth, wrapping up a 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 6-3 victory in two hours and 42 minutes to set up a semi-final with Anderson.

 

Related items

  • Muguruza and Kasatkina battle their way into Dubai second round Muguruza and Kasatkina battle their way into Dubai second round

    Garbine Muguruza was among the winners at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Sunday while 2018 runner-up Daria Kasatkina also advanced to the second round.

    Kasatkina, beaten by Elina Svitolina in the decider 12 months ago, did not have things all her own way against Magdalena Frech and neither did Muguruza against Dayana Yastremska, to whom she has already lost this year.

    Day one of the Premier 5 hard-court event saw a stunning comeback from Aliaksandra Sasnovich while there were also wins for Kristina Mladenovic, Viktoria Kuzmova, Lesia Tsurenko, Belinda Bencic and Eugenie Bouchard.

     

    ONE MATCH AT A TIME FOR MUGURUZA

    Muguruza looked in danger of a third successive defeat to Yastremska when she dropped the first set to the Ukrainian, before fighting back strongly to seal a 4-6 6-3 6-3 victory on her seventh match point as her opponent sent a return wide.

    The Spaniard, seeded 12th, advances to a second-round meeting with Zheng Saisai, who overcame Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2 4-6 7-5, and the two-time semi-finalist knows the Chinese will provide a stern test.

    "I love coming here, it's such an entertaining tournament. I did well in the past so it's always good to be back," Muguruza said. "She [Yastremska] was playing very well the previous two times, she played better today but I managed to increase my levels and win.

    "I've certainly been kind of close, but that [the title] is very far away, come on it's only the first round, I don't want to think about that yet. I played her [Zheng] also recently, every match here is very difficult, it's such an important tournament and I'm ready to fight."

     

    MIXED RESULTS FOR FORMER FINALISTS

    Kasatkina was pushed hard by Frech before prevailing 6-3 3-6 6-4 and the Russian hopes a return to Dubai will kick-start a season that has yielded only one prior victory - a walkover following Maria Sharapova's withdrawal in St Petersburg.

    "It was a very tough match with long rallies, we played more than two hours so I'm a little bit tired but happy I won," she said in her on-court interview. "I'm not playing my best tennis at the moment but I'm hoping this match will give me confidence and I'll correct this crisis.

    "Yesterday I came here, there was nobody in the stadium and I just sat there [in the stands] with my friend and reminded myself of some memories of last year and I'm happy to come back here."

    Alize Cornet, who lost to Venus Williams in the 2014 final, eased past Timea Babos 6-4 6-3 but it was a different story for 2016 champion Sara Errani, who took the first set against Ivana Jorovic only to be beaten 4-6 6-4 6-2.

     

    SASNOVICH BACK FROM THE BRINK

    The comeback of the day undoubtedly belonged to Sasnovich, who pulled off a remarkable turnaround to defeat Ekaterina Makarova.

    Sasnovich suffered the ignominy of being bagelled in the opening set and the writing appeared to be on the wall when she was broken for a second time in the second set to fall 4-1 behind.

    But remarkably, the Belarusian won six of the next seven games - including three breaks of her own - to force a decider, where both players showed frailties on serve before Sasnovich eventually prevailed 0-6 7-5 6-4 to set up a meeting with Hsieh Su-wei, who knocked out 10th seed Anastasija Sevastova 6-4 6-2.

  • Cecchinato hammers home favourite Schwartzman to win Argentina Open Cecchinato hammers home favourite Schwartzman to win Argentina Open

    Marco Cecchinato made short work of Diego Schwartzman in a 6-1 6-2 hammering in the final of the Argentina Open.

    Home favourite Schwartzman, seeded fourth, had saved match point to beat to Dominic Thiem on Saturday.

    But Cecchinato was a cut above on the Argentine clay, taking a little over an hour to clinch a third career ATP title – all of which have come on the dirt.

    Schwartzman held serve for 1-1 in the opening set before losing five games on the spin against the Italian.

    And it was a similarly dominant story in the second as third seed Cecchinato broke Schwartzman's serve twice en route to a classy victory.

  • Halep ends Van Cleemput collaboration Halep ends Van Cleemput collaboration

    Simona Halep has confirmed her brief collaboration with Thierry Van Cleemput has come to an end.

    The former world number one announced the link-up with the Belgian coach ahead of travelling to Ostrava to help Romania beat Czech Republic in the Fed Cup.

    Halep worked alongside Van Cleemput en route to the Qatar Open final, where she was beaten in three sets by Elise Mertens on Saturday.

    However, the French Open winner said she will no longer work with Van Cleemput as they are not a compatible match.

    "So, we tried for one week and it's finished," Halep told WTA Insider. 

    "We decided to stop because we are not a good fit together. He's a good person, a very nice person, but on court the chemistry is not there.

    "We couldn't fit each other tennis-wise. Personally, he is a very nice person. We are friends."

    Halep split with former coach Darren Cahill during tennis' close season, with the Australian saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.

    It was under Cahill that Halep scaled the WTA rankings and made her grand slam breakthrough at Roland Garros.

    And the 27-year-old says she is in no rush to appoint a new permanent coach.

    "I can say that I am not looking [for a coach] at the moment," Halep said. 

    "I have my team, I have my hitting partner with me. I feel good like this and I will take my time. 

    "I know I said that when I started the year and then I changed my mind because I felt I need a coach. 

    "Still, now I feel like I need that freedom, just to stay and just to play with what I learned from Darren for years. 

    "Now I feel more relaxed, I feel more chilled. The priorities are changing a little bit. I'm more responsible for myself and I try to solve my own problems, on court and off court."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.