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The Journal Gazette

Friday, February 15, 2013 11:53 pm

Isner rallies past Malisse into San Jose semis


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.