Isner and Zverev cause upsets, will face off in semi

John Isner and Alexander Zverev both caused upsets on quarterfinal day at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia to set up a semifinal meeting at the Foro Italico on Saturday.

In a tale of contrasting matches, Isner battled past Marin Cilic 76(3) 26 76(2) in two hours 37 minutes while Zverev needed just 89 minutes to blitz his way past No. 5 seed Milos Raonic 76(4) 61.

The American produced another solid serving display, taking his ace total for the week to a tournament-high 93, only losing six points on serve in the opener. The second set was a different story however, as Cilic broke Isner in the second game. The Croat grew in confidence and had points for 4-0, eventually breaking his opponent again in the eighth game to force a decider.

The final set was a tight affair with Isner having the only break point opportunity at 3-3, he missed on that occasion, but grabbed the win a little while later when the No. 6 seed netted a backhand in the tiebreak.

“I just felt like I kept my composure out there. I knew it was going to be a tough match,” said Isner. “I felt like I played well when it mattered, and it’s good to win a match like that. I have certainly lost a bunch like that the last two years, really.”

No. 16 seed Zverev made light work of Raonic to advance to his first Masters-1000 semifinal. The 20-year-old twice moved a break ahead in the opening set only to be broken back but the Canadian couldn’t find a way to stop Zverev in the tiebreak. The second set was much more straightforward as the German sealed a double break to wrap up victory.

“I feel like I have played very well today. I returned very well,” said Zverev. “So I’m happy to be in semis and playing John tomorrow, who I know very well, you know, from our Saddlebrook days. We practice quite a lot together in the offseason and do quite a lot of stuff together. It’s going to be a great match. I’m excited for both of us.”