Murray reaches U.S. Open semis
Flushing Meadows, NY – Former runner-up Andy Murray posted a set quarterfinal victory Friday at the U.S. Open.
The world No. 4 Murray dismissed towering 28th-seeded American John Isner 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2) in 3 hours, 24 minutes at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Murray seemed to assume control of the match by breaking the massive-serving Isner to grab a 6-5 lead in the first set. The Brit then consolidated the break and appeared to be on his way.
The Dunblane, Scotland native broke Isner again to open the second set and eased his way to another set win.
But Isner decided he wasn't going away. He opened the third set with a hold and then recorded his first service break of the day. The American managed to hold his serve for the remainder of the stanza, which he surprisingly won to extend the match.
A tight fourth set went to a tiebreak, which Murray dominated and closed out when Isner netted one final forehand return.
Murray could manage only two service breaks on Friday, while Isner settled for one in a losing effort. The players combined for 31 aces, including 17 from the American.
The steady Murray is the first British player in the Open Era (since 1968) to reach the semifinals at all four Grand Slam events in one season.
The 6-foot-9 Isner was playing in his first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal. The 26-year-old was riding a nine-match overall winning streak, having recently titled in Winston-Salem in his native North Carolina.
Murray will now appear in his eighth career Grand Slam semifinal (3-4), which includes all four majors this year. The three-time Grand Slam finalist was this year's Australian Open runner-up to high-flying Serb Novak Djokovic.
The 24-year-old Murray captured an ATP Masters event in Cincinnati last month by upsetting an injured Djokovic in the finale.
First Lady Michelle Obama was in attendance on a hot and sunny Day 12 in New York.
"I've been trying to get to the U.S. Open my entire life," Obama said.
Murray's semifinal opponent on Saturday will be second-seeded Rafael Nadal or 21st-seeded American Andy Roddick. The 10-time major champion Nadal completed the coveted career Grand Slam by titling here in New York a year ago when he beat Djokovic in the final. Roddick captured his lone major title at the 2003 U.S. Open and was the 2006 runner-up to Roger Federer at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
The world No. 1 Djokovic and third-seeded former top-ranked great Federer will do battle in Saturday's other semi. Djokovic is an amazing 62-2 this year, including Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon and the Aussie Open. One of his 2011 losses came at the hands of Federer in the French Open semis back in June.
The 30-year-old Federer is 14-9 lifetime against the 24-year-old Djokovic, but the Serb has won three of their four meetings this season, including a win in the Aussie Open semis. Djokovic upset Federer in a magnificent five-set semifinal here in Flushing a year ago. The Swiss icon Federer, however, is 3-1 in their career U.S. Open matchups.
The newest U.S. Open champ will collect $1.8 million.