American John Isner advanced to the Indian Wells Masters 2014 semifinals after defeating Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 7-6, 7-6 on Friday. His reward is a blockbuster match with world number two Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Isner edged Djokovic two years ago in this tournament at the same stage to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 final.
“Two years ago I took the court believing I could win that match, so it’s much of the same here in 2014,” said Isner. “But, I think I can draw a little bit from that in 2012. It’s a good situation for me. I’d like to have the crowd on my side like I did two years ago. All that it helps me so much. It’s an advantage for me I think to play here at home. But at the same time, it’s going to be very tough.”
Isner is guaranteed a return in the world’s top ten once the rankings are updated on Monday, a first time since September 2012. He reached a career-high number 9 ranking in April 2012 after reaching that final in Indian Wells.
“Seems like I always have a little bit more adrenaline in those situations, and that was certainly the case out there today,” said Isner, referring to the tiebreaks. “I certainly hit my biggest serves in those tie-breakers. I think especially the second set one I was going after it with everything I had. They found their mark, too. Helped a lot.”