Three Top 10 Players advanced to the semifinals of the Winston-Salem Open on Thursday. Americans John Isner and Sam Querrey join Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, creating high calibre match ups on Friday.
John Isner, 10th in World will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who is 6th, in one semifinal. 7th ranked, Tomas Berdych will meet 28th ranked Sam Querrey, in the other. Querrey's ranking is a little misleading, lower due to missing time with an injury last year.
Tomas Berdych defeated Steve Darcis 4-6, 6-2, 6-0
2nd seeded Berdych took Belgium's Steve Darcis' best shot before taking control of his quarterfinal match in the second and third sets. Berdych lost the opening set 4-6 as Darcis broke his serve twice in the set. Berdych changed his playing style after the first hitting the ball quicker and forcing Darcis further back. The strategy worked and Berdych advanced. He will be a 6 seed in next week's U.S. Open.
Sam Querrey advanced, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 over Alexandr Dolgopolov
American Sam Querrey launched 20 aces in route to a three set victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov, in what was the most exciting match of the day. It was a contrast in styles as Dolgopolov displayed excellent court coverage and ground strokes, particularly in the second set where he came up with a couple very solid return winners. Dolgopolov ran down a number of shots in the third set and fought off three match points before the set went to a tiebreaker. But it was Querrey's big serves and a great cross court passing shot in the tiebreak that propelled him to the victory. Querrey will be the 27th seed in the U.S. Open while Dolgopolov will be seeded 14th in Flushing Meadows.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga dominates Marcel Granollers 6-1, 6-2
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga jumped on Marcel Granollers of Spain early and never let off of the gas. It was a solid, dominating performance by the top seed of the tournament. Tsonga displayed a crisp serve and volley game and moved Granollers around the court with solid ground strokes throughout the two set victory, taking only 53 minutes. Tsonga moves on to the semifinals and will be a 5 seed in the U.S. Open next week.
John Isner serves his way to victory, 7-6, 6-3
Defending Champion Isner, had 21 aces overpowering Belgium's David Goffin under the lights in Winston-Salem. Goffin had a solid run in the tournament, in his breakout season but Isner was able to pull out huge serves when needed, particularly in the first set tiebreaker. Isner said, "I was pressing a little bit in that first set, I was waiting for him to lose the set or make a mistake on a big point rather than me going after the ball. But I was happy with the way I played in the tiebreaker, and I played much better in the second set." Isner will face Tsonga on Friday, in what should be a battle. Isner was awarded the 9th seed in the U.S. Open.