WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — American John Isner made short work of his third-round match Wednesday in the Winston-Salem Open, beating Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin 6-1, 7-6 (7-3).
Isner, the tournament's top seed and two-time champion, served 17 aces and needed just 68 minutes to oust the 13th-seeded Kukushkin in the final tuneup for next week's U.S. Open.
"It could've gone a lot quicker," said Isner, who was born in nearby Greensboro, N.C. "I made it tough on myself, which I'm not too pleased about because of how I was serving. Still, I played well at the end of the match and I'm off in straight sets again, which is nice."
The 6-foot-10 Isner broke Kukushkin's serve twice and won nearly three-quarters of all points played in the first set, which he completed in just 18 minutes.
However, Isner had a tougher time in the second set. While he served 12 aces, he also struggled to finish points against the smaller Kukushkin.
"I was putting a lot of pressure on him, and doing the right things," Isner said. "But I got away from that a little bit. Of course, he changed his tactics up, and certainly played better in the second set. It got away from me there a little bit, but I played well at the end."
Isner, 12-0 all-time in the tournament, will face seventh-seeded Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic in Thursday's semifinals. Rosol advanced with a 1-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory over 10th-seeded Pedro Andujar of Spain.
Also advancing to the quarterfinals were American Sam Querrey, fifth-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain, Belgian qualifier David Goffin, Poland's Jerzy Janowicz, ninth-seeded Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan and 14th-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy.
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