MIAMI (AFP) - John Isner's magical ATP Miami Open run continued on Wednesday (March 28), when the big-serving American overpowered South Korean Chung Hyeon 6-1 6-4 to book his place in the semi-finals.
Isner, the 14th seed, arrived in South Florida having won just two matches all year but his fourth victory of the week was enough to put him within touching distance of his first ATP Masters title.
The big-serving 32-year-old Americans fired 12 aces to dispatch 19th-seeded Chung in only 68 minutes.
Later, Juan Martin del Potro raised the roof as he came from behind to beat Milos Raonic 5-7, 7-6 (7-1), 7-6 (7-3) and power into a clash with Isner on Friday.
Roared on by a partisan crowd, 2009 US Open winner del Potro rallied after losing the first set to finally wear down the Canadian in two hours and 53 minutes of relentless drama.
There was little difference between these two big hitters, but it was the Argentinian who held his nerve when it counted.
Chung, playing in his sixth last-eight match of the year, defeated Isner in their previous meeting in Auckland but was unable to stay in the match after being steamrolled in an opening set that saw him broken for the first time this tournament.
"I played extremely well and every match I have gotten better and stronger," Isner said.
"The conditions were perfect for me. The way the ball bounces, the court isn't too fast, so it's great for me. I have played well here before but I am delighted to get this far."
"I love to play in matches like this," a visibly weary del Potro said after his 15th straight match win.
"We both played well, the difference was perhaps that I just played better in the tie-breaks. "I am tired now, but at least I have a day off to prepare for Friday. It's going to be important that I recover physically and mentally because that was a real battle."
Del Potro came into the match owning the hottest streak on the ATP tour with 20 match wins this year.
His return to form has delighted his fans in Miami, where they packed the main stadium once again to cheer their hero ever closer to winning the "Sunshine Double" of Indian Wells and Miami on the heels of his triumph in Acapulco.