Isner cruises in 3rd-round match

Associated Press
John Isner returns a shot against Mikhail Kukushkin, of Kazakhstan, during their match at the Winston-Salem Open tennis tournament in Winston-Salem, N.C., Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
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WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (AP) — Top-seeded 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 two-time champion, served 17 aces and needed just 68 minutes to oust the 13th-seeded Kukushkin in the final warmup for next week's U.S. Open.

"It could've gone a lot quicker," said Isner. "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."

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.

Querrey will play Garcia-Lopez in one quarterfinal match at the Wake Forest Tennis Center. The other pairings have Goffin facing Janowicz and Lu taking on Seppi.

Also advancing to the quarterfinals were fifth-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain, American Sam Querrey, , Belgian qualifier David Goffin, Poland's Jerzy Janowicz, ninth-seeded Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan and 14th-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy.

Garcia-Lopez battled through a third-set tiebreaker before beating 11th-seeded Donald Young of the U.S. 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 7-6 (8-6).

Garcia-Lopez overcame a 6-4 deficit in the third tiebreaker by winning four consecutive points to advance to an ATP tournament quarterfinal for the sixth time this year.

"The last month in Europe on the clay courts, I was losing a lot of tiebreakers," said Garcia-Lopez, who won his third career ATP Tour title last April in Morocco.

"But at the end today, I got lucky. Sometimes the tiebreaker is a lottery, and I got the number. That's why I won."

In other third-round matches, Querrey defeated second-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa 7-6 (7-4), 6-4; Goffin extended his winning streak to 25 consecutive matches by beating 15th-seeded Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; Janowicz downed 12th-seeded Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France 4-6, 6-3, 6-4; Lu beat No. 8 seed Marcel Gransllers of Spain 6-1, 6-2; and Seppi defeated France's Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 7-6 (9-7).

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