[CR12] John Isner (USA) vs. [CR49] Jeremy Chardy
It was always going to be a tough match for Isner as he had never defeated Chardy in three tries. Things appeared promising for Isner; he won the first set and was up a break in the second. Then one of the few things that could derail Isner happened, rain delay. Both players returned, one with renewed motivation and the other ruing the delay. As much as Isner wanted to win this match, his body was depleted. His long stretch of playing consecutive tournaments finally caught up to him. It was reflected in his game, it took him several set points to win the first set and then he had numerous match points and failed to win. Chardy stayed positive, perhaps the knowledge of never losing to Isner before gave him the advantage. Despite his erratic play of late, he played the big points better when it mattered. This 6-7(9), 7-6(13), 7-6(4) defeat of Isner was a tremendous victory for the Frenchman as he is into his first semifinal of a Masters 1000 tournament.
Likewise, it was going to be difficult for Vinci who had never defeated Williams in three tries. Yet, somehow, she too was also playing with tremendous confidence. She matched Williams point for point and was in the match until that crucial tenth game in the first set. This was Vinci’s best chance to get the upset as Williams was even more erratic than usual. Despite the straight sets victory, it was not an easy win. Williams struggled with her form, especially in the second set. Yet, that innate sense of preservation prevailed once again and despite not playing her best, or perhaps not as relaxed as she would have liked, Williams defeated Vinci 6-4, 6-3. Her next opponent won’t be as forgiving and Williams will have to clean up her game a lot if she wants to get to the final. Will Williams make it to the final in this form?